Slugs, caterpillars, Gallaghers: Whatever you want to call the humble eyebrow, we’ve all got them. And, more importantly, we all need them. While their practical usage as drip trays for your forehead is crucial, so too is their aesthetic value: Even the most handsome guy would look like a David Lynchian nightmare without a pair. In short, they frame your face. So you better pay them some attention.
Strong eyebrows—like the sort sported by Colin Farrell and Chris Pine—are no beautiful accident. These men preen. These men primp. Their secret, however—like so many things style-related—is to convince you they haven't.
Follow these tips to achieve the same 'brow perfection, then practize your Roger Moore one eyebrow raise a hundred times a night in the mirror. As if you don't already.
Tip 1: Monobrow, begone
No man should boast a monobrow: that unsightly bridge of hair that forces our two slugs into unholy matrimony. And if you’re without one now, don’t think you’ll be forever exempt: The chances of a naturally occuring monobrow only increase with age. So watch out.
Jenson Samuel, 12-piece Stainless Steel Grooming Set, £11.49, jssshirts.co.uk
Buy a good pair of tweezers: the only tool you’ll need to eliminate a monobrow (aside from painful wax strips). Place your finger between your brows and above the bridge of your nose: This is your guide to the area that should be hair free. Any less, and you’re still living on The Planet Of The Apes; any further, and you’ll look like the poor sod who fell asleep at a stag do.
Tip 2: You can go over it, but not under it
Only pluck the stragglers above the main body of the brow. Removing anything beneath, and you risk an overpreened disaster. Just think: a bushier brow is becoming, and if given just minimal attention, you’ll boast all the ripened charm of universally stylish men, like George Clooney, Oscar Isaac, and Zachary Quinto. Pencil-thin earthworms will do the opposite.
Tip 3: Don’t always seek professional help
For years, the art of eyebrow topiary was primarily a female interest. That means the majority of experts out there have learned their craft upon shapely, slighter female brows. This school of design doesn’t work so well for men.
Before you seek professional help, establish whether the browtamer in question has ample experience working with guys. That’s far likelier in bigger cities than it is in smaller local salons. If you’re unconvinced by their credentials, walk away. Or take the plunge and risk looking like a Latina bad gal from a Pitbull music video. Your call.
Tip 4: Style it out, but exercise caution
The world of male grooming can be just as bloated as its female beauty counterpart. It comes as little surprise, then, that opportunist brands cashed in on eyebrow ‘styling’ trend long ago releasing endless products and tools promising to carve the ultimate brow.
Tom Ford, Brow Gel Comb, £33, houseoffraser.co.uk
But don’t dismiss it all as gimmickry. Some brows—the unruly, wiry kind—require a conservative amount of eyebrow wax or gel to brush them into place. If your eyebrows are on the wild side, consider giving them a try. Tom Ford is a great place to start.
Tip 5: Maintain on a regular basis
Now, we’re not recommending you preen eyebrows on a weekly basis. But you shouldn’t only reach for the slug repellant at the 11th hour. Instead, understand how fast your eyebrows grow, and formulate a regime from there.
This way, you’re far less likely to make a grave error or disrupt your natural shape. Withdrawing a few strands is much easier—and safer—than mowing an overgrown jungle, so settle for little and often.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.