After years of being over-plucked or else neglected, statement brows have replaced mascara as the key beauty essential. But make-up can only do so much; as with good skincare and foundation, much of achieving brow perfection lies in simple upkeep.
A good pair of tweezers is key, especially as those who would once have favoured waxing or threading may find themselves unable to visit a beautician during the pandemic.
We’ve been testing pairs, both budget and high-end, to find the perfect tools that will provide you with killer brows for years to come. Some have unusual tip shapes or ergonomic grips, but all tackled both fine and coarse hair alike without slipping or snapping.
Always brush your brows upwards before plucking so you can properly discern which hairs are stray; if in doubt, err on the side of caution, as brows grow slowly. Try to avoid using tweezers after you’ve applied your skincare, because the slip created makes it harder to grip the hair.
Use rubbing alcohol to sanitise tweezers, and to remove any build-up of hair and/or dead skin. If your tweezers come with a plastic cap to protect the tips, or a pouch, do use them to store your tweezers and prolong their life.
If you find your tweezers are losing their grip and precision with age, you can sharpen them at home using a nail file; some brands, such as Tweezerman, also offer a complimentary sharpening service.
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Rubis classic slant tweezers
Rubis started out making tweezers for use in Swiss watchmaking, for brands such as Rolex and Cartier, so you know its beauty offering will be well engineered. There are no flashy features here, just reliably excellent performance on both coarse and fine hair, and their design is neutral enough that they’re suitable for both men and women. We’re not entirely sure why, but we found them the most painless to use.
Laura Mercier tweezers
These are made by Tweezerman for the make-up artist brand Laura Mercier – a strong pairing. They have a fairly standard slanted tip that grips fine hairs well and doesn’t snap coarse ones, but their biggest selling point is their ergonomic shape. They’re far less fiddly to hold, easy to get a good grip on, and you won’t get cramp over a long tweezing session.
Anastasia Beverly Hills precision tweezers
This brand is famed for its brow products, so you can trust that its brow tweezers are expertly crafted. There’s no denying that these are the most expensive pair that we tested, but they’re the perfect pair of classic tweezers: sharp (careful not to pinch the skin!), precise and with a fine grip, so you can whip out even the lightest of hairs.
Tweezerman point tweezer, midnight sky
These, from the tweezer expert brand, have a pointy end rather than the usual flat or slanted one. The point makes them ideal for teasing out ingrown hairs (they work just as well on men’s beards as they do on women’s legs) and the precision works well for plucking out tiny hairs, such as stubborn ones on your chin, and for jobs that require detail, such as removing eyelashes that grow outside the lash line.
BBBLondon super grip tweezers
BBBLondon makes our favourite brow mascara and has multiple stores across London offering brow and lash treatments, so we had high hopes for these tweezers. They’re an unusual, slightly curved shape that gives better visibility of the area you’re attacking because the shaft isn’t in the way. It also makes them great for applying false eyelashes.
Masqd the slanted tweezer
These were the best budget tweezers we tried, performing just as well as some of the pairs three or four times their price. The curve towards the tip is too subtle to make much difference to visibility (for that, you need BBBLondon’s), but it does give a very comfortable, ergonomic hold. We found that they even have good enough grip to use after you’ve applied skincare.
Tweezerman 40th anniversary mini slant tweezer with case
These are our second pick from Tweezerman, but we could easily have featured many more. This limited-edition set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the brand’s founding is perfect for keeping in your handbag or make-up bag. The case makes them bulkier so they’re easier to find, and they’re nice and small, too. We also love the glitter finish.
Benefit grooming tweezer and brush
Benefit’s tweezers are fairly standard – straight handle, slanted tip, silver – but they’re reliable and efficient. The tips are coated with “diamond dust” to give a slight texture that gives good grip to very fine baby hairs. But our favourite feature is the brow brush on the end: brush your brows up before tweezing so you can really see the stray hairs and get to them, avoiding over-plucking. Two tools in one.
The verdict: Tweezers
Rubis takes our best buy for being the ultimate classic: simple, quality and unfailingly good. If it’s budget you need, Masqd’s slanted pair performed as well as many of the pricier pairs we tried, while Tweezerman’s 40th anniversary set is our favourite for grabbing chin hairs on the go, and for stocking fillers.
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