I once met a makeup artist who told me that eyebrows were his favorite part of a person’s face, as they can absolutely make – or break – someone’s look. Well-groomed brows are a must, but what shape is best? While it comes down to personal preference, I believe that most people will agree that thicker brows have been in style for quite some time now. And there’s good reasoning behind the trend; while thin, over plucked brows may look unnatural and severe, full eyebrows often look more youthful, natural and intensify eyes and cheek bones. Now, you don’t have to transform into Brooke Shields if thick brows aren’t your thing, but consider letting those hairs you’ve been plucking for years grow in for awhile. Then head on over to a professional to get your brows shaped.

Getting your eyebrows professionally done isn’t a prerequisite for a lovely shape, but it will make matters easier. I’m a huge advocate of eyebrow threading for several reasons. The Eastern method of hair removal is thousands of years old, so there are plenty of proponents who swear by it. Essentially, a threading practitioner takes a piece of thread that is twisted in such a way that it can sweep over and remove an entire row of hair at once, as opposed to tweezing which removes one hair at a time. In effect, threading results in a much straighter line and a more obvious, dramatic shape.

Threading is extremely inexpensive (cost varies location to location, but for a point of reference, you can get it done for $5 in New York City and my mother is satisfied going to a place that charges only $3 on Long Island), despite the fact that the practitioner requires more technical skill than a waxing practitioner.

Minimalists and those with sensitive skin will be happy to know that threading requires absolutely no products, except for the thread itself. The chances of having a skin reaction to the procedure are negligible, as opposed to waxing, which brings the possibility of burning, scarring and unsanitary conditions (think double dipping) to the table. As long as the practitioner uses a new piece of thread for each client, safety is not an issue. Finally, while people using medications like Retin-A or Accutane are strongly discouraged from waxing (as the skin is extra sensitive and can literally be ripped off right along with the hair follicles), threading is not a problem regardless of what medication you are using.

The one downside to threading? Removing a whole row of hairs at once may be painful for some people. I’ve experienced both waxing and threading, and I will say that getting threaded is a completely different sensation than getting waxed. However, I find that the former yields better results (more thorough and less stray hairs) and is really no more painful than waxing is, especially the second time around.

So, to recap, it makes sense to get your eyebrows threaded, especially if you want more than just a grooming; you’re going to get much more precise results regarding the shape you want (arched, thicker at one end, etc.) when the practitioner is wielding a narrow little piece of thread as opposed to thick waxing strips.

After ensuring you have the shape you want, though, there’s nothing wrong with returning to tweezing – as long as you don’t get tweezer happy. One trick I use to ensure that I don’t over pluck is to focus on the overall appearance of my brows as opposed to every single little hair that seems to be out of place or screaming to be plucked. If I use a magnifying mirror, I end up tweezing way more than I should. But if I use a regular mirror and step back every minute or so in order to assess my brows from a distance, I end up with even eyebrows that retain their full shape.

For those of you who have thin brows thanks to genetics and are tired of using pencils, shadows and other fillers, there is something called eyebrow extensions. Though, as far as I can tell, it is only offered at Completely Bare, a New York City spa that has a branch in Dallas and will be expanding to Atlanta and Los Angeles. The process of extending your eyebrows involves a technician gluing individual hairs to your brows, creating a fuller, more dramatic look that lasts about two weeks. At $185 a pop, though, I suggest at least attempting to grow in those eyebrows!