Tweezers are a very versatile and useful tool, but they are most commonly used for eyebrow contouring. It is becoming more popular to save money on eyebrow threading and waxing services and to create that perfect eyebrow arch yourself. Tweezers are a great investment that last a very long time and allow you to remove unwanted hair at your own convenience. Anyone with thick eyebrows like myself will tell you how important tweezers are. Now comes the other important part — avoid buying cheaply made tweezers. Poor quality tweezers often won’t stay aligned and will dull over time. It’s highly recommended to spend a bit of extra money for a pair of well-designed tweezers that stay sharp, are made from stainless steel and are properly machined with precision.
Tweezer types and styles
There is a big difference between dollar store tweezers and a good quality pair of tweezers, but first you need to know how to identify the good ones. Stick with high quality stainless steel, never nickel or metal alloys so you can avoid potential rusting and infection. You want to use a metal that has the least chance of aggravating the skin. If you want to go the most expensive route, some tweezers are plated with 2 microns of 24 karat gold which is softer and doesn’t get as cold, but stainless steel is a perfectly functional material.
Grip are and overall length are also important factors. Different manufacturers have different grip sizes and some have indents for your fingers. The best grips are generally about a quarter inch with a non-slip surface. The most ergonomic length is about 3.5 inches in length. Anything smaller than this will often obscure your view because your hand will be too close to the tip. This is also why we don’t usually recommend smaller travel tweezers.
Now the most important part of the tweeezer — the tip. Slant or pointed tips are the most popular and easiest to find. Slant are the easiest for newbies and offer a better angle and visibility. You can lay the tweezers flat against your skin while still being able to see and grab the individual hairs. Pointed tweezers are thinner and designed to remove ingrown or difficult-to-remove hairs, and other nuisances like splinters. The tips of tweezers come in six different styles:
- Slant tip — the most popular and industry standard.
- Pointed tip –best for removing splinters and ingrown hairs.
- Pointed slant –a mix between the slanted and pointed tip.
- Square tip –useful for removing bunches of hair strands rather than individuals ones.
- Round tip — safest option and no sharp edges, but difficult to grab individual hairs.
- Curved –useful for inserting fake eyelashes or doing nail art.
Best slant tip tweezers
Slant tip tweezers have become the most popular type of tweezers due to their versatility and ease of use. When you think of tweezers, they’re probably the first type that comes to mind because you’ve probably used or seen them before. Other tweezer tips cater to more specific situations, but slant tip tweezers are great for most hair plucking situations. The slant edge allows you to angle the tweezer tip against your skin for precision while providing a strong grip and good visibility.
We found the best overall tweezers to be the Tweezerman stainless steel slant tweezer. They come highly touted by many professionals and aestheticians and excel in every area that a tweezer can. The stainless steel tips are hand filed and arrive sharp and line up flush against each other consistently. We were able to pluck even the wispiest of hairs without pinching the skin. The grip and length are the perfect size, although we would have preferred the painted finish to be a little less slippery. While they aren’t the cheapest tweezers you can purchase, Tweezerman does offer a lifetime guarantee and free sharpening with a clear and proven process. While we have not personally used the Tweezerman free sharpening, we know a few people who have completed it successfully. You can also get their tweezers in a variety of colors to make them easier to find. Personally, we recommend the stainless steel version with a matte finish for the strongest grip. Tweezerman also offers a 50% off replacement tweezers if yours become bent or damaged by accident.
A great and budget alternative is the excellent TweezerGuru professional stainless steel slant tip tweezer. While these are cheaper than the Tweezerman they still offer good quality and value. The tips are straight and line up perfectly and provide strong tension. They also look and feel professional and well-made. However they don’t grab fine hairs as well as the Tweezerman and shorter hairs less than 1mm we sometimes had trouble with. They also do not offer any free sharpenings or at least no clear process that we could find for it. But if you are mostly dealing with thicker hairs or don’t mind taking a bit of extra time with your eyebrows and don’t care about free tweezer sharpening then these tweezers are a good option for less money.
On the other end of the price spectrum are the Rubis slanted tip tweezer R1K102. Made in Switzerland, the Rubis slant tweezers are perfect in every category and most definitely cost more. The arms are bit thicker than other brands but their quality is unrivaled for tweezers. Rubis tweezers go through a 45 step production process and are hand finished for perfect alignment. They are also tested for weight, balance and sharpness. For most people these are bit overkill and usually used by professionals due to their price tag. But if thats not a concern, take a look at the Rubis gold slant tweezer 1K1.03. The only criticism we have found with these tweezers is that they are almost too sharp to use. Just don’t grab hairs too firmly and take your time during tweezing.
Best pointed tip tweezers
Pointed tip tweezers are specifically designed for removing ingrown hairs or digging out splinters and other objects. They are most useful when you need high precision for tiny targets or small areas. The fine tip provides you an unobstructed view during usage and allows you to grab the smallest of splinters and dig without causing too much damage to the surrounding skin. Make sure you know what you’re doing with these before using them as they are very sharp. Pointed tip tweezers should not be used by beginners or those with poor vision or shaky hands because you can cause real damage. These are great to have an an alternative to your regular tweezers and are useful for emergencies when you need to remove tiny objects from your skin.
Of all the pointed tip tweezers, our favorite overall is the Tweezerman Splintertweeze. The wide grip provides stability when making precise movements and the tips are very sharp. Tweezerman is a well-known favorite among professionals and also offers a lifetime guarantee and free sharpening. If you find it too expensive, you can also take a look at the excellent Tweez’em stainless steel precision tweezers or TweezerGuru pointed tweezer. Be careful when looking at other tweezers that have good reviews, as usually those are based on a small amount of review. If you want the absolute finest tip, you’ll have to pay the price. The expensive Rubis Switzerland needle nose tweezer has extremely fine and pointed ends for removing splinters and other objects. They are almost too sharp and not good for grabbing individual hairs. The are best used for digging out and removing foreign objects with surgical percision.
Best pointed slant tweezers
Pointed slant tweezers are best for very tiny hairs that may be hard to grab with other tweezers. The slant is much more prominent than the classic slant tip and provides higher precision during plucking. These also remain sharper for longer periods of time compared to other tweezers. Generally however, pointed slant tweezers are less popular and harder to find. Less companies manufacture them and they are harder to find. But if you do want to go this route, we suggest either the Tweezerman pointed slant tweezer or the Rubis Switzerland two tip pointed/slanted tweezer.
Best square tip tweezers
Square tip tweezers are also known as straight tip or flat tip tweezers. The tip is simply that — flat or straight with no slant or angle. These are harder to find and manufactured less and less due to their inaccuracy compared to the slant tip. Square tip tweezers are best used when you need to remove bunches of hairs quickly or for more practical uses like grabbing small objects, but even then round tip tweezers are better for this. If you really want straight tip tweezers then we suggest the Rubis Switzerland straight tip tweezer. If you just want a cheap pair then take a look at the Denco square tip tweezers.
Best round tip tweezers
Round tip tweezers, sometimes called blunt tip tweezers, are for those most concerned with safety. The round tip has no sharp edges but is still able to grab small objects at different angles. The larger surface area and lack of sharp edges however makes it unsuitable for grabbing any sort of fine hairs or retrieving splinters. Where it makes up for this is in safety. They are useful for medical situations (ie. applying cotton balls), for teaching kids to use tweezers, for those with poor coordination or anyone with Hemophilia. They are also great for removing ear hair. Not many companies still manufacturer round/safety tip tweezers, but our favorite is the “NOOK” round tip tweezer made in Japan. It has a large round tip with an antibacterial copper alloy and a wide grip to prevent slippage. There are no sharp edges at all on this tweezer, and while it might look like a pair of small tongs these still work great for removing hair. It is more difficult for precision but once you are able to grab onto a hair, the grip is actually quite good. It’s skin friendly and useful for soft areas around the eyes and ears.
Best mini tweezers
To be honest, we suggest carrying a real slant tip tweezer rather than carrying around a mini version which will be harder to use and never as good as a full-size tweezer. Some people have told us they wanted a mini tweezer to take on an airplane, but you’re already allowed to bring a tweezer in your carry-on as long as its shorter than 4 inches (which is most tweezers). But if you’re set on a pair of mini tweezers then the best is the Tweezerman mini slant. As with all Tweezerman products, the have hand-filed tips, come in a range of colors and have free lifetime sharpening. They are high quality and very sharp, but a bit on the pricey side. A cheaper alternative is the Tweezty mini slant tweezers. They are offer great value with a strong grip and sharp tips are easy to throw in your travel toiletry bag.
Best curved tweezers
Curved tweezers are in an entirely different category and are not used for removing hair follicles or splinters. Generally they are used for interacting with small objects such as nail decals, inserting fake eyelashes, embroidery, crafts and hobbies. For these purposes, we highly recommend the Beadalon Tweezers, Curved. They sit at 4.25 inches long and quite sharp but easy to use. There isn’t too much to say about these except that they are useful for manipulating small objects with precision. They have a wide range of uses from handling jewelry to model making and are relatively inexpensive. They also come with a plastic cover to prevent them from being damaged when not in use. The metal is smooth but can be easily bent so be careful when storing them. You may want to even buy a couple of these as a backup in case you drop one.
How to properly use tweezers
The best time to use tweezers is after a warm shower so that your pores are more open. You can also use a warm washcloth on your face for 30 seconds for a similar effect. The skin becomes softer and hairs become easier to remove resulting in less pain. A good method is to pull the skin taut and then pull the hair follicles in the direction they are growing (ie. pull to the right on your right eyebrow, and to the left on your left eyebrow). Pulling hairs out in the direction of growth helps to remove the entire hair follicle including the root and avoid breakage. If you break the hair follicle it will grow back bushier and thicker, which we don’t want! Afterwards, to close your pores use cold water or an astringent.
Getting the perfect eyebrow arch can be quite painful especially if you have a lot of hair to remove. We suggest fast movements when pulling our hair which will cause less pain. If you’re really sensitive and tweezing hurts a lot, we suggest applying a numbing agent 15 minutes before removing any hair, and then icing the area after you are finished. You can also put your tweezers in the freezer so that the metal is cold which helps to numb the skin and reduce pain. Each method has its own results and you know your own pain tolerance. With more practice it does get easier and hurt less.
Tweezers are not for nose hair
Avoid using tweezers for nose hair and trim it instead. Pulling nose hairs can lead to bacterial infections that can be dangerous. The tissue in your nose has access to blood that goes directly to your brain, so it is important to avoid any kind of infections in this area. Plucking nose hairs gives germs access to where your hair follicle roots were and can cause infections. Hairs in your nose are also designed to filter out bacteria and particles so it is much better to trim than to remove them entirely. If you ever have those extra long hairs coming out of your nose, snip the hairs with some curve-tripped scissors (no sharp edges) or another grooming device.
Proper tweezer care
If you want to ensure a long life for your tweezers, then its important to properly take care of them. When tweezers leave the factory the tips are properly aligned so hairs can be grabbed easily, so we want them to stay this way. Some tweezers come with caps over the tips that should be left on when not in use. Also avoid dropping or letting your tweezers become bent so the tips are no longer flush when closed. Tweezers also wear out over time and regular usage. Friction on the tip and cause the tips to become dull and become less effective. You want sharp tips to be able to grab fine hairs. We suggest covering the tips with the caps they came with or storing them flat and somewhere where they won’t be knocked around with other objects. Some brands such as Tweezerman also offer free tweezer sharpening so its important to keep this in mind when shopping, otherwise you can always get them sharpened at a local knife store.