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Eyebrow stuff

Posted Jun 12 2009 5:42pm
This began as a post about body hair, in general. But once I got started on the eyebrows, it kind of took on a life of its own. I guess I will have to do a second post on the rest of my issues with disappearing body hair. I know you can't wait.

I have an unnatural obsession with eyebrows; it’s something I always notice about a person. I will not notice your shoes or your purse, but I will for sure notice your eyebrows. Especially if they look like this:

Seriously, let me give you $7 for a wax.

Overzealous plucking in my younger years left me looking like this:

Well, maybe not exactly like that. I call this type of eyebrow “slut eyebrows”. Sadly, that’s what mine look like now. And they’re gray blonde, so that kind of makes it worse.
Since my vision sucks lately, and it’s impossible to get those unsightly strays that I can only see in my rearview mirror, I must pay someone to do it for me. Talk about a crapshoot. (And, by the way, Waxing Lady, when I say, “just clean it up, DON’T MAKE THEM ANY THINNER”, that’s what I mean.) One lady took off the entire outer half of my right eyebrow the day before a job interview. Was I happy? No, not really. I think her vision was in worse shape than mine.

Since I darkened my hair, those almost non-existent eyebrows make me look like this chick:

Fully aware that slut eyebrows are inappropriate for a woman of my advanced years, I began the quest for an eyebrow filler-inner.

I’ve tried eyebrow pencils, of course, and have used them off and on over the years; but, while they could darken, they weren’t really doing anything for filling in and shaping. They made the brows darker, yes, but they did nothing for the more pressing slut issue. I think there’s a skill to the eyebrow pencil - and I don’t have it. I was always afraid I would look like this:

The very nice lady who hands me my coffee every morning at McDonald’s has drawn on eyebrows. And, because I’m shallow, it’s all I see when I look at her.

Next, I moved to a powder/gel combo made by smashbox (and, yes, the lowercase "s" is intentional).
Love it. Plus, it comes with a nifty brush that makes you feel all professional-like when you’re brushing the powder in and then setting them with the gel. Or, gel first, powder after. Doesn’t matter. Either way, I could get a little “volume” in my brows without them looking like a threw a hunk of powder and gel up there. There’s a definite learning curve on this one, and I can’t tell you how many times I used Way Too Much and had to get out my trusty Maybelline brow/lash brush (the one everyone and their aunt owns) to try to brush some of it out.

Then, because I’m fickle, I got all hot to try the Bare Escentuals eyebrow kit. Same general principle as the smashbox, but instead of the wax, you got a mascara-like tube with gel and the powder was loose (duh, minerals!) instead of pressed. Oh, and another nifty brush!

(Someday I should show you how many makeup brushes I’ve collected over the years; I’m always carefully selecting the right tool for the job…Mr. Jelly Belly thinks I look like I’m about to perform delicate surgery.)

The BE brow kit was even MORE awesome than the smashbox. Goes on nice and smooth, looks natural and doesn’t come off until you wash it off. That’s actually a minus if you’re sometimes heavy-handed…it can be a real fight to get the brows back to where I want them to be. But, other than replacing the gel occasionally, I would expect that tiny pot of eyebrow color to last the rest of my life. I normally just use the dust in the lid – that’s how little you need.

Still, I was not happy. Because I have no arch. Oh, how I admire a beautifully arched eyebrow! What I did next will make you snicker. I bought eyebrow stencils. Hilarious, right? I was in Ulta, armed with a couple of gift cards, when I saw them. I had heard of them before but thought they seemed dumb. But, being desperate, I decided to try them. TWENTY BUCKS, people, for plastic stencils – only one of which will work for you. I do not know why they don’t sell them separately. Oh, wait. Yes I do - because not-too-bright people like me will pay the $20 for the entire set.

Feeling foolish, I tried the “Petite Arch” as soon as I got home. I held the stencil in what I assumed was the correct position, based on the lines printed on it (no real directions included) and started brushing in the BE powder. Yikes! Very scary. Too much! Too much! I had to stop the whole process and go to the bathroom from laughing so hard. Plus, I couldn’t figure out how to get the inside of my eyebrow correct, without having the outside be way too high. So I set them aside, thinking of the other things I could have spent that $20 on.

They sat there on my bathroom counter for a while, stashed behind my bucket o’makeup brushes, taunting me every day. So I tried them again. Apparently, you need to MOVE the stencil after you do the inside of the brow. Huh. Who knew? So you do the upsweep, move the stencil, then do the little tail. But guess what? Perfect arch. Every time. Now I just have to find some people with bigger eyebrows to give the other three to.

(I spotted eyebrow stencils on Smoky Mountain Minerals recently; they come with their eyebrow kit for $9.95 - although I have yet to see them in stock. But it would be a cheaper option if they ever DO become available again.)

So I’ve been alternating between the smashbox and the BE, depending on my mood, and happily using my expensive stencil, until I realized one day that I was missing spots. Damn vision! I should really move my rearview mirror into my bathroom – it shows ALL. (Please do not ever check out your pores in the rearview; you will cry.)

I decided to go buy a pencil to keep with me for fill-ins. And what do you think happened? I found a fantastic CHEAP(er) pencil. The Revlon Brow Fantasy is All That. A pencil, yes, but it has a little tube of gel on the reverse end - making it a gadget, in my opinion.
This is a nice pencil. It does a more than adequate job on the fill-ins – and, in fact, does a really good job, overall. I’m not ready to give up my smashbox and BE, but when I’m in a hurry, I’m finding myself grabbing it more and more often.

So there you have it. No more excuses for bad brows.

If you have brows that look like that? I will obsessively stare at them with full-blown brow envy. And I will secretly hate you. On the other hand, I won’t even be able to make eye contact with you if your eyebrows look like this:

Now get that scary image out of your head and have a great weekend, everyone!
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