Eyebrow stuff

Friday, June 12, 2009

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!

24 comments:

Kathie @ my net finds said...

lol, thank you for the laugh! I know what you mean, I plucked my eyebrows to non-existence some years ago, but luckily I left them alone for awhile and they've partially grown back....I'm too scared to let someone wax them for me! I've too many wax-gone-wrong stories :-)

Terri said...

Oh you crack me up! If my eyebrows made me look like Pam, my husband would gladly send me to get my eyebrows waxed! Weekly!
:-)

Tammy Howard said...

UGH! The rearview mirror!!! I keep tweezers in the car now, 'cause I never see it like that when I get back in the house.

Patty said...

Yeah, I have some of those "blonde" brows too. I use to actually like my brows, but now I am afraid to plunk any except the wildest stray hairs because so many of my older female relatives have no eyebrows at all! Somewhere I read that lack of eyebrows, esp. on the outside, is a sign of thyroid issues. Don't know if it's true or not, but it would be interesting to know if that is the case!

I might have to try your Revlon Brow Fantasy! What a name!!

BTW, I set up my email.:-)

Housewife Savant said...

I love you.
I frikken love you.

How often do you do a post that specifically pertains to the minutae I think about/struggle with on a daily basis? Lots.
You are my Answer Girl.

This is like a Love Letter to Kel's Brows.

Thanks for it.

Housewife Savant said...

Oh, and Mr. Savant gave me the go-ahead to Pluck the CRAP outta my brows in an attempt to look like Pamela.

Shelley said...

I, too, belong to the "overplucked in my youth" club, and my blonde eyebrows disappear w/o using something. Lately for me it's been L'Oreal eyebrow something - comes in a tube and it looks like blonde mascara...but it works.

I've looked at the stencils - thanks for the review (and the laughs!).

Kelly said...

I am laughing at myself for reading so intently about eyebrows. After reading I raced to the mirror to check mine out. Do they need to be plucked? Waxed? LOL

Too funny. I may have to get some fo those stencils. Looks like it would be helpful and fun. :)

Katie J said...

Thanks so much for your post! I thought I was the only one who obsessed about them! I have been finding more "blonde" ones then I care to admit to. I carry tweezers in my car as well Tammy. Actually next week I am getting my eyebrows dyed for the first time (bday gift to me)so it should be interesting...

Brandy said...

Call me obsessed too. I'm forever checking them and I have been known to pluck in the car.

Hey, it's just as you said...the review mirror knows all.

Only recently did I buy an eyebrow pencil and it's just okay. Perhaps I need some of this stuff...

...maybe I just need to stop looking in the rearview.

MaryRC said...

oh how i love this post! i LOVE stencils.(scarlett is totally sporting stencils) theres a trick tho. first of all you use the lightest powder/eyeshadow with a fluffy brush you can find. then you take the first half of the stencil and line the pre arch portion up with your natural brow, you also wanna use the stencil that is thinner than what your looking for. once lined up lightly dust the first half of the stencil with an eyeshadow brush, fluffy. then take the arch portion and line up the arch/end of the stencil and brush again. then you take your grandmas eyebrow brush and feather your work so its not so staunch. try it lemme know if you have any questions.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Oh, we will have questions for sure, Mary! For those of you who might not know, Mary is a professional. Makeup artist, that is...

I will follow your advice and let you know how badly I botch it. Oh and thanks for the heads up on Scarlett...I feel better now!

Ree said...

I still haven't made it to Sephora, but now, armed with all of this new knowledge...my left one may finally match my right!

BetteJo said...

Very little eyebrows here too. 8th grade was when I plucked them within an inch of their lives. I've been filling them in since forever. I just use a cake type that has a tiny stiff brush. Works for me. Although those stencils did look kinda purty!

Sheryl said...

I'm going in and plucking my eyebrows :)

Have a great weekend.

Sue said...

Oh, you made me laugh out loud! Every time I see Andy Rooney I just want to jump up into the tube and use scissors to cut those suckers OFF! eeewwwww.... Seeing a man's unruly eyebrows are the worst for me. Mr. Sullivan attempted a straight scissor cut months ago and I am still waiting for those things to grow in long enough so I can trim them the right way! Then it's wax between the eyes - poor man doesn't know the sting that awaits him...

MizFit said...

I know I need some eyebrow help STAT.
Just dont trust myself to do it and fear emerging from a salon with only a few hairs above my eyes.

I have issues :)

I know...

kristisummer said...

I love nice eyebrows. I now get them waxed because I used to get a little too crazy with the tweezers. Once you start plucking it is hard to stop.

Nana said...

I use Smashbox and I love love love it!!!!! My brows are blond. YUCK!

I am going to pluck them thinner though if it will make my boobs look bigger.

Julie said...

Good thing we don't know each other in real life. I don't do jack to my eye brows. In my favor I don't have a unibrow :)
My MIL had hers tatooed on. It's...different.

Karen Brown Letarte said...

One of my obsessions in life is Benefit products. LOVE them!! They have a great kit called Just Browsing-- wax on one side of the compact, powder on the other-- to fill in thin brows. Yup, the 70's happened to my eyebrows, too, so I also suffer from "slut brows." The nice thing about this product is it looks natural and mostly stays just on the hair, not your skin, so you don't look like you drew your brows on. Comes with a nifty brush too. :) K

Cyndi said...

Before I get in the line to kick your ass, I just had to tell you that this post both cracked me up and spoke to my blonde-eyebrowed heart. Maybelline used to make this awesome tinted brow gel that worked perfectly. Needless to say, they discontinued it. I have used the BE kit for several years but I have spilled that tiny jar of powder in my car 43 times, usually on light-colored pant. (Yes, I do most of my makeup at stoplights.) I recently bought this: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P155442&categoryId=B70 and it's easy but it's just a'ight for me, dawg. It flakes a bit by the end of the day. I always thought I'd like to have my brows tattooed on, until we had a waitress at Denny's who had done so. Sca. Ry.

patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patrick said...

Bottom photo by Patrick T. Power.