Ever since I was a little girl, I had a serious eyebrow. A straight up, thick, Eastern European Jew, Frida Khalo uni-brow. I used to hate my eyebrows with a passion. They were thick, long and black and took up half my face. I wanted to have thin, dainty little brows that stayed in place all day.
As I grew older I started to appreciate my brows. Yes, they took a lot of maintenance; tweezing, waxing, brushing…but it was worth it. My brows are dramatic and thick. They help me share my personality and emotions.
Once I became an adult, my brows became one of my favorite parts of my body (along with my lushes lashes, big, brown eyes and collar bone). When I found out I was going to lose my hair during chemotherapy, one of my questions was, “Will I lose my eyelashes and brows?” The answer was maybe.
In the last month or so, I’ve noticed that my eyebrows were starting to thin. They hadn’t all fallen out but they weren’t as thick as normal. Then about two weeks ago, I noticed that they were starting to get patchy and that the skin under my eyebrow hairs were getting dry and chapped. This is what happened right before the hair on my hair fell out, so I knew what was coming next. Still, I thought maybe I’d have a little more time but last week, a few days before my 38th birthday, I came out of the shower and almost all of my eyebrows were gone. Just like that.
I cried. I cried my ugly cry. My beautiful brows, which shape my face were gone. Ken rubbed my back, agreeing that it sucked. I let myself cry for a good 5 minutes. Then I wiped my tears and sprang into action. I found what I could in my makeup drawer and drew in some brows. It wasn’t bad but I new I needed professional help. A few days later I went to the Sephora on 5th avenue and asked help from a professional, who chose the colors and products for me and taught me how to draw on my brows so that they look as natural as possible. Here is what I learned.
The first thing I do is I take the brow wiz (they pencil) and underneath my brow, I draw a line, lightly, outlining my brow. Then from the end of the arch all the way down to the end of my brow, I fill it in with the pencil.
Once you have done that, take your angled brush and dip it into the Dipbrow. Wipe any excess off on your hand. With light, gentle brushes, begin filling in the brow from the ends, near the outer corner of your eye, working your way to the thickest part by your nose.
Don’t worry about being perfect. Any mistakes can be softened with the brush at the other end of the stick or wiped gently with a Q-tip. Also, brows aren’t perfect so don’t get crazy about making them that way. Less perfect will look more natural.
Here is what it looks like with one brow done. Notice that the ends are darker and that once I get to the arch it gets lighter as I get closer to the nose. That’s because that’s what brows do naturally. Look at anyone’s brows. They are never thicker by the nose. One sure giveaway that you are penciling in your brows is if you make them darker by the nose and keep it dark all the way.
Do the same on the other side. Again, don’t worry about being perfectly symmetrical. Real brows aren’t so take the pressure off.
Now, in the picture, they look pretty good but in person at this point, they can still look pretty harsh. So the next step is to take some concealer, preferably one that is slightly lighter than your natural skin tone and carefully draw some under and above the browline, as if you were about to wax.
Then with a concealer brush, with light strokes, begin blending in the concealer. I find that this does two things. 1) It brightens up your eyes, giving them more of a pop. 2) It softens the lines of the brow, giving them a more natural look.
Once you have done this on both sides, set it with some translucent powder and then you are done.
Since I have been doing this, people say that they haven’t noticed that my brows aren’t natural. Hopefully they are not just being nice and mean it. I think if you are not staring at my brows looking to see if they are real or not, they do look natural. I still have some hairs remaining so I imagine that makes it look more natural. So far I have been happy with my look.
One downside of this is that the process takes some time. In the morning, I don’t like spending more than 3-5 minutes doing my makeup. My routine is now about 12 minutes long which I find really annoying. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
What do you think? Do you have any tips? Anything that works for those with lighter skintones or ethnic skin? Other products you love? Let’s share our resources.