As a young girl my grandfather used to refer to my eyebrows as “Brooke Shields” eyebrows. For those of you too young to understand that reference, Brooke Shields was an icon of the 1980’s with trademark full, strong, untamed and unapologetic brows. Think of Cara Delevingne eyebrows. Brooke is the OG of that look. I was rocking that look right into Frida Kahlo’s unibrow. Which my mom promptly took a razor to.
Other than keeping the unibrow at bay I never gave much thought or attention to my accents of expression until the 1990’s when heroin chic came into trend. Then, I became so fixated on the perfectly pencil thin brow that I wound up looking like a meth addict with an eyebrow obsession.
As the 2000’s rolled in I swore an oath to my hair stylist that I would leave my brows alone and see what was salvageable. Which left me with not much. In fact, my wedding pictures are marred by my right brow that had taken on its own identity of a very pronounced comma while my left brow looks normal shaped. Every single time I look at my wedding photos my immediate attention is drawn to that damn right comma eyebrow. Why didn’t anyone tell me my brows were grossly asymmetric?!
I’m not sure when I became invested in accentuating and really bettering my brows but I would guess around the last ten years. That’s me walking around for a long time looking wonky. I don’t know if I was beauty tone deaf or lazy but I did not understand the importance of nice brows. They were not my priority.
So exactly what am I working with? Thin brows that are asymmetric due to over-tweezing and a scar through the right brow (remember my comma) that end abruptly about 2/3 of the length of my eye (thank you underactive thyroid!).
This is my last decade’s battle of my brows and what has won out. Let’s get ready to rumble!
First up! Tattooed brows: We are talking pre-microblading era. Thankfully, I was wise enough to shop around and I went with a professional who really took her time matching a natural looking color and creating a natural shape. No Sharpie brows here! I enjoyed the look and ease of the tattooed brows once they were healed. They were effortless and I felt very comfortable looking good with a minimalist routine. However, the longevity of the eyebrow tattoos left a lot to be desired and after two expensive touch ups I opted to investigate other options.
Next came the serums: I’ve experimented with several types of non-prescription serums provided to me by said hair stylist friend. While I was not impressed with the serum’s impact on my sad brows they did a decent job of perking up my eyelashes. Until I began to observe darkening under eye circles. YIKES?! The serums were banished forever after that negative side effect.
Adding makeup in the mix: Since the tattooed brows faded I began to integrate makeup. Initially, it was to cover and correct the weird color the faded tattooed brows had morphed into. Then, as I became more comfortable, I used makeup to create the brows I craved. Over the years I’ve tried powders, pencils, liquid eyebrow pens, tinted pomades and volumizing gels of all major and minor brands along a range of price points. I am still looking for the product to solve all of my eyebrow woes but have yet to find “the one” or “ones”.
Here are some of my “Best So Far”: Anastasia’s Brow Powder Duo and Perfect Brow Pencils are among my current staples for daily use. Topping off with NYX’s tinted brow mascara. In the corral of my personal “meh” are Anastasia’s Brow Definer and Dip Brow Pomade, Glossier’s Boy Brow (I had high hopes based on reviews), Benefit’s Precisely My Brow’s Eyebrow Pencil and Gimme Brow Gel and some brand’s liner (can’t recall who) that literally ran down my face scary Joker style the second I jumped into a pool.What made these “meh” for me was mostly two factors. One value for money. If I felt the product didn’t last long for its price point I dumped it. Two, the look and longevity. If I am not in love with what it’s doing for my brows and the product’s ability to hold up under sweat and the climate of South Florida then I move on.
My most recent experiment with brow boosting products was to use a clean mascara wand brush and cold pressed castor oil on my brows for a month to see if I could naturally and inexpensively stimulate hair growth. I noticed no changes at all.
At this point me and my battle weary brows will continue to press onward. We will get gussied up with products and camouflage the mistakes of our past staying hopeful that maybe via medical and esthetic advancements someday someone may compliment me on my “Brooke Shield’s” eyebrows once again.
Do you have an eyebrow routine? Or products you adore? Share with me!