I have never been the girl with the fabulous eyebrows. In my younger years, I didn’t even think about them or consider that they could be any other way than what they are. They’re just eyebrows, right?
My nine-year-old self did not understand that it would take more to look like my then idol Selena (RIP, con tanto amor) than simply red lips and a leather newsboy hat. Besides our obvious physical differences, my girl had some brows, and I had none.
In my middle school years, nicknames ranged from the understandable Casper, to the outrageously poetic Maggot Lady (the word "lady" was the most confusing part of the whole thing). When high school rolled around, I had figured out makeup, boys were paying attention, and I felt cute (even though I dressed like this).
High school girls don’t seem to fret about things like brows. If anything, they over-pluck them, and I was just cool with not having to bother with stuff like that. It took me until college to even think about my brows as being something I could play around with.
My first time tinting my brows was while visiting my parents in Nashville. My mom had been doing it for a while, and I wanted to try. I asked for it on the lighter side; it was subtle, and I was digging it, I guess. (At this point, I wore eye makeup, so there wasn’t the strange dichotomy of dark brows with light lashes thing going on.)
The brow tint cost $40, though, and I figured I could do it myself, so I went on Amazon and bought some at-home brow tint. It was easy enough, but the color was so off. The brown would fade to an obvious red in a couple days, leaving friends and my boyfriend to deem them "clown-like" and "freakish."
After months of keeping up with them--and fighting the gorgeous albino clown thing I was rocking--I decided to revert back to natural, and bought color remover. 10 minutes, I thought, and they'll be back to normal.
My natural brows are light, but definitely not void of all color. But the color remover made them almost clear, with a delightful yellow tint to boot.
I needed a MIRACLE. I Googled where to get your brows tinted in NYC and found Damone Roberts, called, and made an emergency appointment.
That’s when I met Armand, "the brow diva." I told him what happened and that I just needed them to be my natural color again. He looked at my ashy blonde roots, told me to lie on my back, and did his magic. Five minutes later, I sat up, looked at myself, and was amazed to see my natural brows again, THANK GOD.
It was the best $40 I’ve ever spent, and I didn’t touch my brows again for three years.
Then, Lara Stone entered my life. Her bleached brows and curvy(er) figure, had me tripping. I was obsessed. FINALLY, having no eyebrows was cool, and bleaching them made them look thicker than just leaving them natural. For me, at least. I think the white-brow/olive-skin combo was more striking then my natural eye rugs just blending into my face, so I pulled out the Jolen Creme Bleach, and dabbled for a bit.
Unfortunately, a bleached brow doesn’t really register in a picture--they look like they’ve been shaved off--and also, I became obsessed with Crystal Renn and her fabulous eyebrows, so I started to get antsy for a change. Maybe if I buy an ashy brown this time, I thought, they won’t fade to red and will look more natural.
I picked a medium ash brown hair dye and figured if I left it on for only a few minutes, my brows would look like Crystal Renn’s blonde cousin's brows. What I didn’t figure into this (besides the obvious fact that my brows aren’t thick and literally have no shape because not one hair has ever been plucked from them) is that I have a very expressive face, and seeing my brows jump and curve every time I talk (or even think) is distracting. Think Groucho Marx.
The next morning, with my fisherman’s hat pulled down tight, I ran straight back to Damone Roberts. It was 10am on a Tuesday or something, pouring rain, and I’m supposed to be in the Garment District at my factory doing my j-o-b. First lemme fix my brows reaal quick, I thought, and then I’ll run back to work.
The feeling of relief that washed over me in anticipation of my reintroduction to the expert hands of Armand (the brow diva, if you’ve forgotten) all these years later was palpable. Everything was going to be OK.
When I got to the right floor I knocked. No answer. I knocked again. No answer.
I Googled the number and called on repeat. I could hear the landline ringing from behind the door as I pressed my ear up to it. Tears welled up in my eyes. I left, defeated and broken; doomed to forever walk the earth with horrible eyebrows.
Was it a holiday? Where is Armand now? Is he still there? I may never know...
Off to Ricky’s I went, and I bought a very pale ashy blonde hair dye. I first tried for 15 minutes, and there was no difference. I slopped it back on for another 15 and saw it lighten up a bit. RELIEF. I put it on for another 30 minutes that night, and 30 more the next before they were back to "natural."
Since then (about a 18 months ago), I have been bleaching on and off, but haven’t even thought about dyeing them. (Well, that’s not true, but I really haven’t thought seriously.)
It’s a similar issue as my inability to have the same haircut for more than six months. I wish I could show you a montage of every haircut I’ve had since 18. Startling.
Sometimes, in the winter, I use the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Taupe to shade them a little. I’m thinking about just letting them be, which is like the shade of Gwyneth Paltrow’s brows on the cover of her book, It’s All Good. She’s my brow idol at the moment. Because it’s attainable. Fair but there. Natalia Vodianova would be my brow idol if there was any hope.
What do you think? Should I just settle on one color? Do you switch your eyebrow color up as much as I have?