On Eyebrows


"Don't pluck your eyebrows," warned my mom, "They won't grow back—look at mine." She raised her eyebrows at me, two thin arcs like Marlene Dietrich. I had my dad's eyebrows: super thick Groucho Marx eyebrows that looked like someone drew them on with a Sharpie. 

As a teenager, I would hide in the bathroom with a pair of tweezer, ready to free my face from the weight of my brows. But I'd imagined my mom screaming at me like a banshee and left them alone. My friend Tina persuaded me to let her "clean them up" when we were sixteen. I knew she was dying to have her way with them, so I only allowed her pluck to pluck the strays in between my brows. "My mom will notice and she'll kill me!" I explained.

Eventually, I started shaping them as an adult, but they weren't quite symmetrical and that drove me nuts. "Think of your eyebrows as sisters, not twins," a makeup artist at Bergdorf Goodman once advised me. Still, I couldn't help myself. In 2008, in an effort to make them look similar, I managed to pluck out all of the thick hairs and left behind an undercoat that was virtually invisible. I tried to convince myself that it was a much more modern look, akin to Kristin McMenamy's or Lara Stone's non-existent brow look, which was much touted in the fashion world. But the damage had already been done. 

If I were being held hostage by my tweezers before, I'm now held hostage by my eyebrow pencil, T. Leclerc's version in Chataîn, a soft medium ash brown. I have to painstakingly fill in my brows everyday or else I'll look like a sickly person. Believe me, I've tried growing them out to no avail. They're so sparse that I just just get the itch to pluck them again. My dad is convinced that having his eyebrows were a blessing and that I've plucked away all of my good luck. What I should've done was go to a professional.

Calling it a "goal" sounds a bit much, but I'd really like to try and grow them out again this year. I wandered into Sephora yesterday and the makeup artist there recommended Anastasia Brow Serum Advanced. Apparently, I'll be able to see visible results after 60 days. I'm willing to give it a whirl.

Brooke Shields' brows, here I come?