Thursday, July 25, 2013

Are you afraid of eyebrows?

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I saw a great post from Maskcara recently about how weird it is to see yourself with your eyebrows filled in for the first time. I have really sparse, blonde brows, so I've gone most of my life with pretty much nothing going on at all above my eyes. But I started paying more attention to them about a year ago, especially when I dyed my hair red and they obviously didn't match. (I can tint them, but since there are only about 7 hairs there, it doesn't make much difference.)

When I first started filling them in completely, I felt like our buddy Groucho here. I thought that everyone I knew, and even strangers, would be wondering why I had obviously drawn on my eyebrows. Not that there's anything wrong with that - but people are assholes. But of course no one said anything, and when I mentioned it to a friend, she just said, "Oh, I didn't notice. They look good!"

(Am I the only one who had never realized that Groucho Marx's brows and mustache were painted on? Sigh. But I guess that illustrates my point pretty well.)

I wanted to do my own personal before and after photos like the ones at the link above to see how much impact they have. Obviously I fill in my eyebrows because I think it looks good, but I had never looked closely at the difference it made. And I also love makeover-type shit, so I thought it would be fun. I used actual makeup on my face rather than photoshop for mine.

Check me out.

Frowny face.
Okay, clearly I am not an expert at brow grooming. What can I say? I went more than 30 years without doing it. But it does make a difference, right? All the rest of my makeup is the same in the two pictures. I took the second one about 5 minutes later, after filling in my brows with the e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Light (I used the waxy side first and then the powder) and this brush. (I know my hair is positioned differently, which affects my jawline, but I don't think that alone makes a dramatic difference.)

I'm not saying that invisible eyebrows are a bad thing. They size and shape of your brows just changes the character of your face a lot. Maskcara has another post in which she references a study where people were shown photos of celebrities with eyebrows removed or with eyes removed. People were able to recognize faces better from just the brows than from just the eyes. So fucking weird. So your eyebrows can make a big difference - but at the same time, if you change them, you aren't going to look like a freak. Calm your tits. People are used to seeing faces with eyebrows. They might think, "Something's different," but since they probably don't spend as much time scrutinizing your face as you do (if you are the type who wears makeup), they're not necessarily going to pick up on what. Your new face won't startle anyone but yourself.

There are a million brow tutorials out there from people who are far more qualified than me to instruct you. You can find them. Play around. Here are some other eyebrow things I like. If you're worried about making a mess, try these e.l.f. brow stencils that cost $1. Pick the one that most closely matches your natural arch. Hold it in place and brush a dark eyeshadow inside the stencil. Remove the stencil and pluck the hairs that are outside the shape you created. That's a start.


  1. It's amazing how such a little detail can really alter and pull a look together! Even on days when I'm too lazy to do much in the ways of makeup, I'll almost always fill my brows because it really helps my face look more polished. I totally thought I looked nuts when I first started doing it, especially since my brows are already dark and on the fuller side, but I've had random strangers come up to me and compliment my brows a number of times, which is always a weird experience but quite satisfying.

    1. I admire a good eyebrow on a stranger, but I've never said anything to one. Of course the downside is that now I feel naked if I don't put my eyebrows on, because they make such a difference. If I don't do blush or lip color or mascara or whatever, it's not as noticeable (to me).


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