I keep waiting for some nail polish news that doesn’t seem to be materializing. A watched pot never boils, etc. etc., so rather than wait any longer today for something that might not happen, I’m going to talk about makeup again. Specifically, eyebrows.
I never gave much thought to my eyebrows until recently. I’ve always had naturally dark brows that were neither too thick nor too thin, although like most girls my age I tweezed them to oblivion back in the ’70s to be in style. But if I left them alone with the occasional tweezing of a stray hair, they looked fine.
Then, not too long ago (still thinking they looked OK) I saw a photo of myself and all I could think was, “Where are my BROWS? Where did they GO???” Turns out that like most of my body parts except for my butt, they have gotten thinner over time, and I just hadn’t noticed. Funny how seeing a picture of yourself is so much more of a wake-up call than a glance in the mirror. Why is it that women’s eyebrows get thinner and men’s get thick and wiry?
Besides getting sparser, my dark brown brows are also now sprinkled with white hairs, and they might as well be invisible. So I decided I needed to do something before I faded away completely. Remember, our brows frame our face and specifically frame our eyes. A while back, when I first started talking about makeup, I mentioned some online makeovers at Bobbi Brown’s site. Look at these before and after pictures to see what a difference well-groomed eyebrows can make. Jo-Ann and Gro.
Since I didn’t know what in the heck I was doing, I started small by buying a cheap eyebrow pencil, Maybelline Expert Wear in Dark Brown that advertised itself as “The #1 brow & liner pencil in the U.S.” It was horrid. No matter what I did or how careful I tried to be, it looked like a small child scribbled on my face with a crayon while I was asleep. Into the trash it went.
Next I went groveling to one of the very nice clerks at our local Ulta store. I was ready to spend more to avoid the rogue toddler look. She showed me several higher-end products and recommended Brow Zings from Benefit Cosmetics, which comes in three shades — light, medium, and dark. She then applied the tester on my brows and I was impressed with how it looked. Sold! One caveat: Brow Zings costs $30 and that’s actually too pricey for me, but I had a $15 gift code from Ulta that was good on almost anything, so I was cool with paying $15 for it.
Brow Zings comes in a rather flat, black, 2-1/4 inch square compact. Front and back:
Open it up and you have a pan of pigmented wax on the left and a pan of slightly lighter finishing powder on the right. There’s a mirror in the lid of the compact and you also get an angled brush for the wax, a rounded brush for the powder, and a tiny pair of tweezers.
If you’re new to brow care like I was, I recommend having someone show you how to use it. Alternatively, there’s a small insert in the package that shows you the basics. First, apply the wax lightly with the angled brush, then go over your brows with the powder. I can’t emphasize this enough — use a light touch. A little of either wax or powder (especially for me, the powder) goes a long way.
So, how does it look? Let me show you. Warning: pictures of my actual 55-year-old face! Before, very patchy-looking:
I have a big freckle smack dab in the middle of my brow that I never even knew was there until my brows started getting so sparse. The outer half of my brows is especially thin, and that’s quite common.
After, and in a brighter light:
Do I look like a model? Hell, no. Do I look a little bit better? I think so, and especially at a distance (no one is going to look at our brows nearly as closely as we do ourselves) it looks much better. Like I have, you know, eyebrows again. I obviously need to do some more careful tweezing of stray hairs.
I still need some practice using Brow Zings. By the way, the time to experiment with any new makeup product is not in the morning while you’re getting ready for work where you have an important meeting scheduled. Fool around with it when you have some free time and aren’t rushed. Don’t like it? Clean it off and try again.
As I said, I like Brow Zings but wouldn’t have paid the full $30 for it because that’s a lot for me. I’ve read good reviews of a similar-looking product called Studio Eyebrow Kit from e.l.f. Cosmetics (eyes lips face) that only costs $3. Yes, you read that right, a tenth of the cost. This kit comes in light, medium, dark, and ash. The ash shade might be good if you have mostly gray hair.
Have a great weekend!