Eyebrows are one of those things that you don’t notice until something goes terrible wrong. I’ve got good eyebrows, which my mom says I got from my grandma. Not as good as my daughter’s (see below), but pretty good, nonetheless. I’ve never done much to maintain my eyebrows besides the occasional waxing (maybe once or twice a year) that keeps them looking neat and groomed. Sometimes, I’ll pluck a stray hair or two, but for the most part, I don’t mess with my eyebrows, and you shouldn’t mess with yours either. Ninety-nine percent of the time eyebrow shaping is best left to the professionals, and by professionals I’m not talking about your hair stylist, manicurist, or woman in the center of the mall. Go to an esthetician, preferably someone who has been shaping eyebrows for a while. It is not expensive and not something, that I find, you have to get done consistently. Let the professional shape them and you can simply keep up the shape by plucking the stray hairs that threaten to defeat your esthetician’s handy work.
Now, let’s talk about the 1% of the time, when the “professional” is the cause of the problem. First, you may ask, if her eyebrows are so good, why even get them waxed? Well, let me tell you. By good, I don’t mean my eyebrows are perfect, but they are full and have a good shape. Waxing, cutting, and a little plucking makes them look well-groomed. A good eyebrow waxing can open up your eyes and make you look refreshed. Anytime I have ever tried to shape them myself, I have failed. You know how it goes. First you pluck one hair, then another, then another, and then, oh, no, the right one doesn’t match the left one, and there you go, again, plucking away, until all your left with is a big mess and uneven eyebrows. If you’re lucky those hairs grow back, sometimes, they don’t and then you’re screwed, condemned to an eyebrow pencil for life.
Just as I don’t mess with my eyebrows, I don’t mess with my hair color, either. I go to a pretty decent salon and pay good money to have my hair done. On staff at the salon are, usually, some pretty talented estheticians. I say, usually, because I have never had a problem, before, and I never request a single person. So, a few weeks ago, when I was getting my hair done in anticipation for a soccer social I was attending that weekend, I decided to get my eyebrows waxed. Bad move.
While my hair was processing, the esthetician waxed my eyebrows. In hindsight, there may have been some clues that things were not going to go well. First of all, the esthetician was young, which is not a huge deal, but it could mean that she’s straight out of beauty school and not very practiced at her profession. Second of all, she wasn’t that friendly, even a little defensive, which didn’t sit right with me. Estheticians, I find, on the whole, are a compassionate sort, who talk calmly while stroking your face. And finally, I was sitting up straight in a chair, not reclined on one of those comfy massage tables. Don’t ask me why this makes a difference, but somehow, it does.
However, I ignored any warning signs and went with it. Big mistake. When the esthetician finished, she handed me a mirror that I briefly glimpsed into, because I find it awkward to stare at myself while other people are watching me, and left the chair. I then went to the bathroom, where upon washing my hands, I was able to take a better look in the mirror. I was shocked to see that my eyebrows were markedly different from each other.
I headed back to the chair to get my hair finished, but was determined not to leave the salon without a fix. When I was done with my cut, I went back to the esthetician and asked her to fix them. She went on and on about how everyone has two different eyebrows, blah, blah, blah, which is true to a certain extent, but my eyebrows weren’t just a little different, one was much thicker and cock-eyed, as if half of my face looked surprised and the other eyebrow was much thinner, looking much more serious. Not a good look. She attempted to fix them, but it wasn’t working, and at that point, not wanting to end up with tiny lines for eyebrows, I agreed it was good enough.
I went home and forgot about my eyebrows because I am a busy mom of three kids. I don’t stand around looking at myself in the mirror, and most days, after I brush my teeth, I don’t look in the mirror, again, until I wash my face at night. So, when I woke up the next morning, looked in the mirror and first thing that jumped out at me were my crooked eyebrows, I knew I was in trouble. For the next twenty four hours, I obsessed over my eyebrows. I sent my mom this picture. Please ignore my cracked phone.She diplomatically responded that she was unsure if they were uneven, or if she just noticed them because I pointed them out. However, when pressed, she admitted that they were messed up. I asked my bus stop ladies loaded questions like, “Do you notice anything weird about my face?” which they knew better than to answer, but when I pointed out the eyebrows, they agreed that they were, indeed, uneven.
I consulted my friend Google, and had a good laugh. Google bad eye brow job and I promise you, you will not be disappointed. As it turns out, this is a pretty common thing, especially when left up to the non-professionals and misguided individuals who think it is a good idea to shave them off completely. In the end, as tempted as I was to try and fix them myself, after all, I am the same person who thought it would be a good idea to cut her own hair, in an effort of remarkable restraint, I decided to wait and schedule and appointment at a salon that I used to go to, that have long time estheticians on staff, not ladies fresh out of beauty school.
Esthetician number two spent a lot of time trying to undo the unevenness. She did the best she could without murdering the good eyebrow, enough so, that I could live with it, or at least, stop obsessing over it.
Thankfully, the thinner eyebrow is starting to fill out more and thicker more arched eyebrow isn’t noticeably hanging out above my sunglasses while the other one is nowhere in sight.
Gone, now, are the days of a random waxing with hair color, from now on I’m sticking with not only the professional, but the professional with a lot of experience.