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Eyebrows: Let’s Discuss

February 26, 2010

I admit it:  I am obsessed with eyebrows.  Mostly women’s eyebrows, but men’s too if they are groomed within an inch of their lives.  Eyebrows are probably the first thing I notice about a face, especially if they are bad ones.  I am fascinated by how eyebrow styles have changed over the decades.  To me, there is nothing (non-surgical) so radical a person can do to completely alter the look of their face as reshaping their eyebrows.  This, I know from experience.

I had very thick eyebrows for most of my life.  This was fine for a while, especially since waxing a 9 year old’s eyebrows seems a bit egregious.  I was a teenager in the 80’s when Brooke Shield’s was a beauty ideal so my big fat eyebrows fit in well.(That is Brooke, not me, in case you were wondering.)

(Yes, that is me: self-conscious smile, obnoxious red lipstick, and all.  Look at those furry beasts above my eyes!)

Aside from taming my unibrow (yes, Frida Khalo and I have much in common), I didn’t do anything to reshape my brows until I was in my 20’s.  This was in the early 90’s when eyebrows started getting a bit less unruly.  I sat down one day with my first pair of tweezers and went to work.  Holy Oprah, that was time-consuming.  Especially with such thick brows, every single hair I removed completely changed the shape of the brow.  My biggest fear was giving myself a pair of tadpole brows.  Tadpole brows are the worst, in my book.

(Also not me.)

I did fairly well, I think. (That is me.  Notice how I am trying to rock a sexy brow raise?  FAIL)

During the late 90’s and early 2000’s, eyebrows got really skinny again.  Way too skinny.  (Still not me.)  This look is harsh, too easily dated, very difficult and time-consuming to maintain (especially for someone with hairy brows like me), and it can lead to permanent hair loss which is problematic when the styles change. I admit I thinned mine.  Too much.

Luckily mine grew back.  The mistake most women still make today is overtweezing.

I covet Halle Berry’s eyebrows.

That shape is perfection and would work on most any face.  They are well-groomed but not overtweezed.

Model Doutzen Kroes and Jennifer Connelly nicely work the fuller brows:
One has to have very strong features in order to master that look.  I admire Jennifer especially because she never gave in to the super-thin brow trend.

I also enjoy Angelina Jolie’s eyehats:

Carrie Underwood and Meg Ryan have awful eyebrows: the are way too far apart, overtweezed, and look completely unnatural:Here, fishy fishy!  Carrie’s brows make her look 15 years older while Meg’s brows look like an overly enthusiastic 12-year old did them.

My favorite celebrity gossip blogger, Michael K. at Dlisted, also has an eyebrow obsession.  We have so much in common, I am convinced if we ever met we would become instant BFFs and sit in a cafe making fun of people’s eyebrows.  He hipped me to the whole chola eyebrow phenomenon.  Check this gorgeous example:I’m afraid of her.

I love it when guys “manscape” their brows and it ends up looking completely unmasculine.  Here are two examples in Cristiano Ronaldo and Carmine Gotti:


So this is pretty much what my eyebrows look like now:They aren’t perfect but they will have to do.  My husband says I obsess over my brows and he dislikes how much time I spend on them.  He says I should let them grow in naturally: yeah, right.  Every other morning, every other night, I am in the mirror with my beloved Anastasia tweezers (Thank you, G!) searching for the dreaded stray that is gunning to ruin my whole aesthetic (and Oprah help you if you try to talk to me while I am focused!).  I’m always trying to make sure they are symmetrical (they aren’t), natural looking but well-groomed (I hope?), that the length, arch, and width are all ideal for my face.  It’s a lot of work.  I spend way more time and exert more effort on grooming my eyebrows than I do applying what little make-up I wear.  I admit I go too far at times: several years ago I had a modeling gig with Target and had a marathon session in the mirror the night before.  The make-up artist the next morning scolded me for how I had injured my skin while trying to pry out each and every stray hair.  He ended up plastering lavender eye shadow over my tender skin to hide the trauma (good thing I was modeling Halloween costumes and was dressed as a pirate wench).

I have never considered having my brows professionally waxed because I know there is no way I would be able to tolerate the in-between period when you have to let them grow in long enough for the wax to grip them: the horror!

My mom told me that if you keep tweezing the same hairs over and over they will eventually stop growing back.  After 20 years of plucking, I am still waiting for that to happen.  But my husband should be happy: eyebrow maintenance is way less expensive than a nose job.  Eyebrows are, after all, the window to the soul.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    February 26, 2010 5:45 pm

    You left out threading! I can’t handle the sting of tweezing all those individual hairs, and the red-hot painful-looking skin left by waxing scares me. But threading works for me. Once it’s done, I can maintain the look with a little tweezing every couple days. (One or two stings is ok.) As far as I know, you don’t have to let the hairs grow to a certain length for them to be captured by the thread, unlike waxing.

    • mjjaaska permalink*
      March 12, 2010 2:30 am

      I’ve heard of threading but never seen it done or know anyone that has done it. Maybe I’ll work up the courage one day to venture down that road. Thanks!

  2. February 27, 2010 12:42 am

    I’ve seen your brows and quite honestly- perfection.

  3. June 3, 2010 5:32 am

    Hey MJ!! PRETTY PRETTY PRETTY BROWZ!! PRETTY FACE AND LUCIOUS LIPS, TOO! You’re JUST SO YUMMY!! CELEBRATE YOUR BROWS!! And did you know that brows that “grow togther” indicate a person whose brain NEVER STOPS? You buzz 24/7 without a hitch! Buzzzzzzzz! That you??
    I was a photographer for 25 years…plus inventor of many things, including the which got me deep and intimately into EYEBROWS…as a direct “reflection” of the female pubic area…the b.ush! If you look carefully at a woman’s eyebrows, AND you know what her hair pattern is like down below…you will notice an uncanny and striking similarity! You are looking at several things here: hair density, or hair follicle spacing; hair length; and hair texture, or bunching; and finally the “spread” or actual size or square inches of the pelvic patch. Some women have very straight hair, others have a wave, and others have a kink or tight curl. Sometimes, a woman with a “huge” b.ush that stretches from pubic bone to pubic bone…looks great, and is really large by comparison to other women’s smaller patch. When eyebrows are very bushy AND THICK AND LONG…expect the same terrain below, which can result in a patch that is 5-6 inches THICK! A guy can get lost in it!

    I was hoping to do a “coffeetable art book” with a collection of THE BEST HAIR PATCHES in the US…but was too busy doing RESEARCH!! haha I know some lucky photographer got lotsa nakey shots of Mado.nna AND closeups of her brows and b.ush…and it is PURE ART!! That was when she was a teen on the streets, HUNGRY and very VERY fetching, soft and demure…plus she had a major patch of hair in her armpits…which matched her brows and b.ush. Do a search and you will find it on the net….LOTS of really creative photos of her body…and a cute little gray kittycat that wandered onto the set and she sat there petting it and making friends! Really well done!
    Cheers Y’all! ~Stevon

  4. June 3, 2010 5:56 am

    MJ…Oh yeah! I just noticed you either did them yourself…or had em done, cuz I see the telltale sign of a pro—1) outer (tapered) end of eyebrow is in line with 2) outer edge of eyelids and 3) outer edge of your beautiful mouth…those three points will line up when done. Some eyebrow pros use a small stainless ruler to make that line and then mark the points on the brow and pluck away accordingly. My gf had hers done at Neiman’s in Dallas, and the woman doing them was a NYC Eyebrow Expert (“BrowSpert?) who achieved absolute perfection using that method. I thought her brows were about as close to perfection as you can get…and she never really had to make a major production about them…natural blonds usually don’t have that problem–either above or below–but the result was rather remarkable–and my babee was REALLY impressed. So was I. So whip out that ruler and pluck pluck pluck!

    BTW, your “sexy brow raise” worked for me! YA GOT DA LOOK, HUN! I’m SO glad you covered this important subject in your blog! WHAT A DIFFERENCE, EH? Your brows ARE STELLAR!! I have often wanted to walk up to women with unkempt brows and give em a little advice–nicely, of course. Some women these days–not all, mind you–are sometimes not conscious of their ‘other hair’ on their bods! I also loved to trim and design my gf’s b.ush when they were up for it. Had everything from Christmas trees (actually a mistake, but worked for both of us!)…to square boxes…to triangles off to one side—hahaha! A little fun when we had a little too much merlot…but we ‘erased’ it and let it grow out again…cuz IT ALWAYS GROWS OUT—RIGHT?? I know your experiences with thinking “IF I PLUCK THE SAME HAIR TOO MUCH–IT WON’T COME BACK SOMEDAY”… I think you’ve figured it out now…that’s a myth…specially with gals with dark hair all over. I had a gf that had light brown hair…and would suntan with lemon juice misted on her lighten her dark inner-thigh hair [OMG!!! LOVED IT!!] until it was blonde. SO SEXY!! I LOVE THIGH HAIR ON WOMEN…ESPECIALLY BLOND HAIR…AND ON THEIR LOVELY MOUNDS! The only place I don’t like hair on a woman is on the tops of their toes! Ewwww! Laser it, please! Don’t wanna see it! haha

  5. Jani permalink
    October 3, 2012 10:10 pm

    Honestly, i have enjoyed reading your article about eyebrows, i also suggest you become a writer i have never thought i would read something about eyebrows ever but i just did, it is funny and gives you an idea about nice looking eyebrows…. PS, i liked the comments under the pictures the most :)
    I don’t know if it is ok for men to read such a thing like this but i just did :D
    Wish you the best.

  6. John permalink
    April 30, 2016 4:39 am

    You’re gorgeous.

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