Tuesday, March 20, 2012

adventures in eyebrow maintenance

It seems there's yet another item to add to the ever-growing list of Ways in Which I Fail at Womanhood. I fail at growing nails (sadly, I've already blogged about that), I've got cracked and calloused hands that could rival a dock worker's (again, blogged about it with bonus photographic evidence), and I really don't know what to do with make-up beyond eyeliner and mascara.

Womanhood Fail.

One other item to add to this (admittedly silly and trivial) list has to do with my eyebrows. Seemingly, the eyebrows should be one part of our appearance that we don't need to give much attention. At least, that's what I used to think. Twelve years ago, I had my eyebrows waxed for the very first time. I remember it well, because I was hugely pregnant with JAM, and I had gone with some friends from work to a local salon. We all got waxed by a man who would become my favorite hairstylist in the entire world (but who would, years later, become so good and move to such a foofy place that I could no longer afford his magic).

When it was my turn in the chair, he used the little brush to get the wilderness that I called eyebrows into a general shape. I admitted to occasionally plucking them, but with little to no understanding of what I was doing. He clucked a bit (this guy does not mince words, I tell ya), but then he said a few words that suddenly felt like the biggest compliment ever. "You have great eyebrows. Beautiful, natural shape and arch." He assured me that with a little shaping, they were going to be gorgeous.

Now remember, I was about 17 months pregnant at this point, about 150 pounds heavier than usual, so any even mildly kind words thrown my way would have made my heart sing. I was confident that I would leave that salon 1000% more attractive than I entered. I had beautiful eyebrows, after all.

Yes, I did see a remarkable difference when he did whatever voodoo he does so well. However he determined the right "shape," it was magical. For years, I tried to keep it up, going to see him whenever I could. I cheated on him a couple times, some with fine outcomes, others that left me looking perpetually surprised.

Then it all stopped. I had three kids, no income, and no time. I took to grabbing the tweezers myself and attempting to find that elusive beautiful shape. It was lost. I think I got a little pluck-happy. Then my eyebrow hairs must have gotten pissed and decided to take revenge on me by popping out in places farther and farther away from their original spots. So, I plucked more.

Thus began the saga of the disappearing eyebrows. I would pluck, my bathroom sink would be dotted with little brown hairs, and the space above my eyes would become larger than ever.

I'm tired of looking surprised. So it begins now. The Great Eyebrow Grow Out. I've vowed to leave the tweezers in the drawer (except when it comes to the stray chin hairs that I have my Spanish grandmother to thank for). I'm willing to look like a shaggy, unkempt woman (more than usual) for as long as it takes to get all the eyebrow hairs accounted for. Once they're all in place, then it's back to the professionals.

Maybe, just maybe, that beautiful shape can be found again. We shall see.

I'm going the brave blogger route right now, and sharing photographic documentation for week one. Remember, we're focusing on the shaggy eyebrows, not the deep forehead wrinkles, crow's feet, or old lady freckles here.

This is tame, compared to what I predict they will look like in two weeks' time. I'm not sure how long this fabulous little experiment will take, but I'll happily put aside all personal shame and continue to publicly share the progress pics.

Happy to think about something so trivial for now,