A Tale of Two Eyebrows

I've had the best of brows. I've had the worst of brows.

When I was in middle school, I had Brooke Shields eyebrows.

In retrospect, I was lucky. However, this was 2002, and I was ashamed of my bushy brows. For some reason, I wanted them thin and I wanted them sparse. So I let my older sister give me my first taste of early 2000s teeny-tiny expression-makers.  

And she plucked ‘em. She plucked ‘em good.

For the next 10+ years, my eyebrow grooming routine consisted of plucking them myself and periodically getting them waxed at a nail salon (gasp!) or by a student at a local beauty school.

I never combed them. I never filled them in with product. I was so naive.

Fast forward to late 2014. I had just broken up with my summer boyfriend and I needed a change. I had been reading some beauty blogs and noticed a common theme: brows were in.

Not only were brows in, but thick, groomed, full brows had awoken from the 90s and were back with a vengeance. I needed to get some product. Fast.

So I picked up a couple drugstore eyebrow pencils, watched a few YouTube tutorials, and started doing my thing.

At first, I was not good at it.

I still only had my thin, over-plucked brows to work with. I tried (and failed) at eyebrow stencil kits, and really didn’t have a good method down. But I kept calm, reminded myself that my eyebrows are sisters, not twins, and carried on.

Soon enough, I was a brow master. I started to frequently think to myself, “How did I even go out without adequate brow grooming for so long?” And also, “I used to have Brooke Shields brows...what have I done?!”

I quickly graduated myself from drugstore eyebrow pencils to the holy grail Anastasia Beverly Hills line and even learned how to pronounce "Anastasia" (Ah-nuh-stah-see-uh). I felt like a big girl. A boss-ass bitch. A brow queen.

Plus, everyone knows you can make way better talking points with good eyebrows.

After a while, I realized that my natural brows were still pretty thin. My sister’s wedding was coming up, and I was planning to do my own makeup, so I hatched a plan to grow them back.

YouTube beauty gurus say that you should apply a mixture of equal parts castor oil and coconut oil to your eyebrows every night before bed using a spoolie or q-tip. This works. If you're consistent about it, you will sprout new hairs within about a week and see a significant difference within a month.

Also! The best eyebrow growth tip I have ever heard is to only pluck them when they are completely filled in with a pencil or powder. For best results, fill your brows in hella thick, like even more dramatic than you would normally style them. Then, and only then, you can pluck stray hairs that are outside the lines. This way, you will never over pluck, and your eyebrows will grow into your preferred shape. Magic, right?

My current eyebrow routine is this:

  1. Comb them up with a clean brow brush

  2. Fill the bottom part in with Anastasia Brow Wiz in medium brown, drawing in tiny little hairs (I heard brunettes are supposed to go a shade lighter than their natural hair, and blondes are supposed to go a shade darker) IMO, Anastasia Beverley Hills offers the best eyebrow products on the market, but as always, I'm sure I have a lot to learn

  3. Comb the inner hairs up, and the outer hairs down

  4. Fill in the top part with a lighter pencil (I’m currently using Sephora's Waterproof Brow Pencil in nutmeg brown)

  5. Comb them again (I'm ashamed to say it took me almost 2 years of eyebrow research to realize that I needed to use a spoolie to brush them out after every step—it softens them and evens out your work)

  6. Brush them out with Glossier’s Boy Brow in brown (I was using Anastasia DipBrow with a little brush for my final step, but my sister got me Boy Brow for my birthday and it's the shit, so I switched) 

Lately, I’ve been aiming for a more natural arch, as opposed to the dramatic square shape that was very popular a couple years ago. But there are no rules with brows! Be yourself. Play around. Do nothing. Try it all! Go nuts.

And when in doubt, troll a bunch of YouTube tutorials and learn from the best. 

eyebrow maintenance