This weekend I decided to dye my eyebrows. Why?
Because there are two things I know unquestionably about my face. One: It’s cute. Cute like Hello Kitty and floral rompers, with no shortage of freckles and not even a hint of cheekbone. The kind of cute that will get me carded for a pack of cigarettes well into my twenties. Cute in contrast to sexy. I tend to identify super hard with Selena Gomez, who is unquestionably pretty but still looks like convincing bait for “To Catch a Predator.” Two: I am a full on, blue veined, blond-eyelashed ginger. I look noticeably ill without mascara, and can express a full range of emotion through blushing. These are facts. I accept them by applying sunscreen religiously and avoiding graphic tees.
I’ve always loved high maintenance beauty, and bold, elegantly arched brows are possibly the number one item on my wishlist. All the best bombshells, from Megan Fox to Marilyn Monroe to Linda Evangelista and Dita von Teese, have arches you can see from twenty feet away. I do not care if my baby face is better suited to a natural look, or if Cara Delevingne bleaches her signature brows next week and sends bushy forehead dressing back into the 1990s beauty dungeon. Like every straight haired girl with a curling iron and every brunette armed with peroxide, I want what I can’t have. I am constantly on a quest to transform my sparse blonde brows into trendy statement arches. There is nothing cutesy about an aggressively arched brow.
I’ve experimented with slathering my brows in castor oil overnight and popping biotin pills, all in an attempt to salvage some aughts-era over-plucking. Now that they’re (mostly) back, I spend a few minutes every morning sculpting them with a Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel. It’s passable, but nowhere near perfect. There is just no way a waxy ash pencil is going to match up with strawberry blonde brows, leaving me doomed to stick with my natural (flat) shape and avoid embellishing.
So, when I learned that ladies were dying their brows with moustache dye, I was immediately curious. I was told that tinting my brows at home would save me time in the morning, not to mention the embarrassment of ever being caught without perfect arches. Plus, if dye could catch the still-growing baby hairs, I might end up with a fuller, longer arch.
I took the plunge on a Sunday night (bold move, considering heading to the office the next day). The whole tinting process takes less than ten minutes start to finish, and that’s if you’ve had a few glasses of wine for courage. After finding a friend for moral support, I purchased a Just for Men Moustache and Beard kit in the lightest color I could find.
I highly recommend hiding this purchase from any romantic partners you have coming over. Learn from my mistakes. It is also absolutely necessary to outline your brows with Vaseline or a very heavy face cream before starting.
Mix up a pea sized drop of dye and developer using the brush included in the kit.
Grab a cotton swab, and coat your brows completely.
Use a clean swab to clean up the edges a bit. Let it sit for three minutes (seriously, do not be tempted to go longer your first time out), then wipe off with a warm washcloth. You may initially be horrified by the brown caterpillars marching across your face, but do not be alarmed. All they need is a little brushing to become the bold brows of your high fashion, bombshell dreams.
My newly tinted eye curtains have shaved off at least two minutes from my morning routine. I brush them up with a spoolie and am good to go, no penciling needed. The finished look is somehow bolder but more natural than pencil. The dye grabs on to all the little hairs that are still recovering, resulting in arches that are much thicker and fuller than before but still have a natural shape. My new brows are definitely striking, but bold, dramatic brows are a little like the new faux bra-emblazoned Prada coats. These are fashion. Liz Taylor and her chunky brows never worried about being tasteful. And if you do hate it, the tint only lasts a week or two, and a dime sized drop of clarifying shampoo will take out the pigment even faster. A box of dye lasts for months, so have fun experimenting!