• Fri, Aug 22 - 12:22 pm ET

My Before And After Photos Prove That Dying Your Eyebrows Professionally Is Totally Worth It

We always want what we don’t have, isn’t that the way it goes? Some people allegedly hate having thick eyebrows that rival brow-queen Cara Delevingne. Which is weird to me because all I’ve ever wanted in life are BBBs (big, beautiful brows, duh) to call my own. In their natural state, my brows look like something Miley and Katy have to visit a salon to have – white blonde, and from a distance appear to not exist at all. They’re ghost brows.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many browless celebrity idols to look up to. While my friends could point to the classics like Brooke Shields and Jennifer Connelly, as well as present-day power brows like Cara and the Kardashian kollective, I had the likes of Whoopi Goldberg. (I’m not counting the pencil-thin arches popular in the late 1990s, as even the faintest of lines were more than I could ever hope for). Even as I got older and my hair turned darker blonde – my eyebrows stayed tremendously pale – not in a cool Lara Stone on-the-runway sort of way, but more like Charlize Theron in Monster.

TheGloss_no brows

Look ma, no brows!

I will admit, ghost brows can have their perks: when people cannot see your brows, the necessity of grooming them is practically nonexistent. I went through high school and most of college embracing the no-brow look, sometimes enhancing the alien effect with shimmery highlighters or glitter liner. (Coincidentally, I was single during this time as well.)

For me, 2014 has been a major milestone year in terms of personal development, in part because I achieved financial independence and have worked toward fulfilling my professional goals but mostly because I finally, at long last, figured out my eyebrow situation. Up until very recently, my beauty regimen consisted of applying various powders, hot waxes and expensive brow mascaras to my face. As anyone who struggles with their own ghost brows knows, this is way too high-maintenance for such short-lasting returns. And before you full-browed people say I’m just being lazy, know that all three of the above pictures were taken after I amped up my arches to the best of my cosmetic ability. So yeah, I needed to make a chance — and the change was that I decided to take (semi) permanent measures to Delevingne-ify my brows.

Eugene Levy-style eyebrow inspo

Eugene Levy-style eyebrow inspo right here.

To complete my quest, I booked an appointment at the Benefit Brow Bar in Soho for a shaping and brow tinting. The dye used is custom-blended for your skin tone and desired intensity — mixed up and applied in a way that allows you to channel your inner Groucho Marx for the several minutes it takes for the dye to set. When my brow guru Kim first revealed the tint, it was a beautiful natural color — but, as I quite creepily whispered to her, I wanted them “daaaarrrker.” The process is super simple, in fact, I am contemplating trying my own hand (erm, brow) at maintenance next month.

TheGloss_final brows

Who’s got two brows and a new fondness for selfies? This lady.

Et voilà, the results! Short of having actual eyebrow transplant surgery, this is the best way to get big, beautiful brows with minimal continued maintenance. It’s actually remarkable how much of an effect eyebrows have on shaping your face and changing your features. I feel like my face has taken a bolder look, while some of my harsher features have been framed in a softer way. Quite honestly, this mini-makeover has transformed how I engage with people as well — who knew thick dark lines on my face were what were missing when I needed that extra boost of confidence? All in all, I love finally being able to live out my Delevingne-ish fantasies. Rest in peace, ghost brows.

Any fellow pale-browed ladies out there with similar stories to tell? What’s the most high-maintenance thing you’ve done in the name of beauty?

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  • Alana Vincenza

    Girrrrrl, your brows look gooooood :)

    • Alexis Manrodt

      Thanks girl! :)

  • shoey

    Looks fantastic! Do you mind telling us how much it cost? What was the maintenance schedule they recommended?

    • Alexis Manrodt

      Thank you! I opted for both a brow tint & shaping, (definitely necessary when your eyebrows are left unattended for years, like in my case) which were both $20. Their tint is made from a vegetable dye, which can fade quicker depending on how frequently/intensely you wash the skin around your brows, but with normal cleansing it last 4-6 weeks! I’ve occasionally use brow mascara by Anastasia to set everything in place (when I know I will be sweaty and / or moving around a lot) & it gives a nice touch of color, but it’s been a few weeks now and the dye is still holding strong!

  • Jenelle

    But it also seems like you have a lot more hair to dye than you did in the previous photos? How did you grow your brows out so much? I’ve never touched my eyebrows in terms of plucking, waxing, or threading and they are still sooo thin.

    • Jasmine

      Those hairs were probably mostly already there, just really REALLY invisible.

  • Coco

    I waaaaaaaaaant!!! I have natural medium/golden blonde hair but my brows stayed baby blonde white :| My maid of honour/makeup guru friend had to colour them in for my wedding so they’d show up in pictures. I’m so scared they’re going to end up really dark.

  • Jen TheTit Whipper

    I need to find this near me. I swear I have eyebrows!

  • Heather C

    They look great. I am part of the (natural) bold brow club and wanted to lighten my brows when I had lighter hair, but never ended up dyeing them.