It was after the wedding that I really discovered beauty blogs and videos. I can’t actually remember how I stumbled upon it, but Primped was one of the first I encountered. It was there that I discovered Zoe Foster who, as you know, is now one of my favourite beauty bloggers. It was her post; Your Eyebrows Are Making You Ugly, that made me really see the light. There was also this post written by Lien Davies, who I now consider to be the ultimate Queen of Eyebrows.
After reading this I decided to leave my brows alone once again, but properly this time. I gave myself a goal of one month and put down those tweezers. It was agonising. It was also kind of fascinating, I hadn’t seen anything like what my natural brows were like for years and when hairs started growing as low down as my eye socket I remembered how I had got into this mess. My natural brows really are huge. Unfortunately though, not everything grew back. The re-growth was patchy and a lot of the hair follicles were damaged from so many years of having the hair ripped out, meaning the new hairs grew out at odd angles. Not a pretty sight.
I persevered, stuck to my one-month goal and, as I couldn’t see Lien (she lives in Sydney), booked myself an appointment for brow shaping at Selfridges in London. I’d had individual lashes applied there before the wedding and really rated the salon and service and, from what they had written on their website, they seemed like they would completely understand what I needed for my brows. I explained to the therapist that I had been growing them back because I had been plucking them too thinly for years and that now I was ready for a bit of shape to be put back in.
The therapist didn’t do a bad job; it’s just that it wasn’t a great job either. She left the front of my brows (nearest my eyes) completely alone because I had more growing back to do there, and just tidied up the ends. This was fine, except it didn’t really tell me anything about the shape I should be aiming for. I just didn’t feel that the service gave me any real advice about what I should be doing or drawing back in. Also, my brows were shaped while I was lying down and the therapist was looking down on my brows from behind me (and so upside-down) which, if you read Lien’s post, you’ll know is a big no-no. When you lie down gravity pulls everything in a different way to how it does when you are upright, so it’s really not an effective way to see what brow is going to suit a face shape best.
So I left there looking less like the hairy goblin that I had when I walked in, but definitely not with an ideal, or particularly flattering, brow shape.
In her post, Lien demonstrated how her virtual brow shaping had helped an over-plucked lady who lived overseas. I decided to get in touch.
Incredibly, Lien called me just a few hours after I sent her a message! It was Sunday night in the UK but Monday morning her time in Sydney. She was absolutely lovely on the phone and genuinely wanted to help. We chatted about my brow situation and Lien asked me to send photos so that she could then digitally draw in what my perfect shape should be. By this time, I had left my brows alone for a few weeks after visiting Selfridges, so in the photos Lien could see where some of the re-growth was. When, a couple of weeks later, her Virtual Brow Shaping email came through it was like Christmas!
Lien had written careful instructions on how my brows should look and I how I could achieve this. It took time and effort; I sat in front of the mirror with my crib sheet and tools and measured and filled in and plucked. It wasn’t easy to get the correct shape and, to be honest, I never really felt that I had got them quite right. Also, after what was quite frankly a traumatic period of re-growth, I was reluctant to take too much off again. But with Lien’s guidance I persevered and managed to get my brows to a decent shape that was far more flattering than before.
This was November, and not long before Lien and I had spoken, my sister, who lives in Sydney, and I had been talking about planning a visit to go and see her. I want to stress at this point that my eyebrows were in no way part of the decision making process (I promise!), but it was a happy coincidence that by going to see my sister I could also book an appointment to see Lien!
For about a month before we went over to Australia I, once again, stopped doing anything to my brows so that Lien had as much to work with as possible. When the time came to go and visit her, they were in desperate need of attention and I absolutely couldn’t wait to finally have someone who really knew what they were talking about work their magic.
Visiting Lien was like seeing an old friend; I really cannot say enough just how amazingly lovely this lady is! She greeted me like we’d known each other for years, and when she popped me down on a stool in front of her I had complete confidence that I was going to emerge from there delighted with the results.
Lien is a total pro; she talked me through every step and took photos at each stage so that I had a reference for when I was doing it myself at home. As I wasn’t going to be able to see Lien on a regular basis, she really took time to show me everything she was doing and explain the method of filling in, then trimming, then finally, plucking. My husband had come along with me and Lien instructed him to pay attention and take notes so that he could help me later! Here are the photos from each stage:
As we were going out to meet my sister and her friends after my appointment, Lien even touched up my make up – honestly, she is such a dream! When she handed me a mirror I could have cried with gratitude. My new brows made an unbelievable difference to my face. I felt fresher, prettier, younger and just groomed and lovely – it was a great moment!
That night, I couldn’t bear to take my new brows off; I was so worried about being able to recreate them myself.
From there, it has taken time and a lot of practise to get them right. Lien has continued to be nothing short of amazing and we’ve been emailing back and forth, me with photos of my handiwork and Lien with extra tips and advice to get them just right. I think I’m finally there now with filling in the right places, but I still get a little hesitant every time I come to trim and shape them myself. Ideally I’d like to teleport over to Lien each month, but in lieu of that, I think I’m doing a fairly good job!
Hugely excitingly, Lien has just finished an e-book that shares her brow wisdom and techniques, it will be available to purchase soon!
Update: Lien’s e-book can be purchased here.