I have always been obsessed with my eyebrows. I think this obsession developed when I was as young as nine or ten years old; I realised that they were huge in comparison to my friends’ and also, flicked up at the ends so that I looked like some sort of devil-child or Italian soprano! I can remember my mum coming to pick me up from a friend’s house and her mum making a comment about how the way my eyebrows flicked up at the ends was a real reflection of my personality. What? I didn’t understand that at the time and I’m not sure I do now either! But someone else noticing my crazy brows, and pointing them out, made me hate them even more. I developed a habit of constantly trying to flick the ends back down again.
When I was about 11 my mum finally agreed to take me to have my brows professionally shaped. This was a really great thing. The lady took very little off but just made them look much more tidy. The idea was that I would then continue to keep them tidy myself. Big mistake. Huge. Eleven-year-olds should not be let loose with a pair of tweezers. I think I kept the new tidy eyebrows for a few months, and then when I came to do it myself, we were on holiday in Cornwall. The reason this is significant is because we were staying in a caravan and I shut myself in the little bedroom, which had very little light, and pluck-plucked away. You know the scenario – I did one side and then needed to even up the other side, then did too much there and have to do the other side again. I can remember emerging from that little room and my mum’s dismay at what I had done. From then onwards, and throughout my teens, I continued to obsess, tearing images out of magazines to copy, and settled on what I thought was the loveliest brow shape. In a bid to achieve higher arches I took too much away from the middle of my brows, giving them a rounded shape. They were also very thin.
My moment of realisation and subsequent eyebrow crisis then didn’t happen until very recently (my late 20s). About six months before my wedding day I decided to start trying to grow them back a little and go and see a professional. Of course, after about 16 years of abuse, the re-growth was sparse and patchy, plus I didn’t really leave them long enough to see any of their true shape coming back. When I went to see a professional, I opted for threading, something I hadn’t tried before. The lady had the best intentions, of course, but essentially just got rid of all that re-growth and shaped them back into the thin, rounded shape that they had been before! I got married with those brows, which, to be honest, is a shame.
This post is getting very long, so I’m going to stop here for now. Next time; the discovery of beauty blogs and, specifically, Zoe Foster and Lien Davies. You can read part two of my brow story here.