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.
Natural brows. Excuse the quality – you’ll appreciate that I don’t have the original! Witness the flicked up ends.
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.
Thin brows from my teenage years to mid-twenties.
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.
It was a beautiful day and eyebrows were the last thing I was thinking about, but – here they are being thin and round.
Photo by the wonderful Sarah Bowerman.
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.