As if women weren’t held to impossible standards already, now we have one more item to add to our ‘strive for perfection list.’ Because of a push in social media for healthy role models, many outlets in the modeling industry have publicly vowed to promote a healthier body image with healthier models. For their runway shows, designers are choosing strong over skinny, showcasing larger sample sizes to demonstrate how curves will fit in the clothes, and companies like H&M have pledged to only “use healthy models, with the aim of representing a diverse spectrum of women in its campaigns and adverts.” Great news for women everywhere! But wait…now I have to achieve the perfect blend of healthy and fit, which means being thin, but not too thin, with some curves, but not too many curves, to look strong, but still soft and feminine…that sounds easy!
How to Grow Your Eyebrows
How about the two trendy makeup schools of thought? You can now achieve a flawless airbrushed look just like celebrities- how cool! All you need to do is look at a contour/highlighting map, which basically looks like a strange, boring neutral paint-by-number and you can sculpt your face. Sure the makeup looks like paint, but once you master the intricate art of highlighting and shading, you can showcase a reconstructed version of yourself. On the other end of the spectrum is the ‘natural makeup’ trend. The ‘no makeup makeup.’ This sounds great, but after watching a 28 minute tutorial on how to achieve this model-inspired look, I used all this makeup and still looked like I just woke up…in a bad way.
I digress. So in addition to beauty and body standards always in the forefront of women’s agendas comes a new concern: eyebrows. One of the hottest trends for 2015 is this thicker, fuller, natural brow with a slight arch. This must be easy, right? All I have to do is stop plucking and over-waxing and let my follicles work their magic and I’ll be basking in thick-yet-groomed brow glory, right? While that sounds good in theory, it’s not that simple.
Natural Eyebrow Trend
Have you ever heard that eyebrows aren’t twins, to think of them as sisters? Meaning, it’s okay that your brows don’t perfectly match- nobody’s face is perfectly symmetrical. However, my eyebrows are more like second cousins once removed. Naturally, their shapes vary vastly, and I never really recovered from my early high school over-plucking days. I’ve always gone to my favorite, trusted salon (Essential Skin and Beauty), and they have helped me immensely. I thought it fitting to consult the owner, Andrea Stodola, for my new eyebrow adventure- the painful, embarrassing process of growing out my brows. Andrea gives some great tips to help you jump on the natural eyebrow bandwagon.
Know your shape:
This trend might not be for you- not everyone’s natural brow shapes come in full. Consult a brow expert to determine the best course of action for your biological brow shape and the shape of your face. Trying to achieve a look that doesn’t really suit your face will do you a disservice. Don’t focus on what’s on-trend, focus on what will enhance your face the best.
Stop plucking, but…
Growing out your eyebrows takes time, patience, and help. It’s not as simple as never plucking your eyebrows- Andrea advises meeting with a professional, possibly once a month, for low maintenance grooming and to check the progress of your growth.
Put the tweezers down- now:
Seriously though, put them down! Plucking one ‘stray’ hair is a slippery slope. If you have overplucked eyebrows, you actually can’t really tell what is stray and what will eventually fall into your natural hairline, so even though you may hate the look of these strays, you must keep all hair growth if you’re willing to commit to the process. It’s best to let a professional assess what needs to stay and what can go as part of your low-maintenance, growing-out grooming process.
How to not look mangy:
This was my first problem to discuss with Andrea- I’ve been growing my brows, untouched, for 2 weeks now, and I’m beginning to look like a mangy animal. For the errant strays, cover them with concealer or foundation to blend into your face. If you’re not great with makeup, go to a makeup professional to learn how to fill in your eyebrows. They can teach you how to pick and use the right products, from an eyebrow pencil, to gel, or powder. Don’t worry, you don’t have to shell out a ton of money- go to Ulta or Sephora and consult with one of their professionals for free!
There are also tons of great, free tutorials on Youtube to choose from, but my favorite beauty vlogger is the talented, impossibly gorgeous Lauren Curtis. Check out her eyebrow routine here, and I guarantee you will fall in love with her and binge watch her videos for 10 hours. Or is that just me?
In addition, following up with your eyebrow professional for grooming is essential to not look feral.
I asked Andrea about using castor oil to promote hair growth, something I came across in my desperate research to grow my brows quicker and thicker. While she could not speak to the oil actually stimulating hair growth, Andrea said the oil could help keep your current hair more conditioned and in better shape.
If you’re interested in growth, try a brow growing serum instead that penetrates deep within the hair follicle to actually stimulate growth, much like the eyelash serum Latisse.
The bottom line:
As Andrea put it, “it’s just eyebrows, not rocket science!” I have been pouring over the internet, reading all the research and articles about growing your eyebrows that I could get my hands on, often coming up with conflicting information and becoming disheartened in the process, looking at all those full yet tamed brows.
Just remember, stop plucking- seriously, not even one. Go see your eyebrow professional to help you maintain a groomed look as you undergo this arduous process. Know this will take time- be patient. Finally, you may have to succumb to the fact that the natural eyebrow trend is not for you. If you were a product of the pencil-thin eyebrow trend in the 90’s, chances are you can’t actually grow back some of that lost hair anymore. That’s why it’s best to consult a professional to assess the best course of action for your face. The only good trend for eyebrows is one that suits YOU. And you’re gorgeous, have I told you that lately?