All Articles Tagged "eyebrows"
Getting your eyebrows perfect is a tough job…especially if you’re taking tips from these internet eyebrow experts. Check out these pics of the 15 absolutely scariest eyebrows on the World Wide Web.
Just the Liner
Want thick, luscious eyebrows but you’re low on pencil? Just draw the outline and let people’s imaginations take it from there.
After rediscovering some long forgotten photo albums around the house, I was thinking about eyebrows.
One of the pictures was of me in cap and gown, taking for our University’s yearbook. What stuck out to me the most was my horrible eye shadow. It was bright blue and way too much of it. And then there was the eyebrows. They were jet black, pencil thin and definitely stenciled on. I can not believe that I used to walk around publicly like that. And yet I did – like a boss.
Despite the brazenness of what was my eyebrow game back then, I notice that I was not alone in my liquid liner obsession. As a culture, we are extremely obsessed with eyebrows. And as I walk along the streets, I take notice of the various degrees in which women will arch, pluck, tweeze, wax and shave their brows into unnatural angles. Like the thin dramatic high arch brow or the thick and full brow with the softer angles. And then of course there is the already spoken on, yet equally mystifying, stenciled brows. It’s like out of all the body parts, eyebrows have the least utility and yet eyebrow shaping and grooming is virtually a necessity – in some instances our most important facial grooming habit. So why do we shave them off if we are only going to draw them back on again?
According to this article, published in the New York Times back in 2009, fashionistas at the time were all about the brow-less look including a 26-year-old fashion consultant, who painstakingly plucks her eyebrows each day to keep them from growing back. She tells the Times:
“It’s unifying,” she said. “There is an asexual element to no eyebrows. We are much more accepting of the ‘other’ nowadays. Removing eyebrows removes a degree of expression, which makes one look less human and more cerebral, maybe even mechanical. It’s an exercise in modernity.”
And yet eyebrow shaving defies culture, race and even time. It is said that in the reign of the Pharaohs of Egypt, shaving off the eyebrows was a sign of mourning. According to Wikipedia, the beauty standard among the Japanese royal court during the imperial Heian period (794-1185), called for powdered white face, blackened teeth and eyebrows shaved and redrawn high on the forehead. Historical documentation shows that Queen Elizabeth I overly-tweezed and a virtually non existent brow line became synonymous with wealth and influence and a trend among the aristocrats. And probably the most famous eyebrow-less babe is The Mona Lisa, who in addition to her “smile” is also missing her eye handlebars. But according to the book, Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History, our contemporary obsession with the stenciled eyebrow can be traced to the 1930s when a thin and more exaggerated brow came into fashion. Unfortunately the brow itself was so unattainable naturally, that several of the trendsetters, including several popular actresses at the time including Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich, shaved their eyebrows and repurposed them into thin, high arched swipes of black liner just above the sockets. Outside of its Hollywood influence, the modern day thin, arched and stenciled-on eyebrow also has a notorious, less glamorous (depending upon the lens in which we view it) distinction, particularly among its association with the heavy-lined faced Cholas of the Californian Latina lowrider and gang scene.
Yet despite its historical usages there is still an element to eyebrow shaving there is a much more sinister side to browlessness particularly trichotillomania, which is a compulsory disorder, which compels people to pull, pluck or shave hair from their bodies. Probably the most prominent brows in contemporary American culture belong to Whoopi Goldberg, who ironically does not have them. When asked in this 2007 interview with Perez Hilton why she shaved her eyebrows, Goldberg simply stated, “because they itch when the come in.”
While it would be easier to brush-off every woman walking around today with the Sharpie brows as a candidate for therapy, the culprit behind why women continuously shave all their brows, just to draw them back on again might be as simple as what I like to call the Pringles potato chip-effect: basically, once you pop (one piece of hair), you just can’t stop. In a culture that abhors hair and see hairlessness as a sign of civility, it is easy to become addicted to tweezing. I know the obsession with shaving the brows started right after I achieved what could be classified as the perfect arch. Unfortunately when you reach the pinnacles of success anything afterwards just seem to fall short – and that included my eyebrows. So I plucked, tweezed, waxed and eventually shaved hoping that once again I could create that same eyebrow-magic. It never happened. It was only when I forced myself out of the plucking eyebrow-matrix, did I realize how deep my obsession was getting.
The good news for us all is that our eyebrow neurosis may soon be coming to a conclusion. According to this article, which cites this study, women are not only tweezing a lot less than before but brows have been moving lower for the past 60 years. And in fact, all indicators suggest that the high arch brow will soon be obsolete and replaced with a more masculine eyebrow. I for one, am totally looking forward to the masculine, aka not giving a damn, look.
Has anyone else noticed that your eyebrows have the ability to make or break your look? I know the Bible says a woman’s hair is her crowning glory; but if you gave me a choice, I’d take my eyebrows being properly coiffed over my hair being “done” any day. In all fairness though, since I have locks my hair is never “not done.”
Anyway, I come from a long line of expert brow shapers. My maternal grandmother who completely devoted her life to raising her children and later grandchildren, still always made time to make sure her brows were right. For decades, she was the go-to woman when it came to shaping and sculpting. And she shared that vital information with her sisters and passed it down to her nieces and eventually her daughter, my mother.
I’ll never forget the day my mother looked at me and decided it was time for my first plucking session. I was a freshman in high school and had just come home from the summer school gym class I was taking. Needles too say I looked a bit rough and my thick, unruly eyebrows weren’t helping the situation. I showered and my mom had me lie down on her bed as she sat over me, plucking away.
In retrospect I should have been more afraid of this process. The whole thing was pretty agonizing. My stomach was knotting and unknotting as I felt her rip each individual hair from my face with precision. I felt trapped, like a form of torture.
But once I was released and I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized what wonders the plucking had done for my face. My eyes looked brighter. My face looked softer and more feminine. I looked less like a little girl and more like the woman I would become. For the next couple of days, I couldn’t walk past a mirror without doubling back to take a peak at my new eyebrows. You couldn’t tell me nothin’. I had arrived.
From that moment on, if my eyebrows weren’t done, I just didn’t feel right. I could have on the flyest outfit, my hair could be styled to perfection and my face could be beat for the gods; but if my eyebrows were bushy or too overgrown, it was all for nothing. Try as I might to hide the stubbly hairs growing in, eye shadow and even foundation did little to hide the coarse black spikes that were coming in. It was time to shape again. The look of having my eyebrows properly shaped is virtually magical. There have been times where my face looked like I’d applied some makeup, simply because my eyebrows were right. It’s important that they be done promptly and properly.
As the years progressed, I would put the tweezers down in favor of waxing. And just a few months ago, I stepped into the threading world for the first time. (I’m still not convinced that it’s the better option.)
When we get them done, they can open your face in ways you never thought or dreamed of. And when we don’t, they can make us look like unkempt Neanderthals. A good or bad set of eyebrows can define you. I loved Lauryn Hill’s brows back in the day, hated Bette Davis’ and was just puzzled by Groucho Marx’s caterpillars. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to make your own brows do big things so that they can make your eyes pop, we’ve supplied some looks from models, and other celebrities who keep their eyebrows looking fresh and clean. Happy tweezing! Or whatever it is you do for brow maintenance…
Bey doesn’t have the thickest, nor the thinnest eyebrows out there, but somehow she manages to keep them full and arched in all the right places. Back when I used to get my brows threaded, crazy enough, Beyoncé’s eyebrows were an example of a look that you could get, and many women wanted them. Why? Maybe because they stay full up to the very end of the brow and still have enough of a prominent arch in the middle to give your face a little more flair without looking like a caricature.
Eyebrows play a major role in framing and accentuating the features of your face. Preferences regarding the thickness, arch and width will vary from person to person, but your face shape should be one of the top determiners of your brow shape. There is no rulebook that says you MUST shape your brows one way because you have a certain face shape, but these are just guidelines and tips to help bring out your strongest features and pull your look together.
A list of makeup sins could stretch the length of the United States but I will spare you the long read and just share with you a few of the things that women do to their faces that drives me absolutely crazy! If you do these things, trust, you will be clowned.
*Note: Places to buy the mentioned products are linked to in each description*
If the eyes are windows to the soul then consider yours brows then awning on the house. Beyonce, Serena, Jada and Kerry always put there best arches forward each time they hit the carpet. While there are so many tricks to the trade when it comes to maintaining a perfectly groom set, we often make major mistakes along the way. Are you guilty of too much plucking, highlighting, or letting your pair grow wild like a fur vest? The days of brow neglect are over!
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Looking to change up your look with a little old school glamour? Here are some tips for achieving that vintage beauty.
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Tags:Angela Bassett, beauty-style, beyonce, celebrity, Celebrity hair, Dita Von Teese, Dorothy Dandridge, eyebrows, hair, Hollywood, Hollywood beauty, Hollywood hair, Hollywood makeup, lashes, lips, makeup, Nia Long, retro bombshell beauty, retro hair, skin, style, vintage hair, vintage makeup, Zoe Saldana
The recessionista really does exist! She lives in every city and town in this country. Don’t believe us? Check out this slideshow of pieces she uses to spruce up her look… no faux designer purses necessary!