A girl I admired in high school once told me I had really nice eyebrows.
It as one of those rare, odd compliments that has always stuck with me. Here I am, nearly 14 years later, and I still think of her when I examine my eyebrows in the mirror.
Truthfully, I never plucked a single hair out of my brow-line for years. I was probably 27 or 28 before I even thought about it.
That thought was made possible thanks to a less-than-friendly manicurist at a local nail salon.
I’d gone in with a friend for a pedicure, and was looking forward to being pampered for that blissful thirty minutes. I was not, however, looking to be dissed by the guy who buffs my heels. He took one look at my face as I settled into the massage chair and said, “You want I do your eyebrows?”
Thinking I’d somehow communicated that I wanted ‘the works’ instead of just the pedicure that day, I answered, “No, just the toes today. Thanks.”
He had the audacity to smirk at me, then said, “Ok, lady. But I do eyebrow for ten dolla’. Wax away those ugly hairs.” Then he put his fingers over his eyes and waggled them at me.
I was shocked. I had perfect eyebrows! Didn’t he know?? I wished I was still in touch with that girl from high school, so I could call her up on the phone and let her wax philosophical about my forehead hair with Mr. Manicure.
That evening, I came home and studied myself in the mirror. Ok, so there was an errant hair here and there. And to my horror, there was a weird one growing out of the center of my forehead.
But other than that, my eyebrows were normal.
I turned to Google for help and realized that at some point between 1999 and 2007, the natural eyebrow look had gone out of style in lieu of the perfectly sculpted eyebrow, complete with a nearly-architectural arch.
Well, my eyebrows had never had much arch to them at all. They were sort of…flat. Like someone took a ruler and drew a line of hair across my forehead, leaving just enough space between them so I didn’t look like Bert sans Ernie.
I began to doubt my friend’s kind words, and myself. I immediately went to the drug store, bought my first pair of tweezers, and set to work trying to remedy this hair-fashion problem.
Let me say that whoever devised plucking as a method for hair removal was a sick, sadistic freak. I don’t care what anyone says—every single hair you pull out of your face hurts like holy hell. You never get used to it.
I’m not sure what led me to the conclusion that pulling them all out at once would hurt less than one at a time, but my next move was to schedule an eyebrow waxing from my hair stylist, LeAnn. She is wonderful, and as gentle as can be…but it still hurts. A lot.
But, with each waxing, I get that perfect, shaped, arched eyebrow that all the fashion magazines say is the number one accessory must-have.
Still, I can’t help but miss the days when I didn’t have to pluck at all. Mainly because ripping hair out of my face on a regular basis seems like a form of torture that should be reserved for terrorists and the mass murderer guy that Kevin Bacon is hunting on basic cable.
Either way, I’ll continue paying LeAnn to wax my eyebrows every 8 weeks. And I’ll keep yanking that one weird forehead hair out on my own (before I go see her, because WHO HAS A HAIR IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR FOREHEAD?)
Because I liked being the girl with the perfect eyebrows.