But not any more. You can’t open a copy of Hello magazine without seeing a celebrity bride (who we’ve never heard of before) smiling at her footballer/musician/actor husband while she simultaneously frowns ferociously with starkly defined and sharply angled brows.
“HD Brows!” I was told by a fellow consultant. “Everyone’s talking about them. Look: I’ve got them! What do you think?”
What I thought was that Sue looked pretty much as I remembered her from last time, but, when I concentrated, I could see that her brows did look a bit more defined and angled, and yes, it looked good. But then, Sue has a quite angled face and that look worked for her. I wasn’t at all sure it would work for little rounded Mary.
But I’m always ready to sacrifice my time and £25 in the interests of a good story and extra knowledge so I booked myself in at the nearest local salon to offer this service.
“Celebrity brow beauty is now within your reach” says the leaflet and a daunting seven stage process is explained on their website. “The ultimate in well-groomed, high definition eyebrows” Gulp.
I had my HD brows done at Solaris Tanning and Nail Studio by the very talented Harriet. Harriet was kind enough to take photographs of every stage so I could share my brow story with you. by the way, if you follow that link and look at the cover photo for Solaris, you will see exactly what I mean about the sharp and heavy brows that are in fashion!
Here I am with my absolutely normal and unadulterated brows.
Now, I have been quite happy with these, but Harriet points out that the colour is uneven (I had noticed some ginger and greys creeping in but hoped it wasn’t obvious), that the brows lack definition and that I’ve plucked them unevenly. She also thinks the gap between them is too wide and that I have over plucked them.
The first thing we discuss is how I want my brows to look. Do I want Glamorous, Defined, Natural? Somewhere between Natural and Defined I suggest (I’m not sure what a glamorous eyebrows look is, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t carry it off!)
Then we talk about colour. Harriet proposes not to darken them, but just to even the tone throughout. Harriet, by the way, is standing behind me as I’m lying down, so you will now get a Harriet’s eye view of me!
She’s right. I really can’t tell she’s done anything. But the pesky ginger ones have toned down and the two white ones have gone too. All good so far.
Next we talk about the shape. I’m pretty happy with my high arched brows and I quite like that they are curved and not angled. I don’t have an angled face, so Mr Spock eyebrows wouldn’t look anywhere near as good on me as they did on him (Oh, I did like Mr Spock. I know it’s illogical, Captain, but he was one of my first heart-throbs!). Harriet carefully measures points from my nose through the iris of my eye and makes marks on my brows. She draws lines so we can see where they should start and end. You can see that Harriet thinks I should have a lot more brow going on than I actually do. Fortunately, my arches are in the right position because I can’t think what she might do to me if they weren’t!
So, everything that shouldn’t be there but was now isn’t and it’s time for Harriet to start putting on what should be there but isn’t yet.
Can you see the lines she’s drawn? That’s the area that needs to be filled in.
And afterwards. It does look natural, I am forced to admit….
And, from above; Harriet has actually drawn in the fine hairs, and then applied a little brow makeup. Will I be able to do such a good job when I’m on my own?
Gulp – Harriet makes them darker still and declares me done. I get them impression she considers me a complete wuss for only going this dark and defined, but then I’m a good twenty five years older than she, and somehow I don’t think it would work for me if it were any further darker or defined…. I look at myself the right way up……
Hmmmm. I’m withholding judgement for the moment. I’m going to give it a go though, because that’s what I always tell my clients when they react negatively to the lipsticks. So I buy the box of makeup (another £25 – this is getting a bit more expensive!) and resolve to at least try at home…. It is a very nice box of makeup…
The clear pan on the right is the wax to make the colours stick. There’s a fine end for drawing the hairs (I haven’t been able to get this right so far) and an angled end for applying the shade. The colours are darker than they look and I’ve ended up using the middle brown, rather than the darker one I’ve started here.
So – my own before and after (memo to me: don’t wear green when standing in front of that wall) …..
And now, two months’ on? Well – I like the definition. It does rather emphasise my “wicked pixie” look. As I say, I’ve lightened the colour (the children said I looked cross) and I don’t take them quite as close to my nose as Harriet did. Ideally I should book in again and let her do her waxing and threading thing again. I think I will do, but not every four weeks as is suggested by the HD people. All those £25 would add up to a lot of money.
Oh, and the Brazilian? No, not a native of Brazil, but an extreme form of bikini-line waxing (absolutely everything off, dears, everywhere underneath, leaving only a small token of womanliness in the classic Venus Rising From the Waves modesty position). I will admit only to undergoing this for the same reasons as the HD brows above (ahem). Oh, and because it made a great blog title, of course!
So I was going to go through the whole procedure for your education just as I did for the brows (but without the photographs, obviously!), but I seem to have run out of time. (Do I hear you all give a gasp of relief?)
Here then is a “snapshot” of the process.
“OW!! OW, Ow, Ow OW!!! Cat, you sadist! Ouch!“….Whimper….. (That’s Cat at Sei Bella in Huntingdon – very highly recommended)
Was that worth the £25 (repeat in a month’s time)?