I have wanted to address this for a while, but the wound was still too fresh. I texted one of my friends and said, “What should I blog about right now?” and she said,
“When ULTA did your eyebrows.”
In the Berkshires, we recently acquired an ULTA in my area. Once it opened you could hear women collectively sigh with contentment. There has never been a beauty store remotely near me in my adult life, so ULTA has been an absolute treat. Also super exciting about this: they have a Benefit Brow Bar. So my friend Veronica and I decided to have an post-work treat-yo-self and head to ULTA. After I had a Kind bar to stave off my hanger, we were on the road to pampering.
Once we arrived at ULTA we both agreed that the Benefit Brow Bar was going to be our splurge. There were so many gorgeous pictures of all the thick, full perfectly arched brows surrounding it. A brow arch was $23 but as one of the employees told us,
“Oh, it’s so wonderful. They know exactly how to make them perfect for your face, it will change your life.”
Oh, it changed my life for sure. Veronica was up first, they did some measuring for where the arch should be, yada yada yada, she got waxed and they looked nice. She has blonde hair and very light brows, so they added some brow powder to define them. I was up next! I pride myself on my dark full brow, after years of being a tween that plucked them into a razor thin line meticulously. I was so afraid of a unibrow I gave myself a the barely-there-brow. I rarely get my brows done out of pure laziness, but I maintain them myself pretty well. After all the internet and YouTube exist.
So I got in the chair, she took the same measurements, showed me where my arch should be, where they should start and end and I was excited to get my BEST BROWS EVER. And things started off okay. She put the warm wax on and got to waxing. But then she just kept waxing. And then I noticed her furrowed brows and worrisome expression. I told myself,
“It’s ok Ess, you are just panicking. You always panic about your hair and eyebrows are hair, so yeah, that’s a thing. Everything is fine.”
She waxed some more and then grabbed a pair of tweezers and began plucking. I figured this was just some fine tuning, some REAL attention to detail. I could understand that – she really wanted my brows to be perfect. A minute or so later she cleaned them off, put some soothing gel on them and grabbed a mirror.
Beyond the bright redness of my tender, swollen skin, there was something amiss. I held in a gasp. And maybe even tears.
“They look great, thanks!” I said as I got up, ever the passive client. I went to pay at the counter, all the while silent, and we left. As soon as we got outside I started staring at my reflection in the glass windows,
“Uh, V. Do these look even?”
Now in the harsh light of day, I could see my uneven, ever so thin brows. I flashed back to 15-year-old me secretly drinking kahlua and milk at a friend’s house while meticulously over plucking my poor, tattered brows. Veronica tried to assuage my rising panic, and after glancing at myself several more times in the glass, we went home.
It wasn’t until the next day I truly realized what had happened. It was then I sent the following pictures to one of my friends (WARNING: DISTURBING UNSYMMETRICAL EYEBROW IMAGERY), with the question, “ARE MY EYEBROWS EVEN?”
Why did they not line up? Whey were they not the same shape? Why was there an entire VALLEY Between the two of them? Why were they so, so THIN? Unfortunately for me I have the type of friends that reply,
“OMG NO LOLOLOLOL”
I proceeded to send her at least 4-5 selfies trying to convince her (read: myself) that they weren’t so bad, that maybe it was just the angle of the picture. Maybe it was my make-up that day. Her response,
“Yeah, just keep that one eyebrow raised the whole time, you’re fine.”
It was true. If I furrowed my brows deeply or raised them high – they were some semblance of even. So I either had to maintain a very irritated or shocked look. For the next few weeks. When I got home that day, I attacked my thin little face-framers with a brow pencil and tweezers to at least try to make them the same shape and height. I achieved it with lots, and lots of brow pencil. For days I couldn’t walk past any sort of reflective surface without choking up.
It’s been 3 months now. They’ve finally grown in. In fact, there was a point where they had grown in so much it was TOO much, but I had been so afraid to even touch them for so long that it was welcome to see those furry caterpillars taking over my face. This is only my experience. Maybe other Benefit Brow Bars are amazing and life changing (in a positive way), but I can say that my professional brow arching days are definitively over.