I am completely obsessed with eyebrows—mine and everyone else’s. It may have something to do with growing up with super thick brows during the Brooke Shields era when everyone (except for me) thought bushy eyebrows were beautiful. Throughout the years I’ve had my share of eyebrow mishaps, but today after nearly two years of religiously seeing the ‘Goddess’ who sculpts my once butchered eyebrows, I am finally growing out my bangs just to sport them openly. It’s no surprise that whenever I meet people (male or female) my eyes seem to zero in on their eyebrows. A few weeks ago, I interviewed a candidate who not only had the worst groomed eyebrows I have ever seen, but she also used them to communicate or underline just about every word that came out of her mouth. This woman’s brows were not only pencil thin; they were also crooked, jagged, over-exposed and quite frankly—overused! It was difficult for me to concentrate on anything but these conflictingly anemic yet feisty eyebrows. Nonetheless, I managed to focus on some of her softer facial features: her warm brown eyes, her pale but smooth skin, her upturned nose, and tiny puckered lips. The rest of her was somewhat appealing. Her suit was nice and well-tailored, nails were groomed, and her handbag and shoes looked expensive, though not exactly my taste (I didn’t hold that against her). So what was up with the scary-looking/acting eyebrows?
Why Sparse Eyebrows?
Years of continuous eyebrow waxing can eventually permanently damage hair follicles, so if you choose this method of brow shaping, be sure the shape is done right. Otherwise, you too can end up with straggly, wire-thin eyebrows that get lost in your face. There are disorders such as Trichotillomania where individuals suffer from hair loss due to compulsive hair pulling or twisting. I often see men on Metro North pulling or twisting their eyebrows (probably as a substitution for pulling or twisting something else). You may have also heard of Traction Alopecia, a hair loss condition caused by wearing tight buns, pony tails or a lifetime of corn rows and braids. I happen to know a young girl who suffers from Alopecia and she has lost the hair on her head as well as her eyelashes and eyebrows. Hair loss may also be a symptom associated with hypothyroidism. Somehow, I didn’t associate this woman’s dreadfully mismatched eyebrows with any of these disorders, primarily because she had a pretty lush head of hair.
Avoid Skimpy & Uneven Eyebrows
Finding your own eyebrow sculpting Goddess should become a priority if you don’t already have someone with a stand-in appointment every 3-4 weeks for reshaping (almost no tweezing in between). By the way, if you choose the waxing route be discerning about a person who uses wax specifically for eyebrow waxing like an Anastasia Brow Studio (www.sephora.com/anastasia) located inside a number of Sephora (www.sephora.com ) and some Nordstrom (www.nordstrom.com) stores across the country. Personally, the thought of having the same wax that was used on someone’s Brazilian bikini wax on my face makes my skin crawl with disgust. Of course, there are other methods of brow shaping such as threading and good old fashion tweezing. The point is not to get too carried away with picking and to get it done right on the first try. Otherwise, you’ll keep going thinner and thinner just to even them out. One of the reasons, I favor Anastasia Brow Studio is because they use and sell these stencils that help achieve expertly symmetrical eyebrows. I’ve often referred image clients to Dr. Jeffrey Epstein (www.eyebrowtransplantation.com/ ), a plastic surgeon who restores eyebrows through hair transplant. The results are gorgeous and they last a lifetime. This job candidate did not come to me for an image assessment so I wasn’t going to start volunteering unsolicited tips.
As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, it wasn’t just the way her eyebrows looked that was odd, it was also how she moved them around to underscore her verbal communication. What made her eyebrow gestures most unusual was that most of the time they contradicted the meaning and inflection of her spoken words. For instance, she kept crunching up her brows to the center of her face, and I couldn’t tell whether she was confused, angry, annoyed, or simply trying to concentrate on answering the question. Whatever it was, to me it was downright distracting and confusing. The fact is that some people in certain cultures talk with their hands and others speak with their brows. Both habits are deadly during an interview. If you are one of those people who speak with your brows, here are some of the things you are communicating:
• Flashing eyebrows: Sometimes used as an informal greeting, when used during conversation can be construed as flirtatious and inappropriate.
• Furrowed/raised eyebrows:: Can convey attentiveness and happiness, though you want to be careful not to look surprised, hypercritical, condescending, or insincere when done on a constant basis.
• One raised eyebrow:: Think of the quintessential villain in a movie who depicts wickedness. Furthermore, it portrays a sarcastic, jaded, judgmental, cocky, or suspicious nature.
• Downward eyebrow:: Renders a gloomy, depressed, melancholic, or negative disposition.
While the practical purpose of eyebrows is to keep moisture out of our eyes and act as a net that protects our eyes from environmental debris, aesthetically they should frame our facial features to perfection. Tamper with their symmetry, shape, size, and movement and you’re doomed. The goal should be to achieve the perfect blend of balance, definition, and character to ensure that the lasting impression you leave on someone (particularly an interviewer) is a positive one.