Ever since I was a teen girl I was bothered by my eyebrows.
Back in the 80s, there was a soap opera star who sported thick eyebrows and started a trend. Her name is Eileen Davidson and she played Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless. Although she is quite stunning in her own way, I wasn’t a fan of these bushy eyebrows and rejected that look for myself no matter what anyone said about famous people.
My aunt recommended I pluck my eyebrows. I think my mom plucked hers, too, but she always advised that ‘once you start, you can never stop’. (Well, it turns out after years of plucking, certain parts did not grow back, or grew back much less prominently, so I don’t understand that statement.)
Anyway, point is, I wanted to pluck or get them shaped at a spa, but I was afraid the wax will hurt and I didn’t want to suffer pain. (I was maybe 15 at the time.)
I also didn’t have any extra money. Not at 15 and not later as a young adult; with a huge student loan hanging over my head I had more pressing concerns than shaped eyebrows. I never asked my parents to pay for it; they didn’t have extra cash to give to us kids for such frivolous activities either.
I took this mentality about frivolity, vanity and frugality with me through most of my adulthood but simultaneously continued to hate my eyebrows. I plucked them, but I never quite liked the end result. It’s not like I was a professional, and there were no YouTube lessons available at that time.
Finally, many years after becoming a mom, I found a little salon walking distance from the house I no longer live in who offered facial spa services in addition to haircuts and colour. The beautician, Eva, was knowledgeable, professional, kind and very, very good at her job. She also didn’t charge excessively; with a bit of birthday money and some conscious budgeting, I was able to treat myself to the eyebrow wax and salon-style hair cuts every so often.
It felt luxurious for someone like me who grew up with a very frugal mentality.
The first time I went for an eyebrow waxing I was so nervous. And yes, that first time wax was quite painful. What was not painful was how much I liked my new look.
Eva shaped my brows in such a way that I happily forked over the $10-$14 for the treatment. It’s not like I had a daily Starbucks habit sucking my coins out of my pocket, so off I went to my appointments every five or six weeks.
Up until I found Eva, I plucked my own eyebrows in an attempt to get a more polished look. I got better at it over time, but Eva obviously did a much better job, not to mention managed to make my brows symmetrical, something I was incapable of achieving for some reason. I watched her closely and learned how to maintain my own brows without screwing them up in the process.
In the meantime, I continue to age like we all do, and my face continues to intrigue me with its changes during the aging process. I embraced most of it as the natural course of action.
But, sometimes I can’t help myself and pick at some perceived flaw. Especially when I go through periods of selfie-taking for this blog or instagram… (sigh)
Side note: Ashley, maybe you can write a post called “Selfie-taking: Is it vanity or is it a mental health issue related to depression?” (I’m only half kidding…) 😉
But back to the beauty regime:
Over the years, I made a lot of improvements in terms of my skin care; for instance, I ditched all the semi-expensive creams and lotions and use only undoctored Shea butter on my face now. I love how it nourishes my skin without additives or chemicals, and soaks deep into all the epidermal layers overnight while I sleep. Contrary to coconut oil, which I sometimes use to condition my bleached blond hair streaks, Shea butter does not feel greasy on my skin.
I saved money and time by not having to look for multiple products.
My skin is far from perfect, but it looks, and feels, so much better now than it did, say, ten years ago. Whole food diet, no smoking or alcohol abuse, adequate sleep and copious amounts of water intake are all helpful in keeping aging skin healthy.
I also switched my make-up products to the more naturally sources, non-animal tested (I research this), and use it sparingly. I do like make-up better now than I did when I was younger, but I’m a less-is-more kinda gal. I will go bolder when I dress up to go out or attend festivities, but for the every day look I just use some eyeliner, mascara and some liquid or powder make-up to even out skin tone.
(The lipstick thing is a non-issue as we are all still mandated to wear masks indoors almost every establishment here in Ontario.)
But back to the eyebrows.
One day well into my late 40s, I asked Eva what she can recommend to hide some irksome wrinkles between my brows. Was there a type of make-up I could use that would minimize this self-perceived flaw that had bothered me for as long as I had been plucking my own eyebrows? That’s a lot of years of constant zooming in on that one point in my face. The wrinkles resembled a scar (I don’t even know if it is a scar, or if it is, how I got it) and I became increasingly self-conscious about it as I aged.
In fact, this scar/wrinkle was, at one time, the reason I desired bangs. (Never ever will I ever return to bangs ever again thank you very much – ever.) 😛
Eva had me lie back on her table and inspected my upper face under a bright light with a magnifying mirror.
Then, she said one word:
To be continued... click here for part 2