Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brows-ing the Pharmacy

I suppose a girl crush on Inès is a bit passé ...
but really ... hasn't she the 
best eyebrows? 

Ed. Note: Marsi is back today and I'm off to Paris. She's exploring one of our favorite subjects --  products (!)

If eyes are, as they say, the windows to the soul, then eyebrows are surely the curtains. Look at how beautifully Inès's brows frame her (admittedly gorgeous) face: the strong brow up top, slightly darkened lips below, and those pretty features in the middle. Perfection.

As my path has wended me further into my forties, my eyebrows -- of all things -- have become something of a challenge. As a whole, they're thinner. But individually, they're thicker. If I had to experience hair loss in my eyebrows (and I have), couldn't it have happened to those coarse, insanely wiry hairs that look right at home on, say, Donald Trump's face? You know what I'm taking about. It's most disturbing.

Anyway, whether it's from hormonal fluctuations, reactions to anesthesia or medications, thyroid conditions or other medical issues, or overzealous tweezing in our younger days, we often find ourselves with eyebrows lacking the lushness associated with youth. For me, the answer has been a little miracle called minoxidil.

I know: Rogaine. It's crazy.

A few drops of men's extra strength Rogaine (5% minoxidil, generic brands work just fine) on a cotton swab dabbed on my brows at bedtime has made a massive difference for me in only a few months.

I know: it's not FDA approved for use on the eyebrows.

I know: it might get in my eyes.

What else do I know? It worked perfectly for me. My brows look truly even for the first time since ... forever. A bald spot where I overtweezed years ago has filled in with new growth. My "tails" have thickened beyond their former wispy selves. And, I'm pleased to say, there have been no side effects or mishaps. I love it.

Here are a few more little tricks:
  • When those coarse, wiry strands poke through (and up and out and left and right and over), resist the urge to tweeze them. You will lose fullness to your brows. Instead, give them a close snip with cuticle scissors.
  • Darken your brows at home in between salon visits. It still stuns me to notice grey roots to my eyebrows -- and it happens so quickly! I freshen mine up about once a month with a few strokes of at-home hair coloring on an old, clean mascara wand. Just mix an equal proportion of color with toner, and apply carefully to avoid staining your skin. Because brow hair is thicker and more resistant to coloring than regular hair, you may need to leave the color on for 20 to 25 minutes. 

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