Just Browsing

The latest edict in the world of beauty is “Full Brows!” That’s  fairly laughable if you are among the many women over 50 struggling to hold onto their few remaining brow hairs. It was a shock the first time I looked in the mirror and realized that half my brows were missing! When had that happened and why hadn’t I noticed? I actually appreciated that after 50, I had lost the hair on my legs and underarms. But my brows?? Not so much! I, who had rarely needed to pluck and never used a brow pencil was now frantic to have brows again.


If eyes are the windows to the soul, then brows are the frames, providing emphasis and definition. (Unless you’re Tilda Swinton, maybe.) Think of Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Cindy Crawford or Brooke Shields. Their brows are a major feature and distinctive part of their beauty.

If, like me, you are brow challenged there is hope—lots of it. There are still pencils of course, but the beauty industry, ever creative, has come up with many easy options. My daily go-to is Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel, $22. An easy and quick flick and my brows suddenly reappear. And it comes in 7 shades. I use caramel. Just brush the brow hairs up in short strokes, going from inner to outer eye. It plumps up the hairs and even fills in gaps. Wait a moment for it to dry a bit, then brush with a brow brush or dry spoolie to even out color and eliminate any clumps.

For evenings out, give me Benefit’s gimme BROW. This brush on gel contains fibers that cling to skin and brows for buildable coverage. It’s water resistant, long lasting and available in two colors, light/medium or medium/deep. A brilliant product, but it would “benefit” from expanding its range of colors.

Another option is brow powder and Anastasia Powder Duo for $23 gives sheer to medium coverage. It comes in a teensy mirrored compact that includes two similar shades in 8 different color combos for more precise color blending. Using a small brush with an angled head,  brush it on in short, hair- like strokes. Use a spoolie for blending. If you have a lot of acreage to fill, this may be your pick.

Before - barely there

Before – barely there

I went to the Temple of Brows, an Anastasia salon at Nordstrom in Irvine, CA. There, Christine Gray showed me the finer points of applying the powder using a stencil. She then filled in the vacancies with a creamy, sharp pencil and voila! I was browsing. She pointed out that brows should start on a vertical line from outer nostril straight up. They should end at a diagonal point

from your nostril, through the outer corner of your eye. Since mine didn’t start or end where they should, she filled in that area, sketching the shape with the lighter powder shade and finishing with the darker. Treat yourself to a free session and see what a pro can do.

After - natural looking brows

After – natural looking brows

 Still a pencil loyalist? Give MAC’S Penultimate Brow Marker, $19.50  a look. The finely tapered point of this liquid marker allows for feathery strokes which quickly define and perfect brows. So quickly in fact, that you need to blend or make corrections before it dries to an un-smudgeable finish. It works just like a pencil but doesn’t smear and lasts all day.

I know that tattooing is a more permanent option. But rarely have I seen it look natural and in fact, know that bumps, infection, color change and other unattractive and unwanted side effects can result. Consider yourself warned!

There are several products out there for re-growth and I can personally recommend Revitabrow, $67.99 on Amazon. If used diligently, it does for brows what Latisse does for lashes. Since I have run out while in CA, I am giving Anastasia’s Advanced Brow Enchancing Serum a trial run as it is priced at a more reasonable $38. If you, dear followers, have tried anything with success worth crowing about, please share.


If I didn’t convince you earlier, check out the March 3 online edition of Women’s Health at http://www. Everydayhealth.com for the article “9 Amazing Reasons Women Should Lift Weights.”

Original artwork by Johanna Bohoy

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1 Response to Just Browsing

  1. Susan Feil says:

    Love it!

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