Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Brow Repair

Between plucking when younger and menopause fallout, what’s left of my eyebrows changed overnight from a dark blonde to blondish white. In other words, you can’t see them. My eyelids and forehead merged without warning and the result was not pretty. Hello, eyebrow pencil.

The biggest problem with painting on my eyebrows is sweat. Unlike women who beautifully glisten and glow with heat and exertion, my perspiration is more of a pressure hose pushing eyebrows and mascara in a wet, southerly route. If I’m lucky, the dark rivulets stop under my eyes, leaving uneven black spots. It’s rather shocking when I find them on my upper lip, chin, or chest.

Several years back after a vigorous time on the dance floor with friends at a local eatery, I headed to the ladies’ room. While washing my hands, I was horrified to find my exuberant gyrations to sounds of the ‘70s left my face fully pressure washed with no trace of residue, not even a hint of an eyebrow. Lip, chin, and chest check confirmed the truth…my face was the equivalent of nakey. Not one who has ever carried makeup, I searched through my purse and found a black ink pen which I was entirely prepared to use when someone bumped against my hip.

“Use this, honey.”

The husky voice and tiny stature belonged to a lady with brilliant blue hair cut short around her ears and teased on top. Other than that, she was purple and red. Purple eyeshadow, red cheeks, red lipstick, red nails, purple silk blouse, bejeweled belt, red slacks, and shoes. She pressed an inch and half long, much-used black eyeliner pencil into my hand.

“I always have it handy for when mine rub off. Go ahead, it’s okay.”

I thanked her and we chatted while I tried to ever so gently create brows with what went on like a dark grease pencil. Because of my abundant glisten and glow, I’d have to dab with tissue and make a little line, then dab again, and press harder. As the sweet Purple Lady instructed me on technique, my friend, Barb, walked in, stopped in her tracks, eyes wide, and said, “Whatcha doing there?”

She immediately fell in with Purple Lady and critiqued the squiggles and nothing-like-an-eyebrow shape I had achieved. Barb dug through her tiny shoulder purse and offered her brown eyeliner pencil to go better with my hair color. When we tried to remove the grease pencil, however, it smeared and broadened so I now had a cross between thick Groucho Marx brows and Bert of Sesame Street’s unibrow. Water didn’t help and neither did the horrible pink soap from the dispenser. Barb and Purple Lady were showing mild panic when another woman walked in, took one look at us, and said, “I’ll be right back.”

She returned with a luggage-sized turquoise handbag and pulled out a package.

“Makeup removers.”

She pressed them into Barb’s hand and went into a stall, returning after her hand-washing. All three set to work on my eyebrow dilemma.

By the time I had something akin to eyebrows to separate my forehead from my eyes we’d talked about makeup, men, kids, politics, religion, and recipes. Purple Lady’s name was Annette; she had moved here from Michigan, and this was her third husband. Carrie, aka Makeup Remover Wipe Lady, worked part-time at Sephora, recently remarried, attended a non-denominational church, and was out celebrating her son’s twenty-third birthday. Barb and I chimed in with a few of our own details to round it out.

Thanks to these helpful and resourceful ladies, I walked out of that bathroom with my shoulders back and head held high sporting my new brows, feeling good but determined not to dance or sweat the rest of the evening!

Though I do pack my own eyebrow repair kit now, I may never actually use it. The teamwork and camaraderie of chance-met women pitching in on an eyebrow repair mission is far too wonderful to forgo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *