“I started plucking because I had my father’s eyebrows, which means they were big, bushy, and weird,” recalls Mary-Katherine a.k.a. M.K., a 27-year-old Washington, D.C. transplant, originally from Aurora, Ill.
Photo Credit: Erin Robertson
She first started plucking her eyebrows at just 12-years-old.
“When (I was) growing up everyone had thin and pristine eye brows, very feminine and dainty. And mine were like these huge Walter Cronkite eyebrows, so I tried to pluck them to look like my mother’s,” M.K. says.
She remembers plucking her brows extremely thin, so they would resemble her mother’s, reminiscent of Edith Pilaf‘s brows, en vogue in the 1930s.
“I’d plucked them until they looked like that and (it was) horrible for my face, cause that’s not how my face should look, so I’ve learned to embrace the brow,” says Mary-Katherine.
M.K. began to get serious about caring for her brows when she was 25-years-old and in graduate school.
While her eyebrows have considerably thinned since her over-plucked preteen days, their pleasant shape prompted Mary-Katherine to try her hand at D.I.Y. waxing.
She uses Bliss Poetic Wax kit, a name that appeals to her writer’s sensibility.
The kit doesn’t involve strips and it comes with brushes in three different sizes, a preclean, and an oil, which protects the skin from tearing. Using the smallest brush, she applies the easy-to-see blue wax between her brows and above and below her arches. Mary-Katherine says the ripping off like a Band-Aid part of the waxing process is relatively painless.
M.K. loves the product because it doesn’t upset her super sensitive skin. She does experience slight redness, but it dissipates after only a couple of hours.
Although the kit’s instructions recommend waxing every six weeks, Mary-Katherine gauges when it’s time to do some brow maintenance when she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror illuminated by sunlight. She says natural light is best for spotting newly grown in hairs.
“My body tells me when it needs to be done,” she says.
M.K. only resorts to using her generic tweezers, purchased at Target, on her brows when she notices an unsightly, dark hair that, “drives her nuts.”
After her first threading experience brought her to tears, she vowed she’d never try that technique again, although it’s the preferred method of her roommate.
Before heading out the door, Mary-Katherine uses a brow shaping kit like Brow Zings in “Dark” by Benefit. M.K. fills in her eyebrows with powder and secures stray hairs with wax.
Since her brows are light and reddish, M.K. says she encounters a slight challenge selecting the ideal eyebrow tint.
“If you go online at Sephora, for example, there are products available for people who have black hair, people who have blonde hair, and brown hair, but there aren’t a ton of options if you don’t neatly fall into one of those categories. You have to make your eyebrows look like they’re like everybody else’s,” she points out.
Mary-Katherine says her favorite thing about her eyebrows are the way they frame her heart-shaped face.
“Some women won’t leave the house without lip-gloss, others won’t leave the house without mascara. I can leave the house without all of those things, but the one thing that I do is my eyebrows. That’s the one thing that puts me together and makes me feel put together,” she says.
M.K. doesn’t believe that there is an ideal eyebrow shape or type. Just like Walter Cronkite’s ferocious frons helped define his on-air persona, she says you have to develop your personal style by finding an eyebrow shape that complements your face and makes you feel good.
With that philosophy in mind, Mary-Katherine doesn’t admire any celebrity idols, in particular, for their eyebrows; however, she’s a fan of Vogue‘s June 2013 issue spotlighting model, Kate Upton whose pronounced brows, evocative of a budding Brooke Shields, captured her eye.
Photo Credit: styledarlingonline.wordpress.com
“It was cool to see (Kate Upton) on the cover. She’s like this goddess and they gave her these thicker eyebrows, which are traditionally considered more masculine. And so, I like that they did that because they’re showing that you can still be attractive and have thick, bushy eyebrows like I used to. I wish I had that growing up,” Mary-Katherine says.