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. 

32 comments:

Young at Heart said...

I adore Ines...... that skin, those eyes...... you know I never really thought about eyebrows going grey....more to worry about!!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Yes, getting older has its challenges, but it's better than the alternative!

helen tilston said...

Ines is a beauty. That sounds like a good solution for thinning eyebrows
Thanks Tish
Helen

Spiral Style said...

I am very brow challenged. I tried Latisse which is for eyelashes but the plastic surgeon said would work for brows. No luck. Now using Minoxidil for women. No luck. Maybe I need to try the men's strength.
Meanwhile, I'm getting better all the time at penciling them in. Makes a Huge difference to have at least the appearance of brows.

Joni said...

That's genius! When the time comes, I will definitely give it a try.

P.S. I can't get enough of Ines; she's my girl crush too.

The enchanted home said...

How amazingly clever!! Ines is the picture of elegance and grace. This is good information indeed!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Beautiful picture of Ines! I have to darken in between hair color or they just wash out completely. It makes such a difference to pay attention to your brows as much as your hair...great post!

Liz said...

I recently discovered RapidLash serum. It's for eyelashes, but I'm using it on my brows, as well. It might be false hope, but I really think my eyebrows might be thickening...a bit...maybe? I'm one of those who has no eyebrows, not from overplucking, but just by the (un)luck of the Gene Gods. Every day, I fill in with a pencil and top with brow powder. Am hoping this works, if not I will try the minoxidil.

And isn't Ines just the most beautiful woman on the planet?

LuxeBytes said...

Spiral Strength: Yes, you need to use the men's 5% strength. I have read online that anything less will not work. Bonne chance!

Amities,
Marsi

Martha said...

Fascinating. I will try both suggestions. How did you select the color for your eyebrows -- same as a brow pencil?

Love the photo of Ines. She is my style icon, despite my being blonde and about 40 pounds heavier.

Kind regards,
Martha

Mary in TX said...

My secret brow color weapon is Just for Men, brush-in color gel for mustache & beard! It's made for facial use and only takes FIVE teeny minutes. Plus, each box contains a gazillion applications. I suppose the manufacturers thought that men would never sit for 30 minutes with goop on their faces or pay $$ for a one time use product. I have medium brown hair and use the light brown dye gel...have quit having my brows colored professionally. Now, on to the Rogaine - that's a brilliant idea and less costly than doesn't-work-so-well-for-me Latisse.

LuxeBytes said...

Martha, I chose a plain old dark brown hair color kit, which matches the base color of my hair. My brow pencil is actually several shades lighter than my brows.

Mary in TX, I am out the door to buy some Just for Men! That is BRILLIANT. I would imagine men's facial hair is similar to the coarser brow hairs we women of a certain age are blessed with. With that advice, I suppose we could change the title of this post to "Where the Boys Are."

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

My eyebrows............where did they go? They were so easy before, perfect shape, never any plucking even. Now they are the most intensepart of my make up routine. I am going to give your suggestions a try........this weekend! XO

That's Not My Age said...

My eyebrow hairs have got longer and crazier in my forties, I can no longer control them myself - I leave that to an expert eyebrow threader.

Ines is fabulous.

déjà pseu said...

My brows are so wispy now. Threading for more definition helps, but I'm really tempted to try the Rogaine...

Karena said...

A great tip I would never have thought of! My eyebrows are very thin!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

sisty said...

Great tips! I never would have thought of dyeing my brows at home. I have no experience with hair dye, though, so if I turn out looking like Groucho Marx, I won't blame any of you!

Marsi, are you still blogging at Luxebytes? Or do you have another blog? Luxebytes was one of my very favorite blogs.

kathy peck said...

I use Latisse on my eyebrows and it has helped, but now going to try the Rogaine. I get my tinted and waxed every 3 weeks. Such a pain in the neck, but whenever I leave the salon, I realize how important it is.
I too, use a pencil that is a few shades lighter than my hair - otherwise it looks fake.

kathy peck said...

Oh - and yes, I have a crush on Ines too. She even looks great carrying the idiotic Roger Vivier bag!

BigLittleWolf said...

How I miss the French pharmacies...

And yes, she is indeed a gorgeous woman!

Mary Timmers said...

Great tip! She is beautiful, but there is so much the rest of us can do to improve on our beauty.

webb said...

Wonderful tip, which I am going to try. About 10 years ago I had my eyebrows tattooed on. They look great for about three years, but they fade. Have had them re-done once already and they need it again. (It hurts! so I don't really want to do it again.) Will try Rogaine first. Thanks.

Cindy from Australia said...

Sounds great. On another matter though according to Fab over 50 today they are saying that one of the reasons that french women don't get fat is because they take Resveratrol. This may be a good question to discuss with the divine Christine when next you have a chance?

Pamela said...

Great information. I'm running out to buy Rogaine tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have had to resort to seriously coloring in my brows and it is the most time-consuming part of my beauty ritual. The most natural thing I have found is the Anasasia line that is a cake-like powder applied with a small stiff brush. Yes, very natural...but it's still a chore. I am hoping the Rogaine will work. Thanks for the great comments. Oh, and I, too, have a girl crush on Ines. She is stunning.

Jenna said...

oh yes! what a great tip commin from you, I love french woman so skinny.
added to my list thank you for sharing.

Carol said...

Clever, clever you. What a boon of a tip for those of us plagued with the ' skinny brow syndrome'

l'm also off to the supermarket..

Julienne said...

I actually had brows just like that...I still do except that you can't see them because they are grey and the only time I had them tinted I looked totally gross!!!!!!!

Lost in Provence said...

Let's not forget the quick fix of Benefit's Instabrow or whatever it is called--great consistency, good range of color (even for this redhead) and a nice brush on the end. Love it!

Alexandra P said...

Any tips for the hair? The actual strands of my hair are definitely thinning and I haven't tried anything as it is so expensive and I don're really know which one is worth giving a go?!

Lilly Forever! said...

Thank you so much for such an informative post! I am going to buy Rogaine and men's mustache color first thing in the morning! I am so excited. Thanks! Oh the joys of aging! www.OMGalmost50.blogspot.com

Dianne@Maids said...

This is an awesome post promise!
any other beauty tip for a 35 age woman?

Kai Buncle said...

The first time I laid my eyes on that girl, I was absolutely dazzed. For a second I thought she was my idol Penelope Cruz. She smiles just like her. Who is that girl? I like her eyebrows.

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