My Eyebrows Got a Princess Makeover

A before and after story of hairy proportions


It should be known I am not a beauty person. All of my makeup can be found in the free sample page of a magazine and it takes me about 10 minutes to go from bed to the door in the morning. This is not because I am a natural, glowing beauty, but rather, because I am a natural, lazy slob. I have, more than once, looked into tattooing makeup onto my face, simply to eliminate those existing 10 minutes.

It is a combination of this laziness and pure fear that has stopped me from ever really touching my eyebrows. They are light brown and kind of vanish as they extend towards the outer edges of my face, like a child drew them on and forgot to color in the ends. They are weird — and definitely not trendy in this current age of the thick, assertive brow — but I am painfully aware of the negative effect altering eyebrows can have on one’s face. I spent 7th grade looking like a scared 1920s silent film star and have been wary of doing anything to my brows since.

That is, until I found out someone could take care of them for me. Writer Kelly Oxford spread the good word by instagramming her own brow situation. She was growing hers out for an appointment with LA brow aesthetician Kristie Streicher, who demands at least four weeks of growth for her feathered, Blue Lagoon Brooke Shields look. If Oxford could do it, so could I, so I took my own impressive 10+ years of growth to my local Benefit Brow Bar ($38.00 for a wax and tint as opposed to Streicher’s $100).

After I showed up a prompt 15 minutes late to my appointment, an esthetician named Maria peered at my brows then concocted a natural-colored dye with some sort of modern, intimidating mortar and pestle. She put the mixture on my face and we chatted as it dried. Afterwards, she meticulously waxed a shape into my sad little brows, like Michelangelo chipping away at the David. Within a few minutes, the whole thing was over.

You know that scene in The Princess Diaries when they spin Anne Hathaway around after her princess makeover and she’s suddenly actress Anne Hathaway instead of “nerd” Anne Hathaway with facial caterpillars and a perm? Well, when Maria handed me a mirror, my transformation was 1,000 times better than that. Fellow customers cheered and threw lipstick samples up in the air like confetti. A Prince song played. Maria had magically conjured new, larger eyebrows on to my face like they were made of Chia Pet fur, and I, the terra-cotta pot.

The experience was relatively painless, cost effective and easy. The best part by far is how well my new brows fit into my lazy, no makeup lifestyle. It turns out that manicured brows make you look way more put together and fashionable. I’m getting a weird amount of compliments on clothing I’ve worn dozens of times before, and despite (hopefully?) not being pregnant, I have been told on multiple occasions that I’m “glowing.”

Along with two new brows, the experience gave me confidence. I’d felt weird about my patchy situation since adolescence. Now, with the raise of a brow, I could rule Genovia.

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait, 1938 via Eyebrows via PhotoShop Web.


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  • BK

    How good is brow dye, it should be knighted

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  • You look great! I’m thankfully blonde, so my lack of eyebrow care isn’t too obvious because I suck at all things brow.

  • Allie Fasanella

    i have an eyebrow theory that whenever your eyebrows are patchy, your life is going to shit and when your eye brows are on point, shit is going really well for you. anyway, you look fly af margaret.

    • fcas

      so trueee

  • MP

    Question: what happens apart from the makeup? Do they just pluck around it? Your eyebrows look amazing especially post-shower.

    • Margaret

      Honestly it’s some kind of witchcraft. They dye the brows as they are, then wax, then use this little brow mascara called gimme brow that sort of makes them more solid and then voila (the illusion of) full hair appears

  • Lua Jane

    I have been dying my eyebrows for years now, and can atest to it being a super effective way to not wake up looking like a puffy shapeless dough ball with a tuft of hair. I am also sort of a brow freak, so while applying my morning make up I apply a coat of dark brown brow gel to give them a bit more dimension and shape. i have naturally pretty thick caterpillars, but they aren’t as black as I’d want them to be so coloring and make up helps. I can go out without mascara, and I do on weekend mornings and while running errands, but not with bad brows. They literally provide the frame for eyes and give us the “face”.

  • Regina Papp

    Eyebrows on point! Sadly I suck at all things connected to my eybrows…

  • zay

    I have FULL eye brows with a capital F which been a source of embarrassment for me since i was a child. Now that its in fashion i gotta say i’m a little peeved, something which I have learned to love has suddenly been stolen from me. Give it back! 🙂