Of all my many addictions, lightening my eyebrows at home alone totally is the worst one.
Publish date:
June 2, 2011
hair, eyebrows, drugs, DIY, dumb moves, i'm pretty sure i'm not supposed to be doing this, lunacy

Welcome to the first installment of IPSINSTBDT, the hideously acronymed beauty column in which I massively butcher my appearance in some bizarro way, photograph myself doing it on my terrible laptop's Photo Booth, and then put it on the internet!

(I don't have any future posts PLANNED, per say, that fit the above description, but believe me -- they WILL happen. Basically all you have to do is leave me alone in my apartment with beauty products for over three hours unattended. Or put me into a nightlife situation, and just add champagne.)

You see, I'm Pretty Sure I'm Not Supposed To Be Doing This is more than a beauty concept, it's a way of life! Every time I have unprotected sex with some similarly slutty New York City DJ or graffiti writer: I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be doing this! Every time in the past that I got loose and tried a hugely terrifying and potentially-lethal drug I've never tried before (don't worry; there's only one left -- meth -- and I would never go there because I'm so vain): I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be doing this! Every time I go on the internet and talk about having unprotected sex and how the only drug left that I haven't done is meth and that I'd never use meth only because I'm so into my physical appearance: I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be doing this!

But alas, I always have to do it anyway.

And so it went over the long weekend, with all of my friends in the Hamptons except me (I am weirdly lazy about getting it together when it comes to doing anything remotely glamorous or getaway-ish, always preferring to slum it here in the city). I was cleaning out my kitchen cupboards, where I keep my beauty products, because I don't keep food in the house and I only have two bowls and two plates and some glasses. (Alternately, I have approximately 6000 beauty products.)

That's where I found THIS! It's a substance more potent than GHB, with a vial full of white powder that's more maddening addictive than any of the other white or off-white powders I've ever abused. That's right:

JOLEN CREAM BLEACH! My heart and sank and soared at the same time. Yup, that little spatula thing might as well be a big ol' dirty syringe, because for this product I am a most particularly vile junky.

You see, I used to have a little addiction to being crazily-blonde in such a way that I authentically am not. I was born with dark hair. DARK, REALLY, hair. I started going blonde at 15 -- full, platinum, Courtney-Love-at-the-time blonde -- when I was sent to boarding school in Massachusetts with an "emergency" credit card.

Obviously my first emergency occurred to me within mere weeks: there I was, no longer Caitlin but "CAT" (YES, I CORNILY REINVENTED MYSELF WITH A VAGUELY SLUTTY NICKNAME; JUST STAB ME IN THE EYE, OKAY?!) and CAT was going to be blonde! Because CAITLIN had been expressly forbidden from being anything other than completely au naturel back home with Dictator Dr. Dad in D.C.!

So I went into Boston and blew $200 at the swankiest salon I could, I guess, walk into straight off of Newbury Street on an autumn weekend, which in retrospect was clearly not a very swanky salon at all. I was BLONDE. White blonde. Really cute, actually; I've always been an eyeliner fiend, and I was all prep school in little skirts and things. It looked good!

But immediately my eyebrows didn't match. Already hugely in tune with vapid yet deeply intuitive feelings about how people should and should not look in such a way that is required of all outstanding future beauty editors, this was a "SACREBLEU!" (as Dimitri from Paris would say) (stab me in the eye again) moment for for shallow, self-absorbed young me.

Enter Jolen. I bought it at the grocery store in "downtown" Groton and that, friends, was my first time. But definitely not my last. Let me explain why it's so conflicting.

Dude, I LOVE Jolen Cream Bleach. But I hate it. But I love it! And despite having had the most amazing eyebrow person in the world -- Maral Bailan at Warren-Tricomi at the Plaza here in Manhattan, whom I've gone to once a month for 5 years; more on her in another article -- anyway, despite having MARAL personally in charge of my eyebrows, I still take it upon myself to bleach them all to hell.

Here's the thing: lightening your brows can look really good, and it can make your whole face look prettier and different in it's way, so I am actually sort of endorsing Jolen or lighter hair dyes painted on brows with a Q-tip (THOUGH I'M NOT OFFICIALLY ADVISING YOU TO DO IT; HA HA HA; BECAUSE OBVS THAT STUFF WILL DRIP INTO YOUR EYE AND BLIND YOU) (it probably won't; this only happens to weirdos). BUT.

It only lasts so long. Because eyebrows grow roots, and let me tell you what's completely disgusting? ROOT-Y EYEBROWS. And the only solution for them is to walk-of-shame it over to the Plaza, past the Eloise painting in the lobby, and very sheepishly show the whole mess to the woman who has been not only your eyebrow stylist and eyebrow colorist and makeup artist but your spiritual guru. Yes, my spiritual guru also does my eyebrows (I mean, I'm not THAT spiritual, so it works).

Anyway, Maral never shames me, she just dyes them back to brown and cleans them up, which they're usually drastically due for anyway. One reason I love lightening my brows is that it makes all the messiness much less noticeable on my face (again: until about a week later, when the roots start to come in) (SHUDDER).

The big debate here is over which color brows should be worn with fake blonde hair. The answer: both work. Like look at this picture from three weeks ago, when I had a darker base (and some roots -- but the whole look was a much more natural blonde thing), and good-looking dark brows (both tinted and shaped by Maral: I'm telling you she's genius):

Sorry about the creepy leg; it's not meant to be sexy. Unless you're into brow porn. Good, right?

Then, I went exceptionally blonde last week at the talented hands of wonderful Raisa at Bumble and Bumble uptown. I thus felt justified in bleaching my brows after all this time -- at least a year of abstinence from Jolen. Anyhow, here's a kind of bad picture of how they looked afterwards. I didn't mix it too potently and I only let it stay on five minutes -- so they look okay. I look pretty sad though. I had just Jolen relapsed alone in my apartment, after all:

Which look do you like better? Granted the hair styling and makeup could be, uh, much improved upon in both. (Fine; I am always this messy looking!)

Okay, now tell me your adventures in eyebrow bleaching and styling and dying and butchering and all that. I know you have them.