I’m Still Paying The Price For What I Did To My Eyebrows As A Teenager

Over the last decade, I’ve had to perfect a brow-improvement regimen that can be adjusted to fit any schedule, sleep cycle, and laziness level.
Publish date:
March 11, 2013
eyebrows, the body shop, K-Palette, sleek makeup

I forever lost a portion of my eyebrow when I was 17, and not in a cool-scar-story way. My right eyebrow had a little dent, for lack of a better word, and it bothered me, so I decided to balance it out. With a razor.

While I somehow managed to avoid a bloodbath that day, I had to start parting my hair in the opposite direction to mask my half-bald brow, which, to this day, has never completely grown back.

Almost a decade has passed, and I've come to accept my asymmetrical fate--in private. In public, I still prefer to put my best brows forward. To achieve this, I use three different products--not all at once, though. Which one I use depends on how sleepy and late I am in the morning.

LEVEL 1: 3 hours of sleep, 20 minutes late

One of the ways I manage to not to look like death ran-over twice when I’ve gotten barely any sleep is with my trusty Bodyshop Brow & Lash Gel. One tube lasts forever, and it really helps get your brow hairs to go where you want them and stay there without getting flaky. It’s clear, so it works for every hair and skin color, but I’ve found that frequent use can turn the gel in the tube the color of your foundation. I wash the brush from time to time to keep it clean.

LEVEL 2: 5 hours of sleep, 10 minutes late

When I have to face people other than my colleagues who are used to seeing me in sweats, I’ll up my game and add a little color to my brows. I use my favorite product out of Korea (after kimchi), K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyebrow Pencil Waterproof. This felt-tip eyebrow pencil, which comes in a variety of shades, is so light that the gentlest little strokes make it look like your eyebrows are nice and thick, keeping you in control so you don’t go into Priscilla, Queen of the Desert territory—or even Priscilla Presley, Queen of 1967 territory, for that matter. (Not that she didn’t look amazing, but you may not be into the two-emboldened-commas look for your day to day.)

LEVEL 3: 7 hours of sleep, plenty of time to spare

On the rare occasion that I’m truly rested and not in a rush, I like to go all out, even if my landlord is the only person who’s going to look at me that day. I dig out my Sleek MakeUP Brow Kit, which easily gets buried under my other makeup due to how infrequently I get to use it and how compact it is. I use the shaping wax first to both fill in the sparse parts of my brows and hold them in place before finishing with the setting powder, which is just a tiny bit lighter than the wax (this is true of any of the shades available). An itty-bitty tweezer comes in the kit, too, for those of you who can actually spare eyebrow hair, unlike me.


I live in Singapore, where we have over a dozen of locations of Browhaus, one of the best eyebrow joints in the world. Although it’s not as conveniently dispersed in the US, there is a Browhaus in New York City, and it's worth the trip. (Yep, even the airfare.) On top of the usual threading and tweezing, they provide a service called Brow Resurrection, which is more or less the Hair Club For Men for your brows.

Brow Resurrection is a patented eyebrow embroidery technique that involves scuffing the surface of the skin with tiny stainless steel pins (most people say it doesn't hurt), crafting realistic strands, and filling in your brows with gentle vegetable dyes that blend right in with your natural brow color.

I haven’t done it yet, but I’ve been told my brows are lopsided (I don’t notice it, so maybe my eyes are lopsided too). Should this be my next move in my mission to correct the brow mistakes of my youth? (If you say yes, you know I’ll write about the experience!)

So, am I the only one who accidentally gave herself Vanilla Ice eyebrows? What are your top product picks for covering up brow mistakes? Have you gone to a professional about it?