We Know Maths, Medicine AND Brows!

LOLsienna.JPG

Like all lal-blooded desi girls, I’m mildly obsessed with eyebrows.

Like all lal-blooded GIRLS, I’m mildly obsessed with celeb gossip.

Occasionally, the two, they meet.

It is possible that many of you saw photographs of Sienna Miller on the red carpet (there she is! on the right!), doing her damnedest to bring dark and furry back. Well, ABC News was inspired by her “caterpillars”; they have an entire article about what brows signify and the expert whom they quote is none other than Vaishaly Patel, “London’s eyebrow shaper to the stars”.

Vaishaly’s opinion on Sienna’s dark statement?

“Personally I think they look hideous…When you’ve got blond hair the number one rule is not to have black eyebrows. I think they’re a lovely shape but just on the wrong person.”
So, there is a right person.

Take heart, my brown sisters– YOU are that right person!

Bushy is back as far as eyebrows are concerned. So, poor Sienna was just trying to follow fashion. It’s just that not every fashion suits everyone.

Ah, for once, we (and by we, I mean you) win.

For this apparently lowbrow issue, there’s some highbrow analysis. Eyebrows tell a story of cultures, eras and politics. For example, in Iran “un-groomed” is a sign of virginity. The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo sported a unibrow. It became her signature, an expression of independence and feminist strength.

No comment on what brows meant to Bert, and that’s unfortunate.

There is plenty of history-lite, however, including an exploration of whether certain decades inspired severe arches or fierce tufts. Here’s a summary:

-1940s-50s: Eyebrows are shaved off completely, lest a girl seem “masculine”. Owwww.

-1960s: Girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they’re girls, who do girls like they’re boys– always should be someone you reeeeally love. Free love = furriness.

-1980s: Yuppies are mean and therefore, women over-tweeze. The end.

-Today: Sensitive and enlightened are we. Pluck we do not.

There’s a backlash against the over-plucked brow, according to Jaimineey Patel, manager of a Blink Eyebrow Bar in London. Patel and a phalanx of eyebrow “threaders” are in the trenches, persuading clients to grow back their brows before they gently shape them with twisted thread held between their teeth.
We always do a thorough consultation,” explained Patel. “We ask them what they want out of their eyebrows.” What can you want from an eyebrow? More than function, apparently. More than a sponge effect to keep sweat out of your eyes.

We want to be as pretty as can be, DUH.

Apparently they frame your face. “To be honest,” confided Patel. “A lot of clients feel they’ve had a facelift because it opens your eyes out.”

I don’t know about a facelift, but I saw someone get their brows done for the first time this weekend, and suddenly, I was aware of the rare color of their irises AND their ridonkulous lashes. Yowza. Best $25 they ever spent, yindeed.

Eyebrows are the new window on the soul. So be careful Sienna, those caterpillars may reveal more than you want us to know.

New?! Not. Desis have known that truth all along. As for Sienna’s caterpillars, like Madonna and Gwen before her, the girl just wants to be down with the brown, obviously.

70 thoughts on “We Know Maths, Medicine AND Brows!

  1. $25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! am i the only one perplexed by this?? did she get it threaded with 24kt gold string?

    Honey, that is the rising cost of perfectly shaped, cleaned up eyebrows.

    J/k, it’s not even that expensive in the Bay, but maybe it depends on how shi-shi the place you go to is, yes?

    Wow, I thought that was a picture of Tanya Harding at first.

    That is such a remarkable description (and so true).

    portmanteau, thanks for the giggle :)

  2. Rahul, I’m pretty sure that threading is older (as a tradition), but also, it is faster and — when done well — does a great job of defining shape. Tweezing sometimes takes a while to sort it all out.

    Also, I could not open the picture you linked to =/

  3. Any Auntie can thread your brows from their home for 5 – 10 bucks.

    No need to spend 25 just for Zen-style fanczy shmancy decor in a “spa”.

  4. Thanks, it worked this time, but now I’m not so sure I wanted to see it =/

  5. Any Auntie can thread your brows from their home for 5 – 10 bucks.
    No need to spend 25 just for Zen-style fanczy shmancy decor in a “spa”.

    Wait, why does it bother people if she spent $25 on their brows? That IS the going rate for the last three salons I called…and that was for WAXING. As for New York, look at this.

    Why don’t you judge me, next. I don’t want an Auntie touching my eyebrows, I don’t like threading and I prefer a cleaner/more relaxing/special experience. If people wish to get their hair removed in the grimiest part of Jackson Heights, good for them, but I enjoy going to this place I found in Allure’s directory. That is what I am comfortable with…so who are any of us to judge what someone else’s comfort zone should be? And when did it become a bad thing to treat ourselves to something nice and “zen-like”?

  6. I’m telling you eyebrows are ancillary. Dudes rarely notice them. It’s the eskimo boots I tell ya, the eskimo boots!

  7. Dudes rarely notice them.

    which means all that tweezing worked aint it? look at a picture of Frida Kahlo and you’ll rarely not notice it. but i concur on the eskimo boots.

  8. I’m telling you eyebrows are ancillary. Dudes rarely notice them.

    See someone with a uni-brow and tell me you didn’t notice.

  9. Why don’t you judge me, next. I don’t want an Auntie touching my eyebrows, I don’t like threading and I prefer a cleaner/more relaxing/special experience.

    well i’m sure whoever is doing your brows is an “Auntie” as well to someone … maybe just not you … this post is mainly about threading … and that price for threading is a bit ludicrous

    If people wish to get their hair removed in the grimiest part of Jackson Heights, good for them, but I enjoy going to this place I found in Allure’s directory.

    stereotype, much?

  10. this post is mainly about threading … and that price for threading is a bit ludicrous

    Oh, my. Some clarifying is in order: I just wanted to put up another eyebrow post, since that image of Sienna Miller has haunted me ever since I first saw it AND there were TWO desi women quoted in the news article (go us!). I didn’t mean for it to only or mainly be about threading. :) I just look for and celebrate ANY excuse to post beauty-related blogginess on SM. :D

    I don’t know what threading costs in DC, especially since my friend didn’t get that done to her uber-sensitive skin. She got some really neat cream-wax thing that apparently didn’t hurt or irritate her skin. I support her decision to go somewhere nice, just like I support anyone else’s decision to go somewhere ridiculously inexpensive. I’m all about the deal. Or pampering yourself. Or both. You know what I mean.

  11. In fact, it looks really nice to see a man with long, dark, thick but nicely shaped brows. It really frames the face

    Forgot to add– ITA with this. ;) Who wants to date Bert? Not even Ernie, I wager. :D

  12. This does not go as far as personal hygiene, but still, I think it has to be a two way street. Thoughts?

    fukijama – what do you mean by this?

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an after-funeral party to attend.

    i hope the eugoogly was really really good. rani, i paid $18 in boston and thought it was expensive – but way worth it if you find the right person to get the shape right. a lot of the aunties doa pretty good job, but sometimes it’s lopsided, or the arch is funny etc. i was glad i paid it the one time because ever since then, i’ve maintained it (for the most part) on my own or with cheap threadings.

    re spas etc – i like them for other things – manicures, pedicures, facials etc – where they take time and it makes sense (to me) to be in a relaxing atmosphere. but eye-brow grooming seems to straight-forward, all i want to do is get it done within 10 minutes.

  13. You mean mukluks??

    Anna, so you’re saying have super-thin brows and eskimo boots? I’d swoon if there wasn’t a double standard against men swooning.

  14. I don’t know what threading costs in DC

    About $6 to the few places I’ve tried. I pay dearly though, in unnecessary chitchat (“are you married? do you have a boyfriend? what do you do for a living? you should come here more often…”) I got the full face treatment (and left with my pride intact!) in Chicago for $22. Highly satisfying, not to mention highly necessary.

  15. I got the full face treatment (and left with my pride intact!)

    See, I agree with my friend about $25 being worth the absolute lack of prying/judgment. That’s not to say that I’m anti-Auntie, but I do understand not wanting to put up with the tenacious interrogation one might experience, especially wrt one’s love life/career.

    I also got emails from men, who said that they paid similarly at “non-brown” establishments because their eyebrows were their business and they liked the privacy. Oh, the tribulations of the metrosexual. ;)

  16. OK, so I showed my friend Pablo this post and the ‘mango pickle’ one after he was telling me how sick he was of waxing. He shapes his brows himself and is generally a very high maintenance beauty queen so he was really curious about threading.

    We went and got threaded for the first time at a desi salon on Saturday. A very tidy muslim lady from Ahmedabad did it-his brows-12$, my upper lip and brows-17$. She said she’d been in the states about two years. When she mixed-up our names, it sent us into hysterics.

    His came out terrific looking. He was very good at explaining how he wanted to stay with his current shape. (I didn’t.)

    There was zero irritation and the brows didn’t hurt but the lip was a damned stinger. I’m not crazy about the thin-ness she gave my brows. She gave me a very thin, fifties era, high arched sex-kitten brow. Think Rita Moreno but much thinner.

    I should have specified my style better and been more communicative but I have to say, it’s a clean finished look, which I like.

    Oh, and there were zero comments on Pablo, or me. We did talk with the ladies there about the possibility of a female U.S. president.

    They all liked Hilary.