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Why My New Brow-Grooming Regimen No Longer Includes Thread (or Wax)

Bolder brows, here I come!

I've decided that eyebrow threading and waxing are like highlights.

Amazing—life-changing, even—when you first get them done. But usually, as the months pass, you gradually end up with something that doesn't even resemble what you started with.

And this is why I'm giving them up.

Shall I explain?

I have eyebrow OCD.

And therefore I know of what I speak.

I have to be a bit obsessive-compulsive about them because I've got the kind of eyebrows that aren't necessarily unruly... just ones that don't look quite right unless I keep them maintained with monthly professional shapings. And, well, I'm high-maintenance. But you already knew that.

Fun fact: Did you know that eyebrow hair grows in three cycles? And that it's always around the three- to six-week mark when it starts to go wonky—even if you don't have a big over-growth of hair?

So life without an eyebrow lady is not a life I want to live. I mean, I've been doing these monthly sessions (initially with wax, then in later years, thread) since the time when Lindsay Lohan was a promising young ingenue instead of a cautionary tale.

In other words: a very, very long time.

The more regular your visits, the more hair tends to get removed.

So this is a broad generalization, and yet, it's the overall trend I've noticed time and time again.

You go to a new brow person and they give you the eyebrow shaping of your life. You look and feel amazing, and so you dutifully return every month, right on schedule, for, like a year. And then one day you look in the mirror and realize your brows are borderline like this:

And we all know by now (I hope?) that a skinny brow is a scary brow.

Okay, the Megan Fox example maybe isn't that extreme, but the thinner your brows get, the closer you are to looking like this type of girl:

Yeah no. The Pamela Anderson school of beauty is not one I'm looking to attend.

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So you do need to pay attention to what your esthetician is doing up there instead of just closing your eyes and assuming all is well.

It's not that the person is bad at eyebrow shaping, because even highly recommended estheticians have done this to me. It's just that if you're diligent about coming in every month (as I am), then the eyebrow lady needs to be able to make a call as to whether you even NEED that wax or thread on there. With both methods, they remove entire rows of hair at once—because you're paying and they have to do something—but I strongly feel that it's not always necessary.

Basically, my point is: are they using wax and thread to do a job that simple old tweezers could do better?

I think so.

Waxing and threading also make your brows TOO perfect.

Have you ever looked at runway models' eyebrows? I do it all the time. Daphne Groeneveld's pair is one of the best in the biz:

And it's not just because they are full instead of thin. (Although you definitely want to lean towards the full side no matter what. Fuller equals younger—it's automatically anti-aging.)

What also makes Daphne's brows so great is that they're not obviously "shaped." They look groomed, yes, but they're not perfect. They look natural. They look REAL.

Here's another example:

And one more:

THIS is what we all should aspire to. And this is why I found a new esthetician who just uses tweezers.

Tweezing helps you achieve a great shape—without overdoing it.

I'll never forget the moment when I was at a beauty event in NYC a few years ago, and they were giving us complimentary brow shapings from one of the city's best brow artists. (Yes, she truly was an artist.) At the time, I'd just discovered threading and was all morally superior about that—but she told me that no method could ever match tweezers for their absolute precision.

I agreed, but then I returned home to Toronto and my regular methods—mainly because I just didn't know any brow ladies who would do just tweezing. Everyone was threading or waxing.

But this year I finally reached my breaking point with the overzealous threading, and so I test-drove a couple of new people, specifying TWEEZERS ONLY. The first one was a no, but the second I've been sticking with for probably four or five sessions now. (It's too early to give you her name, but I'll fess up when I'm convinced we have a winner.)

And so far, so good... my brows are fuller and more natural-looking than ever. What's more, I'm finding that I don't hit that terrible eyebrow "wall" at the three-week point like I used to. I can get away with four or five weeks, even, with this new shaping method. Crazy, right?

You should try it.

Just make sure you emphasize your eyebrow OCD from the get-go. With every single session now, I reiterate my fear of skinny, over-groomed eyebrows so that my esthetician is reminded of my preferences. I recommend you do the same.