Beauty Fridays: The Brow Game

my decade of brows
Sometime in my late teens, I thought it was a good idea to pluck my eyebrows beyond recognition. I honestly can’t remember why, but I kind of recall looking at photos of Kate Moss and admiring her pencil thin brows. Little did I know that it was going to be a giant pain in the ass (although my mom did warn me about it). If you look at the picture above, you are looking at the evolution of my eyebrows in the last decade or so. Kind of shocking, right? Yes, I went from the scary thin straight Vulcan (hello Spock!) brows (here is a full picture) (hey, at least they weren’t porny looking!) to the full arches I have now. 
Hilary Rhoda (Harper’s Bazaar, April 2009)
Last October, I decided to grow them out once and for all to their natural state, avoiding plucking at all costs. It was tough. I patiently waited as hairs grew unevenly, making one brow way thicker than the other. They don’t all come out at once; hair growth is a super random occurrence. The worst was the hairs above the existing line of the brow: it looked like I was growing random facial hair. At the moment of weakness, I googled pictures of Hilary Rhoda, Arizona Muse, and 80s Cindy Crawford. “I have to stay strong,” I told myself. A little brow gel and filler went a long way, masking the spots that were still emerging (more on that in a couple of weeks). 
Finally, last January, they began resembling something I sort of remembered from my childhood. Epiphany: I was born and blessed with Brooke Shields-like things. Sweet! I wanted to see how far I could grow them and purposely didn’t deal with them before heading to New York, prompting one makeup artist to bluntly ask me, “What’s the story with the brows?” Ouch! I guess it was finally time to groom. (But really, how rude was that?)
before grooming

after grooming
To do the honours, I contacted Alisha Noon at Beautymark, Vancouver’s brow queen. I told her that “I want 80s supermodel brows,” and explained my growing debacle. She told me she had gone through a similar ordeal, only her Kate Moss was Niki Taylor (oh the 90s!). First, she waxed those rouge hairs that were sort of blending into my hairline, then she took her tweezers and started plucking. Alisha purposely left the outlines kind of soft, avoiding that sharp Kim Kardashian effect. But we weren’t done yet. Some of the hairs were almost half an inch long (I’m not kidding) and it took some scissor action to tame them down. Looking like a complete mess for four months totally paid off. The final result was everything I was hoping for: well-groomed brows without any hard edges that looked completely natural. Phew! Done. I’ve got good brow game now. 
Have you ever over-plucked and then tried to reverse the damage?  

To book your eyebrow consultation with Alisha Noon, call 604-218-6000 or email

  • KittyKat

    I am SO glad I’m not the only one! Honestly, it was Beyonce’s brow change about a couple of years or so ago that made me think… hmmm… thicker might be better. (I think Dreamgirls changed her mind.) And then, a rude brow stylist, right after I complained about how thin my brow hair was growing with age, said, “you know a thicker brow is a sign of youth.” Wow. Thanks a lot dear.

    But that set the wheels in motion. It took me 6 months of growing out, and I just got them cleaned up two weeks ago. “Arch?” She asked… “No” I said… and I have been in love with them ever since. (My hubby loves too!) But seeing it on here just makes me feel SO much better… so glad I trusted my gut.

  • anya

    Thicker IS better! 

    Wow, six months is a long time. Good for you! I think it’s super important to work with a brow stylist that gets you — makes the world of difference. 

  • erin

    thicker brows make you look instantly younger! fill them in, and even better. i remember the thin brow trend – eep! great post.

  • blog-a-beaute

    oh gosh, this is like the story of my life, I’m trying to grow my eyebrows right now and I’m at your ‘before grooming’ stage! I now wished I lived in Vancouver! Do you know anyone who is just as good in London? I’m about to travel in a week and would love to have my eyebrows ‘groomed’ before amy trip! x

  • lisa

    My mom made the mistake of overplucking when she was young, and her brows have never grown in very well since. (Most Asian girls have sparse brows to start with anyway.) “I used to have nice thick brows like yours,” she said wistfully to me when I was a teen. Thanks to her, I’ve never overplucked and just got rid of the stray hairs under my arch.

  • anya

    Nice to know there are so many thick brows out there just waiting to come come out! 

    Sadly, I don’t know where to go in London, but I prefer plucking over threading (I prefer threading for the upper lip and chin) for a more natural look. 

    Good luck! And congrats!

  • anya

    My mom did the same… But I didn’t listen to her (as usual). Thankfully, my dad’s hairy genes worked in my favour. 

  • Sophia Cheng

    Love this! I wish I had enough hair to do thicker brows.

  • Frieda Kahlo


  • Amanda

    I’ve been trying my grow out my brow hairs for months now. I’ve been using a brow hair growth serum (Rimmel) sparingly but am not sure if it works or if it’s just psychological. Any suggestions? Thanks for the post!

  • KittyKat

    I forgot to mention – I did use Ardell’s Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator. I’d already been using it for about two years before going for the “full brow”… and it’s always worked brilliantly for me. Only downfall is that if you stop using it, the effects do wear off, but for the amazing price, I could care less… I feel really lucky to have found it and I hope they never ever ever discontinue it!

  • anya

    Fascinating! I was lucky that they just grew naturally, but those things are super helpful. I’m glad most of them work.

  • swankmama

    I just went to Alisha before my LA trip at the beginning of the month and I am LOVING my brows!  Best $$ I’ve ever spent on…brows :)

  • Paula

    You look beautiful in all of the pics. You have gorgeous eyes! I thought that is you pluck your eyebrows they don’t grow back. Judging from your pics,  it seems that is not true

  • anya

    Sometimes they grow back and sometimes they don’t. I was lucky! 

  • anya

    Alisha rocks!