Eghonghon Eigbe is a super talented writer for Arts and Africa. As our first guest feature of the year, she makes a case for full eyebrows.
In a world of pencilling, shaving, shaping, threading, waxing, tattooing and highlighting, it is almost revolutionary to be on the fashion scene with your eyebrows looking as they may have been when you were five. There is some argument on how this may only apply to the western woman or the woman mostly influenced by western trends but it’s easy to see how that argument is very weak. Eyebrow grooming is an old tradition in a lot of cultures.
To many people, the trouble we seem to go through over our eyebrows is entirely pointless but if you, like me, pay attention to make up artists’ Instagram pages, you will slowly begin to notice how eyebrows can either make or break your face. Forget how contoured the face is, forget how baked the powder is, the real question is whether or not those eyebrows are on ‘fleek’.
This makes the decision to not touch your eyebrows a difficult one, especially if you are surrounded by an eyebrow focused community. It’s probably true that you look better with your eyebrows as they are. Is it strange? No.
A very common misconception is that one can only get away with a hairful of eyebrow only when the face is unadorned by makeup. The argument is usually that the eyebrows will look odd or worse – non-existent.
Last week, singer Solange, who has quickly become the poster girl for full eyebrows posted this photo:
Those, to me, are decent looking eyebrows *gasps at the perfection of that eye shadow* but I realise a lot of people consider these too bushy (they do look real bushy because of how close the picture is.) My eyebrows sadly do not grow that full but the point is that even Solange gets a bad rap for choosing to walk around like that.
A lot of us would not mind full eyebrows but we simply cannot get our hair to grow or stay arranged. Now, I am far from being a make-up enthusiast and if we’re being entirely honest, it is mostly because I am too lazy and too broke to try. Apart from lipstick -my best friend- I pay attention to very little else. I cannot tell you what eyebrow shape will fit your face or what kind of pencil gives the best shade for your skin but on keeping eyebrows, I have had some experience.
A quick fix is to invest in some eyebrow gel. Comb your hair in place and they’ll stay there the whole day. Many of us remember using tail combs and Vaseline to achieve this in secondary school. Of course, the eyebrows only stayed in place for a short while and we mostly just had an oily mess on our foreheads. Consider eyebrow gel an upgrade. I used MAC until it got expensive. Milani has a much cheaper alternative that is just as good.
Another thing to note is that you can tweeze your brows and still have hair. Don’t hesitate to remove stray hairs that refuse to be gelled or adjust the shape of your eyebrows. If you simply do not have enough hair, you can always fill them in lightly with pencil and still get this look.
If you wear a full face of make-up, this may or not work for you. Another issue may be that you have been shaping and shaving for a very long time and your eyebrows have become very thin. You may want to go for a hairstyle that covers your forehead while you grow them out. This can take a few weeks or even a few months.
Are there any major advantages to this? Except that it requires less work, you wake up with your eyebrows on and there is no chance they’ll be rubbed off by the middle of the day.