POSTED ON MAY 13, 2009:
Time and Time Again
Some beauty blunders require more than a dab of concealer
Stay Calm. First step: put down the tweezers. As soon as you realize things are getting bad, quit while you're ahead so you'll still have some brows.
Whoever concocted the phrase "patience is a virtue" has never had to wait for anything. I'm guessing this "virtuous" person never had to struggle to overcome beauty gone wrong. This isn't like a blemish or two; unless you're suffering from severe acne, even the worst pimple begins to fade away within a few days if you're giving it the right care. No, the real beauty problems are those that require weeks to overcome.
But in all likelihood, when it comes to our appearance, we throw patience out the window. What we need are some temporary solutions that make us feel good about ourselves in the meantime and, maybe, a few tips on how to not get to that point again.
When asked what one notices first about another person, the answer is almost always face-related--their smile or their eyes. Well, if it is in fact the eyes, I'd imagine it is the full eye package, brows and all. It follows that some people will inevitably notice if they're over-plucked or asymmetrical.
If your brows are in need of a fresh start, give yourself 10 to 30 days to grow them back out. Then, acknowledge how you got to this state. Did you visit a new aesthetician and hate the results? If so, you might be hesitant to visit another, so, ask friends with good, even arches who tamed their brows.
Or, you could take the reins and tweeze them yourself. But if the goring of your brows was from your own overzealous hands, you might want to see a professional at least once. Getting your brows professionally waxed just one time can give you an outline for the future. The aesthetician can create a look that complements the shape of your face. If you still want to be in control of your hair removal, find a brow stencil kit and trace the ideal shape. Then, remove any hair falling outside of the line.
But that's future advice; you need a solution now. First step: put down the tweezers. As soon as you realize things are getting bad, quit while you're ahead so you'll still have some brows with which to work. Going back and forth trying to even things up will only leave you with two funky brows.
Next, you'll need to get yourself to your makeup retailer of choice because you probably don't have the eyebrow makeup already.
This understated part of the beauty routine used to consist of one product, an eyebrow pencil in typical shades. You may recall ladies with severe, heavy-handed drawn on brows. Now this beauty area is called "eyebrow enhancers" and features a multitude of powders, tints and pencils.
Powders won't leave as harsh a line, but if you do purchase a pencil, get a brush (if it's not included) to blend. If you purchase your items from a department store or mass beauty retailer, you can ask for the cosmetic lines that are most popular and test them out. If you don't want to invest that kind of money into a product you will only need once (hopefully), stick with your makeup brand of choice and see what options they offer. Obviously, choose the pencil shade that best matches your brows now.
Once home, you'll just use your new product to fill in the missing pieces; pay attention to symmetry, length and fullness. And the key to making it look natural is to blend thoroughly. Essentially, you'll just be faking 'em until your body actually makes 'em.
Hair seems to grow more quickly in areas that you'd rather it didn't and especially slow in places where you wouldn't mind it growing fast. Shave your legs today and see a noticeable amount of growth tomorrow; cut the hair on your head and wait eons for it to grow back. It's a sick mind game that also reminds me of how the hours in a workday creep by but the hours of a weekend fly by.
Either way, the attitude of "it will grow back" is the best approach to hair. Having to adjust to the in-between times should not prevent you from experimenting with different looks outside of your comfort zone.
That said, if you have experimented with a new look and you're ready to move on to your next phase, you must endure a waiting period. If it is length you are after, options are limited. If it really bothers you, you could get pregnant; the pre-natal vitamins increase the hormones that cause faster hair growth (read: don't actually do this).
If you're looking for something that does not require childbirth and 18 plus years of follow-up, or if you have some spare cash, extensions are the way to go.
The quality and amount of time you'll have with your extensions will depend how much you want to invest. Good quality extensions can last for several months and can give you the faux length you want as your body creates the natural length.
The issue with waiting for your hair to grow isn't so much one of looking bad. Generally, you'll just find that you're annoyed with the length and the upkeep required. Growing out bangs, layers or a short cut yields periods of awkward lengths, hair in your face and other annoyances that demand constant fiddling as you brush the whisps of hair out of your face.
Growing out your hair also requires regular trims. It may seem strange that to help your hair grow, you should cut some off, but it's the best approach because it keeps the ends of the hair follicle blunt, thereby reducing the potential for split ends.
Work with your stylist; ask for tips on what you can do to your do. With a few ponytail holders, a buck's worth of bobby pins and a headband or two, you'll be able to wait without having to resort to wearing hats.
Similarly, if you're trying to grow out hair color, consult your stylist. This will be important if you're returning to your natural hair color or if you need correction after doing your own at-home hair coloring.
To prevent roots from showing (if you know you're only keeping the color briefly), try a semi-permanent dye that will slowly fade. Hair can be stripped of color, and the process is harsh; if you've recently dyed your hair, your salon might not recommend this strategy.
Burn, Baby, Burn
The final beauty blunder that requires a great deal of patience is most definitely connected to the upcoming season. Some people feel very strongly that the summer cannot be met with pasty winter skin. To prepare for shorts and swimsuits, we combat pale pigmentation with a variety of tanning solutions. Whether going au natural in the sun or spending time in a tanning bed there are opportunities for errors that could put a damper on your summer look.
If you're using light and heat to get your glow, you risk battling the burn for a few weeks. Preventative measures are obvious: applying copious amounts of sunscreen throughout the day if you're outdoors and limiting exposure to harmful UV Rays (i.e. not visiting the tanning salon day-after-day). Will you get as dark as fast? No, but you'll be able to comfortably wear clothes and not leave bits of skin behind like a snake shedding.
Of course, not everyone is affected by sunburn, but for those who are, hydration is the key to quick recovery. Work inside and out: drink lots of water and apply lots of cool soothing aloe on the outside. It's kind of a no-brainer, but many forget that a moisturizer prevents flaking. Pop it in the fridge for a little; and repeatedly coating your burnt skin in lotions eases the transition from red to flesh tones. Use lotions with minimal perfumes or additives so as not to further irritate your highly sensitive skin.
Remember that time is of the essence. Be proactive as you wait for the minutes, day and weeks to creep by as you solve your long-term beauty issues. After all, good things come to those who wait.
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