Prior to a couple of weeks ago, I had never gotten my eyebrows professionally done. So, upon my first-ever appointment with an eyebrow artist, I decided to note the emotional stages of getting your eyebrows done for the first time. Anyone who has dreamed of a flawless pair of caterpillars likely knows that the first appointment can be a nerve-wracking one. But in the name of beauty, and #OnFleek brows, the emotional roller coaster of that first appointment was totally worth it. Kind of.
Being a fashion and beauty writer, I read about the importance of a set of good brows constantly. Yet I never thought to speak with a professional about my own eyebrows. Dark, thick, and relatively untouched, I will occasionally pluck a stray hair on my own. Otherwise, my eyebrows are basically left to their own devices. While I've always thought that my naturally bushy brows suit my round features, it's 2016. This is the era of Cara Delevingne, after all. So why not take the plunge?
In the hopes of staying relevant in the beauty-sphere and having "flawless" eyebrows, I noted the 11 emotional stages of the whole ordeal. While it may seem like a simple process, there's so much more to it than a few plucks and tweezes.
1. Initial Curiosity
"Eyebrows on fleek" is an Internet trend for a reason, right? I think it's safe to say that most of us feel like a pair of eyebrows that suit our face and compliment our features are key to helping us feel confident in our own skin. So I became curious about how a professional might adjust my brows. Thus I was led to an appointment at my favorite local salon.
2. First Bout Of Doubt
Before I knew it, it was the day of the appointment, and all I could feel was doubt. Should I trust a complete stranger with my luscious brows? Or should I run out of there before the wax is even warm? It's natural to feel doubt before making any change (isn't that why making changes is so hard?). And I was hardcore doubting what was about to go down.
3. Unexpected Courage
I set up the appointment in the name of beauty: To be able to speak to an eyebrow professional, to see if he or she might be able to help with my bushy caterpillars, and to be able to share my experience with other newbies. With a little bit of a pep talk, I got over my doubt and found enough courage to somewhat relax in the salon seat.
4. Some Hesitation
While introducing myself to the professional who had my brows' lives in her hands, I froze up and kept relatively quiet. I told her I wanted to keep the thickness of my brows and just get some shape. I thought we were on the same page. With a lot of hesitation, I attempted to hold my head up high in the salon chair.
5. Newfound Confidence
Dealing with every strip of wax like a pro, I kept myself distracted and confident during the eyebrow waxing process. Speaking to a friend who was gracious enough to go with me, I was thinking about other things and trying to trust the professional with my face.
6. Even More Anxiety
It was halfway through that I saw myself in a mirror and realized the professional had stripped away the majority of my brows, leaving them patchy, bare, and pencil-thin, and unlike I had ever seen them before. I wanted to ask if I could have my old brows back. And needless to say, I was anxious for the rest of the appointment.
7. Sweet Relief
When she was finally done, I was relieved to be out of that chair and away from the horrible, no good wax that took away my beloved bushy brows. Even though I was afraid to look in the mirror, and even though my skin was red and on fire, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. That didn't last long, though, because my vanity eventually led me to inspecting the damage in the mirror.
Red and with wax particles still in them, your eyebrows aren't likely going to look as #OnFleek as you might want them to. Looking past those things, however, I saw super thin brows that didn't compliment my face in a way that felt right to me. I kept my demeanor sweet, even though I was burning up on the inside.
9. Pure Frustration
I was frustrated that the professional ignored my request for simple shaping. I was frustrated that all the qualities of my naturally bushy brows were completely depleted and replaced with pencil thin lines. And I was frustrated that I looked more '90s Workout Video Host than Cara Delevingne chic. My friend insisted that they looked good, and that they barely made a difference in my overall appearance. But I was more concerned about how I felt. It's safe to say that my usually-high confidence took a blow.
10. Residual Sadness
I felt sad after my first eyebrow appointment experience. I thought seeing a professional would give me confidence and have me walking out of the salon saying "eyebrows on fleek" over and over again. But alas, I was totally self-conscious. Even so, I sucked it up and went on with my day.
I learned the hard way that getting your eyebrows done for the first time isn't always the experience you want it to be. But like most things, time will likely make it better, and my brows will grow back to their naturally bushy selves. All that's left to do is to patiently wait so I can feel like myself again. And, well, post selfies sans eyebrows in the meantime.
It's important to remember that my negative experience doesn't guarantee your first trip to a stylist will be the same. Sometimes you're going to hate what you walk out with, and sometimes there's nothing you can do but wait for things to repair themselves. But I learned the importance of walking the professional through the details of exactly what I want so that it can be as good an experience as possible.
At the end of the day, sometimes natural beauty really is the best kind of beauty. If you only want to change something about yourself because of a trend, it's wise to truly think about the look you want before doing anything drastic. For me, feeling beautiful in my unique, natural self turned out to be the most fulfilling kind of beauty after all.
Images: Melodi Erdogan/Rebecca Fechino