Upon a cursory brows—ha, pun intended—everything can seem so easy. That is, until you’ve actually been through the process yourself.
The other day, my friend complimented me on my eyebrows and asked me how long it takes for me to fill them in. Two minutes tops, I shrugged—if time were money, time in the morning is 24 karat gold. That’s what I thought, she said, how long could coloring a few hairs take?
I began to ponder. Flashback to junior year in high school, when I was first introduced to the aisle of assorted eyebrow products in Sephora: the galore of eyebrow tweezers, pencils, powders, gels, and the rest of the extended eyebrow product family had completely overwhelmed me. How many products could that narrow strip of hair above our eyes possibly need?
A lot, I soon came to discover. Within the span of two years, my brows have had their fair share of makeup exposure. From Anastasia Brow Whiz to Colourpop, I experimented brand by brand, color by color, trying to figure out the Goldilocks porridge to my eyebrows. It was fascinating and addicting, but also frustrating. After countless Youtube tutorials, I tried to mimic the seemingly effortless movements on-screen to my own face; a stroke here, a flick there. Through each trial and error, I slowly grasped the nuances of eyebrow filling, an often trivialized form of art.
Thinking outside the lines, I’ve started to draw parallels between eyebrow filling and other details of life. When my friend says he’s “down to hang,” I contemplate his lonely trek uphill in the wind-biting night back to his dorm post-hangout. While my father spent every minute of O-week trying to think of ways to make dorm life more comfortable for me, I anticipated his exhausted 40-minute drive back to his hotel after finally settling me down in a fully-furnished room near midnight.
More and more, I’ve begun to recognize the behind-the-scenes efforts of people’s actions. Sometimes, I think we should all take a step back to just stop and appreciate everything that’s going on beyond our own experiences. It’s so easy to become caught up in our own oh-so-busy lives, so easy to spare only a cursory glance towards everything else, that we start to neglect not only the small details of what’s truly happening beneath the surface, but also the feelings of those around us. Often, it seems most convenient to pay the least attention to those closest to us. If we continue to exist inside our own bubble, are we really leading a comprehensive life? What is our ideal way to “live life to the fullest?”
For my part, I’m trying to be more aware of the details occasionally lost in peripheral vision, so that when eye brows, it’s not so fleeting: I make eye contact and gaze.