Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saving Face

There are many losses you find yourself dealing with as you age.  There are life-altering ones such as the loss of loved ones, jobs, and good health.   There are losses that affect how your body looks - loss of muscle tone, smooth skin, a flat stomach, hair pigment, etc. which can affect your confidence and self-esteem.  We think we are prepared for these inevitabilities - after all, they happen to everyone eventually, although their approach can be slowed by exercise, diet, surgery, and hair colour.  One loss I was not prepared for was the gradual, but noticeable disappearance of my eyebrows.  It seems a minor thing when compared to all of the possible things I could lose, but it bothered me nonetheless. 

This is the face you're used to seeing on my blog.  I've grown accustomed to it, and on most days, I think it's a rather nice face, but it took years for me to accept I was never going to have the full lips or perfect nose the girls in the fashion magazines had.   I try to make the best of what I have, and never leave the house without lipstick.  Recently, one of the bloggers I follow, Greetje, of No Fear of Fashion, did what I thought was a very gutsy post on her blog where she showed the "Before and After" face of a woman over 60.  I'm not that brave, but I can show you a before and after eyebrow shot.

Yep, there we are, thinning brows and minimal eyelashes.  I would love to wear mascara, but I have a very annoying and occasionally painful condition called recurring corneal erosion, and I try to avoid eye makeup on a daily basis.  From the looks of that sun damage on my skin, I did not use enough sunscreen this summer.

Fortunately, disappearing eyebrows are easier to deal with than many of the other losses I mentioned.  For a few years I had been using another product made by Benefit called "Gimme Brow" which is basically a mascara for your eyebrows.  It looks natural and stays on pretty well, but I found it faded by the end of the day.  I wanted to try something that would give me some major brows that looked natural and lasted all day, so I chatted up one of the staff at my local Sephora.  She suggested a new Benefit product called "KA-BROW!", which is a cream-gel brow colour that comes with its own brush. It comes in six shades, and I picked #4, which was a bit darker than what I was used to.  It takes a bit of practice to perfect the light touch that is needed so you don't end up with too much colour - you can always add more, but once it's on there, it doesn't come off unless you wash it off and start over.

KA-BROW!  You can see that my left brow is a bit darker than the right, but as I said, it takes a bit of practice to get it right.  Not bad, eh?

BTW, I am not affiliated with Benefit, and am not being compensated in any way for this post.  I just like their brow products and I figure if they work for me, they may work for you.

I'm not a makeup junkie - my daily routine consists of a bit of foundation, brow colour, and lipstick.  However, I do like experimenting with lipstick colours, and after the photoshoot I did with Melanie when I was in Vancouver in May, I fell in love with blue lipstick.

A second trip to Sephora and I came home with this creamy blue lipstick from Make Up For Ever.  I put a bit of blue-tinted gel in my hair to amp up the Blue.  Now if only I could wear this to work.

And, a gratuitous rat photo...

 Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I have had my sweet little rat nuggets back with me for a few weeks, and I've been able to manage my allergies with regular use of my inhaler and not handling them as frequently.  The three of us are much happier when they are with me, so I'm taking things day by day, and while I'm not expecting to be able to keep them with me continuously, we may be able to work out some kind of regular "respite" care where they stay with Heather for a few weeks at a time.


  1. Have you heard of micro-blading?? I'm going to tag you on IG!!!

  2. Love the blue in your hair!

    I've always had super blond brows and lashes. They are full, but you can't see them. Now when I get my hair dyed they dye the brows. Totally worth it.


  3. My eyebrows have always been really thin, and are now basically clear/white - I've been drawing them on for years! I use Rimmel's eyebrow pencil in Hazel - it's nice and waxy and has a little brush on the cap for shaping after I've drawn them on. I am not a fan of the mascara types - I have too many little fine hairs all over my brow area! I love that creamy blue lipstick - I am still a bit leery of it on myself, but you're such a great role model, Shelley!

    Really happy to see your rats can be with you for visit! Yay!

  4. What a difference! Your eyebrows look so good and totally natural. You ought to Tweet your blog to Benefit, what a wonderful recommendation.
    I'm in the stupidly sparse camp for body hair. Great that I rarely have to shave my legs but not so good for eyebrows so I had mine tattooed on.
    The blue lipstick looks fantastically cool and I'm thrilled that the rats are getting another go. My friend's husband was horribly allergic to cats but he found a stray, fell in love and persevered. After a couple of flare ups he's been fine for years. xxx

    1. I sent Benefit an email today with the link to my post - we'll see what happens.

  5. They do look natural, and since there seems to be a new trend towards thicker eyebrows this product will sell very well, I'm sure. I never think about my eyebrows, but as I'm seeing more white in them every day, I may need to add some colour soon!

  6. I get my eyebrows threaded and tinted once a month but I love the look of the KA BROW. It looks very natural on you and your eyebrows are a lovely shape.

    I find the tinting fades after two or three weeks (it's a vegetable dye) on my eyebrows so KA BROW may be a very useful addition to my make up bag.

    Thank you, Shelley!


  7. A great post, Shelley, and yes, it's only a minor detail in the grand scheme of ageing but for those of us fortunate enough to be able to consider our brows, important. I get mine tinted every three weeks - dark brown, even though my natural colour is black and it (pretty well) covers up the grey although the greys are sneaky!! There are always some lurking behind tinted ones, it seems! In between tints I use an eyebrow mascara too, it's fantastic. My lovely beautician said recently that "feathering" would be great for my naked brow areas and that sounds great.Because you're a gutsy woman you can wear blue lipstick - or any other colour and look fabulous. Have a great week.xx

  8. fabulous post, I love particularly that you've shared your Real experience as a woman which doesn't apply lots of makeup. Love it and I think it's very useful too: your brows look really natural and well defined!. I'm used to wear just lipstick (and compulsory sunscreen) as a daily basis, but I would like to wear some blue lipstick to work too!!

    1. I think you would look great in blue lipstick, especially with all the bright colours you wear. You should try it just for fun!

  9. It's amazing how much difference eyebrows make when they're there and when they're not. Looks like a great product. I'm just not really into it. My brows used to be the same color as my hair, but now they're faded so light as to be practically non-color. I never did wear make-up except for eyeliner and I still do a bit of that. And that's it. Growing older is a drag and I just try to ignore it as best I can. You, on the other hand look great. No hair to hide behind even. Happy to see you are your rat pack getting together when you can.

  10. Beautifully written post on loss and aging. I have the same brow issue, and you have inspired me to check out this product at Sephora. We're all in this together. I love your blue lipstick too. Experimentation is where it's at.

    So happy to see that you're having a sweet visit with your pets and hoping that they can stay for awhile. I know that they bring you joy!

  11. What a surprise to see my post mentioned and linked to. Thank you Shelley, much appreciated. I also have thin and very blond eyebrows and eyelashes. My brows have always been like this and I now use Anastasia eyebrow powder. Easy to apply and it stays on the whole day. It might seem expensive but it will last you so long. My eyelashes used to be long and thick, but very straight. Now they are not so long and thin. Age....

  12. For what it's worth, I think you have a lovely face! And who needs eye makeup when you have such fabulous glasses?

    Have you heard of RapidBrow? My brows were really sparse-- there was hair up to the arch and then the ends were just gone. I started using this stuff and it started coming back! Now I have whole brows, even if still quite narrow at the ends... they're there! (There's a product for lashes too--RapidLash--but may not be a good idea if applying products along your lashline irritates your eyes.)

  13. Can't stop telling that you are a very inspiring person! You always look so stylish and self-confident! I hope to have at least a third part of your fashion and beauty sense when I'll be your age ;) Thanks for sharing your bright world with us!