“Hold on, your eyebrow smeared and it’s on your cheek.”
Um, WHAT??? I never thought I would hear someone utter those words to me, but it happened and now I need to talk about it. Allow me to elaborate.
You see, I decided a few weeks ago I needed to branch out and really try some new things so I could turn one of my hobbies into something I could actually do some freelance work with. My own business – nothing fancy, just something on the side that I was in control of, and that could be a creative outlet for me. The idea of a tax break wasn’t unappealing either.
So I started doing my research and found a program to learn how to be a makeup artist. PERFECT. I love makeup. I’ve always done it for my friends and this would be a fun excuse to actually learn what the hell I was doing. And in my mind, this would be a perfect freelance gig I could try out with no pressure since I’m not quitting my day job.
I found a one-day workshop that got great reviews online, and they offered a “basic certification” after completion, as well as the ability to apply for a pro card – meaning I get discounts on makeup. SCORE. Sign me up.
Sunday was the day. A friend I’d met at work a few years ago got wind of this little adventure and decided to join me. Bright and early, we made our way to the class. Dress code: all black. Excitement level: high.
It started out fine, if a little unorganized. They held the workshop in a hair salon on the days it was closed, and 20 or so wannabe makeup artists, including myself, piled inside. Most of the girls were professional cosmetologists looking to expand their skill set to include makeup, but a handful of us were just doing it “for fun”.
As I watched the owner and professional makeup artist go through her demo, I started to develop some concerns. Because about halfway through the demo, she got to eyebrows. I agreed with her statement about how important eyebrows are, and how they frame the face. She even made a comment about wanting to avoid “chola eyebrows” that look like they were just drawn onto the face. Forgetting for a second that she may have offended a number of people in class, I happen to personally prefer a more natural looking brow as well (I over-plucked in high school and I’m still recovering).
She goes on to explain that they have REVOLUTIONIZED a new technique, and it’s one we are all going to master in this class. Apparently, eyebrows that angle down at the ends at all (so, basically almost everyone) make people look “sad” and is apparently an epidemic we need to address. So as we broke off into pairs to practice different techniques, I kid you not, these were the instructions:
Ignore the natural brow where it angles down. It’s only distracting you from where the true brow should be. Pretend your client has no eyebrows and you are going to create the perfect eyebrow. Longer, and higher than where the hair is.
Hmmm. Weird. I bet you’re thinking what I’m thinking… wouldn’t you have 2 eyebrows on each side then? Basically an eyebrow that forks in the road and goes both ways? YES. YOU DO. YOU HAVE TWO FUCKING EYEBROWS ON EACH SIDE. And guess what??? That look we were trying to avoid? The one where it looks like a 5 year old drew on your eyebrow with a sharpie? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS. When you decide to create a whole new eyebrow where there is no hair, what do you expect?
I was working with an adorable little blond massage therapist with perfect skin – one of the other people in the class just taking it for fun. As the instructor comes over to paint on her dark brows, she looks at me in horror. I point out that the color is too dark and that you can still clearly see her actual eyebrow hair under the heavy line, and the instructor promptly informs me we can “hide” that, and a lot of people just shave off the ends of their brows so you can do this shape properly. Oh, of course. YOU SHAVE IT OFF. I see. Now the massage therapist looks really nervous.
“Can we trim your eyebrow, just a little?” the instructor asks her. She agrees. I decide she’s insane. I wouldn’t let that woman near me with scissors. She “trims” them all right… basically down the skin. After she walks away, my partner looks at me in dismay, groaning about how the instructor just “stole” her whole eyebrow, and how ridiculous she looks. The instructor circles back, one of her minions in tow to show off her beautiful work. I can’t help myself at this point. “She hates it. She wouldn’t go in public like that. That may work for an editorial shoot with models, but it’s not an everyday look. No normal person wants to wear a look like that for everyday life.” The death stare of an angry makeup artist (who does in fact, shave her eyebrows so she can “create any shape she wants”) sears into my very soul. “Well, I WOULD wear that look every day,” she snaps at me, and stomps away on her 5 inch heels. Huh, guess I won’t be winning any teacher’s pet points.
Now, I don’t know if it was punishment for mouthing off, but when the other instructor came back to “help” do my eyebrows, it was a sight to behold. Same double rainbow effect, but this time, THEY ADDED GLUE. “Oh, we just layer on glue and then paint over it with concealer to hide the hairs,” she tells me. I’m laughing so hard inside at this point, I figure why not? It was basically the same glue that was in our 3rd grade glue sticks, all over my face. As she finishes her masterpiece, her hand grazes my “new” eyebrow and it winds up on my cheek.
OK, timeout. If my eyebrow can smear onto my fucking cheek, that is not a good look. I grabbed the handheld mirror at my station to take a peek. Bad idea. I looked like a clown hooker after a rough night. Not OK. And as she finishes wiping my eyebrow OFF MY CHEEK, my workshop partner is standing behind her, eyes wide, mouthing, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” over and over. I think she might need therapy now.
As they finished taking our individual “after” pictures and started getting ready for a group shot, my friend who had tagged along and I looked at each other and just decided to get the hell out of there. It look me a minute to register what she was thinking though… at that point, everyone in class looked permanently surprised. We made our way to the door, but not before I got cornered by one of the instructors. “Don’t you just love how you look?” she asks me. I know I should have lied and been polite – it would be easier. But I just couldn’t. “Well, no. I mean, the work my partner did is great and I like the eye shadow, but I would never draw on eyebrows like this. I just wouldn’t wear them like this in public.” Awkward silence. I turned and walked away and we made our way out of the salon and back to my car.
I looked in my rear-view mirror as soon as we got in the car and just lost it. I needed to get that shit off my face, ASAP. As I reached for my bag I realized I left my makeup remover wipes in class. SHIT. I can’t go home like this and I’m sure as hell not walking back into that salon. I found an old paper towel, probably from that day last week I ate a bagel in the car on the way to work, and wiped off as much as I could.
If you don’t believe me, I have photographic evidence:
Now, who wants me to do their eyebrows??