Tuesday, November 23, 2010


BRISTOL, ENGLAND - According to the American Cancer Society,
“If hair loss does occur, it most often begins within 2 weeks of the start of treatment and gets worse 1 to 2 months after starting therapy." This is what you read in the brochures, along with an extensive list of helpful tips. Truly helpful – did you know that you can get a prescription for a wig, as the cost is often covered by insurance? Wonderful!

Way down toward the bottom of most websites lists of tips is to be careful with eyebrows, perhaps eyelashes too. From my perspective, once you have plowed through all the top-of-head hair loss, you are spinning with overwhelming info. You might miss that bit of info, like I did. I had a dear friend who tried to walk me through an installation of false eyelashes, and that had disastrous results. Helpful tip from me to you: if you are diagnosed in October, don’t just run out and buy the first set of eyelashes you find. Be sure to check to see if it has ‘Halloween special fright night length’ on the lash box. Ok, on to the story.

So I am a novice (at best) when it comes to makeup. I didn’t know I would lose my eyebrows, and that makes a huge difference. People can handle gals with really short or no hair (perky! cute! pixie! are words that spring to mind). But lose the eyebrows, and people have a hard time with that one. They blink, frown, and then it hits them. OOOOOOOHHHH she’s in treatment. And that must be a wig. Ooooooohhhhhhh.

So I am on twitter with my friend, Nick, from Bristol. Nick is a make-up whiz and was guiding a lady through how to pencil in some eyebrows when chemo had so helpfully removed them. I wanted to share his tips with you. Nick, thank you. For helping that patient, for reaching out and chatting with me, and for being so willing to share your expertise with others. I know that your Mum’s chemo starts in a few days; you will both be in my prayers.


* To get perfect brows, you can use a brow pencil or brow powder. You do not need to spend major money on this, Rimmel Londondoes a fantastic pencil with a few shades, and Body Shopsells fantastic powders. Use ashy brown colours, even if your hair is naturally black because black is very ageing. If you use a powder, then you need a good angled liner brush.

* Use a pencil or shadow brush as a guide. Lay it against your nose and point it up towards your forehead. Where your brows should begin is where the pencil hits your brow bone. Turn your guide so it meets the outer corner of your eye. Your brow should end at this point (on the bone).

* The highpoint of the arch in your brow should be just past the outer edge of your iris.

* If you create 3 'points' with your pencil, then you can create a basic shape for your brow.

* Use small 'feathery' strokes with the brush or pencil. Upwards until you hit the arch, then downwards from the arch to the outer point. This way, the strokes looks like hairs. If you draw a line, it looks unnatural.

* Soften it using an eyebrow brush along where you have put the colour.

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