Friday, March 11, 2011

The A-Line Eyebrow

So, still on the subject of hair, I was contemplating my eye-brows the other day, and came to the conclusion that they are quite possibly my best feature. 
They are brunette brows - strong and dark, with a tendency to straggle if neglected.  During hormone-charged teenage days they would grow in all directions, and were frequently dangerously close to becoming one, until of course I discovered tweezers.

Fortunately, I valued my brows and did not pluck them to oblivion for fear of going the same way as my sister, bald and pencil-reliant through overzealous tidying - "I was just trying to even them up," she would howl, "and before I knew it they'd both gone".  Prior-warned, I would merely chase those that had broken free from the pack, preferring to err on the side of bushy and uneven, than sparse.

And what do you know?  Some 30 years later, tidy, thick eyebrows it seems are all the rage, according to this month's Vogue.  The no. 1 fashion authority can't recommend too highly the (doubtless pricey) services of brow specialists who, like facial topiarists, will cultivate and shape your mistreated brows over a course of months, such that they re-emerge as perfect furry face-framers.  I praise my reticence when it comes to plucking.  It has clearly kept me, rather my brow, in good stead.

But the reason I love my eyebrows most - and this is something Vogue fails to touch on - is because they are A-line.  Not acute, you understand, a la Jack Nicholson, but more curved circumflex, a la Monroe.  And I am rather proud of that, because A-line eyebrows go a long way.  Consider the aforementioned, but also Bacall, Connery, Jane Russell, Ava Gardner, essentially all those Hollywood lovelies with a little bit of spice.  Spice thanks in large part to their peaked eyebrows. And of course their ability to move them.

There is after all nothing worse than having a couple of indolent hairy slugs recumbent over one's sockets that can muster no more than a twitch when presented with high drama.  As demonstrated by Gromit, an agile brow can say everything that needs to be said without uttering a single word.

Plus of course,the ultimate in ooh-la-la mischief and drop-dead-now sexy allure can be rustled up with a mere single brow lift. Think Sean Connery in Doctor No when he encounters a bikini-ed Ursula Andress for the first time.  Such is its ability to add a whole wealth of expression to the face that I have become convinced, just looking at certain TV stars, that anyone undergoing a cosmetic facelift requests the surgeon pull one brow slightly higher than the other.

In case you didn't believe me...
I am happy, and again rather proud, to say that mine don't need pinning when it comes to lifting one independently of the other.  The single brow lift is something I have perfected over a lifetime of practice prompted when, as a child, I watched Gary Glitter on Jim'll Fix It.  Hmm, ok, so there are some less savoury a-line eyebrows out there, but thanks to watching Glitter raising one, then the other, and then the other again, I hurried to the mirror to try to do the same.  I now boast eyebrows that will peak or flatten on demand, in tandem or on their own.

This I believe is the secret of the A-Line eyebrow.  Regular exercise.  As with all forms of exercise it tones and conditions the muscles that hold everything up, and therefore delays the inevitable sinking of one's brow into one's eyes. 

But also, a well exercised brow can communicate pretty much all you need to say.  And in this world of mundane mutterings, less babble, more brow can surely never be a bad thing.  Note to self.

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