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My Crazy Eyebrow Experiment

I've known since my days of over-plucking in the '90s that eyebrows are not just statement pieces on our faces. Done right, they're like a good bra, giving you definition, support and confidence. Yet, so many of us have a hard time understanding what eyebrow shape works best for our faces.

This led me to an experiment of sorts. I decided to cover up my own eyebrows with a ton of makeup, then redraw new ones and walk around in public while documenting the entire experience. Aside from being hilarious, it's a good opportunity for us to see how important eyebrows are to our overall look.

Below are the six bizarre eyebrow looks I tried. Consider this an eyebrow PSA.

Eyebrow No. 1: The Chola

The method I used to cover my eyebrows was not as easy as it looked online. I used my son's old glue stick, translucent powder and concealer, and when that didn't work, I added on things like foundation, white eyeliner and clown makeup. It took me two tries to get my black eyebrows to sort-of disappear.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

Once I had a mostly blank canvas, I went straight for the black sharpie. Just kidding. I'm not chola enough to even think about putting permanent marker on my forehead. Instead, I drew a pair of super thin, super pointy eyebrows well above my natural brow line using a dark color eyebrow powder.

Then, like the boss bitch I was, I walked into my doctor's office for an appointment I'd scheduled two weeks prior — when I had normal-looking eyebrows.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

The staff took a precursory horrified glance at my face, and then like true professionals, were business as usual. I so badly wanted to explain my eyebrows, especially when my super adorable nutritionist walked past and gave me a smile that said, "Oh honey, those eyebrows are a mistake!"

On my way home, I received an emergency call from my son telling me he forgot his lunch.

"No worries," I told him. "I'll bring one to you."

What I didn't tell him was that I would also bring my second set of eyebrows along with me.

Eyebrow No. 2: Caterpillars on My Face

I had limited time before I had to get to the school, so I decided the quickest eyebrow I could draw would be the super-thick eyebrow.

I have to admit, I kind of liked them.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

I decided to surprise my son with an upgraded lunch of supermarket sushi, giving me an opportunity to walk through my local grocery store and observe how other shoppers reacted to my new look.

At one point, a young woman pushing an empty cart started giggling and tried (unsuccessfully) to suppress her laughter. When she couldn't, she looked down. It took just about everything I had to remain focused on my mission. I may have let a small chuckle escape my lips, but in the end, I prevailed.

When I pulled up at my son's school, numerous kids stared as they walked past. When my son approached me, the first words out of his mouth were "Oh my god! Your eyebrows!" Surprisingly, he didn't seem embarrassed to be seen with me. By the time I left, my eyebrows were starting to feel heavy and cakey. I was ready to take them off.

Eyebrow No. 3: Reverse Brows

The next morning I had a scheduled appointment for blood work at a nearby lab. I decided it would be a great time to test out a new set of eyebrows.

I chose an easy-to-draw eyebrow that I had recently seen on an internet meme shared on Facebook: upside down brows.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

Immediately after drawing them on, I felt stupid. I had to muster all my self-respect to walk out of my front door, get in my car and drive down to the laboratory. Of course, on the way there anyone who happened to see me stared as if I was naked.

One woman even remarked loudly that she would never wear eyebrows like mine. Inside the lab, the staff was just like the staff at my own doctor's office. There was the momentary look of horror followed by straight-faced professionalism, which I appreciated.

Once back in the safety of my car, I texted my husband and sons a picture of my brows. Their responses were not surprising in slightest.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

I realized that no matter how I posed, I continuously looked worried. I could not wait to take those eyebrows off. Once I got home I decided to try another eyebrow, one that would take me back to my childhood.

Eyebrow No. 4 – Unibrow

When I was a young'un, I sported a natural unibrow. I didn't think much of it until a rude classmate pointed out my single hairy browline. Since fourth grade I've tirelessly tried to demolish that hair-bridge between my brows. Twenty-six years later, painting on a unibrow sort of felt like coming home.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

I drove around town with my singular brow and garnered plenty of giggles and stares. My oldest son's girlfriend told me that I looked like Helga from "Hey Arnold," completely destroying any hope I had for embodying Frida Kahlo. Once I got home, I decided to let my own brows take a breather for a few days. It was time well spent, since I discovered another brow style that I had to try before my experiment came to an end.

Eyebrow No. 5 – Brows of the Future (Times Two)

A few nights later, I held a volunteering get-together at my house. Friends, acquaintances and their husbands came over to help my husband and I sort through a garage full of donated items that would later be distributed to families in need.

Obviously, they would be a great audience for me to wear the last set of eyebrows.

Once I got them on, I have to admit, I felt kind of sexy. My guests, however, had a different reaction.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

Most of our guests laughed, but the few in attendance who didn't know me looked genuinely terrified that I was insane.

In the middle of the event, I excused myself to run to the bathroom where I drew the sixth set of brows. By then I think everyone had just accepted I was strange and tried not to stare.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

At the end of the day, I was happy to return to my normal, slightly over-plucked, stealthily filled-in eyebrow look.

Photograph by Bryanne Salazar

The Best Brows

I spoke with Denise Rivera, a cosmetologist and makeup artist who writes about beauty and everyday life on her blog, Life n Lashes. I wanted to know how women could find their best eyebrow shape without having to resort to my level of antics.

Her advice starts with finding the natural beginning and end points of your eyebrows by using your eyes and nose to measure.

"Eyebrows should never exceed the line of your nose, or go past the outer corner of your eye," she warns.

She also explains in her recent blog post about eyebrows how important it is to know your face shape before landscaping your brows. But she doesn't want those of us with imperfect brows to feel bad.

"Don't worry if your eyebrows are not shaped exactly right, or they are over-plucked. Even if you don't have the perfect arch, you can fill them in with eyebrow powder and get a great look. Having a natural looking eyebrow is key."

Or you could wear crazy eyebrows and be the laughing stock. You decide.

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