Is there anything more desirable to achieve a dramatic, glam look (or even just a better everyday look) than those staple thick, perfectly shaped brows and full, long lashes?
And yet, now, perhaps more than ever, the brow and lash trends are nearly impossible to achieve. I mean, who has brows that on point and such dramatic lashes naturally or can even cultivate such a look perfectly? Even spending a good amount of time and effort—and god only knows how much money on products—can yield substandard results. And how could it not with such expectations? Believe me, I know it: the pressure is great, the struggle is real, the process is frustrating, and the results are disappointing.
Honestly? When it comes to brows and lashes, I’ve had to let go of some of my expectations in exchange for more realistic and forgiving ones. I was a little exhausted with trying to create features I didn’t naturally posses. I soon realized that it’s okay to buck a trend and embrace your own. This “Spring Clean Your Look” series is about establishing your best look—not Cara Delevingne’s or Kylie Jenner’s or Bella Hadid’s or anybody else’s. Yours. And keeping pace with certain trends might be a part of revealing your best look, and it might not. This is about learning what suits you best and cultivating that look.
My younger sister has the most beautiful eyes, brows, and lashes you could ever wish for. I’ve always envied her them. She has big, green eyes and lashes that nearly touch her naturally thick, well-shaped brows. I, on the other hand, have small, hooded eyes and sparse brows. Did I forget to mention lashes? Right, because mine are nearly nonexistent.
But none of this has impeded me from establishing a great look, and not because I spend an hour drawing on eyebrows, utilizing eyeshadow tricks, and applying fake lashes. (Do I do this sometimes? Yes. Do I feel like I need to do this to look great? No.) I used to agonize over applying makeup. I don’t anymore. Now, I do everything I can to simplify and minimalize—to establish the best look that I can for me as naturally, quickly, easily, effectively, and inexpensively as possible.
In order to do this, I, first, identified my best asset, and I accentuate that. I may not have the most stereotypically, beautiful eyes, but I have a great mouth—naturally full lips and teeth that never needed braces. So, I emphasize my lips and take a more minimalist approach when it comes to my eyes—going for a look that is more simple and understated.
That being said, it’s not like I totally neglect brow and lash care and cosmetics. I’ve found a few tricks that work for me in the brow and lash department, and I definitely utilize them. In this post, I will share a recipe for a serum to grow healthier, thicker brows and longer lashes as well as some tips and tricks for brow and lash upkeep and makeup application.
Another reason I strayed from industry trends, other than the unrealistic standards, is the unhealthy, damaging effects of the commercial products needed to comply with such trends.
The top 10 toxic chemicals in eye makeup (eyeshadows, eyeliner, mascara, makeup brushes, eyelash curlers, false-lash adhesives, and eyebrow pencils, gels, etc.) are carbon black (also listed on labels as D&C black no. 2, acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black), ethanolamine compounds (such as DEA, TEA, and MEA), benzalkonium chloride (also BAK, benzalkonium chloride, quaternium-15, or guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride), prime yellow carnauba wax, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (also quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and urea), parabens, aluminum powder (also aluminum, LB pigment 5, or pigment metal), retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate, heavy metals (like nickel and chrome), and titanium dioxide (TiO2). These chemicals can cause anything from dry or bloodshot eyes, eye infections, and clogged oil glands to hormone disruption, organ system toxicity, and cancer.
Thankfully, there is a better alternative—quick and easy, natural and healthy, and more effective and economical. For awhile now, I’ve been making my own self-care products and with such success I doubt I’ll ever go back.
Brow and Lash Serum
You will need:
- 1/4 tsp. castor oil
- 1/4 tsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. vitamin-E oil
Combine and stir together. Pour into a small container.
Directions for use:
Gently apply to brows and lashes using either a q-tip or a clean mascara wand.
After my posts on healthy, homemade products for skincare and, now, brow and lash care in this “Spring Clean Your Look Series,” you all might be wondering, “What about makeup?” In this series, I have focused on products and routines for self-care, such as moisturizing, growing, shaping, etc.—basics that need to be established in order to reveal your best look before perusing cosmetic aisles and websites or making your own makeup products.
However, now that we’ve covered the basics of self-care, it’s time to talk makeup. I am currently transitioning to making my own natural, healthy makeup products, and as soon as I have experimented around and found the best recipes, I will share them! So, please, follow my blog in order to read the future “Makeup Basics” series in which I will detail how to make your own makeup products and use different techniques and tricks to apply them well!
But—just to get you started!—below is a recipe for healthy, homemade mascara.
You will need:
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- 4 tsp. aloe vera gel
- 1/2-1 tsp. beeswax
- 1-2 tsp. activated charcoal
Melt coconut oil and beeswax in a glass bowl over boiling water. Remove from heat and add aloe vera gel and activated charcoal. Stir well. You can find empty mascara tubes and wands on Amazon for a container and easy use.
Directions for use:
Treat as regular mascara
As far as my routine, I only use my healthy, homemade face cleanser (recipe found here)—which removes eye makeup wonderfully!—to remove my makeup in the evenings. Then, in addition to treating my under-eye area with my homemade face cream (recipe found here), I apply the serum to my brows and lashes and allow it to set overnight.
I pluck any stray eyebrow hairs and trim my eyebrows weekly; however, because I already have pretty sparse brows I’m careful not to over-pluck or over-trim. Most of my brow shaping comes in the form of brow filling in the mornings when I apply makeup. I currently use Younique’s precision brow gel and brow liner to fill my brows. (Product details as well as tutorials for brow shaping and filling will be covered in the forthcoming “Makeup Basics” series.)
I don’t “build” my brows too much. I prefer clean, simple makeup looks and have found that overly-large, thick, or angular brows gives me a more dramatic look than I like. I also have very sparse natural brows so too much manicuring tends to make my brows look obviously faux.
As I’ve said, I keep my eye makeup pretty simple, as is generally needed for hooded eyes. I’ll share my eye makeup application routine and techniques in the “Makeup Basics” series. Follow my blog to receive notification of its posting!
And that concludes the “Spring Clean Your Look” series! You have now created the foundation upon which everything else will build. I hope these self-care basics have been as helpful in revealing your best look as they have been for me! Please, let me know what worked best for you and share your results!
(This post is the sixth in the “Spring Clean Your Look” series. You can find the first post of that series here.)