Seven Days of Positive – Day 101

In Friends, houses, Interiors on January 4, 2015 at 11:02 pm


I’ve had a trauma. Yesterday my daughter arrived in the kitchen with elaborate pencilled-in eyebrows. They looked awful, like Elvis era Priscilla Presley.

I sent her up to the bathroom to wash it off and she came down with a scarf tied round her head, hippy style. I wrestled it off her to find that where there had been two eyebrows of utter perfection – there were two terrible little commas.


She’d shaved them.

I cried.

If they grow back at all they’ll never be the same. I’ve get several friends who mullered their eyebrows in their youths and they didn’t grow back, so I’m just praying hers will.

I can’t imagine what was going through her head, as I’ve talked to her about eyebrow plucking and leg shaving since she was really young, hoping I would stop her making either of those mistakes.

If you ever feel self conscious about anything like that, I told her – tell me and I will help you get it sorted professionally. Her legs are fine at the moment, but if they ever do go hairy I’m going to get it lasered off for her.

She claims the eye brow catastrophe was the result of peer pressure. ‘ALL’ the girls at school have plucked, threaded and in some cases, hideously drawn on, eyebrows apparently and they’ve been ‘bullying’ her about hers (which I’m sure just means a few jibes, really).

Oh the hell of peer pressure.

If she’d had a mono brow, or even Cara Delevingne’s I’d understand it, but she had really perfect eyebrows. Just strong and full enough to frame the face.

There was much gnashing of teeth.

If anyone has any tried and tested tips for growing eyebrows back, I would be very grateful.

Today was much better. Three of my very favourite people in the world came down for the day.

I met interiors stylist Hilary Robertson back in the day when I was editing ELLE and she was a contributor to ELLE Decoration. The pic at the top is from her house in Brooklyn. The whole place is that gorgeous.

This is the cover of her most recent book.


After that we didn’t meet again until about ten years later, when we both moved to Hastings and had children of a similar age.

I can still remember very clearly the first time my husband and I went to have dinner with Hils and her husband Alistair McCowan. The house was heaven, the food was amazing and the clinching factor? The music was the sound track from One From the Heart, one of my favourite all time albums, with all the songs by Tom Waits, sung by him and Crystal Gayle.

The lyrics are amazing. ‘I can’t tell, is that a siren or a saxophone?’ If you don’t know it, here’s a taster.

I knew people who had that playing were serious kindred spirits.

That was about ten years ago and we’ve been great friends ever since, with Peggy and their son Gus also great pals and we’ve had many joyous shared holidays and Christmases, the kind of good times you have only with your very best friends.

To my huge distress they moved to New York eight years ago and I miss them furiously all the time – although it’s a very good excuse to go over there and see them. This is another shot of their house.


So it was such a treat that on the last day of their trip back to Blighty to see family at Christmas, they made the effort to come down to the coast to spend a day with us.

We had lunch at our lovely nearest pub The Crown and then went to the Jerwood Gallery to look at the paintings and have coffee looking out over the sea.

It was really a perfect day.

Here’s Hils’ blog

And there’s a film of her in action here.

  1. Hi maggie,

    I’ve been seeing the most amazing brow specialist in Melbourne. After attending another well known service provider, I thought my brows were getting a little thin so a change was in order.

    This woman has worked her magic. Check out her instagram @luxbrowsandlashes_

    As my brows were a bit patchy, she suggested rubbing in bio oil at night time – it seems to have helped, though slowly.

    She may be able to recommended someone to you in London.

    Good luck to Peggy!

    Mel x

  2. You have my sympathy. I, too, have a 12-year-old daughter (eyebrows intact, thank goodness). My advice is to brush them every day. I was amazed how this made my brows grow back after those, when was it? 90s brows? Anyway. I used a brush like a mascara brush, without the mascara. Every day. My brows filled in beautifully. I guess it stimulates the blood supply to the area. She’s young, so it should work a treat. Good luck.

  3. There is a product to promote eyebrow growth.
    My friend distributes it here in Sydney.
    There is also an eyelash product that many friends have had great success with. Hopefully the eyebrow product is just as good. Good luck!

  4. They will grow back if they’ve been shaved as the hairs are still there. One shave won’t be final. It’s the constant over-plucking that we did in the 1970s that screws them for the rest of your life. The two things I have on my wish list are a painless breast reduction and eyebrow implants. Surely science can make this happen! Sheree, I’m going to try your brushing suggestion to try to fill mine in a bit – eyebrows, not breasts:) Thankfully, my girls didn’t touch their eyebrows (except to have them waxed at a salon) but they did shave their legs, despite my pleading. BTW – is it that look that the girls had on The School (I think it had a different name in the UK) with the shaved eyebrows and pencilled lines? What is that about?

  5. Dear Maggie, Peggy’s eyebrows will grown back perfectly; after just one shave honestly they will be fine. I completely agree with the prev. poster about the brushing – try a baby toothbrush (the fab.Mary Greenwell uses them for eyebrow grooming) from the Japanese (Pound shop equivalent) shops or sim. Repeated tweezering = disaster, one little razor incident – will b ok. I gave my mother a “grooming” heart attack when I was a child … couldn’t find me one afternoon after returning from primary school (first class). Eventually I was located under my bed distressed. After she coaxed me out to her horror saw that I had cut off both sets of top eyelashes with (wait for it) her enormous dressmaking shears!! She was so upset/shocked and made me promise to never do it again. When things calmed down a little she asked me why (on Earth!) did I do it? “The girls at school were teasing me, they said I was wearing false eyelashes”, her response was “Oh darling, they are just jealous of your wonderful eyelashes and please NEVER do that again”. Maggie, I am sure that P will find dealing with her botched eyebrows till they return to regular beauty so tedious, she won’t fiddle with them again. Worse things happen at sea, right? Yr mum OK? BX

  6. Oh God, the eyebrows… They will grow back (maybe a bit blunt and not feathery soft but the hair follicle is still there). On the POSITIVE side, I suspect that Peggy will have learnt an early and good lesson* – may it save her from other beauty disasters in her future).

    My mum helped me make two great beauty decisions – when I showed interest in shaving my legs she whisked me off for wax. To this day, I’ve NEVER once shaved my legs and after decades of waxing, there’s basically no hair left. Secondly, she took me to buy some decent perfume one birthday and showed me the appropriate amount to wear (so I wouldn’t be dousing myself in chemical-smelling ‘body sprays’ that were all the thing when I was 14).

    *always ask your mum!

  7. If they don’t grow back (neither of my daughters’ did after waxing and plucking and neither did mine), the solution is tattooing. After a couple of years of using powder daily, we three just had ours corrected. Yes, I got my 15- and 17-year-old daughters tatooed, stanger than fiction. Huge expense, but no more trauma. And no panic about the powder washing off while swimming, eeek! DON’T TELL GRANDMA, EVER!!!!

  8. I’ve had success with some stuff from Elizabeth Arden – my wispy eyelashes are now much longer. It’s for eyebrows too – although it’s not cheap. I think it’s part of their Prevage range.

    Kids! At least it’s not a tattoo…

  9. Hi Maggie

    Harvey Nichols sells 2 great products – one for encouraging eyebrow growth and the other for eyelashes. They are both from the same brand family. Both products really worked for me – made my eyebrows fuller and darker. It might help Peggy. It was invented by a Doctor whose wife lost her eyebrows and eyelashes due to cancer. The product is called Revitalash for the eyelashes and from memory (sorry I don’t have it anymore) the eyebrow one is Revitabrow. Hope it helps.

  10. I agree with the comments that your daughter’s eyebrows will probably grow back fine, because they were shaved, not plucked or waxed. It can’t hurt to do the soft-brushing thing though. I too have found over the years that leg and eyebrow waxing has caused the hair not to grow back (which for me is now a good thing).
    Regarding the peer pressure, I would take seriously your daughter’s comment that this was bullying; it can be subtle and dressed up as harmless jibes, but cause harm and distress.
    Meanwhile, I am really enjoying your blog lobbing into my inbox every day, thanks Maggie.

  11. Maggie I love you madly but feel I need to say this early in your sweet daughters ‘growing up’ phase….It might be a good idea not to ‘broadcast’ any little mistakes she makes…sorry. Had to say it..

  12. How I am feeling your pain! In the short term, try Revlon’s Colourstay Browmaker. I use it on my sparse ones and it’s OK once you develop a steady hand. Peer pressure seems to kick in much earlier these days. This too will pass… Xxx

    • It doesn’t look too ‘drawn on’??? x

      • There are three colours in the blonde/brown version and a little double ended brush. With some experimenting and blending it looks ok. Put it this way, the Clarins one I was encouraged to buy made me look very odd; this one I can live with. Hang in there …xxx

      • Is it like cream eye shadows? I’m using three colours of powder shadow on Miss Priss every morning at the moment and it looks very real, but it doesn’t stay on well. I start dark, then dot in some lighter shades and then mess the edges a little with an eyelash brush… it’s lucky I’ve watched a lot of make up artists in my time!

      • The Revlon one is powder, but I find as it’s Colour Stay, it is fairly resilient, ie I still look reasonably human by the end of the day. The brush has a wedge shaped end and a normal blunt end. I feather on the darker brown with the wedge end and then mess it up a bit with the other two colours, using the other end.

      • I’m going to check it out for her, the little weasel. I should make her suffer, but I just can’t…

  13. If your daughter admires Natalie Portman and if you can persuade your daughter to read this, it might help prevent round 2? Also google coconut oil eyebrows, it might help. (from

    In a recent interview with InStyle Magazine (February 2011 edition), there were a few tips that she divulged to the writer.

    What’s the best makeup tip you ever got from a professional?

    Early on, someone told me never to pluck my eyebrows. I always pluck between them and on the sides. Whenever I see young girls with amazing eyebrows, I tell them, “Don’t let anyone do anything to them.”

    • I told her from very young never to mess with them… but peer pressure is much louder than silly old mum, once you get to this age. Thanks for the Natalie P link, I will read. The best make up tip I ever got was from my great friend Christian McCulloch – Aussie make up artist, very successful in New York, where he now lives. I was complaining about the problem of trying to make up older eyes, because I do all my blending and then when I open my eye I can’t see any of it. He said: ‘Do it with your eyes open.’ Works a treat.

  14. Maggie in the early 60’s I used to shave my eyebrows regularly to shape them.
    Why you ask ? Because I couldn’t stand the pain of plucking them. I thought they looked gorgeous but who knows what everybody else thought. It never stopped them growing back and today I have normal eyebrows that require waxing just like my friends who didn’t shave their brows. Don’t worry too much – there is always a solution to these mad things we do as teenagers. I can remember locking myself in the bathroom to raid the medicine cabinet (the one with the big red cross painted on the front of it – oh god the memories !) putting straight peroxide on the front of my hair daily with a cotton wool ball and then after I had this great white blob at the front, telling my mother the sun had bleached it because I wore my school hat pushed to the back. Worse thing is I thought my gorgeous mother believed me. You’ve reminded me of so many details of my teenage years. Believe me…you will all be laughing about this in a few years. x

    • Thanks Sue! That is a great comfort. Currently I’m drawing on her brows every morning with powder eye shadows, three colours – it’s a good job I’ve studied painting!

  15. The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil is great, has a waxy finish so might stay on longer. Hope they grow back quickly!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Fragrant Cloud

I think in perfume

Style Notes

Style Notes

The Grooming Guru

An Expert's Guide To Male Grooming

Mad About The House

The sourcebook for modern living is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

En Brogue

slow comfortable style

North/South Food

Eating across the North/South divide

Jack Monroe

The #1 budget recipe website

Liberty London Girl

Just another site

The Selvedge Yard

A historical record of artistry, anarchy, alchemy & authenticity.

Cattle & Cane

Country Chronicles

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: