By: Mehry Sabet
It was the summer of 2002. My parents decided to spend our annual 2-week summer vacation in Warsaw, Indiana. They felt that exposing us to John Deere tractor rides through corn fields, Friday night high school basketball games that are equivalent to an NBA finals game, and becoming one with the Amish folks was going to enrich our lives somehow. Totally kidding. Some of you may know this, some of you may not. My family lived in that little Northeast Indiana town (about 30 minutes south of South Bend. Go Irish!) when I was a kid. My dad's job took us out of New England and dropped us into the Midwest for 3 years. To make a long story short, we were on vacation to visit old friends who we kept in touch with after we moved our cultured AF asses back to Boston.
We were staying at the local Hampton Inn. You have about 3 options for hotels in Warsaw and that seemed to be the one with the best amenities to keep 3 kids under 13 occupied for 2 weeks. Hello, waffle maker! I woke up one hot morning... I mean, REALLY hot and walked my lanky 12 year old body into the hotel bathroom to brush my teeth and do my thing. I looked straight into the mirror and finally had enough. I was going into 7th grade that fall and did not want to continue to be the girl with the big bushy unibrow. 7th grade is no joke. You can't just walk in with a Limited Too t-shirt, chunky Kelly Clarkson-like highlights (you know EXACTLY what i'm talking about) and pair of K-Swiss Classics and expect to sit at the cool table. You've gotta step that shit UP. I knew I needed to resolve my brow situation, and I needed to do it NOW.
I pulled my mom into the bathroom, pleading with her to let me get my eyebrows waxed. "Once you start, you can't stop" she said. I wasn't looking to sport a unibrow throughout my teenage years so I was cool with the fact that it would require a little bit of upkeep. Being the super impatient, I-need-it-right-now kind of person that I was (and still am), I demanded we take care of it that day. Given that we were on vacation and had no clue what salons were open, we took to the phone book to call around to different salons (if you don't know what a phone book is and you're asking yourself why didn't I just Google it, I feel very, very sorry for you). We quickly found everywhere was closed on Sundays so my mom insisted she do it herself. "CVS has these Sally Hansen wax strips we can get and I can do it for you". Mom's are basically super heroes and know everything about anything, so I trusted her.
After heading to CVS and picking up the wax kit, I anxiously ran back into our hotel room to let her work her magic. I laid down on the bed as she took out the first strip. It was the kind of strip that you had to heat up by rubbing it between your hands. I wasn't nervous or anything about the pain. I was just full of excitement to not look like a baby baboon anymore. As she placed the first strip on and patted down the areas where she wanted to remove the hair she said, "You ready?" Oh boy was I ever ready. (insert sound of wax strip being pulled really quick). "Oh No." she said. My heart sunk to my ass. "What do you mean, oh no?" I screamed. The look on her face is an expression I will never, ever forget. I ran into the bathroom and what I saw still haunts me to this day. It was gone. No not the unibrow or unwanted hair. My whole fucking left eyebrow. Gone. Just like that, I went from being a unibrowed 12 year old with dreams of sitting at the cool table having perfectly arched eye brows drinking a Capri Sun and noshing on a bologna Lunchable to the girl with 1 eyebrow. I threw a bitch fit. And rightfully so.
After going through the 5 stages of grief, my mom (who felt AWFUL) proposed we go to this place called Sally's Beauty Supply and get an eyebrow pencil. Excuse me, wtf is that?Now, this was 2002. Nobody knew what an eyebrow pencil was until about 4 years ago when some lady named Anastasia who lives in Beverly Hills told us we needed one. My mom went to Sally's and came back with this infamous brow pencil. And there I was at 12 years old, drawing on my left eyebrow. Remember how I said it was hot? Like so hot makeup runs down your face kind of hot? Well, let's put it this way. That makeup pencil didn't stay put for more than a couple of minutes. There was also the issue of me forgetting that I had 1 drawn-on eyebrow and when I would accidentally wipe my face throughout the day, See ya, EYEBROW!
Fast forward 15 years and not only do I own every eyebrow product imaginable, my whole life is dedicated to perfecting brows on myself and others. People ask me all the time how I got started as a professional makeup artist, so here it is. At the age of 12 in a sweaty hotel room in Warsaw, Indiana where my left eyebrow died, a makeup artist was born. Don't worry Mom, I still love you.