I used to pray every night to Jesus Up Above that I’d be able to grow out a full, lush beard like every other male in the world who isn’t Asian.
After all, I already look prepubescent (you sure you’re 17, sir? This is Rated R!) and having facial hair, I figured, would finally make me look older, wiser, more mature. But when it dawned on me on my 25th birthday that I’d be relatively furless on my upper lip for the rest of my life, I came to terms that I’d have to move on. And so I did to the next best thing: my eyebrows. Brows, after all, are your forehead’s own mustaches, at least in my head. Mine are naturally bushy, thick and dark, but far from filled in.
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So it’s ironic, then, that after all of these years taking pride in my forehead ‘staches I reinforce my brows’ masculinity by turning to a women’s product. By that, I mean Glossier’s own Boy Brow, the all-in-one wonder brow pomade designed to create an illusion of bushier, more manly eyebrows. It’s used to fill in sparse hair, thicken, while also styling them in a brow side part if there ever was such a thing.
Boyish brows for girls go back to 2013 when thick brows became the thing to do thanks to Cara Delevingne. It’s a trend that’s been resurged from the ’80s when gals took to Brooke Shield’s own famed furry friends. Brows are now a big business. At least, according to market research by the firm, NPD Group, which reported eyebrow makeup neared $90 million in the past five years.
It makes sense, then, that it would ring true for guys as well. Ramy Gafni, a celebrity makeup artist with his own product line, saw such a spike of men requesting eyebrow grooming he coined the word “Guybrows” back in 2011. When he began his business 20 years ago, only 5% of his clients were guys, he tells Very Good Light. Today, it’s over 50%.
“It’s so accepted that I feel like men would almost be embarrassed if they didn’t get their brows groomed,” he tells us. For men, bolder eyebrows are having their moment because “they make you appear more sophisticated and flatter most face types,” Ramy says. Which explains why brands have their own men’s specific brow products like Ramy’s own Perfect Brow Wand for guys and the likes of Tom Ford have its own men’s specific gelcomb.
So why is it that I use a women’s products for my own boy brows? Simply put, Glossier’s version make the look very extreme and obvious. Instead of Tom Ford’s own, which is great a combing them over and putting them in place, Glossier’s fills mine in and makes them the better, bolder version of male eyebrows. Every other day, I’ll brush them up, fill in the bald spots and make sure they look as thick as Yanni’s upper lip. The entire process takes all of 15 seconds but gives me an entire day of security that I am over 21 and certainly strangely, more secure in my manhood.
Sure, it doesn’t make up for the lack of full grown beard, but does make my round cherub of a face look a little more grown up. Almost like a boyish face becoming more adult-like. Call it my version of Boy (Browz) II Men.