There’s a standard joke if you are, like me, of the ginge persuasion, that usually gets barked at you across a crowded bar by a Jimmy Five Bellies type who’s necking down a birdbath of beer.
“Oi,” is generally how it starts. “Ginga? D’yer collars and cuffs match?” By which, he is politely asking me if I dye my hair. This is obviously a ludicrous question as nearly every woman I have ever met dyes her hair, and more to the point, these days no one’s collars and cuffs match, because no one has any cuffs, they’ve been waxed off and replaced with a pretty diamante vajazzle in the shape of a heart.
But elderly ginge jokes aside, one of the other great downers of being a sandy haired sod covered in splatter-gun freckles is, along with the pale hair, you get the pale lashes and brows as well; thereby providing you with a very nice mole-eyed look that you try and remedy at the first opportunity.
For most of my youth my mother dyed my eyelashes, pinning me down on her bed and slathering on the Louis Marcel blue/black cream till my eyelids screamed out in pain. I did graduate on to the brows, but only once, as avid readers of this splendid website will remember my Frida Kahlo moment when I gave birth to two hairy caterpillars after being wrestled to the ground by the Bold Brow Team in Fenwicks. The wine-snorting derision that my brave move into the world of high fashion elicited was quite frankly enough to put me off any extra brow work… until now.
Well, there isn’t much putting a spring into one’s sodden step at this miserable time of year, is there? So when I was asked if I wanted to try out the new Brow Extension Service at the Lash Bar in Soho, tucked in the shadows of Liberty’s department store, I grabbed it with both hands. I thought my Cara Delevingne fantasy could at last be realised! After all, the only thing holding me back from an international modelling career coupled with 24-hour gurning was my weedy eyebrows.
So as London slowly sunk into the Thames, I lay back in a comfortable armchair while Sarah got to work on my brows. I’d been invited in the day before for a patch test for both the glue and the tint, which proved to be fine, so with no issues outstanding, Sarah pulled out her tweezers and started tugging away at the stray hairs between my brows.
As my eyes gently watered, I took in the rest of the salon, which was silver, fresh, high tech and packed with prone young lovelies all having their eyelashes extended. Who knew this was such a scene? There were more girls in the basement, apparently.
Having tweaked out the hair she didn’t want and dyed the remainder, Sarah then proceeded to attach single brow hairs in the places that she thought needed filling out. It is a fiddly business that requires a steady hand, sharp eye and plenty of patience and glue. From a pack of individual hairs, Sarah took each one out in turn and carefully dunked one end in glue and placed on my face. My right eyebrow was thinner than the left and apparently required more attention. The whole thing took about half an hour and the result was quite striking. They were certainly thicker and darker and there was a whole lot of brow.
I took them out last night for a turn at the school quiz (you see how I roll!) and I did get a few strange looks, but then everyone got distracted, pissed on Pinot, agonising what an “unkindness” was a collective noun for (ravens – in case you care). In fact the only person who has really noticed my new glamorous Delevingne look was a four-year old in my son’s class who looked me up and down this morning and pronounced that I looked “Reeeeally strange.”
It’s one up from collars and cuffs, I suppose.
Imogen had the new brow extensions treatment at Lash Bar , 020 7434 4554.