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Introducing Doll, Racked's first transgender guest blogger. Always secretly wishing he'd been born a Barbie, Doll was a young army brat who grew up and became a citizen of the world. After landing in Manhattan, he became a New York fashion insider, working in a high-powered industry position, living a life worthy of a feature film.
After mysteriously vanishing from the scene, Doll recently resurfaced and has embarked on a new roller-coaster ride of a journey. Follow his transformation, week by week, right here on Racked.
“While some may hesitate and balk at the idea of changing one’s brow shape, one only needs to think of Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn or Diana Ross to realize how altering the shape can help create a signature look.” -Kevin Aucoin
As changes progress during the hormone replacement therapy, my face continues to feminize as my features soften. However, aside from bone structure, a distinguishing factor between the male and female face are the eyebrows. I have an oval-shaped face with thick eyebrows, so shaping them to flatter my features is a challenge. If something were to go awry, I wouldn’t be able to face my problems—especially if the problem is on my face! So I did some thorough research on inspiration and where I can get them done.
Now I initially wanted to wait until my hair grew to shoulder’s length before I shaped my eyebrows, but I am already passing easily as a woman—so, I figured, why wait? For the past couple of weeks, I've been asking friends, family, and boys who they think my celebrity look-a-like would be, to get a better visual on what look I should channel. Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria, and Nicole Scherzinger topped the list.
Another integral part of my research was reading make-up books by artists I greatly admire—Kevyn Acouin, Bobbi Brown, and Scott Barnes, to name a few. An underlying factor I learned was that one’s eyebrows say a lot about oneself. Whether your brows are wild and coarse, bushy, curved, arched, straight or thin/painted on, the eyebrows really make and shape the face. I personally would say mine fall under the “bushy” category—think Brooke Shields. Defined as boyish and slightly unkempt, they're real-life examples of the Gamine’s brow.
My next steps were choosing the best method to get them shaped and where I should get them done. Nowadays you can get them waxed, plucked, threaded or even zapped via electrolysis. I admit, I have tweezed and plucked my own eyebrows in the past, but I never really altered the shape, I only cleaned up the stray hairs. I’ve had my upper lip waxed once and it almost left me with a permanent scar due to some partial skin being ripped off along with the hair. I’ve heard that possible redness and irritation can occur after threading and knowing that I have extremely sensitive skin, I wouldn’t want to risk that. Electrolysis would definitely not be a wise option, as I do not want to permanently remove the hair and be stuck with a particular brow shape for life. So my best option was plucking.
After thoroughly canvassing brow salons and aestheticians that specialize in shaping brows, I still felt uncomfortable with entrusting a complete stranger (credible or not) with such a task. And this is where my bff Dr. Ken propositioned that he do them for me. Dr. Ken is a jack of all trades with many, many hidden talents—aside from all his professional and educational achievements he also has impeccable taste and a skillful eye for capturing beauty when it comes to everything and anything. He has also been cutting my hair for the past 6 years and expertly colored Cher’s auburn red locks into a chestnut blonde—so I had to give him credit. After much thought, careful consideration and a Xanax, I caved in and had him do it.
The entire process took about 30 mins, during which I was forbidden to look in the mirror until he was finished—he made me swear on my life that I would honor his request, so you can only imagine my anxiety and frustration. He also decided to use scissors instead of tweezers because if I didn’t like the shape, the hair would grow back faster. (NB: Remember brow hairs do not grow back thicker. If anything, constant plucking may cause the individual hairs to stop growing altogether.)
When the time came for me to view his masterpiece I shrieked in awe and excitement. Not because I looked completely different, but more so because he only made a few subtle changes and gave my brows a more clean, well groomed look. Needless to say, I’m a happy customer! Next step is to see how it fares with a full face of make-up as I paint the town red with the Dolls.