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Style Central: Style To Dye For!

How many times will we do the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome? Too many to count, I'm loathe to admit.

Nora Ephron, critically acclaimed humorist, author, screenwriter and film director (Sleepless in Seattle) just recently passed away. When I heard the news, I wept. I cannot imagine a world without her. She was talented, accomplished, down to earth and best of all, she was really funny.

Ephron was also notorious for wearing scarves and turtle neck tops. She made no bones about it. She was not going to show her neck in public. Clearly, she did not like her neck. In fact, she even wrote a book about it! One of the funniest books ever, I might add. Oddly enough, it is titled, I Don’t Like My Neck. I would probably have to say the same about my neck, except for the fact that I don’t ever look at my neck. I have this great bathroom mirror that casts a long deep shadow from my chin to my clavicle, and so, I don’t see it. What neck?

I do have a personal grudge against my eyebrows, however. The likes of which I can see quite clearly in my mirror every single day. Granted, as a redhead, the color thing is somewhat tricky. When I was younger, both my hair and my brows were au natural. It was easy and it was just fine. But now that I’m a wee bit older, the color grey has become an issue, and I want a more youthful appearance.

Don’t we all?

Every now and again, a young enthusiastic hair salon colorist will come along and talk me into putting hair dye on my sparse, wiry brows and every time, I hate the outcome. The color is always too dark and it always makes me look like Groucho Marx. Not exactly the look I'm going for.

I tried waxing and the results were catastrophic. My fair and extremely sensitive skin hurt like the dickens afterwards and looked burned and scarlet-red for at least a week. Forget it.

After that fiasco, I had my eyebrows professionally plucked. That helped, but it didn’t do the trick, as that pesky grey-blond color was still an issue. In the meantime, I’ve used eyebrow pencils of various brands and in various colors (a complete disaster) and I’ve tried eye shadow to color them, but it still looks artificial and it tends to disappear as the day wears on. It itches, what can I say?

Eventually, I find myself back at the hair salon asking if we might try yet another color formula. My colorist just sighs and smiles and says of course we can.

She is a saint.

I feel like the baseball slugger who cannot lay off the high heat (I wont mention any names). Sure, he hits some awesome home runs upon occasion, but more often than not, a high fastball will have him back on his heels, flailing in the wind as he strikes out (in the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, two out and the winning run a mere ninety feet away). We don't NEED a homerun, I scream at the TV. As I watch him swing for the fences, I find myself yelling out loud, “Stop swinging at those high fastballs, you nincompoop!"

And then I go and dye my eyebrows yet again!

Now who's the nincompoop?

All of this brings to mind a friend of mine who buys black pants on a fairly regular basis. Always in search of the perfect pair, I cannot begin to guess how many pairs she has accumulated over the years. 

“I know they're out there somewhere,” says she. “My perfect fit, perfect fabric, perfect length, beautiful, black pants."

Right. Just like I know that somewhere out there is the perfect brow treatment for me.

We probably shouldn't hold our breath.

About this column: Nancy Pipal is a personal style consultant living in La Grange, IL. Her monthly column, Style Central, spotlights trends in fashion and highlights local businesses, so you can look good and shop local.

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