Fashion & Beauty

Arch Support

March 6, 2022


iStock photo.

By Valerie Monroe

For nearly 16 years Valerie Monroe was the beauty director at O, The Oprah Magazine, where she wrote the popular “Ask Val” column.

If you’re interested in feeling happier about your appearance—especially as you age—you might like reading what she has to say about it. For more of her philosophical and practical advice, subscribe for free to How Not to F*ck Up Your Face at

THIS POST BEGAN with a reader question:

Can’t get enough Valerie Monroe? There’s more at

Alice: As the hair on my head has turned snow white so has the hair on my eyebrows. They have also thinned as I age. Any thoughts on that issue?

Of course I have thoughts! Here’s what I have had to say on the matter.

And then:

If your hair is completely snow white and your brows are, too, it’s best to have them professionally shaped (at least once) and then, if necessary fill in any thin spots with a light gray pencil. But if your brows are partly gray, dyeing them is, as far as I know, your best option. I don’t love tints, which I find can make me look like I got caught in a sandstorm with vaseline on my brows. I now dye my brows myself, after lots of equivocating about it. It works for me, and it can be done as often as necessary (by which I mean every few weeks). It’s not hard. I use this tint in middle brown (my hair is blond-ish, gray-ish), which I mix 1 to 1 with this developer. I mix it on a little flat stick like a tongue depressor. Apply it with an eyeliner brush or a bare spoolie brush (which you can get for free at Sephora if you look like you might buy something). Leave the dye on for around two minutes (NOT MORE) and then wipe off with a damp cotton pad. The more practice you get at doing this the better your results should be, but even when you don’t think you know what you’re doing, if you don’t leave the dye on too long, the results are fine.
You want to be extra careful, of course, to keep the stuff out of your eyes, so load the brush sparingly and take as many passes as you need to cover all the brow hair. It’s really easy once you get the hang of it. Make sure you have uninterrupted time in front of the mirror and pay attention to the timer (I use my iPhone)!
Thanks for your question!
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5 thoughts on “Arch Support

  1. Nancy G says:

    For whatever reason, my brows have not turned salt and pepper like my hair. However, the “tails” are very sparse, and have been for years. I never needed eyebrow products until a few years ago. But now I try to fill in my brows even if I have nothing else on my eyes. I read somewhere that full brows indicate youth. I do think I look younger with full brows, but I’m invested at this point.

  2. Alice says:

    Thank you, Thank you. I will look into this asap.

  3. Diana says:

    Val- just tried to order this but it required a professional license number so I was unable to as a mere civilian. Suggestions?

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      Which item was it (I think there was more than one)? I’ll ask Val.

    2. Nancy McKeon says:

      Val replies: Sorry, for some reason, it seems to be unavailable on Amazon in the color I suggest. I haven’t tried other similar kits, but you might try:

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