We’ve not had too much snow here, but as we live on quite a steep hill we’ve decided to stay quite close to home today.
The only reason I had to leave the house was my appointment with the lovely ladies at Kerie Hoy Beauty in Hitchin, for my second Billion Dollar Brows treatment.
I’ve got naturally very sparse, fair eyebrows and over the years I’ve plucked and used pencil and powder at home, dyed them myself, had them dyed professionally and tried the very popular HD Brows treatment. However, I wasn’t totally happy with any of these options; I found it hard to keep a neat eyebrow shape without overplucking, as my eyebrows are so fine and they often just ended up looking straggly, and I found the HD Brows, while they looked great when first done, didn’t grow out well and thus were hard to fill in myself at home. The shape just wasn’t quite right for me.
I’d seen a lot of recommendations for Billion Dollar Brows and as Kerie, their ‘Master Trainer’ for the UK, has her salon in Hitchin I thought I would give this treatment a try. The brows are tinted to match your colouring, before being carefully shaped using a guide that adapts to each person’s face. The idea is that the arch will suit you perfectly and look natural, though obviously you can achieve a stronger look if you prefer by choosing a darker tint and/or powder. Once waxed to shape, your brows are then filled in, and if you are trying to grow them like me, you are given hints about where to fill them while the finer, overplucked hairs grow back. After a few treatments you should have a brow that is the most flattering thickness and arched in the right place for your individual features.
Here’s the effect after two treatments, six weeks apart, with some makeup to fill – I am so happy with them! I’m amazed how much difference eyebrows can make to your overall look. I also should point out that Billion Dollar Brows treatments are normally slightly cheaper than HD Brows, and I’ve found it gives a much more wearable result, especially when you don’t want to wear much makeup.
I’ve also bought some of their brow powder in the blonde shade – I struggle to buy lighter tint, powder or pencil on the high street that isn’t slightly red, and have several photos of me where I seem to have slightly gingery brows as a result! If you don’t want the hassle of a powder, I also love Laura Mercier’s eyebrow pencil in Blonde.
The rest of my day has been spent pottering around at home. I’m quite excited as, after trying out several recipes, I think I have finally found the perfect American-style cookie recipe, in the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. The recipe made 26 large cookies, squidgy on the inside and crispy on the outside and exactly how they should be. Perfect with a nice cup of tea.
You can see that I couldn’t quite wait for this one to cool, as the chocolate inside is still soft! The recipe is super quick and easy too – my only comment would be that if you aren’t keen on the USA’s favourite sweet/salt flavour combo, I’d reduce the salt to a pinch. Any dark chocolate would do, I used Waitrose’s own label but I bet these would be brilliant with something like chocolate orange dark chocolate.
Makes about 24 cookies.
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
350g soft light brown sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
225g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or if you are me, smashed with a rolling pin!)
4 baking trays, lined with baking parchment
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/325 degrees F/Gas 3
Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer, or using a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Turn the mixer speed down to low and beat in the vanilla extract.
Mix in the flour, salt and bicarb of soda and ensure they are well combined. You should have a smooth, stiff dough. Remove the whisk and stir in your chocolate until evenly mixed through the dough.
Arrange six equal spoonfuls of cookie dough on each tray, make sure you leave plenty of space between them as they flatten and spread during baking. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until quite flat and golden brown at the edges. Cool on the trays for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a rack. Try and resist eating them until they are totally cool.
What’s your brow grooming routine? And what’s your favourite cookie combination? I want to try choc cherry and white choc macadamia nut next!