For most, October represents a cozy time of year: sweater weather, apple picking and pumpkin spice lattes. For LJ O’Rahilly, it’s that time of the year when she tweezes out her eyebrows (insert dramatic chords here). Yes, you read that correctly; she not only removes her eyebrows, but she pulls them out by the root.
Why would somebody do this? Although sheer lunacy on surface level, LJ actually does a brilliant campaign for an honourable cause: to raise awareness and money for the Look Good Feel Better organization in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For the month of October, LJ transforms her beauty platform into an educational support space for people suffering from hair loss by creating tons of tutorials featuring different makeup products on how to create the perfect brows, from scratch.
We had to feature such an inspiring and innovative beauty campaign and chat with LJ about her thought-process behind #Browtober. Here is what she had to say about removing her eyebrows.
What inspired you to work on this project?
Last year, I wanted to do a themed month on social media for the entire October. I decided to do brows, because well, Browtober sounds great, but I was unsure how to create brow content and make it exciting. Then it came to me that people going through chemo therapy may lose their brows, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so it tied in perfectly. I couldn’t find many brow tutorials online to create a realistic looking eyebrow when there are no hairs to use as a guide, so I decided I wanted to change that.
Why did you choose to tweeze your brows out instead of wax them? Ouch!
I actually didn’t know how to wax my own brows! I reached out to local salons/aestheticians to collaborate but nobody responded, and I wanted to do it in the comfort of my own home because I wasn’t sure how I’d react. Otherwise, I would have just booked an appointment at a salon to have them waxed and get the pain over and done with. So, I just ended up tweezing them out at home!
How did you feel when you first removed your brows?
Emotional. You have no idea what it’s like until they are gone and what a huge impact they make to your overall image.
How did the results from last year’s first Browtober differ from what you expected?
The results far exceeded my expectations. We raised a lot more money than I expected, I was overwhelmed with people’s generosity. I also got many DMs from people expressing their struggles to me. I really appreciated them reaching out. I’m glad that the message got across that I was there for support.
What was the most difficult part about having no brows for an entire month?
Last year, the most difficult part was when I wanted to wear no makeup for a day. I still felt the need to draw on brows. I want to work on that a little bit more and overcome the need for having brows drawn on every time I want to leave the house.
What was your greatest learning takeaway from this experience?
We really don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. And that a lot of people are more traumatized from losing their brows and lashes instead of the hair on their head.
What is your goal for this year’s Browtober?
My goal is to raise awareness for Look Good Feel Better, the amazing charity I’m fundraising for. The power of makeup is real and can really help boost our confidence in such devastating times in our lives. All I want to do is to help as many people as possible with the skills I have learned as a makeup artist, and help give others the confidence by looking their best selves.
What are your plans/vision for future Browtobers?
With #Browtober, I hope that I can start an annual campaign for brow and hair loss support. This year, I had two more influencers join me in removing their brows and that, to me, is mind-blowing. The kindness is spreading. The more people offering to create tutorials and support, the quicker it will reach the people who need to see those tutorials the most.
You can find the tutorials on LJ’s Instagram page and follow her #Browtober fundraising and hair loss awareness campaign.
To donate to LJ’s fundraiser for Look Good Feel Better, Ireland, click here.