Bold and beautiful browspiration (we’re coining it) from the stars.
After years of plucking them to obscurity, all-natural brows are back and they’re kind of a big deal. If eyes are the windows to your soul, then eyebrows are the framework to your face–structured, well-suited brows have the power to alter your entire look and make you look younger. Ranging from dark and bushy, to immaculately groomed we selected our favourite celebrity eyebrows that have us sprinting to our brow technician with some fresh brow inspiration.
It's impossible to separate Cara Delevigne from her bold brows; one could even argue that her most famous feature has played a role in building her extensive modelling career.
This is giving us serious Frida Kahlo vibes. Tweezers are so unnecessary when unplucked brows manage to look so chic.
Kerr proves here that full and soft brows are all you need against barely there makeup to look polished.
Not a hair out of place. The sharp line of Zendaya's perfectly groomed, thick brows might be too fierce for us to handle.
Watson's arches fall under the natural column; they're the perfect combination of put-together, without looking too primped.
We are drooling over Victoria's Secret Angel, Taylor Hill's unruly brows. Her stray hairs make us feel less guilty about missing our last waxing appointment.
It would be blasphemous not to pay homage to the first bold celebrity arches to reach public infamy.
The Queen of Dragon's eyes are captivating but we can't tear our gaze away from her impeccably brushed-out brows.
Look no further than the Kardashian-Jenners tribe for expertly tinted, plucked and shaped Instagram brows that we can only describe as "on fleek".
How luscious are super model Doutzen Kroes's thick, filled in brows? The contrast is so captivating.
It must be actress Camilla Belle's Brazilian heritage that gives her such a bold look–whatever it is, we're envying how full those arch are.
Considering Beyoncé is the Queen of, well, everything, it would make sense for her to be the reigning queen of brows, as well.
One of our favourite Canadian actress', Shay Mitchell, nails it with her brows–not too thin, not too thick–just right.
The epitome of cool; we're obsessed with the contrast of Kravitz's darker brows against her white-blonde braids.
One of the reasons Mendes' arches look so expressive is that she hasn't filled in every hair, but left a few spots sparse to make it look more natural.
Hello; super model Jourdan Dunn's brows have nearly a perfect V-shaped arch. Genetic lottery much?
The girls of Modern Family know the secret to a killer look: deep-set brows that accentuate their bronzy glow and voluminous hair.
You ask any celebrity brow artist and they will tout Connelly's brows as the holy grail. The dark-haired beauty face-framing brows are always on point.
The secret to Emma looking so fresh-faced and radiant is undoubtedly her modern, full brows.
Once your eyebrows, have their own Twitter account, you know you've truly mastered the brow game.
Miss USA pageant winner, model and actress, Olivia Culpo's signature is perfectly groomed and poised style, which extends right up to her structured brows.
Portman has had a strong brow game since she was a child actor, but what she does differently than most is that she opts for a straighter across brow. It’s not just about thickness and colour, which is of course on point, but it’s the length. To get a similar look rather than focusing on creating arches use your pencil to extend the brows towards the outer corners on each side.
How one woman found love with someone who had lost it.
After my husband and I separated, I didn't think I would ever fall in love again. I had two little children and couldn't imagine being in another relationship. I felt unlucky in love, as if perhaps I didn't deserve to be happy. Besides, I hadn't dated in 15 years and, now, didn't know where to begin. But six months after I separated, a mom I'd just met called to ask if I'd be interested in going on a blind date with her friend James*, a single dad who had recently lost his wife to cancer.
By then, every single person I'd met had baggage, including me, so it never occurred to me that dating a widower would be different from dating anyone else. I didn't even really consider the possibility that a first date might lead to a second. But from the get-go, I could tell James was different. The conversation flowed easily, he was funny and interesting…we ended up going on that second date, then a third. When he asked me to date him exclusively a few weeks later, I was ecstatic— but a few months into our relationship, something weird started happening. There were a series of days when, inexplicably, he wasn't himself. He was quiet and sad and didn't want to talk.
I knew what it felt like when a man wasn't interested in me anymore—that's how my marriage had ended. So when he would clam up and be distant, I had a familiar sickening feeling. We met for a drink at a quiet neighbourhood bar, where I cut to the chase. "I'm sorry, James, but I don't know what to do when you won't talk to me. I can't do it," I told him, too sad to drink my wine. I hoped ending things would spare him the trouble of dumping me and spare myself the pain of having yet another person leave me. I was beside myself: I couldn't believe things were ending when everything had been going so well.
Only now, James was ready to talk. "I've mentioned that my wife died two years ago, and I'm sorry for not being able to communicate with you better. Certain days of the year are hard for me, and I've just got through some very difficult back-to-back anniversaries," he explained, his eyes fixed on his lap. "Some days, I don't want to talk, but I'm feeling better again and I don't want you to take it personally. I'm just trying to cope as best I can; it has nothing to do with you. I really like you and I like where this relationship is going."
He looked up into my eyes and stretched his arms across the table. His warm hands enveloped my own. It hadn't occurred to me that he was going through a rough patch; because of my own history, I assumed it was something I had done. I didn't yet know enough about his life or about grief to understand his personality or the dates that would be difficult for him. When he communicated his feelings, I felt as though I understood him, like we were connecting on a deeper level. I realized then that this man was different kinder, deeper, stronger and more compassionate—than anyone else I was likely to meet. As a newly single mother struggling to get back on my feet, I had my own set of issues and insecurities; dating a widower on top of it all wouldn't be easy, but I had fallen in love. I had to try.
My situation isn't as unique as you might think. In 2016, about 1.83 million widowed people were living in Canada, and many of them are finding their way back onto the dating market. According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center in the United States, 19 percent of those who are currently divorced, separated or widowed report using online dating. In fact, Match.com saw an 8.3 percent increase in the proportion of widowed users in Canada from 2015 to 2016.
Rebecca Cooper Traynor, a Toronto matchmaker who founded Match Me Canada, has seen a similar trend. "I'd say that about 10 percent of my clients are widowers," she says; most of them are 55 and older, but some are only in their 30s and 40s. And at the same time as this group has become more interested in dating, she has also seen a shift in perceptions about them. "I've noticed that my other clients are more open to dating a widower now than when I started my business eight years ago," she says. "Some people are tired of dating divorcés and hearing about their anger and resentment on a date. They want to meet someone in a different space, someone who knows how to love."
A delicate balance
As in any relationship, James and I have challenges—but some of the things we face are specific to his widowed status. For example, in the five years since we went on our blind date, I've learned to give James space on significant dates, such as on his late wife's birthday, their wedding anniversary and the day she died. Since our near-breakup early on, I've marked those days on my calendar so I can call to say I'm thinking of him and see if I can help. Being in tune with your partner's needs is often the best thing you can do, says Roy Ellis, a grief counsellor with the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax. "Ask your partner what you can do to make those tough days better. Your awareness itself can be a lovely gesture. Maybe you don't need to be involved and you can give your partner the space he or she needs to continue that grief work," he says. "That can be a gift in and of itself."
I've also learned that, contrary to the proverbial "five stages of grief," how we mourn doesn't fit into easy steps. In fact, the psychiatrist who first identified those stages, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, never intended them to apply to the living—her research was on people who were facing their own deaths. In other words, watching for signs of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance is no way to tell whether a mourner is ready to move forward.
Rather, many grief specialists champion the "companioning" philosophy espoused by author, counsellor and educator Alan Wolfelt. They believe that the process is individual and that bereaved people tend to know when they are ready to move forward. According to this model of grief, mourners have six needs that must be met in order to reconcile their loss: acknowledging the reality of the death; embracing the pain of the loss; remembering the person who died; developing a new self-identity; searching for meaning; and receiving ongoing support from others. But this isn't a checklist and there's no time frame for completion, or a particular order in which they must happen.
"The companioning model of bereavement distinguishes between grieving—the internal experiencing of pain—and mourning, which is the outward expression of that pain," says Maureen Theberge, a psychologist at Viewpoint Counselling Psychology in Calgary. "Grief isn't something you 'get over' any more than you 'get over' love, but those who can mourn well will have a better outcome for moving forward. Having a way to remember the dead, to honour and acknowledge them, especially when the mourner has children, can be healing. It's meaningful and may offer comfort."
Finding your way
For the first few years, James commemorated special days only with his close family, but recently, I've been invited to participate by attending an annual memorial service and being with his family to remember his wife's birthday. I'm happy to support him in this way, much as he has supported me through my divorce—but the truth is, it can be hard for me emotionally. Sometimes, I'm sad for days afterward. I want to weep thinking about what an unfair loss James, his family and his wife suffered. I can't imagine what it must have felt like for his wife to be diagnosed with a terminal illness as a young adult, to hear she was going to die. But I've come to understand that grieving is a healthy sign. Even if the process hurts, it brings James' family and friends together. I've seen how remembering and celebrating his wife provides them with strength to continue on. We have been companioning without realizing it.
As much as I grieve with James and his family on sad days, I've also had a hard time coping with his loss on great days. It's embarrassing to admit, but sometimes, I've felt guilty for dating James. I've seen his late wife's beautiful photos, can sense how wonderful she was and feel how much she was loved—how much she still is loved. I've dissolved in tears, overwhelmed that James and I are on a romantic vacation together when he should have been with the love of his life, his wife. How was I ever going to fill her shoes? How would I measure up? What if I couldn't?
As difficult as these feelings are, experts say they're normal. Unlike dating a divorcé, Theberge says dating a widower can feel threatening because the person's partner didn't choose to leave; rather, "death tore them apart." Logically, however, jealousy doesn't help. "It's irrational," says Theberge. "You are not in competition with the deceased. Your relationship is new and unique."
Just because those feelings are irrational doesn't make them any less real, and it's important to deal with them, says Ellis. He suggests looking within at why you're feeling insecure. "We are each responsible for our self-esteem and self-love. Take stock, find out what's hurting and share it with your partner, but not in an accusing way," he says.
Overcoming feelings of insecurity isn't easy. As Ellis says, "You have to learn to integrate the presence of the deceased in a new relationship the way you don't in divorce. With divorce, you're out; with death, you've got to come to terms with the fact the other person is still loved and recognized." But while the challenges are different, "it doesn't mean you can't have a successful relationship."
In order to do that, though, you have to communicate. I knew I had to tell James how I was feeling, but it was difficult to have that conversation, to admit my insecurities. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I felt awash with shame. But James was patient and loving and told me his wife wanted him to be happy. Talking to him made me realize I couldn't change his past, but I could have a future with him—and I was helping him move forward, which is what his wife wanted.
Over time, I've grown to believe that we don't have only one soul mate for life. It's possible to love more than one person. When you have a second child, after all, you don't stop loving the first; you make more room in your heart. And now I see that grieving is good, that talking about fears and sadness can be healing. I know not to compare, not to think of myself as an inadequate replacement for the woman he really wanted.
James and I know too well that life can be fleeting. We understand that time is precious. We are taking things slowly—not rushing to combine families or get married—but when I look into his eyes, when I hold his hand on good days and bad, I know we are moving forward together.
Five tips from the experts for building a healthy relationship with a widower.
1. Communicate, even if it hurts, says Suzanne Farmer, a psychologist (candidate register) at Cornerstone Psychological Services in Halifax. "There will be times when your partner will think about his deceased spouse and miss her; there will be times when you might feel threatened or hurt. You have to be able to communicate these feelings."
2 Be open-hearted and understanding. "Sometimes your partner might experience bursts of grief, and you have to let him be sad and feel his pain. It's normal. It's not a judgment about you," says Calgary-based psychologist Maureen Theberge.
3. See your partner as a whole person. His experience of loving someone and having that person die is just part of his story.
4. Be ready for sudden mood swings. "Sex and emotional intimacy can sometimes trigger upwellings of grief and emotion," says Roy Ellis, a grief counsellor in Halifax. The best way to prepare yourself for the possibility is to have discussions about intimacy in advance.
5. Be open to a new life. "Your partner will never 'get over' the loss— he will be forever changed—but it doesn't mean life can't be beautiful again," says Theberge.
*Names have been changed.
The benefit of embracing risk is a favourite topic for researchers, and so is the stereotype that women don't do it enough.
Conventional wisdom says women avoid risk at all costs—we don't tend to invest, take chances at work or flock to extreme sports.
But the conversation is actually much more complicated. For starters, women do take risks—just not always in the same way as men. Traditionally, what counts as risky behaviour is what the now-retired psychologist Marvin Zuckerman calls "sensation-seeking"—when people crave a rush from mental or physical stimulation. Sensation seekers dislike boredom and search out new experiences, which is why you'll find them skydiving or playing the stock market.
But the definition of risk is broader than that. In her 2016 book, The Art of Risk: The New Science of Courage, Caution and Chance, American author Kayt Sukel cites a review of literature that found women take tons of risks. "They just don't tend to go all in when it comes to…monetary gambles," she writes. "Where you'll see women showing a good bit of risky behaviour is the social arena, which may be a place they feel more comfortable taking on uncertainty…. Women are much more likely to bring up an unpopular issue with a group or even change careers later in life than men are—things that are fairly risky when you thoroughly consider them."
And, for the record, even when it comes to traditional risks, the gender difference may not be as fixed as previous studies would suggest. A 2012 review of literature by University of Massachusetts Boston economics professor Julie A. Nelson found that, despite the perception women are more risk-averse, there was actually a lot of overlap between men's and women's behaviour. It was simply masked by researchers' confirmation bias. (They expected a difference, so they saw one.)
That's why it's worth thinking about social pressure. If conventional wisdom says extreme sports aren't ladylike or girls aren't good at math, it's no surprise that we might avoid these endeavours. But the rising numbers of female athletes, entrepreneurs and investors support the idea that at least part of what makes us risk-averse is nurture, not nature.
We spoke to four women who exemplify that risk-taking ethos. Here's what they had to say about not letting fear get in the way, overcoming obstacles and the long-term benefits of taking chances.
The innovator: Kirstine Stewart
Kirstine Stewart has gone from media exec to tech star, but her most recent career move scared her the most: leaving one job without having another lined up.
After two years as vice-president of media for Twitter (and three years as head of Twitter Canada before that), Kirstine Stewart was feeling what she sometimes describes as a "knock, knock, knock"—a sense that, as awesome as her job was, it would soon be time to find something else.
She'd had the itch before, most recently as an executive vice-president of CBC. The first woman and youngest person to oversee English services, Kirstine left the broadcaster for the Twitter gig. Before that, she was in another top job at CBC, and previously had senior posts at Alliance Atlantis and the Hallmark Channel—all for around three years. Clearly, she had a pattern. But this time was different: Kirstine had no idea what her next position would be when she gave her notice.
"Even though I have this reputation of being a risk-taker, I have also made sure my next step was evident to me before I left," she says. "That had a lot to do with the industry I chose to be in. In media, there aren't a lot of jobs, particularly those more senior positions. So moving from Alliance Atlantis [to CBC], for example, or from CBC to Twitter—those look like big, risky moves, and in a lot of ways they were, but I knew what I was going to do next."
When she stepped down from Twitter, Kirstine was inspired by peers there and in the tech world who opted to leave jobs without having something else in the wings. They were eventually offered interesting, exciting and surprising opportunities they might not have pursued on their own.
And she was prepared. "I knew I wanted to do this, so I actually saved up for it—just in case," says Kirstine. "And it did take until this part of my career to be able to afford to do it. Like a lot of people, I work paycheque to paycheque—there is no trust fund waiting for me."
The risk paid off: After fewer than six weeks of unemployment, she signed on as chief strategy officer with Diply, an under-the-radar media company that aggregates shareable content (think list-style articles, viral videos and inspirational/tear-jerking stories).
"I ended up at a company I didn't even know existed—I had to Google them when they contacted me! But they're an amazing company looking for that next stage of growth," she says.
The experience has affirmed Kirstine's view on taking chances. "You need to take risks because they aren't really risks, they're actually decisions you make about where you want to go next," she says. "They might not be predictable and they might not be safe, but at the same time, you're taking a bit of control—you're the one making that decision; you're not waiting for someone else to."
This approach is particularly useful for women, people of colour and other minorities; we might not read as stereotypical leaders, but Kirstine thinks that might be our greatest opportunity. "I find that people who are very set in their careers don't want to take risks because of the reputation costs. But for people who maybe have a harder time than traditional leaders getting ahead, then it's the way to forge a different path."
The visionary: Janice Larocque
When people told Janice Larocque her dream of opening a new type of staffing agency was doomed to fail, she used it as inspiration to work harder. Nineteen years later, she's more than proved them wrong.
Janice Larocque has always liked a challenge. "When I look back, my first office job was for a company that was newly developed, and I was responsible for setting it up and had no clue how!" she says. "I had to put payroll in place, order the office supplies and work with all the sales reps—and I was fresh from [working at] A&W."
Yet, the gig taught her what she needed to know about running an office. That knowledge came in handy in 1998 when she started Spirit Staffing and Consulting, a job-placement agency aimed at connecting Indigenous peoples and others traditionally underrepresented in Alberta's workforce with jobs.
That year, while on staff at an Indigenous employment and training centre in Calgary, Janice—a single mother—was tasked with encouraging local companies to hire the agency's clients. But having worked there for nearly a decade, Janice knew this approach wasn't very effective. Instead, she saw an opportunity: start her own agency and establish connections with small business and multinational companies that used staffing agencies to supply temporary workers, then send them résumés from individuals who were, for whatever reason, not being fairly considered. That included Indigenous peoples, people of colour and even those from other provinces. "Workers from Newfoundland often found it difficult to get consideration for a job because of their strong accents," says Janice. "But once I got their résumés to the table, they were able to get employment opportunities."
It was a bold, and clearly necessary, idea—not least because Alberta was in the middle of a recession, which Janice didn't realize at first. But discouragingly, few people believed she could make Spirit Staffing work, including bankers, who weren't willing to loan her the money she needed to grow.
"I didn't have a lot of equity, so I went to the mainstream banks and, of course, they wouldn't even consider loans," she says. "But I was lucky because the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs [a not-for-profit aimed at helping women build successful businesses] believed in my dream, and they gave me five loans."
Even after she secured the funds and made her payments on time, banks still didn't trust her; when she opened her first business account, the bank manager approved a $15,000 line of credit—but held $10,000 as collateral. The funds were released only three years ago. "They held [the credit line] captive for 15 years," she says. "That's how much faith they had in me. But I think it just made me work harder."
Janice's dedication has paid off. The company now has four divisions: office and administration, industrial, certified safety training and Indigenous specialty projects (for organizations doing work on First Nations land), plus a second branch in Edmonton, which is owned by Janice's sister, Beatrice.
And she and the banks get along just fine now, says Janice. "Things have changed—we're working with some of the largest companies in Canada to help with [the aftermath of] the Fort McMurray fire. We're responsible for making sure up to 500 people get their paycheques, and we secured financing [so] we could pay them. I was able to borrow a million dollars! [The bank was] willing to work with me, which was probably the most satisfying thing to happen in years."
It's no surprise that Janice is often lauded for her hard work and business acumen. Spirit Staffing is owned entirely by Indigenous women (Janice is Métis), and in 2015, the company was recognized by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council. That year, Janice was also awarded the Telus Trailblazer Award at the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, which are presented by Women of Influence.
But perhaps the most rewarding accolade is the company's enduring success—even now, during another rough patch in Alberta's economy, Spirit Staffing is holding strong, something Janice credits to the relationships she's spent many years building.
The adventurers: Lindsay Anderson and Dana Vanveller
Passionate about exploring regional cuisine, Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller ditched their jobs to take the Canadian foodie road trip of a lifetime, blogging about it along the way.
Random House Canada (Lindsay, left and Dana)
It seems like something you'd read about or watch on TV: Two young women with a desire to learn more about their country's food traditions pack up and drive coast-to-coast, meeting farmers and home cooks and tasting local delicacies. But for Vancouver residents Dana VanVeller and Lindsay Anderson, this wasn't a book or a TV show (at least not yet!). It was real life.
The duo, who met through Lindsay's ex-boyfriend, bonded over their love of food. While "lounging on a log in the sunshine" during a weekend camping trip, she says, they started talking about how Canadians don't do enough to celebrate our unique cuisine. They wondered what it would be like to explore each province and territory's food culture—and their fun what-if soon turned into a serious plan.
"We were both at this interesting point in our lives," says Lindsay. "Dana had a job she liked but had been at it for a while, and she felt like she didn't have a ton more learning to do. And I had just finished a big writing contract with Tourism Richmond that had been great but exhausting. We were in our late 20s and unattached, and had no mortgages or kids, so we were in a position to go off and have this adventure."
They started meeting up after work, spending hours in coffee shops plotting their hypothetical trip: how long they'd be away (they initially intended to finish in four months but ended up needing five), where they would go (all 10 provinces, all three territories) and, most importantly, how they'd pay for the ambitious journey (a combo of personal savings, fundraising and help from regional tourism boards).
Dropping $20 on a domain name made it real. "Neither of us is the type of person who would casually buy a domain name. It had come to the point where we had put in enough work, and we were, like, 'OK, let's do this!' " says Dana.
"We didn't really know what we were doing, but we kept putting one foot in front of the other. It kept getting bigger and scarier, to the point where we started [thinking], Are we totally nuts? What have we got ourselves into? But we just kept going," says Lindsay.
They set off in June 2013; one early highlight was a kayaking expedition around Spring Island, a remote but stunning spot off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. Afterward, they participated in a traditional salmon feast prepared by members of the Kyuquot First Nations community, in which the fish is filleted, then threaded through cedar slats and propped up near a campfire to roast. From there, they toured the rest of B.C., the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Alberta, before heading east across the country. The pair drove home through the U.S., detouring to visit Churchill, Man., before finally flying to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, to cap off the trip.
Along the way, they learned a lot about Canadian food. "It's hugely influenced by First Nations peoples, it's influenced by immigrants, it's influenced by the landscape, by the season, by trends—so the best way to celebrate it is to [honour] its diversity, be open to learning about all of it and not worry about trying to tidily collect it into one cohesive thought. And that is sort of how we feel about Canada, too," says Lindsay.
And their takeaway clearly resonated; the pair documented the journey on their blog, Feast: An Edible Road Trip, and each post garnered so much interest that, upon their return, Dana and Lindsay wondered if they could turn the experience into a book. Before the trip, they probably wouldn't have been so ambitious, but going on this adventure changed how they approach their goals.
"We now think way bigger than we did before. You might as well go big and try for the craziest thing; even if it doesn't happen, you still learn something in the process and maybe you land on something that's not quite as big but still amazing," says Lindsay. "The reason we have a book now is because of this attitude. How could it hurt to write the book proposal? The worst they could say is 'no,' and [in the process] we learned [something]."
Fortunately, the proposal was accepted. A cookbook based on their adventures comes out this month, and they will soon be on the road again for their first book tour.
"Risk builds your skill set for facing hard things," says Dana. "You have more confidence and more experience in how to make something work or how to handle unforeseen problems."
Feast: Recipes and Stories From a Canadian Road Trip, based on Dana and Lindsay’s cross-country tour, is on sale this month.
Ryan Brook Image by: Ryan Brook