Get WOW brows! Eyebrows are big again. But don't worry if yours are thin and straggly – we can fix it!
When it was reported last week that a miraculous new serum named RapidBrow would enhance the appearance of eyebrow density by 108 per cent in two months, it confirmed what A-list make-up artists have known for months: this season brows are big — literally.
From the brushed up, ‘boyish’ versions seen on the Antonio Berardi and Carolina Herrera catwalks, to the shapely yet full ones sported by Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman at the recent Golden Globes, statement brows are the new beauty must-have.
Even the Duchess of Cambridge caused several raised eyebrows when she appeared in public recently with a look dangerously close to the hard, heavy Scouse Brow favoured by the cast of E4’s reality series, Desperate Scousewives.
Big is beautiful: Bushy eyebrows are this year's must-have
Britain’s High Streets are also seeing a brow boom, with brow and eyelash bars expanding rapidly.
‘Good brows should frame the face and accentuate the eyes,’ says make-up artist Kay Montano, who shapes Keira Knightley’s brows. ‘Yet in the pursuit of the perfect arch, many women have over-plucked and so have patchy, triangular-shaped brows that are incredibly ageing.’
When news of RapidBrow serum’s apparently wondrous powers hit the news, it seemed like the holy grail to women whose brows are more bedraggled than bushy.
For 37, the serum, available from Boots, promises to amplify the appearance of volume and density thanks to a substance called Hexatein 2 — a blend of beneficial peptides, biotin, panthenol, keratin, apple fruit cell and sweet almond extract. But the company admits that — despite the hype — RapidBrow is only a cosmetic product, and does not stimulate hair growth.
Given that it seems very little can put hairs back on to bare skin, brow expert Shavata, whose clients include Kelly Brook, cautions against over-plucking.
She says: ‘As we age, the hair regeneration cycle slows and we get thinner, sparser brows. So over-plucking when you’re younger could mean the hair fails to grow back at all later in life, leaving you with visible patches.’
Statement brows: From left, actresses Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman, and the Duchess of Cambridge, have recently sported shapely but full eyebrows
So how do more vigorous pluckers regain their bushy brows Brushing a tinted gel on to brows, such as Benefit Speed Brow (12, boots.co.uk), can blur out patchiness and is effective if you’re fair-haired.
For medium tones, Laura Mercier’s Brow Definer pot (16.50, spacenk.co.uk) is a waxy gel that coats hairs with a glossy sheen to make brows look more lustrous.
Or if you’re darker, use a brow pencil to draw in hairs. For a long-lasting look that won’t smudge, GOSH Long Lasting Brown Pen (5.99, superdrug.com) is a good option.
‘The key is to follow your natural shape,’ says Montano. ‘Your brow should start in line with the tear duct at the inner eye and finish before the outer corner.
‘Avoid creating a point at the top of the arch or extending the brow too low at the tip.’ Shavata recommends leaving shaping your brows to the experts.
The average person has 250 hairs in each eyebrow, though some people have up to 550
‘It seems counter-intuitive to remove hair in order to make brows appear thicker. But getting an eyebrow technician to create a clean, crisp line on the outside edges has the same effect as removing split ends from our hairstyle. It makes brows appear thicker overall.’
The latest gadget to take the U.S. by storm is the Karmissie (85, launching in Harvey Nichols later this year). Using threads attached to a handheld device, it allows you to perfect the art of threading at home.
If you do prefer a DIY job, remember to start at the bridge of the nose and work outwards, removing hair only from underneath the brow. ‘Never pluck more than one hair at a time,’ says Pally Pagliuca, eyebrow specialist at Benito Brow Bar. She recommends the new LA-Tweez (15.95, victoriahealth.com), which come with a built-in light.
Tinting treatments will temporarily dye brows or, for the ultimate fuss-free brows, try ‘permanent make-up’ treatments, which involve a therapist implanting pigments into the shallow layer of the skin.
Using a technique called ‘electro-pigmentation’, you can achieve a full set of brows that will last up to five years.
Do try a brow-boosting serum, but if you’ve plucked to within an inch of your life, there may be better — and cheaper — ways to achieve this season’s bushy brows.