Eyebrow thickness might come in and out of style (think Brooke Shields’ desirable eighties brows versus pencil-thin nineties supermodels), but no matter what the brow trend of the moment may be, fuller eyebrows signal youth. Period. Because brows often thin with age, extremely thin brows may make us look older than we really are.
Young women who are still enjoying their lush, youthful brows often make the mistake of over-tweezing—and often live to regret it.
Nurse Jean Melby, 55, is like many others. “As a teen, thick brows were definitely uncool and I got busy with my tweezers. In my 30s, I realized they were over-plucked and asymmetrical and my despair began anew,” she says.
Products have flooded the market to fill in the need for full brows: Brow pencils, powders, tints, gels with fibers, and more. New treatments color far outside the lines of brow pencils, getting creative with conditioners, Latisse (intended for eyelashes and used “off label” for brows) and even eyebrow transplants (yikes!).
Over-plucking aside, there are more serious reasons why people want fuller brows. Some lose brow hairs from thyroid disorders, alopecia (hair loss) or chemotherapy.
Which brings us to permanent brow tattoos, and the less intimidating semi-permanent makeup services, which have popped up in select salons worldwide.
(Permanent brow tattoos have a bad reputation for a reason. As your skin ages and sags, so do the tattoos, which can result in bizarre, blue-ish faded ink.)
New York City’s Browhaus takes a gentle approach to tattooing with all-natural vegetable dye applied with a carving tool during their “Brow Resurrection” service. It takes two hours and fades after about two years.
After Jean hesitated because of the cost (nearly a grand), she went for it. Twenty-nine year-old accountant Esther also decided to get semi-permanent brows, because she has naturally sparse brows. “I knew the importance of having the right brows for your face because it could completely enhance your look,” says Esther. “But I also was tired of always filling in and touching up my brows every day.”
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