Long gone are the days of skinny brows, thin and sparse like they were drawn on with a fine-tip pen. Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore, and all of The Spice Girls once inspired women of the ‘90s to tweeze until their arches almost disappeared. These same women have since admitted themselves to various forms of brow rehab, attempting to craft brows more similar to those sitting pretty on Cara Delevingne or Kim Kardashian.
“This trend isn’t going anywhere, women are finally realizing that bolder brows are more youthful and sophisticated,” says brow expert Sania Vucetaj of Sania’a Brow Bar in New York City. “Once achieving that beautiful fullness, I’m confident that women will think twice when it comes to getting their eyebrows done by just anyone.” She charges $85 per brow shaping session.
Beyond professional brow grooming (and a lot of pencil), women are taking to brow conditioners, tattoos, extensions and even implants for a quicker fix when growing them out seems daunting.
Allison Tray, owner of Tres Belle Petite Medi-Spa in Brooklyn, suggests brow conditioners for a more natural look. “A fuller brow makes the face look younger and really brings out the eyes,” she said. “We are obsessed with Revitabrow. The formulation was originally developed by an ophthalmologist for his wife when she lost her lashes and brows from chemo. Many clients start seeing little sprouts after three to four weeks of applying the clear serum to the brow area.” A four-month supply of the Revitabrow conditioner is priced at $110.
Hibba Kapil of Hibba Beauty provides brow tattoo services across her three New York City locations. Brow tattoos are a semi-permanent tattoo that lasts one to two years depending on a client’s skin type. The process uses a fine tip instrument that carves hair-like strokes into the skin. The service can cost between $300 and $600 and usually need touch up every six to eight months.
“The most common request we get is to not make [brows] very dark or harsh looking. Clients walk in with an idea that just like traditional tattoos, they will walk out with super dark brows. We have to assure them that this is not a problem, but we need at least two sittings to complete the job,” says Kapil. The complete brow tattoo process takes at least two hours, and clients are advised on a detailed after-care regimen.
For a more permanent (but more lengthy and costly procedure), there are eyebrow transplants. According to Dan Grantham, the Head of Patient Advisement for Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS, a brow transplant procedure costs between $5,000 and $8,900, depending on how many grafts need to be replaced. The three to four hour-long sessions are performed under local anesthesia, and a “donor strip” of hair (usually from the back of the scalp or nape of the neck) is removed. Then, the hairs from the strip are transplanted individually. After a healing process of two to three weeks, the transplanted hairs will start growing back in four to six months.
“Patients need to understand that the goal of the procedure is not to achieve ‘perfect’ eyebrows, but rather a significant improvement in their appearance,” Dr. Epstein said on PlasticSurgeryPractice.com.
While the procedure may be gaining in popularity, celebrity makeup artist and eyebrow specialist Maribeth Madron doesn’t recommend transplants. “In theory, this sounds like a great idea,” she says. “However, I’ve consulted on two cases in the past and the results are not that great. The transplanted hairs are harvested from the back of the head and tend to grow straight out and are extremely long. I have one client whose brows curl and will grow up to her hairline if I don’t trim them every six weeks.” Madron charges $125 for brow shaping and $170 for shaping and tinting.
The easiest (and sometimes best) option is to arm yourself with the right tools to groom your brows at home. Benefit’s brand new brow collection includes a seriously stylish arsenal of products that are foolproof to use.
Whichever brow-boosting method fits your style (and pain threshold), the general consensus is that big, bold brows aren’t headed out of style any time soon—so pick your poison.