After several seasons of makeup artists gently advocating a bushier look while women clung to pencil-thin arches (see: Gwen Stefani circa 1990s), a full yet controlled brow is officially in fashion.
“The shape should be a bit more tomboy but without being masculine,” said Peter Philips, creative director of Chanel Makeup, who created the dark yet classically arched brows at Chanel’s Resort 2013 show.
“It’s also the contrast of the strong and feminine. It makes beauty more teasing.”
He pointed to the model that opened the show, Cara Delevingne, whose stormy brows give her a petulant expression only matched by her runway stomp. “A fuller brow makes women look younger and cooler,” Mr. Philips said.
Armed with tear sheets of full-browed models and celebrities, overplucked women have been heading to the office of Dr. Sanusi Umar, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Right now Kim Kardashian is hot — that is, eyebrow-wise,” he said with a laugh. “I also get Brooke Shields sometimes.”
Dr. Umar has been performing eyebrow hair transplants with a new method that can take individual hairs from any part of the body, such as the nape or the leg, rather than the old strip method that harvested the back of the head. The procedure takes 4 to 5 hours and starts at $6,000.
If that’s too drastic, color solutions like eyebrow tattoos have become more sophisticated. Rather than the grayish purple arches sometimes spotted in New York’s Chinatown, “the pigment is much better these days,” said Dr. Michelle Copeland, a plastic surgeon who offers the service in her Fifth Avenue office. “It’s more of a medical grade, so there’s less discoloration.”
The tattoos last about five years, and Dr. Copeland pushes clients toward a more natural look. “I have seen a bit of a flurry of people coming in, especially active women who don’t want to fuss with makeup,” she said. “But you want to be careful that you’re going for an eyebrow that’s not too trendy.” She also predicted a surge in eyebrow topical treatments, akin to Latisse for the lashes.
For those who only want a temporary boost, a brow like the one on the British model and actress Lily Collins is only a few pencil strokes away. Mr. Philips of Chanel recommends using a brow pencil that is a little powdery. Apply, then blend with a groomer brush.
“I’m a makeup artist, my universe is about applying makeup and taking it off,” he said. “I’m always a little freaked out about tattooing on somebody’s face. I’ve seen the funniest colors.”