Fashion Masochist: Big Eyebrows
Yes, jeans have gone skinny. But for brows, thick is in. Our fashion expert takes this trend for a hair-raising test drive.
THE TECHNOLOGY Unless you’re Brooke Shields, brows this bountiful don’t come easy. A few area spas, like Michaud Cosmedix, offer tattoolike eyebrow micropigmentation, which lasts as long as 10 years. For a less permanent look, LuxLash has prosthetic extensions that can hang on for up to four months.
THE EXPERIENCE To give LuxLash owner Suzanne Cats plenty to work with, I quit plucking three weeks before our appointment. The first seeds of doubt take root when my manicurist smiles indulgently and asks, “You want eyebrow wax?” I demur. She’s incredulous. Later, during my two-hour enhancement, Cats meticulously glues nearly 100 individual synthetic hairs to my existing ones using a long-lasting adhesive. The results are dramatic: My once thin blond strips are now thick, heavily arched chestnut caterpillars. I leave feeling strong, stylish. I am Hepburn, I am Taylor, I am Madonna. I am…Peter Gallagher? A few glimpses of my reflection, and the top-heavy look suddenly seems more Teen Wolf than high fashion. The extensions feel like coarse stitches, and errant hairs keep floating into my peripheral vision. But if Sandy Cohen can take the hirsute heat, so can I.
After a few eye contact–shy run-ins on Newbury Street (“You’re looking, um, healthy”), I take my bushy brows to the one place I know they’ll fit in: New York City Fashion Week. I walk into a show, eager to display my exaggerated, unkempt acquisitions, and scan the who’s who in the front rows. Doubt begins to bloom anew. Everyone’s brows look, well, normal. Sure, no one’s sporting pencil-thin streaks, but neither is anyone mimicking my Eugene Levy–on–steroids look (the models’ own brows are already slimmed down for spring 2007). I tough it out for two days, then invest in a pair of oversize sunglasses.
THE VERDICT After one week, my furry friends have lost volume and, with the help of brow gel and pencils (see above), I’m able to tame them into less outlandish shapes. The look is still full and dark, and complements my round face. Any beauty expert will tell you to go with the brows that best fit your features. Likewise, any editor will tell you a trend is just a trend. I’ll be sticking with my more normal-size brows—at least until next season.
Full extensions, $350–$500; LuxLash, 232 Newbury St., Boston, 617-587-5274, luxlash.com.