The Case for Thick Eyebrows

BY: |Jun 10, 2016

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The '90s was a decade many remember fondly: cargo pants enabled us to carry our entire lives in our pockets, chokers were must-have accessories, and mini backpacks freed our hands to care for our tamagotchi pets.

Of course, not all of our '90s style choices were so chic. Unfortunately, many of us learned to tweeze our brows in the '90s, and we haven't reshaped since. The problem? The tightly groomed look from your youth may be showing your age in more ways that one. Below, we explain why less isn't necessarily more when it comes to eyebrow real estate.

How thicker brows convey youth

Pencil-thin brows made their first pop-culture appearance in the silent films of the 1920s, forever associating tightly tweezed arches with flapper-era fashions. But there’s more to this classic look than just its connection to black-and-white movies—thinning brows often convey maturity. While trends dictating eyebrow volume ebb and flow, higher volume looks can do more than shield our eyes from perspiration and falling cannon glitter.

Just like the hair on our head, the hair on our face tends to dissipate with age. Full, bushy brows, when done right, can make their owner look younger the same way a full head of hair looks more youthful than it’s thinning counterpart.

When our colleagues in the UK spoke to Benefit Brow Bar Glasgow's Lauren Hogsden, she confirmed this idea. “Fuller brows make the face appear more youthful," she said, though she also acknowledged that bushier brows are easier to maintain, thereby giving you a more carefree demeanor. "Keeping your eyebrows as natural looking as possible, both in shape and thickness is important, as this will ensure your brow regrowth is not unmanageable.”

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Stop plucking and see a pro

An eyebrow makeover, with a professional’s help, can dramatically overhaul your look. “If you're born with outrageous eyebrows, you're truly blessed,” said Memphis aesthetician Megan Biggs Kendall. She, like many eyebrow enthusiasts, cites Brooke Shields as the perfect 10.

First and foremost, said Biggs Kendall, “If you tweeze, stop. Just stop.” The more you have to work with, the easier it is to transition to a younger, fuller look. She recommends having your brows done professionally at least a few times to obtain your desired shape before taking over the maintenance yourself.

When you are ready to tame them yourself, Biggs Kendall recommends trying products such as brow powder, brow pencils, and brow stencils to help fill in thinner areas. “These things can be super intimidating at first. I've always told my clients to just sit down and play with them a few times to get more comfortable," she said. “You want to follow the natural shape of your brow. If you have really thin brows without much arch, you want to go with a lower arch stencil. If you have thicker brows, you can go with a bolder stencil.”

If regrowth fails, try extensions

Yes, you read that right. To combat the aging effects of over-tweezing, some are now turning to eyebrow extensions to plump up looks. But don’t confuse these types of extensions with, say, the type you put on your head, as Tommy La Palermo of Occhi Lashes told us last year.

Unlike most other extension types (say, eyelash extensions or hair extensions), they don’t lengthen existing hair. Instead, they fill in gaps and enhance brow shapes, he explained. “There’s no plucking, there’s no tweezing, no waxing, none of that. You can lay there with your eyes opened, or with your eyes closed. The aesthetician then fills in brows with individual extensions.”

For long-lasting fullness, opt for permanent makeup

When it comes to semi-permanent brows, customers actually have three separate options: hair-stroke, microblading, and powder-fill. The treatments vary in technique, but each typically involves a specially trained technician who manually places ink along the brows, leaving super delicate hair-like tattoos. The results of permanent makeup last up to several years but typically require touchups every 12–18 months to maintain.

Article written by Jo Eastwood, Groupon

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