Battle of the Brows

(Photo: Sean Cunningham)

Runways have been sending mixed signals recently when it comes to the statement brow. Bushy, bejeweled, blonde, bold, bedazzled or bleached — how do we know which look will stand the test of time?

For the past few seasons the trend has tended towards bold, shapely brows, à la Camilla Belle and Kim Kardashian, proving that bigger is indeed better. Until this spring, that is, when models sporting bleached eyebrows were sent sashaying down the Gucci runway. The show was a reminder that the barely-there trend has continued quietly, yet steadily, since its first appearance at the spring runway shows of Bottega Veneta and Rodarte six seasons ago.

It’s a look that has always caused some controversy. Carine Roitfeld, former Vogue Paris editor and now editor of CR Fashion Book, recently said bleached brows “make [her] crazy.” As much as some may wish to erase the bleached brow from the annals of fashion history, it’s a look that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

There are plenty of beauty trends that transfer easily to real life, but the bleached brow may not be one of them. It can often be difficult to maintain and even more difficult to pull off. If you’re living on the edge and want to experiment with a happy medium for fall, Pat McGrath, the makeup artist who wiped the brows from Gucci’s runway, has some recommendations. “Tonal” is how she describes the cool, “almost grayish” taupe brows she gave models backstage at a Versace show, bleaching the arches, before coloring them in with complexion-specific makeup that varied slightly according to each model’s own skin type. “It’s the look of a lighter brow without being quite so extreme,” she says. If bleach sounds too intimidating, you can always opt to lighten the brow a bit, or fake it with concealer; apply over the brow, then brush and blend with a mascara wand.

If all else fails ladies, remember that they will eventually grow back!

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