Why you should care

Because beauty trends are a-changing, and yes — apparently, hairy is the new sexy. 

Are your eyebrows the new erogenous zone? Coming from a world in which brows took a backseat to fluttery lashes and pouty lips – we’re looking at something new here. Bold brows are now considered attractive and sexy – not just shrubbery in need of a clipper. Women increasingly want to show off their eyebrows and make them more noticeable. Thick brows, long the step cousin of tweezed, waxed, arched alternatives, are going mainstream.

The new lower brow is sexier, more of a bedroom eyes look.

Big, bushy brows have from time to time made an appearance on outliers like Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, model-turned actress Brooke Shields and Madonna. But even she soon gave up her iconoclastic brow for a more conventional plucked one.

Like Madonna, most of us have embraced the high arch and thin brow, which gives the wearer a surprised, awake look. The new lower brow is sexier, more of a bedroom eyes look, if you will, said Dr. Tim Neavin, a board certified plastic surgeon, whose life-long interest in brows has found its métier. The poster child for bold brows is a blond, British model named Cara Delevingne. Ranked number No. 25 in the world of top models (yes, this exists) a year ago by Models.com, 21-year-old Delevingne’s ranking has shot up to #5 of late – we’ll call it a win for those brows. Several fan Twitter accounts are devoted to Delevingne’s eyebrows. And she owns it: “I also love eyebrows and playing the drums,” she writes on her own profile.

BW headshot of Frida looking right of frame

Frida Kahlo

Source Corbis

So, how to get the Delevingne look yourself? There’s an ever-expanding range of products and services to help women and men achieve their natural beauty. Dr. Neavin, who is based in Beverly Hills, has studied brows since his days as a resident at the University of Pittsburgh. He now does eyebrow transplants using hair from the back of the patient’s neck (it’s most similar to eyebrow hair and doesn’t show), with help from a machine called the Neograft. You can undo years of overplucking by painstakingly replacing hundreds of hair follicles. Eventually, the hair takes root and actually grows in, says Dr. Neavin.

You will need several months, lots of stoicism and plenty of eyebrow pencil, before lush brows return.

Another option, eyebrow extension kits which offer a topical hair application using adhesives.

Further down the food chain, you can opt for brow fillers. They come as wands, pencils or brushes that essentially allow you to color in thicker-looking brows. Maybelline, Bobbi Brown and Mally Beauty have all added such brow enhancers this season.

The most difficult part of achieving the style is growing in your eyebrows. We sometimes forget, it seems, that we’re only given one pair. “Please take care of your brows,” said celebrity and Lancome make up artist Sandy Linter. “They have to last a lifetime.” You need several months, lots of stoicism and plenty of eyebrow pencil, before lush brows return.

I can’t help thinking that there are a couple of unexpected currents at work in our desire for fuller brows. Latin culture – which is infusing everything from our food to our music to beauty standards – prizes bold, groomed eyebrows for both women and men.

With the hedge that he doesn’t have the scientific proof he’d usually demand of himself, Dr. Neavin said celebrities may be an influence in one surprising way. Stronger, low brows could be a pendulum swing away from the kind of frozen, high brows that were on painful display earlier this year at the Academy Awards. It all leads to a tough-to-shake impression that the brow-bearer has, um, abused Botox. Maybe we should call the new trend the Anti-Botox Brow.

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