From the runway to red carpet, pencil-thin is out as brows go the thicker, straighter, boyish way of Audrey Hepburn and Arizona Muse
We all know anti-aging creams, staying out of the sun, drinking lots of water and not smoking are ways to look younger longer. But there’s a much easier way to appear more youthful in a flash: growing out your brows. “Over-tweezed brows can age you and make you appear older than you are,” says celebrity arch shaper Kelley Baker, owner of Venice’s Kelley Baker Brows. “It makes you look old, mean and harsh. If brows are too far apart, it can make the face look flat and wide; if they’re too close the face can appear a bit pinched. Fuller brows are more youthful.” Fortunately, fashion is on women’s side and thanks to Donna Karan, Jil Sander and Derek Lam’s runways—not to mention Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman—the arch to achieve is now ultra natural, full and powerful.
“Everyone wants thick and bold right now. They don’t want totally manicured—they like them a little wild,” says the brow guru who calls the slightly straighter and more prominent “boy brow” or “Audrey Hepburn brow” the new cool thing, evidenced by celebrities with oft-requested brows like Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara recently transitioning from more of an arch to a straighter, fuller iteration.
But while clients may come in with pictures of the arch they dream of, Baker says there’s only so much someone can—and should—veer from their natural shape. “People tend to ask for the complete opposite of what they have and they never embrace the fabulousness of what they have naturally, like people with killer full, straight-across brows who want an arch.” However, “everyone’s brows can be improved and more or less of an arch can be created.” Natural, full brows soften the face, so when someone has a rounder profile, Baker creates more of an angle in the arch and vice versa—those who have a slim or angular face shape should avoid a harshly angled arch.
When striving for a boy brow, Baker recommends using a brow growth serum—“every little hair counts!”—along with her powder to fill in any thin areas, extending the end for length. Perhaps her most brilliant trick when looking for a totally modern arch to frame the face: “use a highlighter on the brow bone to give a polished look while camouflaging the areas that need to grow in, and brush upward with a clear brow gel to create fullness.” It may add a minute to your routine, but “if someone’s trying for the boy brow they’re clearly in the now and wanting something fresh and new.”