High Brow Design

Our obsession with brows is set to skyrocket...

THE EXTREME PRODUCTS

Over the past few years, we've seen countless brow-boosting treatments land at IMAGE HQ, all promising Brooke Shields- level growth. We've diligently dabbed them on for months on end as advised, and found only two had any impact worthy of the commitment.

The first is Latisse, a prescription-only affair, which your doctor or dermatologist can advise on (a month's supply is approx €50). It contains a synthetic liquid hormone, prostaglandin, which when applied to any area of the skin will cause hair to start sprouting from it - brilliant for chronic cases of sparse brows and little bald patches that refuse to grow back. It takes a while to yield any type of result, but just as you're about to give up, after a month or so, you notice the texture of your brow hair starts changing from wispy to strong, and then new strands start springing up with great gusto almost overnight. Alas, when you stop using it, your hair density will revert to its previous state, so it's a long-term gig, and it can sometimes cause irritation to the skin too.

Less of a gamble is Billion Dollar Brows Brow Boost, €29.95, which boasts an impressive celebrity following and works not unlike a soil fertiliser, by basically feeding and nourishing active hair follicles, so that they grow a better quality of hair. It's an all-natural formula, which takes at least a month to really kick in, after which strand density bumps up, giving the illusion of more hair and bushier brows, but it won't grow new hair where there is none.

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THE PERMANENT PROCEDURE

Asian import Embrowdery arrived in Ireland last year, offering a more natural-looking alternative to tattooing, of which we've yet to be convinced. Perfect for anyone whose brows have gone patchy or puny through age, hormonal changes or chemotherapy, Embrowdery uses nanotechnology (or the teeniest, tiniest needle imaginable) to insert pigment into the skin, which only penetrates the very top layer, leaving just a miniscule trace of colour behind. It's applied in such a way, with different stroke lengths and directions, to mimic natural brow growth,?and pigments are'semi-transparent? making them'much more?credible looking?than?a dash of?harsh tattoo ink.?Better yet, your?brows?are built up?over three sessions,?giving you more control?over the finished result,?and you can direct your therapist accordingly between treatments. Sessions can take between one to two hours, are more prickly than painful, and cause a little redness, which subsides within a day. Three sessions, €420,?embrowdery.ie.

BUILD AN EXTENSION

In the same way that semi-permanent eyelash extensions work, Ilah Brows are first off the block with an adapted version for eyebrows to give us all a chance to emulate Cara Delevingne, if only for a few weeks.

Individual synthetic mink hairs are meticulously attached to your real ones with a surgical- grade adhesive that's?typically used in wound healing. And where?there's no hair, they can be adhered directly to the skin, which is good news for alopecia sufferers. Available in four shades and in two thicknesses and two curl types, the dexterity and aesthetic eye of your therapist really determines how good the final results look.

Ask them to alternate size for a better finish, and with care, they should last for three weeks. Should you become addicted to their brow-enhancing prowess (we did), you can get intermittent top-ups to keep your arches triumphant; €40 at empowerstudio.ie.

Brow 101:

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The secret to the perfect arch is all about placement, says A-list brow tamer and Maybelline's global eye expert, Maribeth Madron. ?For most women, that is in line with the outer edge of the pupil. The brow should begin between the inner corner of the eye and bridge of the nose. Finding the perfect end point is easy - just hold a pencil from the outer edge of the nostril, pointing to the outer corner
of the eye.?

Liz Dwyer

Follow Liz Dwyer on Twitter @beautybootcamp1

This article originally appeared in the February issue of IMAGE. The April issue is on shelves now.

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