Arizona Muse on the Chanel runway

Eyebrows are becoming a strange new star in beauty: though they’ve been bold and embellished on the runway for ages, we’ve noticed more and more women with gems and press-ons above their eyes. Not only that, but prominent natural brows have been popular for a while now (right, Ali Lohan?), thanks in part to the current fuller-browed crop of high-profile models–Arizona Muse, Hilary RhodaCara Delevingne, Dree Hemingway–and famous (but pointless) people like Kim Kardashian.

As always, with new-ish beauty trends come unsettling new beauty procedures. In a recent piece amazingly titled How Now Full Brow, the New York Times tells us about advances in eyebrow thickening. Namely, eyebrow implants… which is what it sounds like:

[Dr. Sanusi Umar] has been performing eyebrow hair transplants with a new method that can take individual hairs from any part of the body, such as the nape or the leg, rather than the old strip method that harvested the back of the head. The procedure takes 4 to 5 hours and starts at $6,000.

In the event that you don’t want to spend $6,000 on medically unnecessary surgery that involves “harvesting” of any kind (shudder), you can also go retro with an eyebrow tattoo. The old school method has gotten a little fancier in recent years:

If that’s too drastic, color solutions like eyebrow tattoos have become more sophisticated. Rather than the grayish purple arches sometimes spotted in New York’s Chinatown, “the pigment is much better these days,” said Dr. Michelle Copeland, a plastic surgeon who offers the service in her Fifth Avenue office. “It’s more of a medical grade, so there’s less discoloration.”

The tattoos last about five years, and Dr. Copeland pushes clients toward a more natural look. “I have seen a bit of a flurry of people coming in, especially active women who don’t want to fuss with makeup,” she said. “But you want to be careful that you’re going for an eyebrow that’s not too trendy.” She also predicted a surge in eyebrow topical treatments, akin to Latisse for the lashes.

Even as someone who’s risked exploding blood eyes for fuller brows, I can’t say the procedure (or its pricetag) have much appeal. I am, however, curious to see these new advances in eyebrow tattoos: didn’t they always end up looking terrible? Or couldn’t the tattoo artist fuck up?

The Times is generous enough to note that you can always, you know, use a damn pencil.

Or powder. Or gel.

(NYT)