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Eyebrows Growing Wild On and Off the Fashion Week Runway

By Serena Solomon | February 12, 2014 6:48am
 Big and bold eyebrows are making a statement at New York Fashion Week this season.
Bold Eyebrows a Growing Trend at Fashion Week
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NEW YORK CITY — When Stevi Christine, a makeup artist attending New York Fashion Week, looks back at once-razor-thin eyebrows one word comes to mind: "terrible."

"I was definitely one of those people who over-tweezed," said Christine, who is in her 30s and splits her time between Chelsea and Los Angeles.

Now, she darkens her brows with vegetable dye, fills them out with a Stila eyebrow pen and, except for a few strays, never uses tweezers.

"I feel complete when I have a good brow," she said.

Blink-and-you'll-miss-them brows are a thing of the past at Fashion Week this season and instead there is a growing trend — literally — for something bigger and bolder. Not only have models with bushy brows sashayed down the runways this week for designers including Jason Wu and Rebecca Minkoff, but those in the seats have been embracing the trend and shunning the tweezers.

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Model Ireland Baldwin, 18, daughter of actors Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, said she's letting her eyebrows be.

"I used to wax them, but I hated that they looked too perfect," she said. "Now, I like them because I have light hair and dark eyebrows and they are different."

Makeup artists say they are thrilled.

"We have always loved eyebrows, but it has become more of a trend on the runways over the seasons, and now real people are embracing them," said Courtney Tichman, who designed the eyebrow-focused look at last Thursday's Chromat show, using vegan-friendly Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.

She described her inspiration as the "blockier, almost bitch brow" from the 1950s. 

Some shows went avant-garde, with bleached brows featured at Alexander Wang and gold brows shining in the 5:31 Jérôme show.

"With the amount of bleached brows I see on the street, I don't see why a gold brow can't translate to a wearable statement," said 5:31 Jérôme makeup artist Hayden Tee, who used a Inglot gel eyeliner and eyeshadow in gold to create the look.

Belle Krol, 26, a photo editor at Fashion week for the past six years, said her full eyebrows had left her self-conscious until last year.

Now she doesn't touch them and lets them grow into their natural shape.

"When I was 15, I hated them. Now I learned to love them because of Cara," said Krol, referring to model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne and her famous brows.

Ramy Gafni, a celebrity brow-plucker for almost two decades, said 70 percent of his clients now ask for the bolder look. Women are pushing back against the thin brow trends of the past few decades, he said.

"There is always the circular thing," said Gafni. "Thin brows lead to thick brows. Thick brows lead to thin brows."