411- The Perfect Eyebrow
Do your old ID cards from years past show a veritable rainbow of eyebrow shapes, depths and arches? Mine sure do. With eyebrow trends ever changing, the quest for the perfect brow can be daunting. And what’s more annoying is that the trends never seem to be realistically aligned with the average hair growth cycle! If you’ve spent your lifetime over-plucking, fuller natural brows can be next to impossible to achieve. Women spend hours in the morning painting back on the remnants of eyebrows; there are powders, pencils, and paints that all create the illusion of brow perfection. Oh and for those “perfect” model eyebrows…Photoshop is a best friend!
Here at Pearlman Aesthetic, Donna Fay, our resident Beauty Expert and licensed medical aesthetician is a brow-shaping specialist. Donna Fay consults patients on achieving the perfect brow shape to help accentuate one’s natural features. It seems like a small detail to have to worry about, but brows really do add punctuation to the face.
Dr. Pearlman hears brow woes from countless women seeking ‘normal’ brows, whether by shape, size, proportion, or position. Eyebrows frame the face and have been one of the traceable hallmarks of facial beauty throughout the ages. Today’s beauty is too often defined by magazines and movies, so when Dr. Pearlman wants to demonstrate to a patient what the perfect brow looks like, the first thing he does is open a fashion magazine and flip through the ads and editorial pages, not plastic surgery textbooks.
In the book, “The Eyebrow” by Robyn Cosio (2000, Harper Collins, New York, NY), a superb treatise tracing evolution of the eyebrow, Donna Fay was pleased to read what she mostly already supported and practiced on brows through the ages. From the thin arched brows of the flappers in the early 20’s, to the full post-war eyebrows of the 50’s, to the restoration of the 40’s “diva arch” in the 90’s…Donna Fay can recreate (or undo!) any of them.
So what makes the perfect brow?
Club shaped centrally then tapering along the tail with the center portion beginning at a vertical line drawn upward from the edge of the nostril. The tail extends to a line that runs from the corner of the nose through the corner of the eye. The height of the brow should be equal at both ends; typically at, or just above the rim of the eye socket. Generally, in women, the brow should arch delicately with the highest peak between the corner of the iris and the corner of the eye. The male brow should rest on or at the rim of the eye socket and is more horizontal in shape. Aestheticians like Donna Fay commonly employ the “pencil trick” to guide them in brow shaping using a pencil shaped brow stick to delineate these parameters when updating a patient’s brow style.
All the above is well and good for teens, models and obsessive magazine consumers, but as we age, the brow can flatten and droop as well as thin out. So what’s a girl to do? Well, a skilled makeup artist can shape a brow to mimic a youthful arch; but if you don’t have a make-up artist readily available to draw on your eyebrows every morning, Dr. Pearlman has perfected a number of non-surgical as well as surgical techniques to rejuvenate the brow.
Eyebrows can be elevated non-surgically by the use of expertly placed Botox. Not only can eyebrows be lifted, but shaped beautifully as well. Sometimes it’s more a deflation of the eyebrow instead of drooping. In that case, fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm can be used to restore youthful fullness that appears like a browlift but actually doesn’t lift the brow. Ultherapy can also be used to elevate the brow position, restoring a youthful height and brow arch.
When is surgery necessary? When there is significant wrinkling and redundancy of eyelid skin, which may be due to drooping of the eyebrows. If there is any hooding making you visually “aware” or uncomfortable with excess skin, and if the brows are in good position and the overhanging skin doesn’t extend far beyond the corner of the eye, a blepharoplasty (eyelift) is the best solution.
When the excess skin goes well past the eye, it means that the brow has dropped and a browlift is more helpful. This is an important distinction that many plastic surgeons may not know the subtlety of. In the hands of a facial plastic surgeon, like Dr. Pearlman, you’re in safe hands. Be careful if you see a plastic surgeon. In my opinion, brows are too often lifted excessively or when it wasn’t necessary at all.
If you look worried, sad or angry it’s more likely due to a brow problem. If you look tired it’s usually more from the eyelids. Pull some photos of yourself from your mid 20’s, and check where your eyebrows were. Remember, it’s about shape not height.
Schedule a consultation with the “Beauty Expert” Donna Fay to discuss your brow-restoration options.