Have we reached 'peak brow'?

22:49, Jul 28 2014
Lily Collins
POWER BROWS: Lily Collins sports a pair of volume-tastic caterpillars - but are they on the way out?

After spending the last year meticulously crafting hairy caterpillars onto our face, the trend is about to do a 180 - no brows are the new bold brows.

There's nothing like a set of healthy, voluptuous brows to set off a flurry of compliments from your lady friends, yet as Cara Delevinge-grade arches have become more commonplace, it's inevitable that the fashion world looks to another look to replace it.

Has our obsession reached saturation point? This video certainly suggests it has. And you know it's time to stop when eyebrow transplants become a thing.

Why, it looks as though brows are destined to go the way of beards. As every evolutionary biologist can attest, once 'peak brow' frequency is reached, the pendulum swings back toward groomed arches, or no arches at all. We swear we've read some Gladwellian theory on it.

We first noticed the sway when Katy Perry uploaded a selfie on Instagram of her rocking invisible brows earlier this year. Lady Gaga has embraced the look on the red carpet, while Miley Cyrus appeared similarly shorn on the cover of W Magazine. The laws of fashion say that nothing is too absurd to be embraced.

The no-brow look is steeped in haute-couture associations. Take Givenchy, who erased Kendall Jenner's eyebrows for their autumn-winter campaign. The models at Alexander Wang appeared even more alien-like than usual when they sashayed down the runway fresh-faced and bare-browed for his autumn 2014 show. XO Vain has dubbed it the 'futuristic industrial mannequin tomboy' look.


And let's not forget Lara Stone, who did naked eyebrows as far back as 2006 under the instruction of then-Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld. Where strong brows have become the editorial norm, no brows definitely stand out. And other cool-girl models are catching on.

Could this be our cue to skip the tweezers and reach for the bleach? Just wait a minute, would ya?

As is the case with many things in fashion, the trend tends to discriminate against anyone without amazing bone structure. And so, we recommend trying out the look first before you make it, well, more permanent than it needs to be.

This isn't about working the overplucked, precise arches of decades past.

Celebrity makeup artist Rachel Wood recommends combing your foundation or concealer through your natural brows using a spooly brush. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-3 works a treat.

Alternatively, feather your brows with eyeliner that matches your skin tone. Wipe excess product away as you go to make it look as natural as possible - you know, if you consider missing eyebrows natural-looking.  You achieve the look of bleached brows without the commitment. 

"A no-brow look is really cool with smudgy, rock-and-roll eyes. Not a full-on smoky eye, but a gray or chocolate pencil really mushed in around the eye line," suggests Wood.

After some inspiration? We rather fancy the brows on Martha Plimpton in 1989's Parenthood.  (And on a somewhat related note, MARTHA AND RIVER 4EVA.)

- Daily Life