Fall's Bushy Brows
Step 2. Use a Serum
"Look back at your high school yearbook picture--that's your inspiration. You can do that, you can have that much hair, but it does take six months to a year for every hair to grow in," says Streicher.
While you're giving your tweezers a rest, you can try a serum. A friend of Lee's gave her a tube of GrandeLashMD Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer ($80)--an over-the-counter serum in the same vein as Latisse ($120) or Revitalash ($150)--and she's become its biggest fan. Growth serums are packed with biotin, which stimulates cell growth, as well as peptides and vitamins to increase length and volume. Though most eyelash serums can be used on brows, GrandeLashMD actually includes brows on the label.
Step 3: Take it Slow
Lee recommends building toward the brows you want. So start out using the serum once a day before jumping to twice (as advised on the label). If you have sensitive skin, it might cause slight irritation on your brows and lashes (in the spots you apply the serum) at first. Lee puts "the tiniest amount" on the part of her brow closest to her nose and a bit at the ends, brushing it on with a clean toothbrush or mascara wand. Once you've reached your ideal fullness, scale back to once or twice a week and switch to a Vitamin E-rich oil, like Streicher's Afore Oil ($45), that will keep your skin healthy so the hairs have an easy time growing in.
Step 4: Cheat
Invest in a few products to define your brows throughout the awkward stages.
"I use the Chanel Brow Pencil ($29)," says Lee. "It comes with a sharpener that is made for that pencil which is key. If your pencil's end is blunt, you'll end up filling in the whole [brow] shape instead of the individual hairs that you want."
Step 5: Experiment
Lee says the Japanese have mastered the tools you need to properly fill in your brows because Asian hair grows in thin, and at right angles. To counter that, they've developed pen-like tools to draw on individual hairs. "That old-fashioned idea of filling in a defined shape isn't so in fashion," Lee adds. "You want to see each brow hair rather than something sculpted and old school."
Both she and Streicher are huge fans of brow gel, like Anastasia's Tinted Brow Gel ($21). The tinted versions add color to your blonder hairs (even brunettes have light hairs in their brows) while the gel itself helps hold the shape.
Step 6: Try Kate's Trick
"This is going to sound weird, but I'll use a brush to direct the eyebrow hair down instead of up. By doing that, you can see the maximum shape of your eyebrow, like how much you can draw in on top," says Lee. "You can cheat the height of your arch by feathering in--very gently--a few strips of pencil in the direction of the hair growth. It's going to feel very alien, but fill in the arch and then brush them up, then fill in any gaps you see and lengthen the ends."
Striecher actually finds that one pencil--the Kimiko Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique ($24)--works on everyone (except maybe strawberry blondes).
Step 7: Consider Hair Replacement
If you've waited a year for your brows to grow back and they haven't, you have one more option: hair replacement. "In extreme cases," Streicher says, "it's kind of amazing." The one-time process lasts forever, moving the hair from your head to your brows to fill in gaps or lengthen the ends. But the hair on your head grows constantly, not on that 27-day cycle, which means you'll have to trim it almost daily. "The hair does eventually acclimate to the area," Streicher says. "But it takes about two years."
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Step 8: Be Patient!
Yes, we're back to step one. We asked Lee for a tale of inspiration and she told us about when then-client Weisz was in The Mummy. "[The film] was set in the 1930s, so the makeup artist basically pulled out all her brows and turned them into tiny pencil lines," Lee says. "Luckily she's not follically challenged." Lee says the growing out phase was awkward but now they're flawless. If Weisz can survive the growth spurt in the public eye, you'll be fine.
Every model has her thing: Karlie Kloss's walk, Cindy Crawford's mole, Daria Werbowy's legs. The feature of the moment is Cara Delevingne's eyebrows. The 19-year-old British model hit every major runway last season and those bushy brows—the best to hit billboards since Brooke Shields's—turned her into fall's number one face. Sure, after years of shaping and tweezing it can be hard to score such bushy brows, but it's a lot easier than gunning for Daria's legs. We turned to the women managing some of the world's best brows—Kristie Streicher who works on Rachel Weisz and Emily Blunt, and Kate Lee who's responsible for Keira Knightley and Rooney Mara—for tips on growing them out, filling them in, and achieving Cara-level fullness.