Roisin Gorman’s Open Letter… on brow-raising beauty

‘Eventually brows give up in disgust as any woman with sharp tweezers and a passion for the perfect arch knows’

Model Chrissy Teigen revealed how she had her sparse eyebrows restored by a transplant

Sunday World

Chrissy Teigen has become the Wayne Rooney of beauty.

The model is now the public face of the cosmetic treatment you never knew you needed — eyebrow transplants.

Although after the 2021 Chrissy had, when her past as an “insecure, attention seeking troll” (her words) was exposed by fellow model Courtney Stodden, I’m sure she’d have transplanted several legs and a head to deflect attention.

Eyebrow transplants appear to be up there with bleaching your unmentionables in the bracket of procedures for those with too much time, money and vanity on their hands.

The surgical migration of follicles from the back of the head to the eyebrows — in Wayne’s case they stopped at his hairline like a Neolithic combover — at least comes with comedy value as the hairs continue growing and require regular trimming to stop becoming an eye fringe. Eyebrows somehow know when they’re at maximum length, unless you’re male when they’re like the ivy of middle age, catching the wind and turning off women.

But the transplant is the next stage in the evolution of the brow.

If your makeup kit doesn’t include a pencil, gel, stencil, powder or pomade, which sounds like something Clark Gable slapped on his ‘tache — you’re really not in the eyebrow game.

And plucking your own brows is the cosmetic equivalent of DIY highlights — everyone can see it and no one’s impressed.

This year alone the eyebrow trends include bleaching, colouring, feathered sideways, brushed straight and fluffy verticals with a wolf overtone.

A beauty therapist recently explained to me that brow lamination, which is basically a perm for your eyebrows, or two tiny perms to be precise, is the future, when those little hairs are chemically wrangled to sit properly. It’s for those who find microblading, two tiny tattoos, too daunting.

In an industry famed for its jargon who thought ‘lamination’ was synonymous with beauty and self-care?

The brow enhancements are a godsend for anyone who’s lost theirs to conditions like alopecia — but for most of us the loss is entirely self-inflicted.

My first attempt at brow taming was with my dad’s Gillette, which left two bald patches. You’d think I’d have stopped after one.

They grew back, but eventually brows give up in disgust as any woman with sharp tweezers and a passion for the perfect arch will know.

We’ve all met the person with the one-hair width brow and wondered why they kept going when virtual deforestation loomed. Where’s David Attenborough when you need him?

It took me years to put the tweezers down and allow only professionals full brow access. They gave me important information like: brow tint plus fake tan equals orange eyebrows, everyone has a good brow and an idiot cousin one, and don’t pluck the top of your brows unless they’ve gone full hipster beard.

But as I draw in the absent ones and nail down the wayward ones there’s some comfort in knowing we’ve been obsessing about our brows since we first grew them.

Cara Delevingne was credited with bringing back your full caterpillar, but Audrey Hepburn was rocking furry in the fifties.

Marlene Dietrich shaved hers off and drew them on again just millimetres higher. Sophia Loren shaved hers and drew on something which landed between wolf-like and lamination.

Bella Hadid’s nineties skinny brow was Twiggy’s sixties brow via Kate Moss’s early days.

The only rule should be if your eyebrows enter a room before you do it’s time to put down the pencil.


Today's Headlines

More Comment

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices