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Don’t Let Your Eyes Show Your Age

By Beth Landman
Posted On Mar 31, 2017
Don’t Let Your Eyes Show Your Age

Want to shave a few years off your look (without going under the knife)? It may be time to pay closer attention to your eyes, brows, and lashes.

When reading someone’s emotions, the eyes communicate more than any other feature. They reveal joy, sadness, interest, lust, and inarguably are the ultimate alluring objects of attraction. No wonder we call them the windows to our souls.

Lashes and brows are essential to the eyes’ appearance; framing them while defining the entire face, and now more than ever the look is bold. While not everyone can pull off the bodacious brows of Cara Delevingne or Kim Kardashian, the age of plucking to pinhole proportions is oh-so passé (and can make you look prematurely aged). Lucky for us, there are countless ways to bolster the appearance of hair around the eyes, from cosmetics and extensions to semi-permanent makeup and hair restoration. Get ready to take a brow…


The brow structure you choose may well depend on your face shape. For instance, a straighter eyebrow helps a longer face appear shorter, while a sharper angle provides better contrast to a rounder face. To find your ideal shape, start above the inside corner of your eye (too close to your nose and you will look ill-groomed; too far away, and the brow will look sparse) and work your way up to the arch. This should be about three-quarters of the way toward the edge of your face, at the point you would find if you drew a diagonal line from your outer nostril through the center of your pupil. Once you hit the arch, gradually come down toward the top of your ear.

“The right arch and groomed eyebrows can have a better lifting effect than Botox,’’ says Karina Freedman, who has a boutique salon in New York. To draw a brow with cosmetic tools, choose a pencil, crayon, or brush and powder based on the texture you prefer. “The fuller the brow, the younger you look,’’ notes Umbreen Sheikh, founder of Wink Brow Bar in Manhattan.

Still, Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of  Sonia Kashuk Beauty, warns to keep balance in mind. “You want a defined brow, so fill in any sparseness, but too high an arch can look severe, and if your arch is too much in the middle it can get clown-like,’’ she says.

Color Me Full

Lori Taylor Davis, global lead pro-artist for Smashbox cosmetics warns to be careful of the “Sharpie brow,’’ however. “Make sure it looks like your brow, not like it was painted on,’’ she says. “It’s a two-step process; first to create definition and the other to create fullness.’’ She recommends that you try a pomade as a second step. “When light catches the shine, it looks more three-dimensional and naturally fuller.’’

When picking a powder shade, Jessica Scantlin, director of Artistry at Blushington suggests going a shade lighter than your actual brow color. “A slightly lighter shade will make the brow seem thicker without looking harsh or overdone,’’ she notes. “After you apply it, brush the hair up rather than to the side, which will also give a fuller appearance.’’

Tinting also adds volume. “If someone has fine hairs, tinting grabs the peach fuzz to give a fuller appearance,’’ says Sabah Seroz, brow expert at Blink Brow Bar.

Room to Groom

To groom the brow, Sheikh advises against waxing. “Pulling the skin can cause it to droop. Threading is a more precise and organic method.’’  Seroz feels equally strong about tweezing the top of a brow! “Once you start messing there, you lose your natural shape.’’

Sometimes, brow hair is just too thin as a result of over-plucking, aging, trauma, or dermatological conditions. To get (or get back) what you don’t have, a growth stimulant, like RevitaBrow or Rogaine are good options. For a more natural approach, Scantlin recommends castor oil, a well-used home method for good reason: it’s rich in triglycerides, vitamin E, and omega-6 fatty acids, minerals, and protein, all of which are good for hair and skin health.

Fuel to Furrow

For more severe cases, Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, a clinical professor of dermatology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, specializing in hair restoration, suggests eyebrow transplantation. “We take hair from behind the ear or closer to the middle of the scalp if someone’s brows are coarser,” he explains of the process, which takes about five hours, and grows in gradually and then permanently after a year. “First they have to be trimmed, but eventually they mimic the growth pattern of eyebrows.”

According to Dr. Craig Ziering, a Beverly Hills based hair transplant surgeon, brow transplantation is on the rise.  “I am doing twice as many cases as I did five years ago,’’ he reports.  “For those who have lost hair, drawing a brow on is one dimensional, but adding hair makes it three dimensional.  A well defined brow not only frames the face, it opens up the eyes.’’

An alternative to transplantation is semi-permanent makeup, which has evolved greatly in the last few years. “The process is more precise and the pigments are now customized,’’ says Dominique Bossavy, who works out of her own salon in Los Angeles, as well as the high-end, private Core Club in New York.

Eyebrows descend as we age, but they can be lifted with injections or surgery. “When we inject Botox into the muscle that pulls down the eyebrow, it relaxes and releases the brow which naturally gets raised and develops more of an arch,” says Dr. Howard Sobel, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City. “We also use filler directly under and above the eyebrow to raise it.”

The Botox effect lasts about six months. For longer lasting results, plastic surgeons perform brow lifts. “Endoscopic and short scar techniques facilitate quicker recovery and allow for significant correction of downward brow displacement,” says Manhattan plastic surgeon Olivia Hutchinson. “Improving the brow position surgically requires only one intervention and can yield results lasting several years.”

Fringe Fest

While brows give definition and structure, lashes draw attention to the eye, refining its shape as well as lifting,  and adding that oh-so irresistible sensuality.

The most basic way to perfect lashes is by applying mascara. “You need to get to the base of the lash and wiggle the wand up to apply the first coat, and then follow with two more coats at the top,” says Taylor Davis.

The Eyeko line, which just launched custom bespoke mascara, introduced “Lash Boost,” which goes over mascara. “It gives instant expansion with fibers but also contains growth boosters including keratin, collagen, and vitamin B,” says Neil Scibelli, the company’s chief makeup artist.

Part of the appeal of lashes is their upward curl. “I’m a huge advocate for strip lashes. They give volume and intensity at the lash line, but they also give a lift up as things start going down,” notes Kashuk.

Lash perming, which was started in New York by Shizuka Bernstein, who has a spa in Rockefeller Center, adds a flirtatious curl that lasts a month. If you have lighter lashes, tinting and then perming will allow you to skip mascara in your daily routine, and save it for nights out.

An answer is eyelash extensions. Alicia Hunter, celebrity lash artist, says extensions can have an anti-aging effect. “They provide an instant eye lift with no downtime,’’ she says.  “For an hour a month you free yourself from 15 to 20 minutes a day spent perfecting your lashes.’’

Sheikh observes that extensions can also enhance your eye shape. “Larger, deep-set eyes look great when your lashes are longer on the outside, giving you a cat eye, whereas an Asian-shaped eye usually looks better with extensions that are longer in the middle of the eye, giving you the appearance of larger eyes.”

For those who don’t have enough lashes to anchor extensions or mascara, transplantation is a tricky but viable option. “People who have weak, missing, or sparse lashes from trauma or injury, can have a full result in a year. The procedure takes an hour per eye, and they begin to grow at about 12 weeks, but they grow long, so the lashes need to be trimmed and curled, or maybe permed,” says Dr. Alan J. Bauman, a hair transplant surgeon in Boca Raton, Florida.

Growth stimulants are perhaps the simplest way to lengthen lashes, or strengthen them in between extension appointments. Apart from the prescription product Latisse, there are over-the-counter boosters available, too.  “RevitaLash, which makes their own lashes grow to their best natural length,” says New York hair guru Paul Labrecque. “Within six months I’ve seen some of them go from unremarkable to show stopping.”