Add to the list: eyebrow extensions, which are indeed a thing. They sound pretty extra, but the effect is somewhere in the middle of a simple brow gel and the semi-permanent option of microblading. "Eyebrow extensions are synthetic hair fibers that look and feel like real eyebrow hairs," says Umbreen Sheikh, founder of Wink Brow Bar. "They are single strands of hair applied one by one, in a similar way to lash extensions but to the brows, using gentle but strong colorless adhesive that's safe for the skin." While you might have to park it in your esthetician's chair for between 25 minutes to an hour or so for application, there's zero need to touch them up once they're in.
Unlike lash extensions, which need an eyelash to adhere to, brow extensions can be applied to the skin or your eyebrow hair, says Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes. They look really natural, but they simply accentuate the brows you've got. "Brow extensions can fill in brows in sparse areas or add brow where it's needed to make you look like you have naturally full and defined brows," says Sheikh. (BTW this reminds me: Here's what happened when one of our editors got a lash lift.)
The extensions last for a couple of weeks and look like you've just filled them in with a pencil; however, they also add dimension, volume, and a well-defined shape to the brow, which helps them look more real than anything a two-dimensional pencil can do. Plus, they're a great alternative to those people who aren't ready for teeny tiny brow tattoos (AKA: microblading). "Extensions are less invasive and more affordable than microblading, and will still save you the time of penciling in your brows everyday," says Richardson. Sure, they only run you from $55 to $350 depending on how much love you need, but the only down side is that they don't last as long.
Like with microblading, it's important to not get your brows wet for first 48 hours post-treatment. "Avoid rubbing your eyes, using oil-based products and heavy creams around the eyes, and try to not touch them," she says. "Avoid applying makeup over them, and only dab the area with water using a damp cloth." The pros also recommend that you lay off of the brow makeup products while your extensions are in, though Sheikh says a brow powder is fine as long as you use a non-waterproof remover to dab it off with, since "waterproof products can break down the glue."
According to Sheikh, the finished effect can last from five days to two weeks, depending on how they hold on your skin. To extend their wear, it's all about proper care and essentially leaving them alone (no easy feat when you're washing your face each night). "Try your best to not touch them, as many of the strands are attached directly on the skin, so fussing with them will cause them to shed sooner," says Richardson. Before you book an appointment, however, know that you should find someone who's licensed to apply brow extensions in your state, according to Richardson (I mean, we are talking about your eyes, folks).
In sum, brow extensions are offering us a pretty great middle ground for those who are sick of filling in our brows each and every morning, but aren't quite ready to book that microblading appointment, and you'll only see the options and application get better and better in the years to come as these treatments become more common place. That is, unless we all go back to the whisper-thin brows of the '90s. Until then, brow extensions have got you.
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