You’d have to be living under a rock not to have noticed the resurgence of ‘90s style – think chokers, grunge and body glitter – but thankfully, one ‘90s throwback is staying right where it belongs: scarily skinny, tadpole eyebrows.
Thanks to the slew of stars with brows that define their careers as much as their facial features – names like Lily Collins, Cara Delevingne and Gigi Hadid spring to mind – big, bushy brows and perfectly shaped arches continue to reign supreme.
Us mere mortals have perfected the art of brushing up, filling in and tweezing only when absolutely necessary, but now there’s a new treatment in town: brow botox.
Also referred to as a brow lift, or eyebrow repositioning, brow botox allows you to subtly change the shape of your brow.
“Whether to create more of an arch, to change the position of their arch or to lift the front or tail of the brow, women of all ages come to see me for a brow lift,” says cosmetic physician Dr Van Park. “Depending on where the toxin is administered, we can create a softer, enhanced or refreshed look.”
What you definitely don’t want is the opposite – “a harder, mean and even more tired effect.” Read on for everything you need to know before you decide if brow botox is for you.
How does brow botox work?
Botox effectively paralyses muscles in the face. “There is a delicate balance between the push and pull action of all the muscles of the face. For the brows, the balance is between the forehead muscles which lift the brows and the frown and eye muscles which pulls various parts of the brows down,” explains Dr Park. “We use botulinum toxin to create a slight imbalance between these muscles and weaken specific points on the brow so that they lift or drop at certain points.” Occasionally fillers are also used to enhance the brow’s shape.
How accurate is it?
That all depends on the skill of your doctor (and you should definitely leave this one to doctors!). “A skilled injector will be able to determine the exact points, the exact dosage depending on how strong the muscles are, how the brows moves naturally, what muscles are responsible for the movement and potential recruitment of accessory muscles,” says Dr Park. “Some injectors will also be able to determine the underlying bone structure and ligaments responsible for the shape of the brows and use fillers accordingly to give a much more natural and enhanced look.”
How long does it last?
Between three and six months.
But are there any side effects?
There could be. Like any procedure, a brow lift comes with risks. Unintentionally creating a harsh, unnatural look is the most common side effect, created by misplaced jabs or incorrect dosage.
“The most common mistake I see is what is commonly referred to as the ‘Dr Spock look’, where only the ends of the brows are moving,” Dr Park says.
A less common, but more scary, potential side effect is ‘ptosis’ of the eyelid, “where the actual eyelid droops due to leakage of toxin into the eyelid muscles,” according to Dr Park. Not pleasant.
The risks increase when fillers are involved – think potentially “injecting into an artery and causing potential skin death.” The take-home? Ensure you see an experienced and skilled professional for the procedure and weigh up the risks.
Then, imagine what you’d look like with brows like this: