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Image: Chanel: Runway - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2012
Pascal Le Segretain  /  Getty Images
Strong brows are taking the fashion industry by storm. Supermodel Miranda Kerr's crystal-encrusted brows stole the show at Chanel's Fall/Winter 2012 show in Paris on March 6.
TODAY contributor
updated 3/15/2012 11:22:41 AM ET 2012-03-15T15:22:41

This year’s hippest accessory isn’t something that you can pick up at your local mall. Strong, full eyebrows are topping off famous faces all over, from the catwalk to Hollywood.

Fashionistas knew that the look had really arrived in early March when models at Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2012 show in Paris strutted the runway with crystal-encrusted brows.

“Eyebrows frame the face, frame the eyes,” says Ramy Gafni, makeup artist and owner of New York City’s Ramy Spa. “Fashion is always trying to keep things new and interesting and now people are saying that the frame can be interesting too, hence the sparkles and bold colors seen in recent shows. These trends are meant to trickle down in a diluted form to the public. No one is expecting the woman-on-the-street to go to work with black sparkly eyebrows, but to translate that look to a full, well groomed eyebrow.”

Over the past several years, groomed eyebrows have attracted new attention both in the world of fashion and for the woman on the street. Bolds brows bars seem to be everywhere, and some makeup artists have seen such high demand for brows that they now do brow shaping, tinting and tattooing full time.

But it is only recently that trendsetters have stepped away from a shaped, manicured appearance, and started showing full brows, some with little hint of an arch. It’s a look that many makeup artists say gives a face a younger, fresher feel.

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Does this mean that periodic maintenance is a thing of the past? Not quite — a full shape doesn’t translate to unkempt, and bold brows can require as much attention as their thinner siblings.

“This look is not just about a thick heavy eyebrow, but a brow that is in proportion to your face,” says Gafni, who has worked with celebrities including Cher, Claire Danes and Renee Zellweger. “You don’t want to be walking around looking like Groucho Marx, but rather have a brow that’s well groomed.”

So what’s spurred this return to the natural look? Like hemlines and lipstick sales, Gafni blames it on the state of the economy.

“Customers who once came in every three weeks are now coming in every other month and that leads to a bushier eyebrow,” he says.

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Bigger, more natural brows may also be a part of a trend towards a more organic overall look that includes pale makeup. Eyebrow expert Shavata Singh, who runs more than 20 brow bars in London, predicts that as women grow out their brows, they will also wear them in paler hues.

“Less is more in general when it comes to modern beauty, which ranges from androgynous icons like Tilda Swinton and actress Rooney Mara, to the 'I don't care' generation of Kristin Stewart,” says TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas. “These days it's not cool to look like you've used a bottle of hairspray or spent an hour on your face.”

Despite the ubiquity of brow stylists, it’s possible to get this look at home, without taking a trip to your nearest salon.

Start by fully growing out your brows, which can take up to three or four months, says Gafni, who also recommends taking a multivitamin to help encourage growth.

Brush the brow hairs up and then down to trim any hair which is too long.

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Next comes the shaping. The inside of your brow should be aligned with the inner corner of nose and the inner corner of your eye, according to Benefit Brow Bars, which “map” your eyebrows before styling them. If you want an arch, line up a pencil from the outside corner of your nose to the outer corner of your pupil — that’s where it should reach its highest point. To mark the end of your brow, line up the pencil from the outer corner of your nose with the outer corner of your eye.

That being said, what looks good on one person may not look great on someone else, so be sure to choose a style that goes well with the shape of your face.

“Eyebrows are like fingerprints, no two people are the same,” says Gafni. “As a rule, it’s better for the eyebrows be too close together than too far apart. My motto is when it doubt don’t pluck it out.”

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Photos: The best of bold brows

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  1. Face-framing eyebrows

    Strong brows seem to be everywhere these days, from the catwalk to Hollywood's finest. Check out our brow bar of looks that really make a statement.

    Angelina Jolie
    Actress Angelina Jolie's thicker-than-usual eyebrows are perfectly groomed for her appearance at this year's Academy Awards. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Miranda Kerr

    Miranda Kerr's crystal-encrusted brows stole the show at Chanel's Fall/Winter 2012 show in Paris in March. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Vivienne Westwood

    British designer Vivienne Westwood had her models with strong and very arched brows showing off her Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's collection during Paris fashion week in March. (Stephane Mahe / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Kristen Stewart

    Kristen Stewart's do-it-yourself look has inspired a generation of younger fans to take a more relaxed approach to beauty. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Marc By Marc Jacobs

    Models are warning makeup artists not to reshape their brows for fear of losing agency contracts. Here, a model walks the runway at the Marc By Marc Jacobs Fall 2012 fashion show in New York. (Peter Michael Dills / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Brooke Shields

    Brooke Shields' full brows have defined her look throughout her long career as a model and actress. (Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Burberry

    These model's dark brows compete for attention with her Burberry clothing during the designer's London fashion show in February. (Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. J.Lo

    Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, seen here at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Feb. 26, uses her full and arched brows to show off her almond-shaped eyes. (Evan Agostini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Antonio Berardi

    At London's Fashion Week in February, it was hard to find a model who didn't have full eyebrows. Here a model walks the runway during Antonio Berardi's London show. (Stuart Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. David Koma

    This model's dark lipstick matches her face-framing eyebrows during the David Koma show at London's Fashion Week in February. (Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Camilla Belle

    Actress Camilla Belle's swept back hairdo and pastel frock highlight her dark, prominent brow at the Art of Elysium Gala at Union Station in January in Los Angeles. (John Shearer / Getty Images for Art of Elysium) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Jennifer Connelly

    Actress Jennifer Connelly's full brows are so popular that one fan created a "Jennifer Connelly's Eyebrows" Facebook page. (Jemal Countess / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Megan Fox

    Actress Megan Fox, shown here at the "Friends With Kids" premiere, tops off her sulty look with come-hither eyebrows. (Leonard Adam / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Eva Mendes

    Eva Mendes, shown at the "Angel" by Thierry Mugler campaign launch, frames her face with strong, arched brows. (Rob Kim / FilmMagic) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Gwen Stefani

    Singer Gwen Stefani , pictured at the 20th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party, isn't afraid to keep her eyebrows darker than her hair color. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: 84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (15) The best of bold brows
    Pierre Verdy / AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (28) Best of bizarre style on the Paris runway


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