By LIZ JONES
In the public eye: The Duchess of Cambridge with lighter eyebrows (left) and today (right)
Seeing a Scouse Brow lurking above the huge dark eyes of our future Queen is like seeing a copy of OK! in the royal loo. So what is going on? Kate’s brows have grown exponentially since her student days in Edinburgh, as you can clearly see if you compare pictures of her then and now. It is as if Monty Don has been tending them with some sort of magical mulch and a lawn-edger.
What a terrible metamorphosis. At the Duchess of Cambridge’s most recent public appearance — a reception for fashion folk at the Palace — she caused a stir among the assembled throng not for her choice of dress, but because of her very dark, very thick, very harsh-edged eyebrows.
Were they pencilled, inked, tattooed? Or (now here’s a thought) could they be a brand new trend the glossies haven’t even come up with yet: a brow extension, a sort of furry wig for those brunette beauties who can’t grow their own?
Whatever the reason, it’s a style most commonly seen on the foreheads of women called Chelsea, Abbey and Jodie. It even has a name — ‘the Scouse Brow’ — after the monster arches sported by the cast of the latest reality TV show, Desperate Scousewives.
It’s not a question of just not plucking them: if Kate followed that route, she would have a pale fuzz, a la Princess Anne. No, something more sinister is afoot. Or, I suppose, ahead. Unless you are a Denis Healey-type man on the wrong side of 50, eyebrows do not suddenly put on a spurt and start to become darker and thicker. It doesn’t happen. The new Kate brow does not exist in nature.
If David Attenborough wanted to film this phenomenon, he would have to take you to the Brow Studio at Harrods, book you in for a £350 full-brow semi-permanent make-up session, and watch while you are tattooed painfully with a black, viscous dye.
Trust me, I should know. I plucked my own eyebrows in the mid-Seventies to achieve the then fashionable pencil-thin arc, as seen on Sara Moon for the Biba posters. When Brooke Shields emerged on the scene in 1980, aged 14 and on the cover of Vogue, with her thick, very straight brows (I’m surprised the magazine didn’t utilise a gatefold, so the brows could continue overleaf), I decided I would grow back my brows. They refused to co-operate.
At least that way the damage is only temporary. Tattooed brows (hopefully the only thing I have in common with Coleen Rooney) are impossible to shift. After they heal, they crust, then scabs fall off, revealing the bold stripe beneath, as though a marker pen has attacked your face.
A year or so in, depending on your skin type, they go a rather unattractive purple colour, which you then have to cover with more ink. It is a horrible cycle, a trap, saddled as you are with brows that won’t age with you, that provincialise (can you imagine Carla Bruni-Sarkozy with thick, hairy ones?) and brutalise your face forever more.
So, Kate, please stop fiddling with what nature has given you on your brow. We want you to make young women the length and breadth of the kingdom feel free to celebrate their fresh-facedness and spend less time and money honing and polishing themselves into bland mannequins.