When Costhetics took a recent look into the world of body modification, we were surprised to learn how many people choose to have their ears made pointy, like Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.
The procedure, sometimes known as Vulcan Ear Surgery, is “painful and irreversible,” reports ABC News, noting that “sculpting cartilage is dangerous.”
While Costhetics doesn’t endorse this particular form of cosmetic surgery, we don’t judge it either. People have the right to voluntarily select their modification of choice. “You do you” is our motto; or in this case, “You do Spock.” We get a lot judgier when it comes to patients who sport a Spock brow. Why does this Vulcan feature get under our skin? It’s because Spock Brow is generally the result of poor injecting technique rather than the specific physiology of a patient.
It’s become all too common for injectors to be under-trained. We point specifically to afternoon training courses where participants spent just four or five hours learning a craft that can take years to perfect. Well-meaning students are given templates of where to place injections and told to follow the map but unfortunately, the map doesn’t take into account an individual patient’s unique muscle patterns and facial features.
The result: Spock brows.
The Many Faces of Spock in Hollywood
Star Trek premiered in the 1960’s, with Leonard Nimoy in the role of everyone’s favourite Vulcan. Since then, actors who have worn Spock’s pointed eyebrows with pride include
- Zachary Quinto
- Ethan Peck
- Vadia Potenza (as Spock age 13)
None of these actors were naturally endowed…at least not with pointed eyebrows. To create the iconic Vulcan eyebrow, make-up artists shave the outside halves of the actors’ eyebrows and then draw in the exaggerated brow line. Spirit gum was painted along the pencilled outline and yak belly hair (!) was attached.
If only they’d had cosmetic injectables. It would have been so easy…
How Anti-Wrinkle Injections Create Spock Brows
Cosmetic injectables used to inhibit muscles from moving are medically called neuromodulators. Delivered via tiny needles, this treatment helps the face look more rested by relaxing facial muscles. By relaxing the forehead wrinkles without paralysing brow movement, you receive a very natural result. However, if an injector paralyses the muscles that pull down the outside of the brow naturally, the result is an unnaturally pointy Spock brow.
Without proper training, injectors are notorious for under-treating the frontalis. Located in the forehead area of the face, the frontalis is a thin, wide, four-sided muscle whose main function is to raise the eyebrows. The muscle action creates dynamic wrinkles across the brow that will eventually deepen and become face-ageing static wrinkles.
Properly injecting the frontalis keeps forehead skin smooth and unlined. Generally, injections should be made at least 2 centimetres above the orbital rim or more reports Science Direct in its article, the Frontalis Muscle. Manufacturers recommend “injections of 5 to 25u” and “horizontal lines injected every 1 1/2 to 2 cm, high enough from the brow to prohibit brow ptosis.”
Other problems may arise when novice injectors are too focused on the muscles in the middle of the forehead. They often fail to inject the lateral area of the frontalis. This inattention is what causes outer muscles to draw brows up into a pointed, Vulcan line.
Why Professionals Say: Show Me Your Muscles
Treating an ageing face with anti-wrinkle injections requires a good knowledge of facial structure, including the two chief muscles responsible for moving your brows (corrugator supercilii and procerus). It also requires that an injector perform a comprehensive facial examination before starting your treatment. This should include:
- Analysis of muscle movement
- Analysis muscle strength
Your injector needs to understand your facial anatomy, in depth. Your bones and especially your musculature, as well as your rejuvenation goals will inform their decision on the most beneficial dosage of a cosmetic medicine.
More of a Good/Bad Thing
There’s good news for men and women who have been Vulcanized in search of a smooth forehead. The Spock effect can be corrected. Additional minute quantities of anti-wrinkle can be injected into the area at the edge of the brow. Like the original treatment, this, too, requires the experienced hand of a true professional.
Costhetics is always pro-professionals. When it comes to cosmetic injectables, board-certified injectors working with a doctor are your best bets. Over-injecting can worsen eye hooding and flatten out your brow. Don’t put yourself back in the hands of the person who injected you badly in the first place.