Move over microblading, there’s a new procedure in town
In recent years, eyebrow trends have come and gone as frequently as lockdowns in the UK (and by that I mean: frequently). In the last two decades, the hair slugs above our eyes have endured a lot: pencil-thin eyebrows, the Instagram brow, full, bold brows, bleached brows, and now bushy brows.
Aside from a failed attempt by British Vogue and Rihanna to bring back the overly-tweezed look, thick brows have been the tour de force of the eyebrow world since Cara Delevingne shot to fame in 2012. So, unfortunately for me, my face hasn’t been en vogue for a decade.
Having said that: despite being forced to look at myself every day for 26 years, I still have no idea what I actually look like. Hence why, until fairly recently, I was under the misguided illusion that I had reasonably thick eyebrows. I was, in fairness, aware that they were light in colour – or as I call it, depression grey – and not as thick as, say, brow icon Delevingne’s, but with a little brushing and tinting, I thought they veered more towards luscious than measly. I was wrong.
So, what do you do when you realise your whole life was a lie? Go to the salon, darling! I’d heard about eyebrow lamination through a friend whose brows always look – and I’m not being hyperbolic here – sensational. Granted, they’re naturally thicker and much darker than mine, but they’re always styled to highlight every individual hair, each flicking upwards to give a fuller look. This is the point of eyebrow lamination – it effectively straightens your brows, making each hair appear more pronounced.
To shake off my deceptive eyebrow curse, I headed to Brow Bar London in Belgravia to test out brow lamination in the hopes of transforming my face. Before the lamination process began, my eyebrows needed to be threaded – a process I’d never had done before and one that hurt a lot more than waxing (although, as my therapist Anna assured me, one that also lasts longer).
Before the first laminating cream was applied to my brows, Anna told me that she would shape my eyebrows to make them appear more even, as one is considerably higher than the other. Although I already knew this sad fact from TikTok’s dreaded ‘inverted’ filter, I didn’t realise that brow lamination could actually help turn your sisters into twins.
The first laminating cream makes your eyebrows more malleable, enabling your therapist to brush them upwards for that desired lifted look. During my treatment, it stayed on for around 15 minutes, with Anna coming to brush the hairs into a uniform upwards direction at five-minute intervals. The next cream is a laminating solution that helps seal the newly-shaped strands into place. For me, this was on for another 10 minutes, with Anna once again returning halfway through to brush my brows. After the laminating portion of the procedure was over, Anna tinted my brows and used a nourishing oil to reduce the dryness caused by the perming creams.
For those wondering how this process was used to make my eyebrows more even, Anna told me that while she brushed the hairs on my right brow upwards, she brushed those on my left slightly more to the side, giving the appearance of a lower arch, and therefore a more even pair.
And voila! Thick, feathery, even eyebrows, all in the space of an hour. As with any eyebrow treatment, my brows were quite defined and ‘done’ when I left the salon, but were much more natural the next morning. In terms of aftercare, Anna advised me not to wash my eyebrows for 24 hours, not to sleep on them the first night after having them done, as it could cause the hairs to curl again, and to use coconut oil everyday afterwards to keep them moisturised.
I can wholeheartedly say that eyebrow lamination is the best beauty treatment I’ve ever had. Because it simply enhances the hairs you already have – unlike microblading, which semi-permanently tattoos your skin, giving the appearance of fuller brows – it looks convincingly natural, and gives even those with the thinnest brows the chance to embrace the bush. The results are supposed to last for three to four weeks, so at £75 a go, it may not be the most economical treatment – although fair warning, once you’ve done it, you’ll never want your old eyebrows back.