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Brows away: how bleached brows became the first post-lockdown beauty trend


TextAlex Peters

An aesthetic long loved by the beauty underground, bleach brows are now hitting the mainstream thanks to celebrities like Lizzo and Kim Kardashian

If eyebrows are the scaffolding of the face then many of us are tearing it down and dancing on the rubble at the moment – bleached brows have emerged as the first big post-lockdown beauty trend.

When it comes to your face, removing your eyebrows is one of the most dramatic (temporary) changes you can make. Creating an ethereal, slightly alien look, bleached brows add a bold edge to any make-up, and because of that has in the past been favoured for high fashion moments like the Met Gala red carpet and by beauty mavericks like Isamaya Ffrench

But now the look has hit the mainstream with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lizzo, and FKA twigs, as well as the likes of Megan Barton-Hanson and Lottie Moss, all taking the plunge. Pinterest, meanwhile, reported a 160 per cent year-on-year increase in searches for bleached eyebrows.

Following months of statement eye make-up – the only part of the face on show while wearing a mask – it seems the easing of lockdown and mask restrictions has triggered a desire to get rid of the brows altogether. Similar to the impulse that drove people to dye their hair bright colours in lockdown or just cut it off altogether, bleaching brows feels like a moment of freedom and celebration. It’s fresh and attention-grabbing – we’re showing our faces in public again and it feels good. 

“I've been meaning to bleach my brows for nearly two years now, but a year and a half in lockdown was enough of a push to take the plunge,” says Dazed writer Günseli Yalcinkaya who recently made the decision to bleach her brows. “Bleached brows means that you can experiment with crazy make-up looks, which is perfect for summer.”

If you are interested in bleaching your brows, we are here to help. For anyone not ready to commit entirely, bleached eyebrow aficionado Isamaya Ffrench created a step-by-step video tutorial for Dazed Beauty last year on how to fake the look using glue, powder, and concealer. Or Alexis Stone’s brand Sensorium Beauty has a specific product that enables you to lighten or remove your brows, the Brow Engineer.

If it’s the full bleach you are after then take the advice of former Dazed Beauty social media editor Iris Luz, who experimented with both bleached and then shaved brows and says they made her feel “very clean and like a newborn baby”.

“For bleached brows: take a hot shower and lather your skin in oils and moisturizer for an hour and a half prior so you can’t feel the burn. Also, backcomb the brow so all your hairs are coated. For shaved brows: shave whilst in the shower and make sure you get the hair cut at the root in the first go as it’s harder to go over shaved hairs and cut them shorter.” Finally, watch Ffrench’s tutorial below.

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