Here’s how to DIY them
Remember 2013, one of Cara Delevigne‘s breakthrough years as a model and the subsequent return of the full eyebrow? I do. Suddenly, everyone slammed down their tweezers and reached for crayon-like brown pencil’s and ashy grey eyeshadows and took to their foreheads like an artist running out of time to get their ideas on paper. Before Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade left us forever scarred, a blocky, fluffy brow was delivered via anything we had on hand. Cast your mind back to before then, when the tweezers were tightly gripped in the aughts and then back before then, to the 90s, when the likes of Linda Evangelista had her brows bleached clean off for certain runway shows and Madonna did it just because she is Madonna. Just like the skinny brow trend, bleached brows are back, baby!
It’s not necessarily a new phenomenon, designers have been bleaching the brows of models on and off the runway for decades. As for the mainstream? The bleached brow trend was mostly reserved for club kids and models who couldn’t get their hands on brow tint post-bleach, but now, with a 90s and naughts resurgence that is only spanning wider and deeper, bleached brows have well and truly entered the zeitgeist, from Gen-Z Tik Tokkers to celebrities, to even myself, I too am a convert to the benefits of bleach.
From Lizzo to Lila Moss, the trend has been on the uptick for the past year now, and is showing very few signs of slowing down. Madonna originally lead the look, alongside iconic makeup artist Kevin Aucoin, who wrote a tutorial on brow bleaching back in 1997 for his book, Making Faces. Post-90s, it was it girls like Gwen Stefani and Chloe Sevigny who sported the iced-out look, with models like Slick Woods, Adwoa Aboah and Soo Joo Park carrying it through the 2010s despite the fluffy brow trend that was reigning.
The rise of DIY beauty has also contributed to a spike in the trend, leaving the only question remaining: how does one bleach their brows at home?
The good news about bleached brows is that it’s a relatively low-stakes commitment if you have some brow tint on hand to reverse things if they get too scary, just ask my nineteen year old self, who experimented with the look for a full 12 hours before promptly dying them back to their natural colour. It was too early for her. Fast-forward 6 years and they have become a 6-month long staple in my beauty routine. So, if you’re thinking of hitching your bleachy wagon to mine, here’s how.
How to bleach your brows at home
Step one is to make sure the area you are bleaching is clean and dry, then applying an occlusive balm like Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour cream around the brow (avoiding the hair) so that the bleach doesn’t irritate the skin. Then, using a facial hair bleach, follow the directions on the box and apply with a spoolie in back and forth motions, wiggling the brush to get right into the roots. Once the bleach is completely covering the brows, leave it on for roughly 10 minutes before wiping off. If your hair is quite dark, you may need to go in with a purple shampoo or purple cream corrector to offset any brassy tones.
Et Voila! Call yourself Chloe and enjoy the novelty of it all.