The Bleached brow

Trend: Bleached Eyebrows

Brows are important. They may have arrived slightly late to the beauty game, but they’ve more than made up for lost time – rocketing into the spotlight over the past decade. Brought to our attention most recently by super model Cara Delevingne.

Long gone are the 90s, with their razor sharp arches penciled to perfection, the must-have companions to the “Rachel” haircut, worn alongside tiny backpacks perched on spaghetti strapped shoulders. The 21st Century has brought thick, bushy brows with it, an androgynous kind of beauty that Brook Shields would be proud of. 

There’s proof in the stats. If you can’t grow ‘em, fake ‘em. According to the statistics, one fifth of UK women spend over £10 a month on brow maintenance. Not only that, but brow lifts were up by a massive 17% in 2012 according to UK plastic surgery numbers.

So if we’re all so brow obsessed, it comes as even more of a shock that some of 2014’s most iconic women have flipped the table. In November 2013, Miley Cyrus posted a snap to her Instagram account rocking bleached brows to match her white blonde crop. Following that, Rita Ora, Katy Perry and Beyonce followed suit. It comes as no surprise that stars with a more stylised look are also fans, think Lady Gaga, but with the bleached out look seeping into the mainstream, it seems as though the middle ground is out – when it comes to brows, it’s all or nothing. 

But why? Why might these Pop Princesses be reaching for the bleach? Let’s talk through the options.

– Bleached eyebrows have been a mainstay of editorial and catwalk looks for years. The barely there brow creates a clean, open face, handing the limelight to make-up and clothing. It worked on Kendall Jenner, after all – her whited out brows for Marc Jacobs became the look that launched her modeling career.

– Like a bright hair colour or asymmetric cut, bleached eyebrows give their wearer a theatrical edge. That explains their             popularity with women who favour a more striking look, like the aforementioned Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Tilda Swinton.

– Model Crystal Renn recently bleached both her hair and eyebrows from a deep brunette shade. Beauticians claim this replenishes youth, as our hair is naturally lighter during early adulthood, taking years off our appearance.

– If you’re naturally fair, or opt to dye your hair a paler shade of blonde, it might feel strange to keep your dark brows – for some, the matchy matchy look works.

Get the look. If you fancy giving the lighter look a go, there are several ways to achieve it, depending on your confidence level.

– The easy route: book an appointment at the salon. Whether you want the fully invisible look, or just a lighter brow to suit a new hair colour, your colourist will be more than happy to help you out with a shade to flatter your skin tone.

– DIY: not for the faint of heart, dab cream bleach onto each brow with a cotton bud. The trick is to take things slow, remove the bleach with a wet flannel after no more than one minute and check progress. Rinse and repeat until you reach your desired shade. If you’re starting really dark, remember you need to work through that awkward orange stage before you reach blonde – no panic necessary. 

– For the cautious: if the idea of bleach is a little full on for you, try lighter eyebrows on for size with a temporary option.  A liquid concealer combed through with translucent powder to set will work on everything except very dark, very thick hair. This should give you a feel for whether you like the lighter look without any serious commitment!