During last winter’s New York Fashion Week bleached brows popped up on multiple runways. As of late, the trend seems to be having a resurgence in a big way. If you want to participate in the bleached brow trend without actually dying your eyebrows, we’ve got the expert advice you need. “Bleached brows are so fun and since brows have been huge these past few seasons, it’s only natural to have a big swing to the other side of that trend,” says Sephora Collection national artist Helen Dagdag.
Recently, we’ve seen a lot of 90s and early 2000s fads make a triumphant return. “The 90s and early 00s are back with a vengeance, and this includes the generation of bleached brows,” says celebrity eyebrow expert and owner of Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio, Joey Healy. “The look was very runway and was pioneered by makeup artists such as Kevyn Aucoin. It was also very popular with supermodels like Claudia Schiffer. This led to us seeing the look throughout the late 90s to the early 00s.”
Not only are people currently being influenced by old trends, but they’re also more inclined to go for bolder looks. “People are willing to take more risks these days. People want to experiment with their look and reinvent themselves with something fresh and new,” says Healy. “It’s also a very fashion-focused look and is traditionally difficult to pull off,” he adds. Dagdag notes that a bleached brow also helps really highlight eye makeup.
While bleached brows are making a proper comeback, they never fully went away. “It’s always been a staple in avant-garde photoshoots,” says celebrity makeup artist Jenna Nicole. “Bleached brows show off your makeup more and really allow you to play with colors,” adds Jenna. Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg says we’re unlikely to go without seeing the trend for too long. “Bleached brows constantly go in and out of trend with the times,” says Greenberg. “It’s been a minute but once things go stale in the trend category, this seems to be a trend that pops up again, like blunt bobs or bangs.”
Celebrity makeup artist Ermahn Ospina says you can achieve this look without committing to bleach by expertly applying makeup. Healy suggests snagging a brow gel, but choose wisely. “The key is to get it to be the same tone as your skin, so it all but disappears,” he says. It’s all about attention to detail. “When you apply a mascara-like product, you really want to work it into the brow in all directions. You don’t want to just glaze the top. You want to really get in there down to the base layer, behind the brow,” says Healy. “This will visually erase all of the hairs and eliminate those dark shadows,” ads Healy. Dagdag suggests reaching for a warm concealer depending on your brow concealer and “use something to ‘thin’ out the look of the hair like brow gel or wax.”
Alternatively, you can use concealer and a clean spoolie, says Jenna. “Dip your spoolie into your concealer and brush it through your brows,” she advises. If you want to use a concealer, Healy says it should have “more of a mousse texture, instead of pressed cream…the concealer should be a little textured, lightweight, somewhat movable, but still full coverage.” He adds that it’s helpful to apply it in layers. Some experts shared even more unique techniques including glue sticks and powder to achieve the look. Whether you want to use a tinted brow gel, a concealer and fresh spoolie or get crafty with a glue stick, we’ve rounded up some expert-approved products to help you nail bleached brows.
Yes, you read that right, Greenberg, who has touched the faces of Jessica Alba, Chelsea Handler, Rashida Jones and more, is suggesting you use the glue stick your kids have in their desk on your eyebrow, but that’s not even the best part. She says she learned the trick from Ru Paul.
“If you want to get real into it, cover your brows with a glue stick and tap foundation and powder on top,” says Greenberg. For this she loves using a combination of Elmer’s glue sticks, Pur’s 4-in-1 concealer and foundation and the Hourglass brow gel.
If you want to go the concealer route, Jenna suggests using a more full-coverage concealer. She recommends this multi-use sculpting concealer from Too Faced.
Dagdag likes to combine the power of a few different products to get the perfect bleached brow look. For the first step, she suggests grabbing the brow gel in clear and using “the side of the packaging to smooth and press your brows against your skin, almost like a rolling pin!” Then go in with the full coverage concealer in the shade that’s closest to your hair. For example, “if you have dark brow hair, try something that is more warm or orange in tone before the gel.”
“Bleached brows are everything right now, but if you’re not ready for the commitment, reaching for a concealer that’s the tone of how light and ‘bleached’ looking you want your brows to be is your way to achieve them,” says celebrity makeup artist Kirin Bhatty. She loves using the Catrice True Skin High Cover Concealer for this trick.
Joey Healy Brow Lacquer ($28)
“What I love about our Brow Lacquer is the brush is smaller, so it’s easier to get in there,” says Joey Healy. The pigmented formula hugs brow hairs for a long-lasting hold.
Sensorium Brow Engineer ($17)
Ospina recommends the Brow Engineer, a great go-to for a quick bleached brow look. This revolutionary product enables you to lighten, enhance or remove the appearance of your brows.
L’Oreal Magic Root Cover ($11)
Healy says you can also use a root touch-up spray, and he recommends this product from L’Oreal. “You carefully spray this on a mascara-type wand, I recommend over the sink because it can be messy, and use it to cover the hairs,” he advises. “Make sure to avoid any products that are orangey. You want to make sure you stick to a nude.”
Ospina suggests this matte concealer from NARS. Usually used for blurring and smoothing skin, it can also have that effect on your brows.