Bleached brows are not for the fainthearted, that much we know for sure. Perpetually polarising, the bleached brow separates the trend toe-dipper from the true trailblazer – and we are seriously in awe of those that take the plunge.
Which celebrities have bleached their eyebrows?
A word of warning: this treatment is best left to a professional – as much as you might rate your skills, applying chemicals near your delicate eye area poses a risk.
Sarah Amelia Fogg, celebrity brow artist and founder of Brows by Sarah, agrees that ideally brow bleaching should take place in a salon setting. "Your brows are so close to your eyes that it can become very dangerous and can easily go wrong," she explains. "However, I understand that many people would prefer to do it at home, so here’s how to create your own bleach brows safely."
What impact do bleached brows have on the face?
“They are eye-catching, controversial and innovative. I think that the bleached brow trend looks fresh and new; it provides people with a new way of expressing themselves and can tend to brighten the face," Sarah says.
"However, bleached brows can be extremely harsh on your face. If we know anything about brows, it’s that they have the power to transform you - they completely frame and lift your face. While experimenting with your brows can be great fun and colouring/bleaching them is quite a simple process, looking at the celebs who have tried the bleached look does go to show how brows can shape your face. Taking away the colour from your brows completely takes away all definition from around your eyes which can completely change the shape of your face."
What kind of makeup look works well with bleached brows?
"As there’s practically little to no colour with bleached brows, pretty much every makeup look will work well as nothing will clash. I would say that the only vital makeup area would be your eyes. If you wear no eye makeup and have bleached brows it may wash you out and make your eyes look small and undefined. A heavy eye makeup look works well to make up for what colour is being lost in the brows. You basically need some definition in the upper half of your face if you’re sporting the bleached look."
"I would also always recommend brushing your brow hairs up to make them full and fluffy with a clear brow gel such as Fluff It Up. As there is little definition with the blonde colour, you may find that you need added thickness and volume and a strong, clear brow gel can provide this."
"If you find that your bleached brows are slightly too light for you or if you fancy changing it up day-to-day, you can always use a precise brow pencil to add in subtle brow hairs. The Latte Wow Brow Pencil from Brows by Sarah is a blonde brow pencil that is perfect for adding authentic, light hairs to your bleached brows."
Can you use normal hair bleach on your eyebrows?
"Always remember that your brow hair is more delicate than the hair on your head. Bleaching the hair on your head can be a risky business at the best of times, and bleaching your brows is no different. I’ve seen lots of people using the same bleaching solution on the top of their head for their brows which I strongly advise against."
"Hair bleaching kits contain harsh chemicals that could damage your brow hair permanently. There are risks of chemical burning, and if even a small amount of solution gets in or near your eyes it could cause scarring or blindness. I definitely recommend investing in a special brow bleaching kit that is gentler and safer to use around your eyes."
What you need to know before bleaching your brows
"You should also complete thorough research into what products are suitable for your skin to avoid any irritation. Another tip is to start by only going a shade or two lighter especially if you have darker hair to keep your face looking more defined. Then, you can gradually get lighter if you decide to do so."
"I would also recommend completing a patch test beforehand with the chosen bleach product. Apply the solution to the brow area and leave on for 10 minutes. If you have seen no reaction in 72 hours then you are safe to use the bleach on your brows.
Guide to bleaching your brows at home
"The first step is to properly clean your brows. Remove any existing makeup and carry out a thorough cleanse of the brows to ensure that the bleach will reach each brow hairs. After cleaning the brows, apply a moisturiser around the brows to hydrate the skin and to provide the first layer of protection."
2. Skin protection barrier
"To avoid damage to the skin around your brows, I would always recommend using a skin protectant such as Vaseline on top of your moisturiser. Applying a thin layer to the surrounding brow area will protect your skin from irritation and will also ensure that you don’t stain your skin. As well as a skin protectant, I would definitely recommend applying a clear wrap or layer of cling film over the brows. This will protect your eyes and lashes from excess bleach product."
3. Mix and apply the bleach
"Now is when the bleaching begins. Your chosen brow bleaching kit will probably include a bleach powder and a developing cream. Follow the instructions on the box to mix the ingredients and create your solution."
"Take your special brow bleach and use a spoolie to apply the solution on to the brows. I would always recommend using a spoolie as it will ensure that each brow hair gets coated with the bleach and that none will get missed."
"When the bleach has been applied to the brows, apply a clear wrap or a layer of cling film over the top. This will not only prevent the bleach from dripping down into your eyes and eyelashes but it will also keep the bleach damp which means it will be more effective. When bleach dries, it is less saturated."
4. Repeat as necessary
"You will have to apply the bleach multiple times, removing it after each go to achieve the blonde look. I would personally leave the bleach on your brows for a maximum of 10 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this a few times to keep track of the progress and then increase the time slightly if needed. I would never recommend keeping the bleach on for longer than 15 minutes. It may require a couple of days to get the exact desired result as you don’t want to be too harsh on your brows in a short amount of time."
5. Remove the bleach
"Remove the bleach after each time by wiping your face with a wet flannel/washcloth to reveal the colour underneath. After your final application is finished, clean your face properly with a facial wash to remove any potential leftover bleach."
6. Brow aftercare
"After completing the bleaching process, apply a nourishing, hydrating moisturiser or eye cream to your brows and the skin around. The surrounding skin may feel a little dry so be sure to repeat the moisturising process regularly for the next few days to avoid damage and irritation."
Sarah's top brow bleaching tips:
- Remember that your roots will grow back, just like your hair
"Dealing with roots can be the bane of your life, and you might not want to deal with extra root issues on your face too," Sarah warns. "If you have darker brows, your roots will start to show post bleaching, so you may prefer to dye them back completely to a more natural colour."
- Always use a brow regrowth serum daily
"Bleaching your brows can cause damage to them just as bleaching your head hair can. Bleach is a very harsh substance and so it is very important to complete the correct after care to keep them healthy. It can cause dry, broken hair and so I always recommend using a brow serum that is specially designed for regrowth and thickening purposes such as Wow Brow. Applying a regrowth serum daily will provide your brows with the nourishment and hydration that they need to stay healthy and thick. The last thing you want to do is damage your brows to the point of no return."
- Try makeup first
"While it will be relatively easy to dye/tint your brows back to their natural colour after bleaching, there’s no doubt that you’ll have damaged your brow health slightly. For this reason, I would definitely try creating the bleached look with makeup first to figure out what you’ll look like. To complete this at home, apply a layer of full-coverage foundation or concealer over your brows and follow by powdering and setting this until matte. Then, draw brow hairs over the top of the coverage layer with a light blonde pencil to create the blonde brows illusion. This way, you can visualise your appearance before committing to the bleach."
- Make sure your bleach mix is thick enough
"When creating your bleach solution, ensure that the mix is thick enough to stick and stay on your brows. If the mixture is too watery it will run down your face which is not only harmful to your eyes, but it may also bleach your lashes."
- Make sure your skin is healthy beforehand
"Bleaching is such a strong substance and definitely has the risk of irritating your skin. So, before touching the bleach make sure that you have no open wounds, spots, sunburn or other irritations on your face. If you’re someone who has extremely sensitive skin or suffers with acne I would stay away from the bleach until a professional can confirm whether it is safe."
- Use a nourishing shampoo for aftercare
"For aftercare, I’d recommend finding a nourishing purple shampoo that will maintain the blonde colour but will also retain the moisture within your brows and will keep them healthy."
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