The Spring 2019 Fashion Month runways gifted us with a lot of trends to watch, both new and recycled. They include the resurgence of colored mascara, a major uptick in textured hairstyles and ample bold eye/lip combinations. But if there’s one, underlying look we’re always pining to try, it’s bleached eyebrows, also known as the mark of a true blue supermodel.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that fashion’s most high-profile names have lightened up at least once, on an off the runway. The latest suspect is Gigi Hadid, who let her lashes do the talking for Prada’s Spring and Summer 2019 campaign. We’d also be remiss to leave out Jazzelle Zanaughtti, also known as @uglyworldwide on Instagram, whose distinct, brow-less mug has not only transformed her into one of today’s most in-demand catwalkers. It’s also inspired more of us to at least envision ourselves with nearly invisible eyebrows.
And who could forget when Lady Gaga, a chameleon always ahead of the curve, admitted to bleaching her’s everyday?
Though we could continue pointing out a long list of famous beauties who have bleached in the name of fashion, the truth is its popularity extends far beyond the backstages of Fashion Week. Now more than ever, our Instagram feeds are being flooded with experts and novices alike who are altering their brow color to match their hair and we. want. in.
First thing’s first: prep matters….like a lot. According to Priscilla Valles, the celebrity hairstylist and colorist responsible for Kylie Jenner’s “Stormie Silver” and icy blue hair, says it starts with a proper shape and trim. Valles recommends doing this a day before bleaching, just in case some of the formula irritates the skin. Get this out of the way before you add color. Once you’ve groomed, it’s time to bleach, but first, some protection.
Use a headband to keep hair away from bleach on face and grab a little Vaseline, Aquaphor or coconut oil. “Use a Q-Tip and go around the eyebrow area,” says Valles. “It’s important to protect your skin from bleach getting on it.” Also be sure that you’ve purchased the correct bleach. A highlighting bleach box kit from your local drugstore or a volume 15 kit from the beauty supply will suffice. Anything above volume 15 will damage your skin.
Painting on Color
To coat your brows in the bleach, use a mascara brush or one around the same size. “Dip it in the bleach and go in the direction of the hair growth and give the brush a little roll o the bleach gets on the brows evenly; similar to the way you would put mascara on,” says Valles.
Never leave the bleach on for longer than 2 to 5 minutes. If it’s your first time, it’s also it’s okay to keep wiping off the bleach with a wet paper towel water and some shampoo to see if it’s the right shade. If not, feel free to re-apply and repeat the process until you get the desired shade.
“Two minutes is plenty of time for most of my clients. Bleach lifts fast every second, so just keep an eye on it,” says Valles. “I wouldn’t go make a sandwich while your brows have bleach in them.”
When it’s time for the final wipe-off use a washcloth or paper towel. Valles clarifies that you should “first wipe it off dry and then use another paper towel or washcloth, wet it with a lot of water and soap, and rub off back-and-forth at least 5 to 6 times.”
Outside of the immediate after-care, the good news is there isn’t much maintenance required. We’d only recommend applying chemical exfoliants and retinols around the eyebrow area, as direct contact over time will likely alter the color. Generally speaking, your fresh dye job will last 4-6 weeks before you need to touch-up, so decide beforehand if you’re committed to such frequent maintenance.