Earlier this week, model luminary Kaia Gerber bleached her brows for Alexander Wang’s Collection 2 presentation in New York. Yes, she of the perfect, brunette, Cindy-esque brow went blonde. Very blonde.
NARS lead makeup artist Diane Kendal bleached Gerber’s bold, bushy, brunette brows a bright shade of white, so white, it was as if they’d be erased altogether. So what prompted the invisible brow? “We just wanted to make them look a bit cooler,” she told Refinery29. This notion of “cool” – intrinsic to the Wang brand – was played up by Kendal by playing down the brow. For a collection anchored in ’90s New York angst, all 42 models had their brows bleached backstage to mimic this kind of iconoclastic, model-off-duty sentiment.
Surprisingly, it was a look Gerber embraced with open arms – or arches – and one she’s actually tried before at Prada Spring ’19. Posting a kind of homage to her new peroxide arches to Instagram story, she sat in the makeup chair rocking out to A$AP Mob’s “Yamborghini High” while her arches developed. And it’s inspired us to bleach.
Bleached brows have always equated to this kind of cool; a trend which, despite its cunning and commitment, has remained steadfast in the celebrity and fashion narrative. Who could forget Rihanna’s bleached-out brows at the 2018 Heavenly Bodies-themed Met Gala? Whitened to perfection to match her Holy Margiela ensemble, they were stellar, to say the least. The same year saw Sienna Miller dabble in a little peroxide fancy, too. Or at the 2016 Gala, Kim Kardashian’s techy-inspired white brows were a conceivable beauty talking point. Then there’s Lady Gaga, who has been a loyal proponent of the trend since her Poker Face days, and a glorious one at that. And of course the catwalk has championed the trend for as long as we can remember – from Mossy to Lara Stone – it has been unwavering and forever conducive to high fashion.
But for the now, it’s up to millennial beauty queens – notably Kaia – to propel the trend back into the spotlight. While there are now clever, new products which mimic the invisible brow – like Kat Von D Beauty’s 24-Hour Super Brow Long-Wear Pomade – a true white brow all comes down to that little pot of bleach (and a little concealer).
Feeling adventurous? Us, too. But before you bleach, there are a few things to consider, says Benefit Cosmetic’s Arch Angel, Hannah Mutze. Consider these five golden rules before you hit the bleachers.
5 golden rules to consider before you bleach
1. The regrowth is real! Unlike brow tinting which softly fades over a couple of weeks, bleached brows grow out and fast – you’ll start to see your natural brow colour coming through at the root within a couple of days. The result is a salt & peppery flecked effect through the brows. To maintain a super light brow – regular maintenance is a must! Think every 2 weeks or so.
2. Protect your skin, especially deeper skin tones. Haphazardly applying bleach to the brows without protecting the surrounding skin, can result in skin irritation and if you have a deeper skin tone – the bleach will lighten the skin too #notchic! Use Vaseline or similar to protect your skin before applying bleach.
3. Bleach is drying! Often times, lightened brows will feel dryer and slightly more brittle. Post lightening, use a nutrient rich brow conditioner like Benefit’s Brow-Vo Conditioning Primer to keep the hairs healthy!
4. You don’t have to go all the way! Lightening darker brows just one to two shades often results in a warmer, softer looking brow and flatters medium toned complexions – think J-Lo circa 2007. Or embrace the alien-chic editorial look by taking your pair peroxide! The colour is completely customisable.
5. Fake it before you commit! To easily test drive a lighter brow – brush through some of your concealer or foundation OR try a brow highlighting gel like 3D Brow Tones in shade 2! Subtle golden highlights create the illusion of a lighter brow sans bleach!