Say goodbye to the bushy brows of the 2010s, because there’s a new look taking over TikTok – and it’s all about non-existent eyebrows.
We might have spent the last decade trying to grow out our brows after they were decimated by the trend for super skinny eyebrows during the Nineties and Noughties, but it looks like celebrities and beauty buffs on TikTok and Instagram are keen to try something new.
The ‘no eyebrows’ look has been taking over runways, red carpets and social media – and it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.
“The ‘no brow’ look can look great on some people, but our brows are extremely personal and it isn’t for everyone,” says Sarah Amelia Fogg, celebrity brow artist and founder of Brows by Sarah (brows-by-sarah.com).
“It’s not one-size-fits-all and it’s certainly not about simply picking a style, or the most current trend, and sticking with it. We all have different needs and, of course, certain shapes and colours suit different faces. Before picking up the bleach, razor or make-up, I’d recommend speaking to a professional brow artist to get their expert opinion about what would be best for your brows.”
If you did want to trial the no eyebrows look at home, there are various methods you can try…
If bleaching your brows or shaving them off entirely feels a bit extreme, you could try covering them with make-up first to see how you like the look.
“Using makeup to create the ‘no brow’ look is a great starting point to avoid making any changes you may regret,” says Fogg. “You can start by brushing concealer into your brows in the opposite direction to hair growth for full coverage.
“Make sure to use a concealer that is a few shades lighter than your natural brow hair – going too light could make your brows look grey rather than bleached. Start at the root of the tail and work the concealer inwards towards the bulb. You can then brush your hair back into the natural direction of growth. After this, repeat the process with a warmer concealer close to your natural skin tone to further hide any darkness. You can then set your brows using a translucent powder, making sure to focus on the arches of your brows.”
Make-up artist Aimee Connolly, founder of Sculpted By Aimee (sculptedbyaimee.co.uk), suggests the make-up method “works best on thinner hair, as super bushy brows may look too textured for this particular look”. Connolly’s top tip is to prep your brows using make-up glue, clear eyebrow gel or soap, saying: “This will also give the make-up something to stick too. Just make sure it’s not a super thick layer as this will cake up under concealer.”
The phrase ‘bleached brow’ has racked up 124.4 million views on TikTok, showing just how popular the trend has become. It’s not entirely new – celebrities like Maisie Williams have been experimenting with the look since last year – but it’s certainly having a moment right now, with famous faces like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Julia Fox all giving it a go.
Connolly recommends doing a patch test before using bleach: “The proximity to skin puts you at risk of irritation if you have sensitive skin.”
Fogg suggests booking in with a professional to get the look, adding: “If you want to bleach your brows at home, I’d recommend researching which at-home kits are rated the highest for safety and results. Before you use the kit, I’d suggest using something like Vaseline around the brows to protect the surrounding skin.
“When using the bleaching cream, make sure to cover the hairs completely from root to tip – complete coverage will ensure you avoid any patches. I’d then cover your brows with film to prevent them from drying out. Make sure to follow the instructions and only leave on the cream for the recommended amount of time. If you find that your brows aren’t as light as you wanted after you’ve rinsed off the bleach, I’d recommend waiting a day or two before bleaching again to allow your brow hair to rest and prevent any damage.”
If you do decide to take the plunge, Fogg urges you to remember brow roots grow back just like 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. 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,” she says.
When you’ve got the desired colour, Connolly says: “I would recommend a clear brow gel to set the hairs down against your skin for that ‘no eyebrows’ look.”
And the look isn’t just for women – just look at Olly Alexander’s platinum-bleached brows at the BAFTA TV Awards earlier this year.
And if you’ve decided your face truly looks better without eyebrows, you could go all-in and shave them off.
“Shaving is a good option for anyone with lighter hair, as you won’t see any dark roots/stubble come through for a while as it grows back,” says Connolly.
“It’s also less of a commitment than bleaching! You can use smaller eyebrow razors to top up the shave daily, and if you can always add a little bit of concealer on top just to smooth out any texture. Make sure you’ve gently exfoliated before and after shaving, so you avoid any ingrown hairs or razor rash coming up.”
Going completely eyebrow-less is certainly a bold move – particularly when you think about the process of eventually growing them back – but there’s plenty of room for experimentation. Take a leaf out of Doja Cat’s book – the singer recently shaved off her brows, and has been making waves in the beauty world by drawing on new brows in geometric shapes and unusual colours.
One thing to watch out for when getting rid of your brows, whatever method you use? As Fogg cautions: “Your brows play a big role in the expression of your emotions and helping others understand your emotions” – and this might become harder if you don’t have any eyebrows at all.