Everything you need to know about the 'bleached brows' trend

Including how to master it yourself

Digital Beauty Editor / October 19 2020

It’s no secret that brows have the power to completely transform your face – results differ greatly based on whether you like yours thick or thin, arched or straight, fluffy or filled in, etc. So, it’s really no surprise that using bleach to blank them out also offers a very different aesthetic – it’s exactly that look, however, that’s sweeping social media right now, and we're here for it.

Yes indeed, despite the fact that we've spent years growing, nurturing and adding colour to our brows, we’ve now decided to do a total 180, and bleach those bad boys instead. Hailey Bieber was one of the first to kick off the trend’s latest chapter (if Versace says bleach your brows, you bleach your brows, right?), and now it’s only growing in traction.

One of our favourite lightened looks? The bleached brows that makeup artist extraordinaire, Emily Cheng, recently created on You and The Haunting of Bly Manor star, Victoria Pedretti. Pedretti swapped her warm brunette hair for a lighter honey blonde earlier this year, and now her brows are catching up on the colour switch (and then some – they definitely took it a tad further).

@emilychengmakeup

We’re obviously keen to jump onboard the trend train ASAP, so we chatted to Cheng herself to get the lowdown on exactly how to nail bleached brows, DIY style…

Why are bleached brows so popular right now?

“I did [this lightened look] a lot when I worked backstage on shows years ago so I think it's always been around,” Cheng says of the trend’s resurgence. “It's another way to have fun and experiment with your look! It's like dying your hair!” There’s no need to panic re: results, either: “with facial beard dye you can get your colour back if you absolutely hate it,” she shares.

@sarahlaidlaw

What’s the process for bleaching brows?

“[To bleach Pedretti’s brows, I first] cleaned off the brow and surrounding area, [then] applied [Elizabeth Arden’s] Eight Hour Cream [Skin Protectant] on the skin around the brow to keep bleach from irritating or touching the skin. A patch test should also be performed if you have sensitive skin,” Cheng explains.

“I used Jolen Creme Bleach – [I] mixed the product and applied with a q-tip and spoolie to make sure each brow was coated, [then] left on for about 10 minutes, she says of the process. “[After the time has passed], check hair has been lifted to desired tone, [then] remove [the bleach] and clean thoroughly.”

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

Jolen Crème Bleach Original

Is brow bleaching suitable for brunettes, or best for blondes?

“Bleaching darker hair can often go orange, like [it would] on myself [as my hair is darker], so you'd have to do it a couple of times [to achieve desired results],” says Cheng.

“Using a purple cream corrector will help offset the tone [though]. For Victoria's brows I used NYX Faux Whites Eye Brightener in White Smoke [to keep the colour cool],” she explains.

NYX Faux Whites Inner Eye Brightener in White Smoke

Is there a temporary way to try the ‘bleached brows’ trend?

“A mix of concealer and purple corrector [is perfect for a temporary take on the look],” Cheng confirms. “You obviously won't get a fully ‘bleached’ look but you can achieve a slightly lighter brow.”

@briannaperea

Which makeup looks suit bleached brows?

There are really no rules when it comes to which makeup looks bleached brows work best with. Keep your vibe low-key like Pedretti with soft neutral tones or go bright and bold for a striking statement. “I've seen it look great with all sorts of makeup,” confirms Cheng.

Main image credit: @emilychengmakeup

Keen to know which other brow trends will be big in 2021? Here’s what the experts are saying…