You've Tried Plucking, Waxing & Microblading, But What's Next For Brows?
Ashleigh Cometti quizzes three brow experts for the shapes, styles and treatments to know about, and asks the infamous question: are pencil-thin, Y2K brows making a comeback?
Whether full and fluffy or thin and overplucked, how you choose to shape your brows remains one of the simplest ways to highlight your favourite features.
Now, brows have stepped into the spotlight as the subject of experimentation, with beauty lovers test-driving new brow trends and revisiting old ones.
According to Lash Noir founder Rebecca Hutchinson, the of-the-moment brow trend is adaptability. “Clients are wanting to be able to change their brows like they change their makeup looks,” she says.
“The same brow seems to be having many different moments and people are learning how to style them creatively on their own.”
So, what’s in store for brows in 2022? We have the likes of Dua Lipa, Kaia Gerber and Zoe Kravitz to thank for the prevailing popularity of full brows, however expect to the return of natural-looking brows, with elongated tails, thicker bases and fuzzy edges.
It’s something Off & On brow artist Hannah Pickering has on her radar, adding that brows no longer need to be super sharp, nor do they need to be ultra-groomed (anything not to tempt us into plucking the odd stray hair).
The collective preference for thicker and bushier brows along with the common complaint of brow thinning has resulted in the astronomical growth of brow serums, gels and pomades, not to mention the number of in-clinic brow treatments that promise big and bushy caterpillars.
If you were overzealous with tweezers in your younger years, or are experiencing brow sparsity due to medical treatments, the next generation of brow products incorporate hair growth technology in every pot, tube or pencil.
Our experts agree that when it comes to promoting brow growth, RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner, $89, is the Holy Grail. When applied regularly, the patented formula conditions and strengthens brows to promote growth and achieve optimum brow health.
Backcombing brows is another way to promote hair growth, a practice which stimulates hair follicles, says Jasmine Luei, a brow specialist at holistic beauty destination Society.
Also known as backbrushing, backcombing is a common technique for applying swipe-on brow gels (tinted or not) to thoroughly coat hairs and add fullness.
“This can look so natural when done well, I think the best brushing is contoured as it progresses through the tail to avoid the ‘fork in socket’ look,” Rebecca says.
Jasmine recommends that you begin at the tail of your brow and use a spoolie brush to work your way towards the front, using one hand to keep the skin taut and the other to spin the brush with upward strokes against the direction of your hair growth.
“This technique creates a feather-like fluffy look which can cover gaps and make brows seem fuller,” she says.
To fake an even fuller look, apply a tinted brow pomade first (like Wet N Wild Ultimate Brow Pomade, $7) and try Rebecca’s technique: brush brows upwards through the bulb of the brow with a medium-to-strong hold brow gel (she loves Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel in Clear, $42, softening the angle when you reach the tail.
Finish it off by using a dry fingertip (or the tip of a spoolie) to flatten off the tail and use a pencil like the Hourglass Arch Brow Micro Pencil, $45, or the Makeup by Mario Master Blade Brow Pencil, $38, to lightly fill in any sparse areas.
Hannah’s tried-and-true favourite to send strands skyward is brow soap, like the Mecca Max Brow Guru Super Soap, $18. “You can customise the hold and style, while keeping your brows nourished and conditioned,” she says.
More now than ever do nineties nostalgia and pop culture have a stronghold on beauty culture, which has amalgamated in a more playful approach to styling brows.
If you’re likely to commit to a wolf cut or butterfly clips, then chance are you’ll lean in to a slimmer, more tailored brow typical of the era. Celebrities like Bella Hadid and Rihanna are already paving the way for the rest of us with their sculpted, more defined brow look.
Rebecca says straight, lifted tail positioning is also about to blow up (think Doja Cat) which can be accentuated with shaping and product, alongside injectable treatments to help enhance this particular silhouette.
The second season of Euphoria has been hugely influential when it comes to envelope-pushing beauty looks — ushering in an era of bedazzled brows and gem-heavy makeup.
“This includes the use of statement liners, bright colours and gems around the brows. Try a few diamantes scattered around, eyeshadows taken right up to the brow bone, or a coloured brow mascara to mix up your look,” Hannah says. Try KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow & Brow Pigment in the shade Aubergine, $36.
Dare to dazzle? False lash glue will be your secret weapon when it comes to adhering gems, pearls or glitter above or adjacent brows, Jasmine says.
In the clinic, Rebecca says colour treatments like hybrid brows are up-and-coming. “You temporarily stain the skin in a softer way than henna that does not discolour during fading,” she says.
“It’s so dynamic you can use various techniques to soften the tops, darken the base or vice versa which ties in well with this ‘same brow, different moments’ trend.”
The Elan semi-permanent brow colour lasts up to two weeks on skin, and up to four weeks on hair, and Jasmine says it’s a great option for sparse or patchy brows, or for those wanting a slim and defined look.
Brow laminations are here to stay, Hannah says, adding the brow sculpting treatment offers the option to manipulate brow hairs however you like, disguise gaps and create a more lifted brow. Typically, this treatment lasts six to eight weeks depending on aftercare.
Where semi-permanent makeup is concerned, Rebecca says ombre mist is a big contender this year. “It’s a soft technique that distributes tiny pixels of colour into the skin, offering a textured end result — kind of like the most seamless colour application you can imagine,” she says.
“It doesn’t make a feature out of your brows, and the approach is for the brows to balance with all of a client’s features, rather than dominate the look. It’s timeless and fades really beautifully long-term and is suitable for nearly all skin types.”
Similar to microblading, nanoblading is the next form of brow tattooing taking the beauty world by storm — it uses one ultra-fine needle (unlike microblading which uses several) to lay pigment under skin, emulating the look of eyebrow hairs.
Tinted, tattooed, styled or shaped, the ‘anything goes’ approach to caring for brows in 2022 means your look can be as high or low maintenance as you wish.
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