Just when we thought the Y2K-inspired skinny brow was the last viral eyebrow craze, another contender has entered the ring: bleached brows. Some may think it daring, most may claim it controversial, but none can deny the soaring popularity of the trend that is predominantly seen as a runway look. Take for instance, the Givenchy Spring 2023 show, which saw top models Bella Hadid and Sora Choi emerge with the sans-eyebrow effect. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z are all over this trend, with the “bleached brows” hashtag carrying over 178 million views on TikTok.
Eyebrows, be it bleached or natural, have a rather large impact on your face (think of it as facial shapeshifters). “With bleached brows, you ‘lose’ definition in your face as brows do a lot to frame your it,” says makeup artist and frequent FEMALE contributor Sarah Tan. “So a good rule of thumb is to pick another feature (lips or complexion) and bump up the definition there.” In essence, every other feature on your mien – especially your eyes – becomes the focal point. “It’s an incredibly chic look that’s hard to pull off, so anyone who has the guts to gets an automatic win in my books,” says Tan.
Bella Hadid, seen here at the Givenchy Spring 2023 show, has perfected the art of the bleached brows.
“What I love about bleached eyebrows is that it alters your entire look – without having to resort to cosmetic surgery – and it’s completely reversible,” shares full-time model Natalie Dykes who has been dyeing her brows since 2020.
Unconventional is a common word used to describe the look, but there’s something quite empowering about straying away from beliefs, like how brows should appear fluffy or as natural as possible. Fashion media student Gladys Ng – who goes by Ultravioleut on Instagram and is known for her high-impact and experimental makeup – feels the intrigue of bleached brow possibly stems from people observing how high fashion models look so good with them. “My bleached brows make me feel powerful,” adds the 22-year-old.
Model Natalie Dykes (top left and bottom right) and student Gladys Ng (top right and bottom left) emphasise the importance of not leaving the bleaching dye on your eyebrows for an extensive period of time as it can result in chemical burns.
At the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule on which facial feature you have to highlight when you bleach your brows, adds Tan who gives some suggestions for first timers to the trend. “Play up your eyes – going slightly bolder with your lashes, liner or a smokey look for added edge; your complexion – focus on giving your skin a flush of colour like adding fake freckles for an ethereal elf-like look; or drawing attention to your lips with different colours or textures.”
But if there is one rule to abide by: only use bleach made for facial hair and not hair bleach. “I’ve burnt my skin a couple times because I used a bleach that was too strong for way longer than I needed to,” says Ng who also recommends starting with a less intense bleach.
Scroll on for our product recommendations, from high-coverage concealers to bleaching products that are gentle on your natural brows.