Bleached eyebrows were a trend that I thought would last about as long as a pastry in the office kitchenette. And I figured they'd be a fashion-show-only kind of thing, like exposed nipples and The CW starlets sitting on the same bench as Anna Wintour. But, as is the trajectory of many strange trends, they keep seeping into magazine editorials, and onto the faces of American style icons. (Yes, I said it, Miley has become an American style icon. Thousands of vintage Chanel accessories and Chicago Bulls sports bras say this is no longer up for discussion.)
And as bushy-brow fatigue sets in, I've seen more and more real women lightening up—probably because it's less traumatic than tweezing and easily reversible. In fact, Miley herself only sported bleached brows for as long as it took to post four Instagrams and pose for a nude editorial. That's not to say that I'm down with putting bleach in the immediate vicinity of my eyes and on my delicate and easily provoked facial skin just for the sake of experimentation. No, that's what makeup is for.
This isn't a look I recommend trying out in the wild, but creating faux bleached brows for a few photos can help those on the fence decide whether or not to go brows-deep in a bowl of cream bleach. My starting point has to be the worst for this type of thing: I'm a young girl with the brow hairs of an 80-year-old veteran (hi, grandpa), meaning they're long, wiry, curling, thick, dark hairs that form to the shape of a middle finger if I try any sort of brushing or brow gel. But I managed to cover most of the hairs by combing in and painting on a mixture of full-coverage concealer, white luminizer, and matte golden pigment (I used Make Up For Ever Matte Eye Shadow in Yellow 2) to give a realistic yellow tone to my "bleached" dark hairs. I don't think I'd go so far as to tone brassiness out of my eyebrows.
The concealer should be very creamy, almost liquid; it needs to coat the hairs without adding a lot of gunk. For this, I recommend Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer. Mixing it with the yellow pigment is optional, but try adding an opalescent white highlighting cream, like Lush Feeling Younger, to add sheen—hair should reflect light, and the concealer will really mattify things.
The verdict? As someone who struggles with the constant worry of "Do I have a fivehead??" I can confidently say: bleached brows just aren't my thing.
Photos 1-2 by Brayden Olson.