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Trend on trial: the disappearing brow

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Like the facial equivalent of a Rigby & Peller bra, brows have the power to redesign a face. We’re not just talking a minor tweak, we’re talking a serious, seismic change. That’s why faded or bleached brows are commonly employed by make-up artists at fashion week or on editorial shoots. Take the brows off most famous faces and you’re left with the ghostly vestige of a person you thought you knew. It throws your perception off entirely. So while it looks great on the catwalk, in real life it’s tricky to pull off. We endeavour to do just that.

Eyebrows are the latest facial feature to take a back seat on the catwalk

Anita Bhagwandas Stylist’s Beauty Assistant says:

Not pictured: Anita’s invisible eyebrows

Beauty should be three things, empowering, pleasurable and an expression of what’s inside, on the outside. Right now, my insides are crying out for barely there brows – the stronghold of space-age, alien chic – mostly because my pencilled-in brows are starting to feel like a daily hassle I’d rather not deal with. That’s my cue, nay, catalyst, for change. So it’s goodbye to my angular arches as I traverse a new, arid brow path, a desolate netherworld of paled-out, covered-up brows that’s one part Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, one part fashion-android. I wore a pale brow on the weekend with petrol-blue glossy eyes and I’ve never felt freer.

Samantha Flowers Stylist’s Deputy Beauty Editor says:

Samantha’s raising one eyebrow at this trend, but you can’t tell

In recent seasons the rise of the statement brow has been epic. Blame Cara Delevingne. Bold is the brow du jour, everyone says so. But there’s always one rule-breaker and in this case it’s the renegade Rick Owens, who had make-up artist Lucia Pieroni swirling MAC concealer across models’ faces backstage to eliminate their brows, creating a kind of “no-brow”. Anita and I have discussed this at length – disappearing brows are the height of cool, right? They indicate someone who isn’t at all scared of breaking conventions, who goes their own way, who’s fearless in the face of fashion. But I look like an alien on valium. If you have the balls to shave off your eyebrows, bleach your hair and do the ghostly glamour thing, then good for you. This, my friend, is not for me.

Verdict

Choice is a wonderful thing. And while bleachlook brows aren’t for everyone, they are the perfect way to make a temporary change that you can achieve at home. Brush through your brows with a brow brush, lightly pat on your concealer of choice (our favourites are on the right) and seal lightly with face powder. Repeat if desired. A pale brow gel also does the job handsomely if a subtler effect is required. In a world where we have so little control over what happens around us (the weather, the traffic, our jobs, the lunch menu at Pret A Manger), the power to change our look in one simple move is priceless. If you dare.

You will need:

Clockwise from left to right: Tinted Brow Gel, £16.50, Anastasia, Beverly Hills. Creamy Concealer Kit, £24, Bobbi Brown. Wake Me Up Concealer, £5.49, Rimmel London. Sheer Concealer, £25, Burberry. Brow Definer Brush, £22.50, Laura Mercier.

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