If you’re wondering what’s in store for your brows next year, don’t worry: The full brow trend isn’t going anywhere, with muses like Lily Collins, Dua Lipa, and Yara Shahidi to thank. “It’s all about big, fluffy brows without harsh edges,” says Katrina Klein, celebrity makeup artist at The Wall Group, adding that her clients want natural-looking brows featuring longer tails, fuller bases, and fuzzy sprouts at the inner corners. Though windswept, brushed-up brows were trending for a bit, the style has since settled down into gently sculpted territory. In other words, although ’90s and early-2000s trends have been flaring up in fashion, this is decidedly not the case when it comes to brows.
Put the tweezers down, don’t even think about waxing, and keep on growing them out, just like you did during quarantine.
If you’re struggling with growing your brows, you’re not alone. Celebrity brow stylist Kristie Streicher, cofounder of STRIIIKE and creator of the trademarked Feathered Brow, is known for her style that “celebrates soft, diffused lines rather than hard lines and contrasting edges.” But her first-time clients regularly complain of sparsity and thinning brows, which is why her treatments include brow regrowth plans. Celebrity brow stylist René de la Garza, founder of Brow Down Studios, confirms that the popularity of brow growth products is at an all-time high—both due to the love for fuller brows and the common complaint of brow thinning. Brow stylers are adapting too. No longer just a pencil or gel, the next generation of brow products integrates hair-growth technology in every tube.
The indie beauty brand Iris&Romeo, known for creating multitasking products rooted in simplicity, first began formulating Brow Up, a new tinted brow balm, back in 2018. The inspiration for the product came from the brand’s CEO and founder, Michele Gough Baril, who wanted a brow product that could do it all. “I love a full, fluffy brow, and it’s one of my favorite steps in my makeup routine, because it truly lifts your entire face up, and can transform you from tired to awake in seconds,” she says. “But in high school, I over-plucked. Even worse, I shaved, and now I’m older and left with sparse and thinning brows.”
Hitting shelves today, the tinted brow balm features patented active ingredients that help promote brow growth by a reported 214 percent by targeting follicle stem cells, strengthening the hair shaft, and reducing inflammation that leads to thinning. “The active in the formula is traditionally used in hair care for regenerative medicine. It’s a patented green chemistry process—a blend of plant-based proteins, amino acids, and an anti-inflammatory that supports the hair growth phase—helping brows become thicker and healthier over time,” she says. “It also contains panthenol (provitamin B5), biotin (vitamin B7), as well as grape-seed, jojoba, and coconut oils to condition.” Brow Up is also formulated with plant-based waxes in order to avoid the use of synthetic waxes or ecologically questionable microplastics.
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One of the most popular techniques right now for applying swipe-on brow gels, tinted or not, is via backbrushing, also known as backcombing. Streicher describes it as basically the “flip your head over and shake it out” move for your hair … but for your brows. “The technique creates instant volume and lift by allowing you to move the hair out of the way so you can deposit color and product to not only the skin underneath the hair, but the underbelly of the hair—not just on top of it,” Streicher says. She recommends that you begin at the tail of the brow and work the brush toward the front, using one hand to hold the brow taut and the other to push the hairs upward and against their growth pattern. For a fuller look, or to fill in patches, Klein recommends applying a tinted brow pomade first, brushing the strands upward and into place. “Then use a pencil to draw in any sparse areas” she adds. “This will mean you’ll need to fill in a lot less, and the results will look more natural.”
If, on the other hand, you are using an untinted gel, try the Kimiko Brow Sensei, a styling gel developed by Sandra Oh’s makeup artist and brow expert, Danielle Vincent. The clear formula is packed with peptides and antioxidants to promote hair growth. Use the brand’s Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique first, starting at the height of the arch, leaving the tails minimally penciled, before swiping on the gel.
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Makeup that looks effortless should actually require less effort, but that hasn’t always been the case. “People are wanting their brows, like their makeup, to look more natural, instead of drawn in,” Klein says. So what 2022 looks to hold is a makeup routine that’s faster and more efficient than ever before. After all, a brow gel that helps your brows grow lusher and fuller even after you rinse it off at the end of the day solidifies that the trend of multitasking, skincare-infused makeup isn’t going anywhere.
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