Dark, dramatic brows have been in vogue for years now—but ironically, the dark horse in the race for the most stylish brow look is the opposite end of the spectrum. Bleached brows are a growing trend that you may be familiar with because they’ve been a feature of catwalks for quite a while.
As with any couture trend that starts to go mainstream, the idea of bleaching your brows can feel extreme and intimidating, even if you absolutely love the look as we do.
Luckily, if you feel like you might not be living your best life with dark, structured brows, there’s a way to totally change up your vibe without having to go too extreme. Instead of bleaching, consider lightening your brows in slightly less intense, or in many cases less permanent, ways.
Why Would You Lighten Your Brows?
Do you want to look like a runway model? Do you want to stand out a little bit from the crowd? Do you want a way to totally change your face without going to any extremes? Did you think Danaerys Targaryen’s brows were perfect in Game of Thrones? If you answered yes to any of these questions, lightening your brows might be a great idea to explore.
Choosing the right color for your eyebrows is a highly personal and often stressful topic, but that’s the beauty in lightening your brows. There is a lot of lower maintenance and more natural ways to lift the darker shade many of our eyebrows tend to be naturally into something a bit brighter.
Having light brows can range from giving you the runway-fairy-princess vibe we mentioned earlier to just brightening your features to make a small but noticeable, and very pretty, difference.
Where Do You Start?
If you’re new to the idea of lightening your brows, and you’re not quite ready to jump in eyebrows first, we recommend starting with small, natural ways of brightening your natural color. That way, you can get a sense of what your brows look like with some gentler lightening, and either find your perfect shade through natural means or be reassured that you’re ready for something that works on a more intense level.
What Are Natural Ways To Lighten Your Brows?
If you’re a 90s kid, you’re going to recognize some of these tried and true tactics! Any true acolyte of 90sand 2000s fashion will remember Sun-In (or it’s cheaper, simpler, safer cousin… lemon juice). If you never went out for a day in the sun without a squeeze of lemon juice artfully brushed through your hair in the hopes of some oh-so-coveted natural highlights, it’s the same idea with your brows. Coat your brows in a mix of water and lemon juice (we recommend using a damp, but not dripping, q-tip to wipe along your brows for minimum eye-burning drippage.)
This tactic works best when you’re going to be spending time in the sun, and tends to be most effective on people whose hair is lighter to begin with. The impact of the lemon juice will increase over time, so if you’re a serious beach bum, don’t forget to wipe the lemon juice from your brows at some point during the day so your change isn’t much bigger than you expected.
Similarly, honey can also be used in the same way to lighten your brows! If lemon juice isn’t for you, a sticky coating of honey along your brows may also lighten them in the sun. Honey has trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide, so although its effect is gentle, given time and vitamin D, you should be well on your way to warmer, brighter brows.
If you’re more of a homebody than a beach bum, don’t worry; there are options for you too. A mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water mixed and left on your brows for 15 to 20 minutes and then washed off can have a lightening effect.
In the event of more of a spa day opportunity, a paste made from boiling water and some chamomile tea leaves can be left on your brows for several hours. Because the tea leaves and only a small bit of water will form a paste, you can add more to this mixture if you’d like to strengthen the effects. A small amount of honey or lemon juice added to the mixture can help make the lightening a little more intense than just chamomile on its own.
Can You Just Dye Your Brows a Lighter Color?
The short answer is yes. Whether bleaching your brows altogether is too extreme of a look for your taste or you’re still working up to it, there’s definitely a middle-ground option between minor, natural hacks and full-on bleach. The answer can really be distilled into two words: hydrogen peroxide.
To start, smear a good amount of petroleum jelly beneath your eyebrows to keep the hydrogen peroxide from running into your eyes, and be careful with your application even still! All you need to do is use a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution and apply it generously to your brows.
It’s somewhat gentler than a straight-up bleach, but you’ll be able to watch it take effect. This is a great option if you’re nervous about lightening your brows because hydrogen peroxide is clear—so you can wipe it off as soon as you’re in love with the color.
Alternatively, you could mix hydrogen peroxide and a vegetable-based permanent hair dye, if you want a little more control in your color. If you’ve lightened the head on your hair and know it tends a little more brassy or a little more orange than you’d prefer, this is a great option. It’s also ideal if you’re looking to warm your brows up a bit as opposed to just making them lighter.
As with any chemical you’re applying to your face, do an allergy test first with your chosen dye. Just choose a hidden bit of skin that’s easy not to touch while you wait, and let a bit of the dye rest on your skin for fifteen minutes or so before wiping off. Wait a day or so to make sure there isn’t any latent reaction, and once you’re sure you’re safe to use the dye, you’re good to go!
Whether you use hydrogen peroxide, natural substances, or even go a step further and use bleach to lighten your brows, we highly recommend working a great serum, like TatBrow’s Advanced Enhancement Serum into your routine.
Especially when the hairs of your brows are lighter, you’ll want to be sure they’re as full and healthy as they can be so that you get the super-cool light look you want without losing the shape and structure that makes your face pop.
Are There Any Temporary Options for Lightening Your Brows?
One of our favorite things about brow lightening is the many ways in which you can achieve this loo.! You don’t necessarily have to use a more long-term solution. Similar to the options you have when you look to darken or define your brows, you can use makeup to help you lighten your brows if you prefer the idea of being able to change up your look at will. And we have to admit, the idea of being able to enigmatically go from dark-browed, strong-arched diva to ethereal light-browed angel at will is pretty appealing.
So if that’s what you're after, there are a few things you can try!
You know her, you love her, she’s always there when you need her—and here’s one more way to use your best-loved concealer to improve your life. Using a spoolie (or similar, rough brush to mimic the texture of hair and make sure you get the best coverage possible!) and cover your eyebrows in concealer. Add more until you’re satisfied with the color of your brows, and then set them with TatBrow’s Ultra Hold Brow Gel to make sure they hold their shape and don’t flake.
Tinted Brow Gel
Although we tend to think that brow gel is for making our brows darker or more defined, it can be used for lightening your brows, too! This is a particularly good tactic if you’re only looking to go a shade or two lighter, or even just looking to go warmer, selecting a shade that’s similar to your own color, but closer to your ideal shade will do the trick. Just apply as usual, and bam—instantly lighter brows, easily. Use our Ultra Defining Brow Gel for best results.
Similar to tinted brow gel but for those of you looking for a more precise application, a microblade pen can be used to great effect when lightening your brows. Select a shade or two lighter than your natural color, or a shade or two warmer depending on your preferences, and apply with a light touch. You can keep all the structure you love from the Cara Delevigne brow look you’ve perfect over the past couple of years, yet keep it soft and bright.
Lighter Brows Are Within Reach
If you’re looking for an exciting new way to change your face without doing something so extreme you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror, lightening your brows is a great option. And if you’re worried about the bleach, as we’ve made clear, you have so many options to get the look you love without using something you’re not comfortable with.
So next time you’re feeling a bit not-this-again when you look in the mirror, reach for one of these unexpected things you almost definitely have in your kitchen or makeup cabinet to give your look a major league revamp with minimal effort.