x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

The beauty spy: On brow bleaching

You won’t see her, but she’s there, in the salons, spas and shops, and she’s happy to share her secrets on brow bleaching

I seem to be sporting a very fashion-forward face at the moment. This is completely by accident. With a hectic work schedule, I have skipped my usual brow taming and tinting sessions. Since I’m almost albino, my eyebrows have retreated into my forehead and I look a little like Lara Stone – without the supermodel proportions – but this eyebrowless look is surprisingly cool. If you’re blonde it is easy to sport; in most cases, you just need to stop darkening your brows. But for the raven-haired among us, it will take some work.

Some argue that without any brow colour, you can look a little alien and unnatural, while others look otherworldy and ethereal – such as the girl with a pearl earring in the Vermeer painting by the same name. Whatever your thoughts, there’s no doubt the trend is starting to take hold, though possibly not yet in the mainstream. However, sales of that favourite staple Jolen Crème Bleach have risen in the past 12 months, thanks to models sporting the look at catwalk shows and in ad campaigns.

The rise in statement beauty – think a jolt of grey nail polish, or removal of one’s brows – is apparently the norm in a recession. If you can’t be fashion forward with the latest buy, then this will update your look for less than Dh50 – infinitely cheaper than the Chloé Marcie bag.

All this in mind, I’m finding whitewashed brows a bit hard to get used to. I don’t think being surrounded by Emiratis helps: if there were beauty awards for a particular facial feature, they would win trophies for “best in brows”. I mean, local women tend to have precision arches, as if they’ve been formed with a mathematical instrument. They are dark, curved and are worn with not a hair out of place. This no-brow is the antithesis of traditional Arabian ideals of beauty.

While I’m feeling a little naked in the forehead area, I do try to keep my brows neat and tidy, as mine can quickly grow into two duelling colourless caterpillars. A DIY trim with the Japonesque Brow Groomer Scissor/Comb keeps them in check. I just tip the ends of the middle upper extremeties to give some shape, and then remove the few strays underneath the arch with an appropriate pair of tweezers. I like Laura Mercier’s version, as they have a fat body and are easier to grasp. Once I’ve got my brows groomed, I coat them with Bobbi Brown’s Natural Brow Shaper.

If you do fancy going for gold, or white, play it safe and first try using your bleaching cream for the shortest time recommended for your hair type. Better still, pay a professional to do the job – Sisters Beauty Lounge (www.sistersbeautylounge.com) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai does a bang-up job.


We are all about mascara at the moment. We just can’t get enough of it. The latest one we’re mad about is Revlon’s Grow Luscious. The brush is gorgeously thick and the mascara goes on clump-free. Even after just one coat you end up with lashes that could compete with the most impressive spider’s legs – perfect for Halloween.

Dh51 at outlets throughout the UAE