Star Beauty Secret: How to Lighten Your Eyebrows

Have you ever wondered why celebrities just don't look quite like the rest of us? And to further confuse the matter, why many stars start out looking like the girl or boy next door, and then begin a gradual transformation toward becoming a sculpted, pouty, smoldering goddess?

Well, makeup has a lot to do with it (as do professional blowouts and plastic surgery). But there is one much simpler, much cheaper trick that makes a huge difference: Lightening your eyebrows. Now, we're not suggesting you grab a jar of drugstore hair bleach and turn your brows orange, because that's what will happen if you tried that route (speaking from experience...).

The trick is either asking your colorist to lighten your brows a little during your next appointment, or taking a few precautions if you want to try it at home:
  • If you have red hair, you have a unique brow shade and shouldn't mess with nature. Ditto goes for blondes with naturally light brows.
  • If you have blonde hair and dark brows (assuming you're not crazy about them), you can lift them a few shades. Never go lighter than a soft taupe or sandy color, however, because brows need to maintain some color and contrast with your skin in order to frame your eyes and not look strange.
  • If you're brunette with brown eyes, you can make your eye color pop by lifting brows a shade or two lighter than your hair color (à la J. Lo). This will make your eye color look deeper by contrast, and it will stand out.

How to use the bleach: The first and most important thing is to remember that applying chemicals near your eyes is dangerous. You are attempting this at your own risk, so be careful! Use a cotton swab to apply a cream hair bleach to brows. Don't glob it on -- use just enough to cover the hairs, as extra product can fall off and into your eyes. Leave on just a minute or two to lighten the color slightly, then remove with a washcloth dipped in warm water.

Now that you've lifted away some of the dark color you had, your brows may appear more reddish, which is the natural result of removing some of the brown pigment, and will most likely only affect brunettes. If you are one of these people, you can tone down the redness by using an ash (green-based) semi-permanent hair color. [Note: If your brows appear more orange or yellow than red, you've simply left the bleach on too long. Continue with the next step, but remember to leave the bleach on for less time if you attempt again.]

How to pick a shade: If you want to end up with light brown brows, go one level lighter and use a dark ash blonde hair color, as bleached hair will soak up extra color and end up a little darker than the color says. If you have naturally black brows and want a more medium brown color, a light or medium ash brown will work.

You can use any semi-permanent hair color (we like Clairol Radiance, available at Sally Beauty supply stores). Follow the instructions (many semi-permanent colors only need to be left on for a few minutes) and enjoy your new, lighter brows!
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