Let it grow: why natural eyebrows are making an impact

Phoebe Luckhurst

The truly chic are unconvinced by high-octane glamour. Their skincare regimes are beautifully unfussy. Central to this aesthetic is brows.

Those who came of (teen) age in the mid-Noughties are likely to remember an afternoon zealously plucking their brows into wispy obscurity: in retrospect disastrous but at the time it was the look.

Today we aspire to a different aesthetic: thick, mussy, androgynous brows that look like they’ve never seen a pair of tweezers.

Sherrille Riley, founder of Nails & Brows, recently coined the term “virgin brow” to describe the aesthetic. “It’s about keeping the brows natural,” she says. In reality, the look requires a bit of upkeep — but it is minimal.

She says the virgin brow is increasingly popular with the clients at her Mayfair salon. “We clean up the small hairs just beneath the natural browline,” she explains.

“To achieve this, start by growing your brows out, filling in any gaps with brow pencil, like Beauty Edit Mayfair, then brush the brows up with a clear brow gel to set the look.”

Your role models here are the likes of Cara Delevingne, model Natalia Castellar and the perennially cool Demi Moore.

Riley says the appeal is in the unfussiness. “It creates a fresh face that is elegant yet effortless.”

Indeed, the choice buzzword is “authentic”, which is consistent with the appeal of youthful, zeitgeist brands such as Glossier. The juggernaut — which arrived in the UK this month — bills itself as a “beauty movement” that champions the individual. “We believe you give life to products — products don’t breathe life into you.”

There are other ways to keep brows modern. Avoid waxing and threading; instead, use a pair of precise tweezers — try Tweezerman — to pluck out the few flyaways and otherwise leave untouched. You’ll save time and money too.

Use a brow brush or gel, and a pencil to fill in any sparse sections (perhaps caused by a mishap when you were 14, for example). Match this carefully: patchwork brows have not yet made it.

In terms of specific products, Glossier’s Boy Brow, is a pomade: it holds hairs in place but never flakes. It feels light. MAC’s waterproof gel, is fast-setting and fills in the colour, while Eyeko’s formula is botanically enriched and full of keratin to make brows look glossy and encourage growth. Think conditioner for brows.

Keep the rest of your make-up subtle with just a slick of lipstick — done correctly, the brows should speak for themselves. That’s the beauty of the look.