Will our collective obsession with our eyebrows ever go away? Probably never, especially now that we have even more ways to finesse them that are less permanent and expensive than microblading, but more dramatic than using a brow gel, pencil, or pomade. Brow lamination (a slightly misleading name, but more on that later) is a way to wake up with feathery, fluffy-looking brows. You’ve probably seen it on Instagram, and if not, you’ve certainly seen the brow lamination look and likely wondered, “Hmmm… how do I get my brows to look like that Australian bikini model’s brows?” In short, a perm is what it takes.
In case you thought we’ve run out of ways to chemically assault all of the hairs on our heads, now your eyebrows can get the same treatment. Brow lamination works the same way a lash lift does, by chemically changing the way the hairs lie on your face. Cosmetic chemist Ginger King explains how it works: “It is like a perm process to straighten the brow and groom it, as it has three parts: Break the hair keratin bond, neutralize to prevent further breakage, then moisturize.” As a lash lift enthusiast, I was totally intrigued by brow lamination and jumped at the chance to try it at Blink Brow Bar in New York City.
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Brows have always been something I feel really “completes” my face. If ever I leave the house without wearing any makeup, you can bet I’ve at the very least curled my lashes and brushed my brows. I’ve had them microbladed for about a year, which has faded by now, so I still like putting a little something on them (usually just brow gel) for added depth and contrast.
I prefer styling my brows to look as powerful as possible, which I was previously able to do on a daily basis with my go-to, brow pencil, but its hold would wilt by the evening and sometimes require midday brush-ups. My brows aren’t particularly dense, but they are oddly long, which makes them look all the more dramatic with a “soap brow” treatment. With brow lamination, they could look power-puffed 24/7 for six-to-eight weeks straight. Sweet.
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How I prepared for brow lamination
As a cautionary measure, Blink Brow Bar does a patch test on your skin at least 24 hours before the process — makes sense since the perming chemicals are slathered directly on the skin on your face (unlike lash lifts, where it just touches the lashes). The day before my appointment, a technician dabbed the perming solution behind my ear for a minute and then removed it to make sure I didn’t get a rash or have an adverse reaction to it. The next day, I was in the clear. Sure, if you’re very busy and important this could be annoying, but better to take this step than have some vicious chemical reaction halo-ing your eyebrows.