You know how great your brows look after a bath - all slicked up with mirror-like shine? Well, brow lamination is like the semi-permanent version of that and it's taking over our Instagram feeds right now.
Brow lamination is a huge trend in London, not least because of British brow icons like Cara Delevigne, Emilia Clarke and Lucy Boynton (especially if you then combine it with a microblading brow pen).
So what exactly is brow lamination?
In a salon, a lifting cream is first painted onto the brows, which breaks down bonds in each hair, allowing them to be moved into a new shape. Next the hairs are brushed up into place and a setting lotion applied.
"This will help them stay lifted for 4-6 weeks," says Sherrille Riley (opens in new tab) of Nails & Brows Mayfair, London, whose 60-minute Brow Lift costs £100. "The results tend to last longer on coarser brows than on fine hairs."
Social distancing and lockdown 2.0 (opens in new tab) has put professional brow lamination on hold for the time being, which is why when we saw a DIY brow lamination pop up on our social feed we sat up and took notice.
Then we fell down a brow lamination rabbit hole.
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Turns out DIY brow lamination isn't as alien a concept as we first thought. According to founder of b.bare Chantelle Thompson it's a simple enough process (although an allergy test is recommended 48hrs beforehand to determine any potential reactions).
Just be mindful to "apply the glue in sections to avoid it setting before your brows are in place," she says.
Follow Thompson's step-by-step guide for how to use the b.bare Brow Lamination Kit (opens in new tab) here...
Step one: Remove any brow gel or pencil
Ensure your brows are clean and all product is removed.
Step two: Brush the brows upwards with a spoolie and apply the glue
Sparingly apply the glue to the brows and brush upwards or in the direction you would like your brows to set using a spoolie brush.
Step three: Apply the Lifting Cream
Once the brows are set in place, apply the Lifting Cream using the Micro Applicator, which looks a bit like a Q-tip, from the roots to the tips.
Step four: Spread cling film over the top
You could use cling film or simply peel off and place Brows on Film over the top for 10 minutes. Then remove all product with a cotton pad.
Step five: Brush the brow hairs and apply the neutraliser
Brush the brows into their final position for a second time and apply Neutralise and Brows on Film.
Step Six: After 10 minutes, remove all product, brush brows up to your preference and apply the Hydrate Serum.
Aftercare: "Hydration is key as the lamination process can make hairs feel brittle," says Thompson. "Look for creamy hydrating butters and oils to soothe and soften." Castor oil is a good option, according to Riley.
Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years + of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.