When the Circuit Breaker was lifted in Singapore in June, the Benefit Brow Bar took a cautious approach, only re-opening a month later in July. Customers had been messaging Benefit on social media in anticipation of when services would restart, according to the brand’s national brow artist and trainer Rochelle Paz. With the deluge of conference calls during this pandemic period, it’s no wonder that brows took centre stage, and the pressure to have perfectly groomed arches became a form of social anxiety for some. However, with social distancing and hygiene measures, it also meant that Benefit’s Brow Bars (located within Sephora stores) would only be able to accommodate half as many customers as before.
However, when the clients came in for their appointments, Paz noticed a shift in the kind of brow styles they were requesting for. “They wanted more of a bushy but clean look. Customers are not trimming their brows hair as much. If they set their brows with a setting gel, there is no need to trim them,” says Paz. Those who were unable to get their brows professionally done were also advised by Paz not to overpluck their brows at home. “They should just draw in their brows and then pluck any excess hairs out,” she said.
When she recommended a style for me, Paz suggested that I go with a fuller brow and grow out parts (such as underneath the arch) that I had overplucked, filling in any sparse areas with a fine brow pencil and brushing it over with some brow mascara for volume. The resulting brow she waxed and shaped was thicker and less arched than what I was used to.
The trend for fuller and more natural brows has also been reflected in popular culture with figures like the U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing them almost as a beauty signature. In a recent beauty video for Vogue, she commented that she was lucky that brows were now in, acknowledging that having fuller brows was now considered beautiful.
For those who are not blessed with naturally thick and generous brows, there are new brow treatments that can actually help amplify them. The local brow styling chain Browhaus recently introduced brow lamination — a brow perm that lifts, sets and styles the brows to hide small gaps in-between brow hairs to achieve a thicker and more feathery look. Elisabeth Raman, head of learning and development at Spa Esprit Group, says, “Brow lamination is suitable for both men and women — especially those who have small gaps in their brows and want to achieve a fuller, thicker appearance for a short period of time.”
However, the perming process is not a permanent one. There is a short downtime of 24 hours after the process and the results will typically last up to four weeks with the appropriate aftercare, including the daily application of a lash and brow conditioner. The process of brow lamination took Browhaus six months to conceptualise and perfect, and it was one of the first few beauty bars on the island to offer this service. Unlike other services like eyebrow embroidery, which is a semi-permanent tattoo, brow lamination is more flexible and makes your brows more manageable. “By working off your natural brow hairs, brow lamination allows you to [groom] your brows to your desired shape,” says Raman.
The trends surrounding brow thickness have always waxed and waned, but it is clear that following the coronavirus pandemic, customers may not head down to beauty salons as frequently as they did before for their grooming upkeep. This has meant taking on a more relaxed attitude to grooming, and also a growing desire for services with results that last longer, and make daily life that much easier.
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