Written by George Mann
The majority of the time, beauty trends are synonymous with elastic bands. The farther they get stretched, the faster and harder they snap back into shape. Never has that been truer than for eyebrows.
Through thick and thin, trend after trend, most of us have had a love / hate relationship with our brows. With thin, pencilled brows taking centre stage throughout the 90s and early 00s it was left up to celebrities like Lily Collins, Cara Delevigne and Keira Knightley to bring back bushy brows. Allowing those who over-loved and over-plucked their brows years before, to now grow in their natural brow shape and intentionally use products to aid in fluffing up their eyebrows. This has given way to an old school technique being thrust into the limelight – soap brows.
The idea behind this trend really is as simple as it sounds: when applying the products to your brows, this technique requires you to use soap instead of a brow gel. Simple, right?
The soap brow trend has recently taken over social media with beauty bloggers on Instagram and TikTok posting tutorials on creating the perfect fluffy brow, however it’s actually a classic makeup artist and drag queen technique that’s been used for photo shoots and stage make up for years. Aside from being incredibly affordable and easy to procure, this soap trick holds your brows in place all day and leaves them looking fuller and fluffier than ever.
Luckily, my close friend and Instagram influencer, @bethygranville, is the pro when it comes to super thick brows. After struggling with her own brow battle for years, the soap brow trend really did look like a fluffy light at the end of a sparse, flat tunnel. Beth first learnt of the soap trick in 2018, through a video tutorial from Rihanna’s makeup artist, Priscilla Ono, and credits that to bringing about the age of soap brows.
Beth advises using “a fine setting spray, like one you would use to hold your makeup in place all day and a clear bar of soap”, this is to avoid any unsightly white or coloured residue on your face. “Really, there are only 4 major steps in creating a gorgeous fluffy brow”, Beth tells me, “The first, is to spray your spoolie brush with your setting spray.” This is to dampen the bristles, granted, it takes a little trial and error when figuring out just how much to use. “You then want to rub your spoolie against the bar of soap, creating a thick residue.” Starting with a little and adding, remember, trial and error is all part of the process.
Beth goes on to tell me, “After that, it’s simple, just brush the gel-like residue through your brows in an upwards motion to ensure all the brow hairs are covered.” As the soap doesn’t dry too quickly, you’ll have plenty of time to create the shape and arch that’s perfect for you. The last step is purely optional, to use your preferred brow products to fill in any sparse areas or add colour. It wouldn’t be fair for me to finish telling you about the soap brows trend without giving a warning.
After trying the technique myself and being rather pleased with the results, it is important to note that complexion products such as foundations and powders, do not mix well with soap. So, be careful when applying makeup around your freshly soaped brows.