There seems to be an endless buffet of brow treatments, whether it’s brow lamination, brow tinting, or even a brow freeze. But one seems to be popping up more frequently: ombré brows. And while ombré is a trend that’s made its way through hair, nails, and just about every other genre of beauty, you may need a little more of an explanation when it comes to brows. (TBH, same.)
“Ombré eyebrows—also known as powder brows—is a semi-permanent method of shading the brows,” explains Jennifer Sanchez, owner of Brows by Jenny Rose. “This technique will perfect the brow shape, fill in sparse areas, and, in most cases, replace the need to apply makeup to the eyebrows.”
So what makes them ombré, you ask? “The tails of the brows are shaded darker and fade into light [toward the] beginning of the brow, giving a soft ombré makeup effect,” explains Sanchez. And like most treatments, the look is totally customizable. “The brows can be tailored to a natural look or bolder makeup look, depending on my client’s preference,” says the pro.
First things first: a few measurements. “I start with mapping out the eyebrows using a brow ruler and a few other tools to ensure the brows are as symmetrical as possible,” says Sanchez. Still, she reminds us that “brows are supposed to be sisters, not twins!” Once the brow shape is approved, “I tattoo a soft outline to guarantee that the shape is secure, then I numb the brows for about 20 minutes and then proceed with the procedure.”
Next, “the ombré shading is done using a tattoo shading machine that implants pixelated dots of ink that create an overall powder effect,” explains the pro. And if you’re concerned about the word “tattoo,” don’t worry. “The best part is that most of my clients feel minimal pain,” she says.
In addition to the obvious benefit of fuller-looking brows, this treatment pretty much erases the need for brow tools or makeup. “You will literally be able to say, ‘I woke up like this,’” says Sanchez. “You will have waterproof, smudge-proof, defined brows, and you will save time when getting ready and have a major confidence boost.”
Almost anyone can get the treatment, too. “Ombré brows are suitable for all ages, hair and skin types,” says Sanchez, who says it’s “ess invasive than microblading. “With microblading, you need normal-dry, blemish-free skin to achieve noticeable results.”
Although Sanchez says there are no major side effects, there are a few things to note before making your appointment. “I have my clients complete a health history form to ensure they do not have a medical condition or are on any medications that will slow down the healing process,” says Sanchez. In addition, “Some individuals leave with red or slightly swollen brows, which can last for a few days.” And if your brows look a little intense at first, don’t fret: “The brows will appear dark and bold, but once healed, the color will lighten up and the overall shape will appear more natural. You have to trust the process!” explains Sanchez.
There are a few things to do at home for the best results. “The most important thing is to keep brows clean, hydrated, out of the sun, and refrain from heavy sweating or moisture for two weeks,” says Sanchez. “If the aftercare is not followed properly, it can cause infections, and the brows will not heal properly.” Sanchez also has her clients come in for a follow-up appointment after eight to 10 weeks “so that I can assess the retention and perfect the areas that may not have taken the pigment.”
Some skincare products may affect the treatment, too. “After the healing process is complete, I advise my clients to avoid applying facial acids, retinoids, and anti-aging products directly to the brows to ensure the brows don’t fade prematurely,” says Sanchez.
And although the treatment may be pricey (between $500 and $1000, depending on where you go), they can last up to three years. Still, “a color-boost touch-up is recommended every one to two years,” says Sanchez.
You may not be able to do actual ombré brows at home, but you can achieve the look using a few products. To start, “use a brow pencil to mark where your brows should start, arch, and end,” says Sanchez. “To create the ombré effect, fill in your eyebrows with a brow pencil or powder using a very light hand. Then, build the color up at the middle and ends of your brows, ensuring that the ends are the darkest.” Next, “use a thin brush and concealer to clean up any mistakes.” Lastly, grab your trusty spoolie to “diffuse the front of the brows.”