Beauty trends come and go, but it looks like full and fluffy brows will thankfully be around for awhile. Makeup artists across social media have shown us countless ways to achieve the look, but one technique is gaining attention for its simplicity. It’s so simple, in fact, that it involves using something you already have in your bathroom: soap.
That’s right, the humble bathroom staple is a go-to for many makeup artists who are creating the brushed-up, editorial brow that’s so coveted right now. But “soap brows” is a trend that originally emerged in 2016, after being used by drag queens for years. It’s now making its rounds on social media after a viral tip from Rihanna’s makeup artist, Priscilla Ono, and gaining widespread popularity.
That’s because the technique is pretty simple: You start by dampening a spoolie brush with water and raking it over a bar of soap to lightly coat the bristles. Then, you brush through your arches using upward strokes. Afterwards, fill in your brows with the pencil or powder of choice (don’t forget eye shadow works, too).
Voila! Brushed-up, filled-in brows that stay put. The technique is a tried-and-true grooming method of makeup artists, simply because soap offers a much stronger hold than a typical brow gel.
Celebrity brow specialist Joey Healy broke the steps down for Glamour, noting that a clear bar soap works best. He also warns against using too much water since you don’t want the soap to suds up. “If you do too much, it will start to lather and will look a little white,” Healy said. “You just want it to be ever so damp, and then press your brows in the direction of hair growth—up and then over, and then down.”
There’s another caveat: If you’re brows are fine or thinning, you probably want to avoid this technique altogether as the soap residue can slow hair growth overtime. But for those of you who aren’t down with using actual soap, there’s also a product literally called “Soapbrows” on the market, which is intended to give brows the same bushy look. The London-made kit comes with a brush and a brow pomade with a soap-like consistency, and is a favorite of renowned artists like Nikki Wolff, the Global makeup ambassador for Becca Cosmetics.
Given that just 10 years ago super-skinny eyebrows were all the rage, it’s hard to predict the future of brow trends. But for now, fluffy brows are here to stay, as are unconventional methods like soap brows in order to achieve them.