Bye bye eyebrow gel.
Yes, you read the title correctly: I had my eyebrows laminated. Before you freak out – no, the process does not involve a plastic laminating sleeve or a piping hot paper iron. Instead (you’ll be relieved to know), it gives you the ultimate fluffy brow.
Born of the brushed up brow trend, eyebrow lamination is ideal for the girl who goes through brow gel like it’s going out of fashion. Not for the faint of heart, the process will make your eyebrows look significantly bushier, even if you have scarce brows to begin with. Having virgin eyebrows myself (never have I ever plucked, waxed or shaped the bad boys), I was a little nervous as to just how bushy they were going to get. Dua Lipa can pull off eyebrows half way up her forehead – I, on the other hand, cannot.
Here, the lowdown on the process, the aftercare required and whether or not I’ll be going back for round two.
It was the last muggy Sunday in the Summer of 2020 when I first laminated my eyebrows. My salon of choice? Kohl Beauty in Sydney’s St Peter’s. Located in the up-and-coming Precinct 75, the space was Byron Bay – if Byron Bay had moved to Sydney’s inner west.
Immediately making the process less intimidating due to the warm, relaxed and boho-chic interiors, I was greeted by a glowing Collette Manion, Senior Artist and Owner, who was ready to tackle the brows that were about to come her way.
The initial consultation was highly informative, with Manion walking me through exactly what I was going to have done, what options I could pick and choose between (i.e. did I also want a brow tint), and offering her advice (i.e. not to get said brow tint as boy would that be a lot). The process was very straightforward and only took about 30 minutes – perfect for slotting into a lunch break, or quickly after the school sport rush.
Step number one saw Manion apply a lifting solution to my brows to break down the fibres of the hairs. This makes them malleable for the shaping process that is to come. This also allowed the hair to lengthen out completely, which gives a clear idea of any necessary grooming.
Step two involved applying a serum to the brows to re-strengthen the fibres and get them ready for shaping. This is also the step where you can add in any extras such as tinting, plucking and trimming. Manion trimmed my brows at this stage, because, as I’ve said before, Dua Lipa brows would be quite confronting in the office at 9am on a Monday.
Next comes the shaping. Manion shapes your brows for you but not without you. Brows are pretty personal, after all. Holding a mirror above my head, Manion shaped the brows as she saw fit and then asked for my input. Being a rookie at the whole laminating my brows thing, I would have to say I was a little tame when it came to just how fluffy I went. But that’s not to say I stayed completely safe either.
We found a happy medium.
If you’re anything like me, these beauty treatments are all fun and games until you realise you have to apply 45 different products to keep your face from imploding (I’m not dramatic – you are).
Luckily for us, the aftercare is pretty minimal considering our eyebrows have just been laminated. Basically, just don’t get your brows wet for 24 hours. I was also given a small sachet of serum and a spoolie to take home with me and advised to apply it everyday until it ran out. This will condition the hairs and keep them healthy for your next treatment. Once the serum runs out, coconut oil is your eyebrows’ new bestie.
See – it’s about as lowkey as you can get.
I was warned going into the treatment that, like my post-lunch chocolate habit, laminating your eyebrows can become highly addictive. Once you laminate, you don’t go back, apparently. And it’s safe to say I would have to agree.
A shock to a few people at first (mainly because my eyebrows actually had some shape and structure), I loved how they looked. Once you can get them wet, they become just like normal brows. You can still shape them as you please, and change that shape daily if you want. They’re not fixed. What laminating does is lock in the style you create in the morning.
So rather than pasting your brows down with eyebrow gel in the hope they won’t budge during the day, you can now use a simple spoolie (wayyyyy cheaper than a gel) and create the shape you want. What’s more is that it won’t budge by 3pm when your gel has usually worn off.
So, the verdict: love.