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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Joe Bromley

Beauty’s most-wanted: the ultra power brow

Sorry, Cara Delevingne, bushy brows are not going to cut it this summer. For 2022, stock up on glue and gems, bleach and electric shade pencils — not to mention a bag of confidence. More is more, and for festivals, summer parties, Ibiza nights out or just bringing the drama to picnics in the park, now is the time to give yourself the ultra-power brow treatment.

One variety is leading the way: dazzling, rhinestone style. These have threatened to make a sparkling mark on the beauty world since Euphoria’s Maddy Perez sported the crystal party brow back in season one, circa 2019. And last month, during London Fashion Week, designer Ahluwalia made a convincing bid that their moment had come again.

Under the shrubs of a walled garden runway, models appeared in saturated shade garments offset by single silver gems stuck in two strong lines across the forehead. It was disarmingly mesmerising. The jewels glistened in the sun, and proved a novelty look needn’t skimp on the chic.

Incidentally, Euphoria makeup artist Doniella Davy and designer Priya Ahluwalia share a reference point: a photo of Nina Simone, from the late Sixties, feeling good with five gems on each brow, and more being applied on her eyelids. “Her music is so important to me, so I wanted to pay homage,” Ahluwalia says.


Mata Mariélle was the makeup artist tasked with creating the head-turning runway moment, and says it’s easy to try at home. “Buy face gems at any art and craft store. Brush your brows out using a spoolie and gummy brow gels, for edge control, then apply a full coverage concealer, or any kind of matte textured base to the brow.”

The aim is to make the hairs invisible, before applying gems using Duo lash glue, stocked at Boots and Superdrug. “This won’t remove any eyebrow hairs, I promise,” says Mariélle. “They add the perfect amount of pizazz. I’d even make the gems a navy blue — very fab.”

For the glitter girls, crafty designer Matty Bovan is your go-to. His SS22 collection film saw models get the gilded gold look, which is a great (if messy) option for anyone cautious to bet on bejewelling.

(Matty Bovan)

Gunning for full-throttle glam? Chanel heads will know the archive AW12 show is the mother of all eyebrow inspo. Miranda Kerr and co appeared on Karl Lagerfeld’s catwalk blinged up with square, coloured brows filled with juicy crystals, instantly becoming a look for the runway beauty history books.

Celebrities today are taking the extreme facial diamanté fad, and maximising it. Naomi Campbell was covered nose to hairline in gems for 2022’s Met Gala carpet, while singer Rina Sawayama’s gold and silver cut rocks exploded across her browbone, and creeped down the cheeks as she sat front row at the Schiaparelli Haute Couture collection last week.

The statement was a nod to the dripping gold, surrealist jewellery that has become the Parsian brand’s signature, explains Mona Lenna, the makeup artist behind it. “I actually hand made all of the custom crystal face pieces on the Eurostar to Paris the night before,” she says, and has filmed a crystalling 101 masterclass on her online platform The Makeup Monster. “The brow really frames the face, so it’s one of the most exciting features to play with if you fancy a transformation. It can completely change your look.”

If the thought of a chandelier sparkling face is causing you to involuntary cringe, though, don’t panic. The list of eyebrow experiments is long, starting with TikTok where #powerbrows videos have four million views and counting.

(Julia Fox)

Iris Law drew attention to hers on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in May by shaving slits in them. Try with care. Bella Hadid has tapped out completely, bleaching hers to alien effect. As has Julia Fox, who draws on a new style daily. She recently brought her winged eyeliner around to the forehead, for a sleek (and strange) connected brow. Be fearless and embrace weirdness when plucking the one for you.

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