What Is Brow Lamination?

The treatment you never knew you needed.

Alberta Ferretti - Backstage: Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20
(Image credit: Rosdiana Ciaravolo)

While ’90s beauty trends are making a comeback this year (see: frosted glitter lids, shaggy bobs, and Blair Waldorf headbands), pencil-thin arches haven’t quite experienced the same resurgence. Instead, thick, bushy, healthy-looking brows are still dominating the runways and our social media.

To help you get the look there’s brow lamination, microblading’s little sister from Russia and this year’s hottest brow trend. Do you remember soap brows from Old Hollywood days? Well, this is the semi-permanent version of that: feathered, slick, and shiny arches that look perfectly groomed every day.

Here's how it works: First, the technician slathers a cream all over your brows to start a chemical process that breaks down the hair bonds and allow them to be coaxed into a new shape. After bending every hair in its proper place, a neutralizer is applied to set everything and increase the look of fullness.

You can change the shape, extend the tail, and/or give your brows a fuller look without the need for needles. The best part is that the process is completely non-invasive and has no real downtime. Think of it as a perm for your brows. Although it's not actually permanent, you can enjoy your laminated brows for as many as 6–8 weeks.

The one downside is that it is possible for your skin to have a negative reaction to the cream, so make sure to go in for a patch test first.

If you don’t want to dish out the money (the price of brow lamination ranges from $50 to as much as $250) or just want to get the look ASAP, it is possible to fake a brow lamination at home. Here’s how to DIY the covetable look:

  1. Cleanse your brows and outline the shape you want them to be. Pluck away any stray hairs to get a good initial arch.
  2. Apply clear eyebrow gel over your brows. For more shine, use a smidge of petroleum jelly-based balm, like Lucas Papaw Ointment.
  3. For more staying power, mist hairspray (from 6 to 10 inches away) onto a mascara spoolie.
  4. Using the spoolie, sweep the brow hairs from the inner corners to the arch up toward your hairline to give them a fluffy texture.
  5. Fill in any gaps or tails you wish to extend with an angled brow brush and brow pomade.
  6. Set everything with a brow gel to give your arches the desirable tint.

Everything You Need for At-Home Brow Lamination

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Hana Hong
Hana Hong

Hana Hong is the beauty assistant at Marie Claire, where she covers skincare, makeup, and haircare, and is identifiable by her signature cateye.