Soap Brows Are Our Favorite Sustainable Beauty Trend This Season
For Bold and Natural Eyebrows
In the realm of above-neck beauty, some looks ring eternal. Lips trends change (liner, gloss, tint, or stick?), smoked shadow is traded for feline flicks of liquid liner, and chic contouring is countered (if sweetly) by cherubic, roseate cheeks. But whether you favor full-face makeup or a less-is-more approach, one element remains a shared beauty essential: Healthy, bold brows.
An instant punctuation, cultivated eyebrows offer even the most subtle of looks with a bit of extra oomph. And when carried off correctly, a brushed-up brow and a touch of lip balm are often all we want for an effortless look.
This very simplicity explains why we’re drawn to the soap brows, the trend that began as a backstage beauty hack and has since taken social media by storm. Using literal, if strategically selected, bar soap—or, more recently, an elevated iteration offered in packaged product form—brows are groomed to achieve a finish that combines the glamour of a full and feathery brow with the sleeker, stay-in-place appeal of eyebrow lamination (essentially a lifting and straightening treatment for your eyebrows).
An added bonus? The process is undeniably natural, affordable, and simple. And below, we’re sharing a few tips for obtaining the look at home. Pair with natural lash lifting methods for the ultimate minimalist look.
1. Gather Your Supplies
To create soap brows, you’ll need only a few simple and affordable supplies:
Spoolie. Whether you prefer a sanctioned brow soap or an unspecified bar, a brow spoolie is an essential styling tool. The below bamboo spoolies are a reliable go-to and, best of all, they’re compostable. You can also recycle an old mascara brush by soaking it in warm water, even washing with a bit of your favorite shampoo until your rinsing water runs clean. Spritz with a bit of vinegar or witch hazel for sanitation, and reuse on brows, root touch-ups, or even for manicures. Our pick is the West Barn Co. Bamboo Spoolie (50-count) for $14.
Soap. When selecting a soap, ensuring that vegetable glycerin—a sugar alcohol commonly made from soybean, coconut, or palm oils—is among the ingredients is key, as the compound’s low pH makes irritation less likely. Opt for bars that are minimalist in fragrance and color as an unwanted white residue is likely not the vibe you’re after. Should you experience any irritation post-soap, give your brows a break while searching for a different option, soothing skin with cold compresses and a mild anti-itch cream of your choice. We love Public Goods Bar Soap (5 oz) available for $3.
2. Spritz & Style
Achieving social-worthy soap brows is as easy as one, two, three:
Spritz a clean spoolie (or brow brush) with water or setting spray.
Run the spoolie over soap to pick up the product—a light coat on the brush will do, as a thin layer of soap allows for more precision and less leftover product.
Comb the spoolie over your brows, brushing up for a maximal effect. For a bit of extra oomph, backcombing creates an “on fleek” effect, while combing in the direction of natural growth will result in sleek, neat brows.
3. Finish Off With a Pencil (Optional)
Using the soap brow method in tandem with your preferred pencil is the best means of creating (or augmenting) thick, natural-looking brows guaranteed to stay in place all day and night. When done with care, a few simple swipes and some strategic blending is guaranteed to make brows look fuller and more striking, teaming with the stiffening soap for a subtle, stand-out look.
Our Pick | Honest Beauty Eyebrow Pencil, $12.99
Natural & Eco-Friendly Brow Products
If you’d prefer using a brow product, these options are designed to make your introduction into the world of soap brows just as easy as it appears (and trust us, an easy journey it is). Some are ethically made, while others include natural and organic ingredients. Of course, the most affordable option is to DIY, but these brow soaps and sets can work too if you need a little extra guidance!
1. West Barn Co.’s Soap Brows & Prep Mist
Ethics | Vegan, Leaping Bunny certified, handmade in the UK
Price | $29
The original soap brow wave-maker, West Barn Co. offers an iconic set with everything you need to get to know the trend. The brand’s bundle includes a perfected soap, spoolie, and mist—all of which are eco-conscious, vegan certified, and easy to use. (You can also buy the brow soap separately for $18 if you have the other supplies.) Built of a blend of glycerin, coconut butter, sorbitol, this styling soap will keep brows in place while allowing for a natural look.
2. Wildly Free’s Soapbox Brows
Natural & Organic | Nontoxic, natural ingredients
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, all natural, biodegradable, made in the USA
Price | $18
Queer- and woman-owned Wildly Free offers their soap brow box (a reusable metal tin with compostable sugarcane) in Clear or Dark Brown to coat brows with an extra ounce of depth. It comes with a biodegradable bamboo spoolie, and we love that this product is made in the USA. Plus, it’s gentle enough to be used as either a primer, styler, or setter.
3. TooD’s Turn It On Soap Brows
Ethics | Vegan, recycled & recyclable packaging
Price | $24
TooD—a brand focused on sustainability and self-love—is a sturdier option for those practiced in soap brow etiquette. A simple (and sparing) swipe of this vegan option ensures that brows will remain “on fleek” throughout the day or night, with an edge as stylized or natural as your application dictates. We’re big fans of TooD’s packaging, too; the upcyclable metal tins are printed with soy-based inks and food-grade materials.
4. Jason Wu Beauty’s The Bush Soap
Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, natural ingredients, gives back
Price | $14
Jason Wu’s means of taming and shaping brows is elevated by its non-sticky nature. One coat of this vegan and cruelty-free eyebrow soap will leave your brows hydrated and in place. The formula uses natural ingredients, too—it’s free from parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and more. A bonus? One percent of net sales go to Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC).
Calin Van Paris (she/her) is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to language and learning, she loves exploring the planet and reading anything that enriches experience, both imagined and lived.