From Vogue to Brow Rehab: Q&A with Rachel Marlowe of Rbrow
It's no wonder that Rbrow has become a client favorite from the Spruce & Honey apothecary.
Rbrow creator Rachel Marlowe is a writer, editor and brow guru who has leveraged years of personal and industry experience to create the must have product for brow wellness and styling.
I was incredibly excited to feature Rachel and Rbrow in our first Spruce and Honey blog interview.
SH: What inspired you to create Rbrow?
RM: Two things inspired me to create Rbrow.
Firstly, I was born with a full set of brows and - as a child of the 90s aka the skinny brow decade - have had a love/hate relationship with them. Over the years I have plucked and waxed them, gone through several brow rehabs, and tried every treatment under the sun - my brows are my beauty obsession.
Secondly, I have worked in the world of beauty for over 20 years as an editor covering everything from trends, celebrity beauty, the red carpet and behind the scenes at Fashion week. I started out at W Magazine in NYC, co-wrote the British Vogue Beauty Book, and have covered beauty for magazines including US Vogue, Allure, Self and Women's Health Magazine to name a few. This experience has really given me an insight into the world of brows (and beauty products) as I have been able to try pretty much every brow product on the market and work with the top makeup artists and brow experts in the world.
These two things ultimately inspired me to create the brow product that I really wanted, which is a twist on a trick I learnt backstage at fashion shows and on beauty shoots where makeup artists would brush Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream through the model's brow to hold them in place and add shine and depth. RBrow takes this brow hack to the next level with ingredients that benefit the brows, while also holding them in place and keeping that element of glossiness and dimension.
SH: In a world of prescription and expensive serums, how is Rbrow delivering brow care differently?
RM: I have never wanted to use a prescription brow serum or lash serum as the side effects can be quite extreme. I understand that if you have a medical condition that has caused you to lose your brows or lashes these formulas are a great option, but that was not the goal of Rbrow. Rbrow is about promoting long term brow health, using natural ingredients. I have also always found that most brow gel formulas leave my brows looking flaky and feeling stiff as they contain ingredients like alcohol and synthetic micro fibres.
Rbrow's oil based formula is all about nourishment and delivering smooth, glossy, high shine brows without harmful substances, skin irritants or ingredients that leave a white cast on the brows. Key ingredients we do use include Camellia Seed Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1 and Panthenol which work together to enhance the health of the hair follicles, promote hair growth and prevent hair loss, strengthen brow hair, help retain moisture for shine and fullness, and protect against environmental pollution.
SH: Why was it important for you to formulate a non-toxic product?
RM: Clean beauty is non-negotiable today as far as I am concerned. From ingredients to packaging we should all be creating, and buying, products that do better for both our health and the health of the planet with ingredients that are safe and materials that are more eco-friendly.
SH: How did you come up with the applicator?! It's the best!
RM: I have never liked traditional brow gel delivery systems that use mascara-wands as each time you pull the wand out, apply product and push it back in, you also push air, hair, debris and bacteria back into the tube (as they get trapped in the brush) which eventually ends up back in your brows, and also leads to the degradation of the product. I came up with this delivery system, which is airtight and easy to clean, with a sketch on a napkin and then worked with Cosmopak, a leading beauty packaging innovator, to create this first of its kind applicator. We also worked with Coslab, a leading cosmetic laboratory in France, on the formulation and did multiple rounds of testing to ensure safety and stability.
SH: Who should we be looking at for brow inspiration in 2023?
RM: My current brow inspiration is Christina Nadin (https://www.instagram.com/
SH: Are there any new products from Rbrow in the works?
RM: No, I think there are enough other brow products like pencils and powders out there that do the job wonderfully. If we do add anything else to the line it will be something we truly feel is missing in the market and might not even have anything to do with brows. Call me old-fashioned, but I love the idea of the cult product –that one lip gloss, or highlighter that's the best of its kind– and that was the goal with Rbrow. Since we launched, fans already include beauty gurus such as Shani Darden and Kristie Streicher while former Allure Beauty Director Kelly Atterton called it a cult brow product, so hopefully we are on the right track.
*image by Robin Black