Thin eyebrows are officially back, whether you like it or not — it’s just one of the many ’90s beauty trends that have returned from the decade. But before you begin panicking or plucking, experts say there are ways to achieve the ultra-plucked aesthetic without necessarily removing hoards of hair.
Besides that, celebrity brow artist René de la Garza, the emerging trend isn’t actually a carbon-copy of the brows you saw in the ’90s. “It’s more sculpted than it is thin,” the founder of Brow Down Studio explains. “My clients are over the ‘overgrown-lockdown’ brow look and just want to go all out with a beautiful pristinely sculpted look.”
Of course, some celebs (see: Bella Hadid) have fully leaned into the retro aesthetic, genuinely rocking the super-slim style — and so plenty of others will likely follow her lead. “Just as fashion repeats, eyebrow trends do, too,” adds celebrity brow artist Tonya Crooks, who serves as Creative Director of Arches & Halos. “[This sculpted brow look] was the quintessential ‘supermodel’ brow, and seeing as those beautiful icons are making a presence back on the scene, it’s safe to say they are bringing the brows with them.”
Read on for how to thin your eyebrows in the chicest way possible — or, for the tweezing resistant, how to fake the look with makeup. And, however your arches turn out, always remember: Your brow hair will grow back.
If you’re dedicated to achieving the thin look and don’t have time to see a brow artist, de la Garza advises filling in your brows before reshaping (though he does recommend seeing a professional first if you can for guidance). Any regular brow pencil should do the trick.
“You’ll want to overdraw your brows slightly to prevent coming too close or removing the crucial brow hairs that could drastically change the shape,” he tells Bustle.
After they’re filled in, de la Garza says to lightly tweeze the hairs that are outside of the brow line you’ve created — just err on the side of caution. “Keep those tweezers outside your stencil line,” adds Melanie Marris, celebrity brow stylist and founder and CEO of Brow Code. “Over-plucking and waxing can cause serious brow damage as it can send a message to the plucked hair follicle that there is no need for it to produce regrowth, so I wouldn’t recommend overdoing it unless you’re fully committed to a thin brow for the long run.”
To make sure your arches keep up with the sculpted ’90s look, Crooks says you’ll have to pay extra attention to the shape. “Make sure they look clean and well-kept by keeping the shape sharp by defining with a pencil or pomade,” she tells Bustle. “Also highlight under the brow to cover any regrowth.”
De la Garza echoes this, adding that concealer can help as well. “Concealer is your friend when your brows are overgrown,” he says. Apply it to help the shape of your arches stand out.
To create a refined and sculpted look that doesn’t require any tweezing, Marris suggests defining your brow shape with a product that sets your hairs in place, like Brow Code’s Brow Pomade Creamade. “It’s ideal for outlining your thin brow line and filling in any sparse patches, which is really going to highlight that skinny shape,” she says.
Apply the product to the centerline of your brow: “Be sure to use enough product so that you can brush and set the hairs horizontally across your brow line to create the impression of a thinner brow [with a spoolie],” says Marris. Once you’ve set your hairs into your desired shape, you can apply more pomade to pack down your brows into a bold, thin line, or you can fill in your skinny brows with micro strokes for a more natural look.”
Then you’ll grab your concealer to shape your arches. “Concealer can really emphasize that thin line,” says Marris, who advises outlining the shape of the brow — along the top and under the arch to create contrast and make the shape pop — with a creamy concealer that is an exact match to your skin tone. After applying and shaping, blend the concealer, diffusing any harsh lines for a natural finish, and emphasize the final shape with a highlighter.
Choose an edition: