Throughout the 90s, I enthusiastically trimmed my eyebrows. Inspired by Kate Moss’ delicate bows, I faded mine – maroon in color, with a perfectly acceptable natural, slightly angled shape – until they were as light as my strappy dresses. When the Clinton administration ended, my follicular attack also ended, but not without lasting damage. It took years for a semblance of regrowth to materialize, closing a traumatic chapter in the beauty story of an entire generation. That is, until it was re-opened by TikTok, where a popular fine brow filter that turns full-to-wild shapes into reed locks sent a shiver down my forehead when I first met him in early spring.
How did we get here, I thought to myself as I flipped through images from fall shows where the brows weren’t so much streamlined as completely decimated. At Burberry and Versace, makeup artist Pat McGrath busted out her jars of bleach to create what she describes as a “strong, bold, powerful, otherworldly” look. Makeup artist Diane Kendal called the bare foreheads she sculpted under sharp-edged mullets at Marc Jacobs “gothic and futuristic,” adjectives not usually associated with model Bella Hadid, who blended in with the rest of Jacobs’ dystopian couture cast.
Hadid herself is certainly part of the understated brow comeback, regularly romanticizing all things 90s, a decade in which she spent just four years of her life. But the retro revival is as much a tribute to original supermodels as it is a reflection of our collective emotional state, suggests makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez. Using brows as a creative canvas — thinning them, bleaching them, shaving or dyeing them, or affixing them with jewels or glitter — provides a welcome shot of whimsy in our triggered age, says Gutierrez, who has worked with Troye Sivan. , Dua Lipa, and Euphoriait’s Alexa Demie. Existentialism breeds escapism, and in times of uncertainty a thin eyebrow is decisive. “That’s a very – how to say – bitchy eyebrow in the best way.”
Even bleached brows have actually migrated off the runway, notes Rihanna-approved makeup artist Raisa Flowers, who has long sported them herself (while many makeup artists use Jolen Creme Bleach on their brows, Flowers prefers Wella Blondor). “They give you more range if you want to experiment with makeup — like, everyone’s done these graphic looks that cover the whole eye,” says Flowers, who adds that very young makeup artists on Instagram don’t have eyebrows. , or they draw them very finely. “We approach eyebrows with a playful and experimental attitude,” adds New York makeup artist Sam Visser, who at 22 is Dior’s youngest makeup ambassador in the United States. Visser likes to fake a slender arch by smoothing flat brows with a spoolie brush and Elmer’s Glue Stick, the kindergarten class staple, which he notes is “sensitive to the skin and comes off with water!” He then powders the area, covers it with Brow Engineer, a spackle-like concealer from performance artist Alexis Stone’s Sensorium line, and draws a thin shape, slowly building up the curl with an eyebrow pencil, such as Diorshow Brow. Styler, which has an ultrafine tip. (For similar precision, Patrick Ta Beauty’s new Major Brow Defining Pencil has a silky glide and impressive hold.) “It’s a great way to see if you want to pluck your brows long-term,” says Visser, adding that tinkering with the shape of the eyebrows also offers the possibility of a low-cost makeover. “They’re the one thing in beauty that really transcends your economic status,” agrees Gutierrez. “I see thin eyebrows on the people who work on the CVS registry and on the most famous people in the world.”
One place you might not see them, however, is in Paris. “The majority of my clients don’t touch their brows,” says Sabrina Eleonore, founder of chic brow-shaping salon Un Jour Un Regard with locations in the 4th and 16th arrondissements, where natural shapes and light grooming are a must. the only things on the menu. “A fine eyebrow can be very pretty if the line is well worked, but it does not suit everyone and can give the impression that the face is tired”, continues Eleonore; it can also cause trauma to hair follicles, “which can lead to scarring and affect regrowth,” says New York dermatologist Doris Day, who notes that prolonged pruning can lead to permanent sterility of the real estate between forehead and eye, which anyone who influenced Sarah McLachlan at the original Lilith Fair can attest to.
But there’s nothing that can’t be undone: Just ask Kendall Jenner, who memorably showed up at this year’s Met Gala with virtually no eyebrows, to enjoy after-parties with her dark arches entirely intact, a bit of trickery from makeup artist Mary Phillips. If you don’t like your newly bleached brows, Gutierrez says, “Just go to the drug store, get a man’s beard touched up, and you can color them back to normal in two minutes.” There’s hope for those with more hair, too, says Day, who recommends 5% Minoxidil, applied with an eyebrow brush, to replenish growth. This month, Augustinus Bader also applied his patented, medical-grade stem cell regenerating ingredient TFC-8 to the brows with his new brow and lash enhancing serum. The most important thing, Gutierrez stresses, is to have fun. “His a look,” he said. “Not the see.”