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This year, the beauty world managed to take the old adage of "eyebrows should be sisters and not twins" to new extreme heights, simultaneously embracing two seemingly opposite looks as 2022's hottest brow trends.
In one corner, you have the re-emergence of thin eyebrow. A style once thought to be lost to the sands of beauty time, this trend gleaned inspiration from our first few years in the new roaring ‘20s and Lily James' Pamela Anderson in Hulu's Pam & Tommy.
In the other, you have fluffy, natural-looking eyebrows, a.k.a. the elevation of the full brows that have dominated the beauty world since the mid-20-teens. First appearing on our social feeds in 2021, this trend is still on the rise, appearing all throughout fashion week and on celebrities like Billie Eilish.
But even with these seemingly immense differences, it is possible to have the best of both brow-worlds with the right tools and techniques. Here are some expert-backed tips to help you rock each of this year's boldest styles – no tweezers needed.
- Thin Eyebrows
- Full, Fluffy Brows
Years after celebs like Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins cemented full brows as a mid-20-teens beauty must-have, the trend cycle has turned once more: Thin eyebrows are in. Yet likely much to the relief of our makeup-loving elders who spent the past few decades warning us about the dangers of over-plucking, this trend returns with a regret-free twist: Putting down the tweezers and picking up an eyebrow brush.
"This time we've learned our lesson (hopefully) about the damage heavy tweezing can do to our brows and are proceeding more conservatively,” brow expert Dani Kimiko Vincent recently told The Zoe Report, adding that beauty aficionados "can certainly partake in this trend without removing any hair.”
Instead, strategically placed brow products can offer a regret-free solution, creating the illusion of thin brows without the risks of over-plucking.
"Achieving this modernized look means easing up on heavy filling — no more blocky brows — and narrowing the shape by concentrating makeup along the centerline of the brow,” the makeup artist explained.
But it's not just brow pigments. "You can further slim a brow by using a clear gel to brush upper hairs down and lower hairs up, thus concentrating hairs along the center to create definition,” the expert continued, adding that "concealer can also be used to hide smaller hairs above and below the brow to give the illusion of a thinner brow.”
While these new techniques speak to a collective reckoning with the damage associated with over-tweezing, this new approach is also a testament to the trend's reemergence with other more natural styles.
"With the current thin brow, you can still expect to see a bit of density throughout," Benefit Cosmetics' global brow expert Jared Bailey explained to InStyle. "Gone are the days of thinning the brows and leaving them sparse and almost invisible.”
Benefit Cosmetics' Precisely, My Brow Pencil Waterproof Eyebrow Definer retails for $24 at sephora.com.
Full, Fluffy Brows
Just because thin brows are having a moment doesn't mean we're even close to being done with full brows. Over the past year, blocky "Instagram” eyebrows have finally been jettisoned in favor of a much more natural, fluffy look, an elevated approach makeup artist Tommy Napoli credited as being an amalgamation of several popular styles.
"Runway eyebrow trends I've seen are a continuation of today's trends and a revisit to old,” Napoli told Allure. "We're still seeing a fluffy, sporty, natural brow — groomed brows that have real texture and shine as opposed to the laminated brow trend, which is ultra-groomed, shiny, and slicked up."
While the expert admitted that "artists typically like brow powder for these trends,” he prefers a brow pencil when it comes to achieving a fuller look. "I enjoy using pencil because it best clings to and beefs up hair without adding texture to the skin underneath," he explained.
Beyond reaching for a pencil rather than a powder product, the artist also revealed he uses styling gel to keep brows perfectly in place all day long, a trend he said he learned from drag artists. Beyond its hold, Napoli cited the gel's color – or lack thereof – as a selling point in his craft. "The original product is clear in color," Napoli dished, "allowing me the freedom to mix pigment and make my own tints, should I need."
Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Wiz Ultra-Slim Retractable Detail Pencil With Spoolie retails for $23 at sephora.com.