TikTok says thin eyebrows are back — An expert weighs in on the controversial trend

·4-min read
TikTok says that thin eyebrows are back: Here's what a brow expert has to say. (Getty Images)
TikTok says that thin eyebrows are back: Here's what a brow expert has to say. (Getty Images)

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While many of us may shudder at the thought, according to Gen Z, thin eyebrows are back in style.

The retro beauty trend that involves shaping your brows to be super skinny is making a comeback in 2022, thanks to Gen Z content creators and popular platforms such as TikTok.

However, given that those who lived through the trend the first time around may still be recovering from the damage they did to their brows, it's not a trend that should be taken lightly. Ahead, read on for an expert opinion on how to best rock them if you're ready to give thin brows a go (again).

The evolution of eyebrows: how the thin brow trend started

Iconic stars and supermodels of the late '90s and early 2000s popularized thin brows once upon a time, opting to rock penciled arches that were thinly plucked and shaped both on and off red carpets and catwalks.

From Gwen Stefani and Pamela Anderson, to Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, thin brows were the epitome of 90s and 2000s beauty standards, in which ultra-thin brows were seen as a high-fashion look.

Britain's supermodels Kate Moss (L) and Naomi Campbell hold hands and chat during the London fashion award ceremony October 19. The award of British Designer of the Year went to designer John Rocha - PBEAHUNKEBC
Britain's supermodels Kate Moss (L) and Naomi Campbell hold hands and chat during the London fashion award ceremony. (Reuters)

TikTokers style thin brows today

The emergence of thin eyebrow filters on social media has gone viral, causing the thin brow trend to gain popularity once again, in 2022. These filters alter your eyebrow shape through software technology in order to show you what you would look like with ultra-thin brows.

As a result, Gen Z content creators, such as @chantelleef, have taken to TikTok to express their new-found love for the retro beauty trend.

Filters may allow you to experiment with the trend for a hot minute, but are thin brows really wearable today? We asked an expert to weigh in on the trend.

Mary Dang, one of Toronto's premiere brow experts and founder of Eye Love Beauty Bar, weighed in on the trend, noting that it's certainly not for everyone.

"With the emergence of the ultra-thin brow — a very '90s and early 2000s look — trendsetters beware," says Dang, who noted that drastically altering your brows can leave them "permanently damaged."

"I have clients from that era still trying to reverse their past brow mistakes and grow them out. Trends come and go and are exciting to follow, but this one can leave your brows sparse for good," she added.

Although Gen Z is having fun playing around with the idea of rocking this retro beauty trend, it's important to carefully maintain your brows to ensure no permanent damage is done in channeling a look that comes in and out of fashion.

As a result, Dang has some wise words of advice for how to follow the trend if you're interested in giving it a try:

"If you want to have fun with the thin brow trend, you can create it with makeup without having to tweeze them all away. Use concealer to hide your brow hairs, and then use a brow pencil to create your desired shape."

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How to choose the best eyebrow shape

Both brow shapes have had their moment in the sun over the past few years, but is one shape better than the other?

According to Dang, rather than attempting to follow trends that can permanently alter your appearance, it's best to work with the shape of your natural brow, and what works best with your features and face shape.

"If your brows are naturally lean, then rock your lean brows to their full potential; if you have naturally thick brows, I wouldn't recommend going too thin because it may not suit your facial features," she says. "Brows should be customized to suit your face, and we're all unique; it's not a one size fits all approach."

Verdict

While thin brows may be back in style (for now), it's hard to say if this trend will continue to stand the test of time. Although they made a recent comeback thanks to social media, thin brows have faded in and out of style over the past several decades.

If you're interested in trying out the latest beauty trend without having to drastically change your brow shape, you can try rocking thin brows by using a social media filter or makeup rather than plucking. As a result, you can play into the trend without having to fully commit.

There's no telling where the next brow trend will come from, so it's important to rock the brow shape and style that suits you best, and which you feel most comfortable and confident in.

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