Razor-thin brows are making their comeback, at least if TikTok and Bella Hadid have their way
- THE LOOK: Plucked, arched and not a hair out of place.
- WHO’S DOING IT? Lily James as Pamela Anderson in the new Pam & Tommy Hulu series, Bella Hadid, Alexa Demie, Lila Moss, and pretty much everyone on TikTok.
- HOW CAN I GET IT? Dig out those long-forgotten tweezers or book yourself in for a threading. Then go to town on those brows – the thinner and more arched the better.
The moment Cara Delevingne made her runway debut in 2011, the chokehold barely-there skinny brows had enjoyed over our culture since the 90s was broken. A full-on, bushy brow renaissance commenced, and while we saw brows evolve from thick drawn-on slugs to fluffy brushed up soap brows, the fullness always remained.
But the trend cycle keeps on cycling and after a good ten-year run, it seems the bushy brow is on its way out and skinny brows are officially making a comeback. So undo all those years of recovery from the plucking trauma of the 90s and Y2K because we are about to do it all over again.
The skinny brow started its comeback gradually, testing the waters with some high profile but one-off appearances. Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira rocked glam 20s brows at the Met Gala last year, and who can forget Rihanna’s pencil-thin brows courtesy of Isamaya Ffrench. But the look really gained momentum last month after Hulu released its controversial Pam & Tommy television series, bringing 90s Pamela Anderson back to our screens along with her iconic bleach blonde hair and, of course, skinny 90s brows.
According to online beauty retailer Look Fantastic, since Pam & Tommy’s release there has been a 175 per cent spike in Google searches for “skinny brows” with people keen to recreate Anderson’s look. Meanwhile, on TikTok, #thineyebrows has 22.5 million views and #90sbrow has 1.3 million views. Alongside warnings from older users not to over-pluck your brows, the hashtag contains tips on how to temporarily recreate the 90s look using concealer and brow-spo pics of Bella Hadid.
Queen of Y2K fashion, Hadid has long been a skinny brow apologist, her thin, angular brow shape accentuating the sharp cheekbones and jawline she is best known for. But it’s not just her; Lila Moss more often than not doesn’t bother filling out her naturally skinny brows, while Alexa Demie showed off some pencil-thin brows on the cover of Pop magazine this month as did Arca in her Byredo campaign. Meanwhile muse of the moment and #1 hustler Julia Fox’s brows wouldn’t look out of place in the 90s (nor would her grungey, smokey-eye looks), and neither would model Gabbriette Bechtel.
We all know by now, however, a trend isn’t a trend until it makes its way onto TikTok. Skinny brows first drew real attention on the app through the Y2K and thin eyebrow filters which transform even the fluffiest brows into a Pamela Anderson worthy slick fine line. “I forgot how much of a mood thin eyebrows were,” wrote one user posing with the filter on. “Wait these skinny brows look way better than I thought,” wrote another. One TikToker compared the accuracy of the filter with her passport photo from when she was 19 and rocked skinny 90s brows in real life; “now I have microbladed eyebrows since I overplucked so much they never grew back,” she typed over the video.
@holychloi & get eyelash extensions & lip filler #ShowUsYourDrawers #y2k #2000s #y2kfilter #y2kmakeup #thinbrows #augh😩 #tbt #throwback #2000sthrowback #fyp ♬ Fantasy (feat. O.D.B.) (Bad Boy Fantasy) - Mariah Carey
While the return of the 90s brow clearly fits the Y2K revival, the look’s newfound popularity is also part of the aspirational “clean girl aesthetic” all over the app – think slicked-back hair, dewy skin, glossy lips and put-together outfits. The modern take on the 90s brow (slightly less arched and sparse) is neat, minimalist and fits into the effortless ‘no-make-up make-up look’ that the clean girl aesthetic aspires for, while maintaining that trendy Y2K edge.
Since its creation a few days ago, the thin eyebrow filter has been used almost 7,000 times and is a rising trend on TikTok, one that might soon make its way into real life: “Take away this filter before I do something I regret” reads the caption of one video, while another user stated, “This filter makes me want to thin out my brows”. Dig out those tweezers, kids.