Overly contoured brows are so last decade. 

By Erin Lukas
Nov 25, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty

Before 2010, beauty trends typically came from the pages of magazines, fashion week runways, and the red carpet. But on October 6 of that year, Instagram was added to Apple's App Store. In less than 10 years, the photo-sharing app has evolved from feeds filled with spontaneous, low-res pet and vacation photos, to grids filled with stylized, staged #OOTDs and a place where beauty trends are born. And no makeup element has been influenced by the "Instagram effect" more than eyebrows.

Cara Delevingne may be responsible for bringing the full, thick brow look back at the beginning of the decade. But thanks to bloggers and hashtags, perfectly painted brows eventually became the next big brow trend. And then there was that dark period in 2017 where beauty bloggers made wacky brows a thing: Swapping arches for squiggles, fishtails, barbwire, and every shape in between. 

Luckily, trends are cyclical, and what goes out eventually comes back in again.

RELATED: A History in Eyebrows: See the Most Popular Brow Shapes Through the Decades 

That said, bold brows aren't going anywhere, but they're going to look a bit different as we enter the new decade. Enter consistently inconsistent brows, the style everyone will be wearing in 2020.  

"I think people are going to go through all the lengths to make their brows look natural as opposed to overdone," says celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, who works with Revlon ambassador Ashley Graham. "Think less of that stamped-on brow look, and more of a soft, fluffy brow. 

To achieve this look, Hughes suggests using a brow pencil in an upwards motion, slightly angled towards the temple of your head. "If you follow the line of your eyebrow and brush towards the tail, it can create a horizontal line across the face," she says. "It can just look quite flat and one dimensional when you want it to look quite alive and 3D-like. To be consistently inconsistent when applying your brows is a good tip because I think the more that you try to be uniform, the more your brows tend to look like they’re stuck on." 

As for what type of pencil to use, find one that will give hairs a soft, shadow effect, similar to getting a brow tint. Hughes favors Revlon's ColorStay Browlights, a new brow pencil launching December 2019. It will come in six dual-shades and retail for $10. 

Revlon

"The dual-tones allow the brow to look really soft, ethereal, and not too heavy," says Hughes. "It also has a spoolie on the other end with a Kabuki flat brush to blend it. There’s not that much you can do with the typical spoolie, so that’s what makes this product special — it’s like an eyeshadow brush for your eyebrows." 

If you have sparse brows, follow up with a thin brow pencil in around any places where your hairs are thin. "This will break up that powdery look and add some literal hairs." At $12, Sephora Collection's Retractible Brow Pencil is an affordable, waterproof option that comes in an impressive 10 shades. 

VIDEO: 4 Ways to do your Eyebrows

As far as brow trends go, figuring out what the best shape and shade for you is more important than following what you see all over Instagram. That being said, if you're feeling fatigued of overly sculpted, contoured arches, 2020 is going to be a good year for you — at least brow-wise.

Advertisement