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This Controversial Eyebrow Trend Is Making A Comeback

If you thought the return of Y2K only meant low-rise jeans and baby tees, I’ve got bad news for you. Gen Z is reincarnating another cringey trend–the thin brow. 

Didn’t we just get done growing out our over-plucked brows from 2000? I learned how to do a Cara Delevingne brow last week, and it’s not even in style anymore?! 

The fashion whiplash is real. Luckily, there is a thin, arched silver lining to all of this. Gen Z might be bringing back the thin brows, but they’ve at least learned from our mistakes this time.

The Dream Of The ‘90s Is Alive In Gen Z

Celebrity brow expert Joey Healy told InStyle that he believes Gen Z’s love of all-things-90s started on TikTok. “We’re seeing it with clothing and makeup with a general Y2K aesthetic. And I think that this obsession is leading the way with brows.”

Gen Zers have already brought skorts and low-rise jeans back from the grave. They even reinvented whale tails into equally confusing pelvic cutouts.

Even crimping has come back in style. Celebs like Kendall Jenner and Addison Rae have all sported the tight, wavy ‘do. So, it’s only logical for makeup to be the next step. 

Enter model and fashion influencer Bella Hadid. The 25-year-old has been rocking pencil-thin brows that would make Gwen Stefani proud. (Of course, that’s No Doubt-era Stefani, circa 1996—Hadid’s birth year.) 

This comes three years after Rihanna wore brows straight out of 1920 on the cover of British Vogue. But since there’s nothing that Rihanna can’t pull off, the question remains: what makes the thin eyebrow trend worth following this time?

Sculpted, Sleek, And Laminated

Rene de la Garza, another brow expert, assured InStyle that “this won’t be a complete repeat of the ‘90s brow we all cringe about. This time, it’s sculpted, sleek, and incorporates row lamination.”

“You can still expect to see a bit of density throughout,” Jared Bailey of Benefit Cosmetics adds while speaking to InStyle. “Gone are the days of thinning the brows and leaving them sparse and almost invisible.” 

Of course, the trend isn’t controversial because of personal taste alone. Like the fashion trends of Y2K, many remember the harsh side effects. 

With low-rise jeans, it was prioritizing skinny bodies. With thin brows, it’s damaging our eyebrows beyond repair. Moreover, eyebrows only grow back so fast. So, this trend is a time commitment, too. 

The experts recommend using concealer for a temporary blank canvas to try out thin brows. You can also trim, not pluck, the brows for a less-dense look without damaging hair follicles. 

Finally, a good highlighter under the brow’s arch can lift the brows without removing hair. And when in doubt, it’s best to go to a professional. 

As for me? I’m going to stick with my high-waisted jeans and feathered brows just a little bit longer, thanks.


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