5 Eyebrow Trends Currently Taking Over the World

Hint: There is zero glitter.

By: Katie Becker
Illustration: Meghann Stephenson

We’ve all spent the last several years dousing our brows in growth serums, hiding our tweezers from ourselves, and begging those little hairs to please, God, grow back. Now the next question is: What do you do with them? The answer may depend a bit on where you live. “Last year, I was in 42 countries,” says Jared Bailey, who is Benefit Cosmetics’ Global Brow Expert. “I went through all sorts of neighborhoods, seeing what women were doing, and I spent a lot of time in our stores to see what women requested.” The result was a small library of trends from around the world, including undeniable favorites that he brought to Benefit brow bars last spring when they launched a brow style menu. Below are five distinct trends he saw in his travels (none of them “barbed” or “glittered,” we promise!) that define how women want their brows to look now.

“This look is most relevant to the U.S. and Western Europe,” says Bailey. “It has an effortless chic vibe.” The style is defined by that fresh-out-of-the-shower, brushed-straight-up look. “For women without enough hair to brush up, use two different shades of microliners to simulate texture, and make tiny strokes upward,” suggests Bailey. “So even if you don’t have hair, it looks ultra textured.” Another trick? Make small, nearly invisible dots with your skinny liner at the roots of your brows. Then use a clear gel to brush everything up. We recommend Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Brow Pencil and Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil.

“We took this inspiration mostly from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and certain parts of the U.S.,” explains Bailey, who says this look is huge among Instagram makeup artists (indeed). “That bold and angular brow is still really, really popular, especially in the Middle East where the eyes play such an important role as the focal point of the face.” Since it can be dramatic, Bailey likes to make it a bit softer and more approachable with a subtle fade instead of one solid color. “The beginning of one’s brow is usually naturally lighter because the hair is more sparse; then the color gets deeper toward the tail,” he says. “Imitate that natural fade even with the bold brow.” Try using a pigmented brow wax or gel to outline the shape you want with an angled brush, then dust on a brow powder over the top with a small fluffy brush, going heavier on the tails. For a wax and powder compact, try ELF Eyebrow Kit as a thrifty option, or Benefit Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit.

“For five years now in Korea, the straight brow has been their go-to style,” says Bailey. “The idea is that a straight brow simulates youth, and, if you think about it, the more exposed your brow bone, the older you look. A straight brow makes you look like you’ve never had your brows shaped before.” OK, we’re sold. The secret is to follow the natural orbital bone structure, which is fairly straight, and keep the thickness of the brow consistent from end to end, except for a quick taper at the tail. “Naturally, straight brows go down toward the temple, but I like to pull the ends up, which opens up the eyes,” he advises. Pretty much any format of brow product will do, but we like the ease of a tinted brow gel such as NARS Brow Gel or, as Bailey suggests, Benefit ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color.

This one is a bit of a spin-off of the straight bow. “The shooting-star brow is really popular in different parts of Asia, basically, because there is a daytime drama called Descendents of the Sun, and the actress has a straight brow with a little peak at the top,” says Bailey. “People are asking for their brows to be shaped like hers.” What makes it different than the straight brow, exactly? “It’s still a linear base, but when it comes time for the arch, it’s prominent and then tapers more dramatically: smaller, smaller, smaller until you get to the end,” explains Bailey. Try getting really precise with one of the micro pencils previously mentioned.

“This is like balayage for brows,” says Bailey, referring to the natural-looking painting style of highlights. Go on… “The look is to lighten the brows, but not bleach them out. Instead, people are looking at products that look like highlights,” explains Bailey. “This started in Australia, and I’m also seeing it in France and Spain. I’m calling it the ‘Bondi Brow.’” The key is to make the “highlights” look brushed through. To get the look, Bailey suggests taking eye primer and putting it on a clean spoolie brush to coat the hairs before filling it with a brow pencil that’s a bit lighter than your own color. For the primer, try NYX HD Eye Shadow Base or Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer.

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