The year was 2016: the Instagram brow was thriving, cream contour tutorials were sweeping YouTube, and most of us had no less than five liquid lipsticks in every bag we owned. It was an interesting time in beauty. Fast forward to 2020, and things look a whole lot different — and undoubtedly more minimal — especially when it comes to trending eyebrows styles.
There aren’t many ways to sculpt, flick, and fill the brows that we haven’t seen or tried ourselves yet. That being said, there are ways those techniques have continued to evolve. Ahead, we asked the pros to predict four trends in particular that are set to dominate the year. So, whether you’re still searching for your go-to brow style or just down to experiment, see them for yourself ahead.Looking for microblading salon? Look no further,Cosmetic Tattoo by rach got you covered
You might not be able to take them on and off like a new dress or swap them out for a more unique model like a bag, but make no mistake, eyebrows are subject to trends just like everything else. (Ask anyone who’s brows survived the ’90s.)
And just about every year, those trends get a reset to something new, fun and fresh—think about it as a wardrobe clean-out for your brows.
After embracing fluffy, au natural and mismatched in 2019, 2020 will see eyebrows darkened, grown out (you can thank Mr Timothée Chalamet for that… we’ll explain later) and even given the wet-look treatment. After a new look? Benefit Cosmetics Australia’s national brow artist Hannah Mutze takes ELLE through the stand-out trends for the year ahead.
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 ten years, the photo-sharing app has evolved from feeds filled with a 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.
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, and 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.Want to know more about our eyebrow feathering services?
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.”
You would be forgiven for thinking that eyebrows are simply the hair sprouting an inch above the eye socket — often with a slight arch and slanted tail. However, the eyebrow is no longer just a thing to be maintained. It’s the latest big beauty focus, a blank canvas for creativity and also what’s fueling a global billion-dollar industry of products and semi-permanent procedures.
We are living in a brow-obsessed culture, the era of the photogenic Instagram brow, the fox-eye trend and DIY looks that have teens sharing their daily eyebrow adventures on social media. And it should come as no surprise that Los Angeles is at the centre of all things eyebrow, pumping out new approaches for achieving the perfect look even as long-standing methods such as threading, which originated in India, Iran and parts of Asia and involves rolling thread over hair to remove it at the follicular level, have maintained their loyal fan base.
Today, people are turning to new methods in tweezing and waxing and using some semi-permanent procedures. Brows can be strategically shaped or manipulated to create any look — thick or thin — that a person of any ethnicity wants.
Currently, the most common eyebrow trend entails a full, polished and bold look — or what eyebrow expert Kristie Streicher has trademarked as the “feathered brow” using an approach that embraces a naturally fuller shape.
We’re all about timeless. The little black dress. Chanel No. 5. Audrey Hepburn. George Clooney. Timeless truly is always in style. But—it is good to shake things up and be on-trend sometimes. Healthy, even. So change it up whether it’s your clothes. Your beauty routine. We dare ya. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of our fave lifestyle brands’ take on the eyebrow trends dominating 2020.
The internet is obsessed with the perfect eyebrows; whether it be the Kim Kardashian brow arch, Cara Delevingne’s full structured brows, or Lily Colin’s bushy brows, people spend enormous amounts of money to replicate these iconic brows. The eyebrows are essential to facial features; they help in the framing of the eyes, shaping of the face, and play a decisive role in communication. Threading, tweezing, waxing and drawing eyebrows are age-old methods, and quite honestly they are starting to get old, they are not only time consuming and expensive but also tiresome. New technology has allowed beauty treatments to make our everyday life and mornings a little easier, and less time-taking, and effort-less whether it be for the skin, hair, or eyelashes. The newest trend to blow up on the internet is eyebrow extensions.
Now don’t go imagining long synthetic hair tackled onto your brow-bone, it is a procedure where a beauty specialist will glue natural-looking eyebrow hair, all varied in length and size, directly on top of your natural brows or skin. It is meant to reimagine your precious brows, and whether to lightly fill up a couple of sparse spots, reshape your arch, or even restructure your entire brow post-hair loss, eyebrow extensions can do the job.
Eyebrow Trends this 2020
Although ‘soap brows’ is typically brushed up and lusciously fluffy in appearance, the name itself actually refers to the technique and not the shape. A time-tested method that’s experiencing a resurgence, soap brows is achieved using, as the name suggests, soap, in place of eyebrow gel.
Said to hold brows in place for much longer than most gels (while costing a whole lot less), all that’s required is a bar of soap (ideally a clear one), a disposable spoolie brush and some water or setting spray. To achieve the look, simply wet your brush and lightly drag it across the soap. The technique is best suited to those with naturally full and dark brows. That’s not to say sparse brows can’t benefit, but they may still require some filling in afterwards.
Are you an avid fan of award season? Follow an ever-growing roster of makeup artists on Instagram? You’ve likely noticed your favourite celebrities and models sporting laminated brows: full, almost “shiny” brows that appear to grow upwards.
According to Jared Bailey, Global Brow Expert at Benefit Cosmetics, the look originates from a beauty treatment. “Brow Lamination is a process that you can use to re-direct the hair growth of your brow,” he said. “It’s actually a perm solution — you apply a chemical to relax the bend, then brush them up and lay plastic wrap over them to set the direction you desire.” But if a temporary, low-commitment option is more up your alley, a brow gel with a firm hold will give you a similar effect.
If your approach to beauty skews more hands-off, perhaps natural brows are the style you’ll want to try. Essentially, they’re brows that look, well, untouched — yet still mindfully cared for. That might mean they’re perfectly arched, but have a few stray hairs sticking out, or it might appear as though hairs toward the front of your brows are somewhat “unruly.”
At Evertrue Salon, master therapist Michelle Wu says some clients choose microblading to achieve this style. “We microblade these extra strands in for a natural look that says, ‘I was born with these brows and haven’t touched them.'”
Perfectly Imperfect Brows
You might be noticing a trend by now. Similar to the pared-back approach we see in other makeup and skincare categories, 2020 is the year for working with and appreciating what you’ve got — even emphasizing it. Enter perfectly imperfect brows.
InStyle predicted a different take on bold brows for this new decade: consistently inconsistent brows, i.e., more “natural” as opposed to overdone. Think less of that stamped-on brow look, and more of a soft, fluffy brow.” To get the look: Use a brow pencil in an upwards motion, slightly angled towards the temple of your head.
Have a bald spot or two? What about that scar you got as a kid? Instead of filling it in and covering it up, this brow style encourages you to embrace it. Of course, you can still use your favourite products to brush and shape, but try to factor in any imperfections. This might just be the secret to your signature brows.
“Your natural brow texture takes centre stage in 2020’s shadow effect brow trend,” Mutze tells ELLE. “All about the soft definition and 3D texture, this look is effortless in application and appearance.”
“With a light hand, buff a base layer of brow powder through your brows following the natural curves and contours, Benefit’s new Brow Styler comes with the perfect doe-foot shaped tip for quick and easy filling. Finish with a coat of fibrous brow gel for added dimension and fullness.”
Tone it Down
Were those bold, Cara Delevingne-Esque brows in 2019 not for you? Good news, Mutze advises the pared-back brow is back.
“If the 2020 spring shows were anything to go by, perfectly pared-back brows are hot on their way to #trending. A welcome refresh from the too dark, big and bold brows of recent years, toned down brows provide seamlessly blended colour in a shade and undertone true to the wearer’s complexion.”
“Ask your brow expert for a natural-hued tint and match your brow pencil to your brow hair colour. Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil comes in 12 shades with an undertone option for everyone!”
You love the man, why not take some cues from his brows?
Here’s a new one for the books: the Chalamet (yes, named after that actor Timothée Chalamet). Elle Australia notes “subtle, smouldering and so chic it hurts, Chalamet brows are much like the man himself.” Meaning: Welcome your inner monobrow and keep your brows a bit closer together for an “effortless, youthful and oh-so-low maintenance” look.
“Subtle, smouldering and so chic it hurts, Chalamet brows are much like the man himself. All about embracing our inner monobrow and keeping the brows a little closer together, the look is effortless, youthful and oh-so-low-maintenance. Ask your brow expert to tweeze in between your brows for a softer finish and ensure they keep a little extra on each side. Fake the look with a couple of hair-like flicks of Precisely, My Brow Pencil’s micro-fine tip!”
Azusa-based steamfitter and entrepreneur Latina Vamp, 47, understands this type of consistency. She originally had her eyebrows tattooed on over a decade ago, pre-microblading. She considers her eyebrows, which are dark, thin and defined, to be telling of her personal style.
A love also informs her look of vintage cars (she belongs to an all-female car club, the Varrio Vamps) and the throwback vibe of Old Hollywood screen stars.See more of our eyebrow tattoo services.
“I do mine a bit thin and have maintained almost the same style since high school,” she says. “My inspiration comes from the Mexican film stars of the late 1940s and early 1950s like Dolores del Río and María Felíx. I grew up watching them and admiring their glamour, unique style and originality, and so I’ve always tried to replicate that look. I love and embrace my look and wouldn’t change it for any trend.”
Think slim, not the pencil-thin brows look that defined the 90s. Slim brows particularly work if your brows are naturally thin or over-tweezed—or if you simply aren’t able to grow the wildly popular thick brows everyone seems to seek. With slim brows, “the brow basics—shape, arch, filling in certain areas—still apply here, but instead of going thick and full, it’s all about keeping it simple and balanced,” PopSugar says.
Okay, okay hear us out: pencil-thin brows from the ’90s aren’t part of 2020’s trend forecast, but slim ones are. Contrary to what you might assume after scrolling through Instagram, thick brows aren’t for everyone — and that’s okay! Remember what we said about working with what you’ve got?Our exclusive range of eyeliner tattoo services will help you in eyebrow microblading, feathering or hair stroke eyebrow tattooing procedures.
Whether you have naturally thin or sparse brows or once over-tweezed and the hair never grew back, this might be the perfect option for you. The brow basics — shape, arch, filling in certain areas — still apply here, but instead of going thick and full, it’s all about keeping it simple and balanced.
“2020 sees the arrival of dewy brows,” says Mutze. “Think wet-look, glossy and sumptuous finishes, dewy brows look lived in, healthy and radiant. A brow this slick calls for wax-finish formulas and generous layers of clear brow gel to lock it all in place.”
“Brush through brows with a spoolie to start, then shape and fill using Brow Styler’s wax pencil. Set the shape in place and layer on the dew with clear setting gel. One coat is all you need for all-day hold and Kira Kira shine.
Follow the fox-eye
Before she went for a full “editorial” eyebrow, Dozier also tried the fox-eye trend, which bears a striking resemblance to Audrey Hepburn’s thick and rectangular eyebrows.
“I have always been obsessed with Audrey Hepburn’s brows,” says Roman Sipe, a 30-year-old fashion stylist and head of design at Menagerié Intimates. “She has some photos where it looks like she completely removes the tail of her brow, and they sort of just shoot straight out.”
Sipe thought about trying the look himself but says that he remains traumatized from shaving lines through his eyebrows in high school. Like many men, he is partial to his natural shape, with a middle area and ends that are clean and groomed.
“I feel like men are very aware of their eyebrows now more than ever,” says celebrity groomer Sydney Sollod, who counts Dan Levy, Zac Efron, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ansel Elgort and Darren Criss as clients.
“For seasons now brushing eyebrows up has been the direction du jour. Instead, make like Lucy Boynton in the new year and start brushing your brows on a diagonal angle towards your temple. This instantly lengthens the brows, lifts the arch and creates a softly windswept brow style. After filling your brows, brush through a clear setting gel to set and hold the hairs in place all day,” advises Mutze.