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As far as eyebrow descriptions go, the general sentiment is to just point to a pic of Lily Collins and say, “I want this.” But big and full isn’t the only eyebrow option out there—an array of face-framing arches have taken shape—triggering a double take—causing people to reconsider the power brow as a universal beauty basic. Some of these sets recall the best (or the worst?) of the ‘90s in all its glory. Others are modern and dramatic, artfully coiffed for the Instagram age. The best part is that they're all individual; a good brow is entirely dependent on who's rocking it. Read on and prepare for your brow #goals to officially be taken up a notch.
1) FULL ARCH
A strong, dramatic arch never goes out of style, but leave it to Hollywood to send it soaring to new heights. Actress Taraji P. Henson—who plays the fashionable matriarch on Empire with great aplomb—has a talent for striking an expression down to the angle of an extremely arched eyebrow. And, as a flood of Twitter feeds will reveal, her almost Spock-like set are celebrated, discussed, and envied, arguably more than any other facial feature on television. Whether you feel they’re aspirational or overkill, there’s no denying they influence the beauty look of the moment.
The tastefully tapered arch may as well be termed the Instagram brow. After all, it’s been the top trending shape for some time, launching countless Pinterest pages and becoming synonymous on social media with #browsonfleek.
Essentially, it begins with a dark and thick box-like shape, then tightly defines the arch, and thins out to a crisp, clean slanted line. Think more Demi Lovato than Cara Delevingne— it accentuates the arch and end, rather than being thick all-around. But the real reason it maintains hashtag-worthy status is its overall effect: The tapered tail adds an instant lift to the face and adds visual length to the shape. It’s perfect for people who covet a lush, full brow but don’t want to sacrifice structure. And who wouldn’t want that?
3) UNDER BROWS
Why maintain just two eyebrows when you can do make up two pairs? That’s the thinking behind the new under eyebrow, aka the floating brow, which features a line drawn directly under the brows or along the creases and follows their natural shape. Think of it as a cat eye for your brows or a modern-day way to wear liner like Twiggy did in the 60s.
Gigi Hadid can unofficially be credited with kick-starting the trend. Ever since the model walked the Giambattista Valli’s fall 2016 show with a cool, shimmery silver liner traced along the bottom of her brows this past February, the number of hashtagged underbrows has grown exponentially. To get the look, simply trace below your brows with any colour or texture and follow their natural shape. Be sure to pair the bold look with perfect skin, mascara and nude lipstick to let your eyebrows be the main focus. As they should.
Before you start imagining two-toned eyebrows, let us clarify that this technique offers just the slightest gradient effect as opposed to the more drastic multi-tonal hair trend that once reigned supreme on all the red carpets. Like lowlights just for your brows, the process involves applying a blend of colour using either brow tint or pencil with the darkest tone at the arch. The colour transition creates a subtle, multi-dimensional effect that adds instant depth to brows—and has the added benefit of looking totally natural. #winning
5) BARELY-THERE BROWS
In stark contrast to the bountiful, caterpillar-like brows that have been de rigeur these past few years (stand up, Cara Delevingne), a swath of starlets have turned up working more understated arches as of late. The Met Gala last May in particular saw Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Sienna Miller all lightening their mini coifs to match their skin tones. The overall effect isn’t so much bleached as it is muted; it’s the eyebrow version of a nude manicure—toned down but still there.
6) RAINBOW BROWS
If you’ve ever wanted to be a unicorn, this trend is for you. Appropriately called "rainbrows," rainbow eyebrows are the latest makeup fad for the bold and the brave—and they're insanely gorgeous. The look involves applying high pigment shadows in a range of red, turquoise, yellow and purple hues. Even if that’s not exactly your idea of an everyday look, they're absolutely perfect for music festivals and other summer concerts. They’re even great for those who want to brighten up their summer wardrobe. Either way, they’re guaranteed to make you stand out in a crowd.