When it comes to beauty, some looks are timeless. A classic red lip, for example, never goes out of style. On the other side of the spectrum are trends that fluctuate in popularity over time. Pencil-thin eyebrows—which are shaping up to be a major beauty trend in 2023—are one such example. While recent years have been all about full, fluffy, arches, skinny eyebrows are making a comeback in a big way (case in point: the hashtag #thineyebrows has more than 255 million views on TikTok alone).
While you can easily get thinner arches with the help of tweezers or wax, the thin eyebrow trend doesn’t have to require a long-term commitment. With the right brow products at your disposal, you can fake it. Ahead, we’ll explain how and offer our recommendations on the best NYX Professional Makeup products to use in your skinny brow routine. Find all the details ahead.
What Are Y2K Thin Brows?
Watch any teen rom-com from the early ‘90s or early 2000s, and it will be evident: skinny eyebrows were the go-to look in the Y2K era. It wasn’t until the 2010s that full, bushy eyebrows took over. Since then, we’ve collectively found a bit of a middle ground, with prevailing trends favoring natural yet well-groomed arches. But beauty, like fashion, is cyclical, and—thanks in large part to TikTok’s viral ‘90s thin eyebrow filter—thin arches are seeing a resurgence in popularity.
While thin brows have made a comeback, they’re not an exact replica of those that reigned 20 or 30 years ago. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, eyebrows tended to be extremely thin with a soft, rounded arch. But in 2023, thin eyebrow shapes are more sculpted than skinny; the trend revolves around grooming your natural brows in a certain way so that your arch is neatly emphasized.
Thick or Thin Eyebrows: Which Are Right For You?
Ideally, your brows should complement and help balance your face. That may sound like a tall order, but determining your perfect brow shape really boils down to understanding your face shape and determining which features you want to emphasize. And, in reality, both thick and thin brows can be flattering for most—it just comes down to how they’re shaped (and, of course, your personal preference).
If you’re torn between thin vs. thick eyebrows, the good news is that you don’t have to hit the salon or break out the tweezers to make a decision. As we mentioned earlier, you can test-drive beautiful thin eyebrows with makeup—no commitment needed. Keep reading to learn how it’s done.
How To Make Thin Eyebrows With Makeup
Now, we get to the content you’ve been waiting for: how to thin eyebrows without tweezers, wax, or any other hair-removal devices. Find our step-by-step tutorial for faking thinner arches below.
Step 1: Brush Your Brows Into Place
Using a clean spoolie brush, begin by brushing your brows in the direction you want the hairs to fall. For a clean, thin, and well-defined look, we recommend brushing in the direction of hair growth rather than upward or outward (as you would for fuller, fluffier arches).
Step 2: Define Your Arch and The Tops Of Your Brows
The secret to this look is a well-defined brow shape, so you’ll want to emphasize the natural arch of your brow using a brow pencil. Our pick is the classic Micro Brow Pencil. It boasts a super-skinny tip, which allows you to draw precise lines with ease. Use the creamy pencil to carefully fill in just the arch and upper half of your brow to visually lift your eyebrows. You can also use the pencil to extend the tail of your brow a tiny bit—this adds length, which can help make your brows appear thinner.
Step 3: Apply Concealer
To really lean into the shape of your thin arched eyebrows, coat any stray hairs—or any hairs that fall below or outside of your desired shape—with a full-coverage, long-lasting concealer, such as Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer. Note that depending on your hair color, you may have to use more than one coat. For the best results, we recommend letting your concealer dry fully between each coat.
Step 4: Highlight Your Arch
Next, emphasize your arch with a light, shimmery eyeshadow—we’re partial to the Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese. This creamy, multi-use eye crayon applies and blends easily, and it can be worn alone or layered under powder eyeshadow. After tracing the lower edge of your arch, blend the highlighted area with your fingers, so there isn’t a harsh or obvious line.
Step 5: Finish With Eyeshadow
To really lean into the Y2K vibes of this look, we recommend completing your look with more shimmer. Pick your favorite shade of our Ultimate Glow Shots (there are 13!) and use the doe-foot applicator to sweep the semi-sheer liquid eyeshadow over your lids. You’ll get a subtle pop of color—and, of course, lots of look-at-me glow.
Next: If you’re looking for more beauty inspiration, These TikTok Makeup Hacks Are Total Game Changers.