Minka Kelly: in high school ‘my eyebrows were plucked almost all the way off’

Minka Kelly is anther of the 10-Year Challengers who recreated their makeup-free portraits in People Magazine’s Beautiful Issue. Like the other women we’ve discussed, Minka said she’s more comfortable with her looks now than a decade ago. Part of Minka’s present-day confidence, however, comes from some really bad choices made in her youth.

Minka Kelly has experimented with different beauty looks on and off camera in recent years, but there is one style she says she’ll never revisit.

“I wore way more makeup in high school than I wear today,” the 38-year-old actress tells PEOPLE. “I did the brown lip liner with the foundation on the inside, a lot of liquid cat eyeliner and my eyebrows were plucked almost all the way off. That was a look.”

“I’ll never do that again,” she says with a laugh. “And I’m so lucky my eyebrows grew back!”

“I don’t like a lot of fuss,” she says. “And I’m not very precious when it comes to a lot of things. … I’ll do a little concealer under the eyes and a little blush and Chapstick and curl my eyelashes and mascara. That’s about it. And I have had the same nighttime regimen since I was 19. I wash, tone, use a serum and do face masks a couple times a week. For me, less is more.”

And as Kelly considers the first time she posed for PEOPLE sans makeup, a decade ago, she says she’s more comfortable in her skin now.

“I look at old photos and [remember] how afraid I was to just be in my skin,” she says. “I try to be mindful of that now. And I’m embracing [my looks] more.”

[From People]

I have thick brows, not too thick but they don’t need any help. I didn’t use tweezers on them until I was well-into college when a makeup person wanted to clean them up. Since then, I occasionally remove a stray but other than that, I let them run wild. My mother, however, annihilated her eyebrows with plucking and still has to pencil them in. So, I am glad Minka put down the tweezers before it was too late. Not too nitpick but her brows look filled in to me in that header shot, wouldn’t that also be considered make-up? She looks amazing, though.

I remember the dark liner, light lip phase. I could not stop staring at my friend’s lips when she spoke. She looked like a Lichtenstein painting come to life. It’s weird because I never made any fashion choices I ever regretted *shoves photos from my jewel-colored eyeliner phase into trash compactor*. Listening to all these women say they are more comfortable with themselves now than they were then, I think that’s a testament to how we embrace ourselves with age. It includes our looks, but it’s not exclusive to them. Turning heads is always flattering but I’ll take the confidence I have now over any younger version of my face.

As for Minka, I’ve always found her incredibly pretty but honestly, that makeupless shot above might be the prettiest I’ve ever found her.

Minka in 2009

Minka in 2018


Photo credit: Twitter and WENN Photos

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20 Responses to “Minka Kelly: in high school ‘my eyebrows were plucked almost all the way off’”

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  1. Tuille says:

    I’ve always liked her looks. She looks great in each of these pictures & I like her clothing too, especially the long strawberry colored dress.

  2. Seraphina says:

    I have thick eyebrows and I tweeze them just a bit. When I was in college I had a female bartender (much older) say: you have beautiful thick brows. Don’t ever tweeze them to make them skinny. You will loose them and can’t get them back. My mom would always caution me on over tweezing. So glad I didn’t. I shape them a bit. I’ve read that they are the frame for the face and if done wrong they will throw off your whole face. Ohhhhh how true.

  3. Loulalou says:

    Her brows are filled in and she’s wearing lip colour also. Annoying. If you’re going to take a make up free photo then take a make up free photo! Otherwise don’t bother..

  4. WingKingdom says:

    Ah, memories. I am the same age as Minka and experimented with those same looks. I’d do red lipliner and black lipstick. Boy did I love that look! I also plucked my eyebrows into teensy little lines. They were never thick to begin with, though.

    I just look back on our 90s makeup trends with great fondness, what can I say.

  5. The Sourpatch Kid says:

    I’m 31 and I over-tweezed my brows for many years. Mine didn’t ever really come back. I need to fill them in. I would give anything had my mom ripped the tweezers out of my hand and told me I’d regret wanting Pamela Anderson eyebrows one day.

  6. curachel20 says:

    My guess is she does microblading on her brows and that is why they look filled in in the makeup free pic. That’s super popular among this age that over tweezed. Thankfully, I didn’t tweeze until college (and then only strays) and didn’t really wear makeup(still don’t 😂)

    • Julie says:

      I think she is one of Kristie Streicher’s clients…she does the feathered brow technique and also started something called microfeathering which is a kind of microshading. She supposedly attempt to rehab eyebrows and believes that the less done the better or a less is more philosophy. I saw another poster comment on here about another celeb being groomed by her but didn’t like it because she found it more severe. I wish I could remember on what post it was…If I remember I’ll try to come back and edit my comment! But good catch on the brows I think you may be right about Minka having some microblading done, just that the method may be different!

  7. Marina says:

    I see Celebitchy continues to bombard us with yet more anodyne articles…at least you haven’t published 5 articles on the Royal Family today, I suppose. Minka Kelly was at least 6 years older than me and now she’s ageing like Beyonce.

    • Anon33 says:

      Haha right? Beyonce and I used to be the same age and now somehow she’s younger than me…

  8. JanetFerber says:

    She’s really a pretty woman. Eyebrow styles are constantly changing. Remember the really skinny eyebrow from the 1930’s movies, like Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford? They rocked the hell out of that look.

  9. Sean says:

    While she is very pretty, I’ve never really liked Minka. She’s not a good actress in anyway and she’s always struck me as fame hungry. She also makes the same face in every photo I see of her. That business with Jessie Williams also left a bad taste in my mouth. However, none of us really know how that went down so perhaps I’m being unfair.

  10. launicaangelina says:

    I overplucked for years too. I had beautiful, thick eyebrows and ruined them. Microblading gave me my brows back and I love it. I’m due for a touch-up this year.

    • Alice says:

      @launicaangelina – did microblading really help? I was a beast to my eyebrows in high school – how else do you cope with stress?! if microblading works, i’d be so pleased!!!

      • launicaangelina says:

        Yes, it truly did. I preach the miracle that is microblading. I did mine 2 years ago and they’ve held up well. It has also allowed my hair to grow back in a little where I’ve over-plucked.

      • Nickles says:

        I have also microbladed my brows since they never really grew back after the years of plucking and it helps immensely!

    • Turtledove says:

      So jealous of your micro-blading! I destroyed my eyebrows in the 90s…and have to draw them in. I am interested in micro-blading, but I have seen some work that looks great…and some that is awful. Makes me very nervous!

      • launicaangelina says:

        Turtledove, find licensed salons that post their before and afters. Facebook helped me narrow down my search. Thankfully, I also saw photos of friends and acquaintances through social media. You really want to find a place that specializes in semi permanent cosmetics. If I ever see an after photo that looks like the brows were shaved and not waxed, which is done after the microblading session as a way to help with shaping, I see that as a huge red flag.

  11. Anon33 says:

    So were everyone’s, sweetie.