Thin 90s eyebrows are back with a twist, should you try them?

The 90s are back and have been for a little while. The nostalgia is strong and I, for one, am happy about it. I was a kid in the 90s and felt that I missed out on some cool teen fashion and beauty trends, so maybe I can take part in them now. I wish I’d been a teen in the 90s instead of the early/mid-aughts. There’s one 90s beauty trend that’s made its way back that I didn’t expect — the thinner eyebrows.

Today’s thin brow isn’t quite the same.

“One myth about the skinny brows of 2022 are that they’re the same thin brows we remember seeing on our favorite ’90s icons,” Bailey said. “The truth is, they’re different because we’ve learned a lot since then.”

“Most importantly, we’ve learned that brows bring balance and proportion to your face and eyes. So, today’s thin brow still has density and texture. Even though the shape has slimmed in width, filling them in is key, since brows rare an important anchor while blocking out the proportions of the face.”

Makeup artist Kennedy agreed that things are different now: “The previous skinny brow seemed less intentional and almost had an accidental shape, but the new, modern skinny brow is sleek and symmetrical.”

Who should try it?

“I think those with a healthy brow hair-growth cycle are the best candidates for the skinny brow, as they are more inclined to grow their brows back if they choose to in the future,” said brow artist René de la Garza.

“When someone has fuller lips, a thicker eyebrow can create more balance, and when a person has thinner lips, a thinner brow can create balance,” Olson said.

“I don’t think there’s a particular face shape that does best with skinny brows, but I do think you need to be 100% confident to pull them off,” Kennedy said. “I like to balance a person’s brows with their lips.”

Try “glam-ouflage” first.

If you’re not ready to start plucking, there’s another way to see if this style works for you. “I always recommend a test drive before you buy,” Bailey said. “Going thin can be something that you have to wear for a while until a new cycle of hair growth restarts. To prevent any post-tweezing regret, you can lean on the magic of makeup for a less permanent way to achieve this trend at-home.”

Bailey suggests starting by brushing brows in the direction you want them to be styled, which, for thinner brows, is typically over and out toward the temple. “Then take a thin micro liner and use that to make tiny flicks in areas where the hair is thin or less dense. Keep these strokes sharp and deliberate.

“Next, use a high-coverage, matte concealer in the same shade as your skin tone, and gently pat it over the hairs that fall outside the desired new shape. If you have really dark hair, this could take more than one pass,” Bailey said. “Once you’ve successfully ‘glam-ouflaged’ those hairs, set the final look with an invisible brow gel. This will act like a top coat to your brows and lock on the entire look without fear of it smudging or budging.”

[From Huffington Post]

So they’re still thin, but more-shaped than they were back then. When I picture the 90s eyebrows, I just picture brows that are super thin and sparse and over-tweezed. I used to want thin eyebrows when I was younger because I thought they would make me look older and cooler and I thought I had big brows. Then I saw people like Lucy Hale and Cara Delevingne and realized my brows are and always have been solidly medium. The only brow adage I know is “they’re sisters, not twins” so I was interested to hear the makeup artist’s comments on balancing a person’s eyebrows with their lips. I’m still never going to do a skinny brow to balance my lips, but I thought it was an interesting strategy. The main reason I thought skinny eyebrows wouldn’t come back is it’s such a commitment to a look you’re not sure is going to work or be in style forever, however the tips to fake it for a test run can help with that.

photos credit and via Instagram

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57 Responses to “Thin 90s eyebrows are back with a twist, should you try them?”

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  1. Emmi says:

    No. God no. Nothing dates pics like my 90s eyebrows and if you go thinner, it’s more obvious when they’re crooked or not professionally done. They’re also a bitch to keep up. These days I just tidy up and that’s it. I also wear glasses in rose gold metallic, thin eyebrows just don’t compliment them. If people like it, go for it. But I’m not going back. LOL

    • LeaTheFrench says:

      Yeah I had the exact same reaction – no, no, no and no ☺️

      • Both Sides Now says:

        My thought “was what fresh hell is this?” The beauty industries forever changing standard creates havoc on women without knowing the consequences. But no, absolutely not!!

        In addition, the celebrities that carried this look had the money and access to reversing the effects.

      • Nicki says:

        Agreed. No way. And with so much constant plucking, you risk them not growing back. Skinny brows when you’re older are aging.

      • Debbie says:

        @Nicki: “Skinny brows when you’re older are aging.” Sure they are, but that’s what the beauty editors will tell women 3 or 4 years from now. You know, when they’re trying to sell them $30 serums to regrow their eyebrows back. For now, they just need to sell more slim razors and salon appointments. You know it’s an endless cycle.

    • Seaflower says:

      + 1. Unforgiving if there is an error, major plucking/waxing (insert torture method of choice) and awful 5 o’clock shadow regrowth.

      • Soapboxpudding says:

        Was a 90s teen and my brows never really grew back after over-plucking. I wish this trend would stay dead.

    • Seraphina says:

      My reaction too. God NO. And I have fuller eyebrows. I was always warned (by strangers too) that I should not over tweeze because as you get older you wish you hadn’t.
      And this back and forth by the fashion industry. I’m over it. Blame it my age and/or COVID. Embrace who you are and be confident in that. Tweezing and pulling. NO THANKS.

      • Snappyfish says:

        My grandmother told me years ago the following…the thinner the eyebrow the crazier the woman.

    • DouchesOfCambridge says:

      Nope no thin brows for me. Full controlled brows make us look younger! Pam anderson eith her arch: that was over the top for me. No thanks!

    • DK says:

      Well, I am delighted since I over-plucked in the 90s and early-aughts and they never grew back properly…so I’ve had thin eyebrows since then!

      Who should try this trend?
      Only people like me or with naturally thin eyebrows!
      If you’ve got glorious thick brows, don’t mess with them because you will regret it for the next few decades (at least until thin eyebrows cycle back into fashion again in the 2040s/50s).

    • Geneviève says:

      I am HERE for them! Just kidding, only here for the shape of Winona’s in the selection of pics, because that’s basically all my eyebrows will do. And I refuse to stencil on giant fake eyebrows.

      But can we talk about the threat of whale tail? I’m not ready for that to return.

  2. Lolo86lf says:

    Well groomed eyebrows are the most beautiful feature on a woman’s face and the pictures above are proof of it.

    • SAS says:

      Seriously! Obviously it helps that these women are staggeringly beautiful but these pics make myth of the “90s brow horrorshow”.

      I’m a 90s teen so all these look way cuter to me than the dark stamped-on brow (a la Chrissy Teigen’s latest bizarre look on Insta).

      • R says:

        OMG. I just looked her IG up to see what you meant and I cannot believe how ridiculous she looks!! 😂

  3. Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

    Oh god. No. I was 15-25 for that decade and I am ever grateful that my brows returned (mostly) after all the abuse I put on them. Now my brows are going grey, and I have to pencil them to make sure I don’t look like I tried another trend of the era: no eyebrows. Like a troll doll. I am never taking tweezers to my poor brows ever again. Let the youngs learn the folly of this look! Or take the words of a wizened crone like me and SAVE YOURSELVES!!!

  4. Cava 24 says:

    Have we learned nothing?

  5. JustBitchy says:

    I’d kill for any eyebrow. Hi grew up coveting Brooke Shields’ amazing brow(s). My brows are less than sparse. I never got confidence to get tattoo versions either. I am super fair with naturally light hair so finding an brow stick or powder is hard. Only benefit to dearth of brows is that I don’t have much hair on legs or arms – what is there is very light).

    • Gwen says:

      My sister uses light brown eyeshadow to fill in her brows. Like you she is very fair with blonde hair and couldn’t find any brow products that worked. Then she tried the very light brown eye shadow and they look great.

  6. Arizona says:

    I think it depends on how thin we’re talking. like Pam Anderson’s were really bad, but Sandra bullocks look really nice in that photo. so do Angelina’s.

    I am grateful that it seems like we’ve stopped with the huge super drawn on super dark, fake eyebrow thing, I know so many people that did that and it looked so bad and ridiculous.

  7. Tarte au Citron says:

    A beautician did them to me once in 2009 which was NOT what I asked for and the look did nothing for my round face. Never went back. It was annoying because it was 5 minutes from my office, but I wasn’t going to trust her with my brow shape again.

    • AMA1977 says:

      That happened to me, too!! I said I wanted them cleaned up and she took off half my brows. Like down to 2-3 hairs wide at the arch! It looked terrible and I cried. Thankfully they grew back.

      Now my eyebrows are what they are, they’ve been the same shape (medium-thin, sort of the same size as Sandra’s above) for years and I’m not changing them. I eschewed the ridiculous Evil Baby superbrow trend of the last several years and I will continue to ignore other “brow trends.” Mine look fine on my face and they’re easy to maintain since most of the hair that I pluck has given up.

  8. Still In My Robe says:

    Do. Not. Do. This. Ladies.

    Have always had strong eyebrows. Once overplucked an end by accident. The hairs I don’t want of course grow in within days. This mistake took TWO YEARS to grow back in.

    You’re beautiful. If it makes you feel fancier, tidy up what nature gave you, but don’t hardscape your brows. It never looks anything but kind of eerie to downright frightening.

  9. Happy_Fat_Mama says:

    Meh… some people will be into thin brows and some people wont. I just don’t think trends are are ridgid as they were in the 90s. Back then it seemed like there was really only one kind of beauty.

    • K.T says:

      This struck in my heart too! Young ppl, this could be a bad idea ten years later. After a while plucked hair doesn’t always come back and/or it’s not the same! If you age and you want to change the brown shape, you might find you don’t have the hair… regrets, we have a few!!

  10. Jo says:

    As ever trends are ridiculous. It all depends on your style and type of face. Also, extremes are very seldom interesting such as the very thin brow (also a feature in the roaring twenties if I’m not mistaken) or the super thick drawn on atrocity we now see plastered on peoples faces. Acceptance is key: people who are fair and have very thin brows, people who have a lot of hair and thus a thick brow and all of those in between. Just look at your face, accept and balance out anything that’s too much or too little, Like those wandering hairs around the brow or some extra pencil on white/blonde brows.
    But more importantly find your who you are and what makes you feel good about yourself.

  11. BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

    I love thin eye brows and have not stopped having them. Glad to see that the times of those bushy abominations are coming to an end. Would be even more glad if people just did whatever they want instead of following stupid trends.

  12. RiaH says:

    I did thin brows then, but my brows are so dark, it required daily grooming. And like others said, any mistake showed up.

  13. FHMom says:

    Bearer of bad news here. After menopause, your eyebrows may thin out permanently. That what happened to mine. Now I have to pencil them in instead of pluck. On the bright side, the hair on my legs doesn’t grow very quickly anymore. I used to have to shave them every other day if I were wearing a skirt or dress. No more.

    • Fuzzy Crocodile says:

      My mom has the same issue.

      I have really thick brows and she did too until after menopause.

      So, I’m enjoying my brows while they’re here and just ask my esthetician to keep them tidy. (Also that they are two of them … they like to try to do merge like Bert’s)

      • Both Sides Now says:

        a Fuzzy Crocodile, thank your Mum!!

        As a recently turned 60yo, your brows start to fade at pre-menopause. Take the advice, DON’T do it!! Unless you are in your early 20’s, they will never recover.

    • TeamMeg says:

      After menopause I lost pretty much all my underarm hair and the better part of my bush. NO ONE TOLD ME THIS WOULD HAPPEN! I just noticed one day that it was gone. *Shocking*

      The good news is gray hair has more texture and body. So the hair on my head, which was always fine and thin, has never looked better. I don’t expect this to last forever, but I’m enjoying it while it does!

      • Tigerlily says:

        @teammeg I’m 63 & my underarm hair is nonexistent. Same with legs. My brows were always thick but now some grow in white. Worst if all though is my lashes are now thinner & lighter.

      • Tigerlily says:

        @teammeg I’m 63 & my underarm hair is nonexistent. Same with legs. My brows were always thick but now some grow in white. Worst of all though is my lashes are now thinner & lighter. I did cosmetology training long time ago and found a product by Refectocil to tint brows. Love it.

      • FHMom says:

        Yes, my underarm hair is still there, but thinner and lighter. It’s wonderful. I wish the pubic hair would do the same, but no such luck. Lol

  14. Dss says:

    Gwenneth Paltrow’s hair looks fabulous in that photo. If only she would return to the “lob” it would shave years off.

  15. ME says:

    I hope someone warns Gen Z NOT to follow this trend. It’s stupid. Why aren’t there trends for men’s eyebrows too? All this pressure on women. Enjoy the eyebrows nature gave you ! Don’t pluck too much ! You’ll be grateful when you’re older !

  16. BeanieBean says:

    90s brows are really 70s brows, which were really 1930s brows (Bonnie & Clyde came out in 1969, & everyone wanted Faye Dunaway’s brows), and who knows how much farther back. Brow styles get thin, get thick, then back again. Skirt lengths go up, go down, and back again. As someone who made the mistake of overplucking back in the day, that + menopause can find you drawing on your brows every day or getting tattooed or microbladed. Or going with the invisible brow (which is what I settled on because, eh, who cares any more?).

    • Tiffany:) says:

      Yes, it is all so cyclical!

      Waistlines get high, then they go low. Pant legs get narrow, then they get wide.

      Ultimately, just do what looks best for your body/face.

  17. Bubblegum Princess says:

    Don’t do it ladies! Mine have never properly grown back.

  18. Ohso says:

    I was a teen in the 1970s and was thinking about thinning out my eyebrows- but then I read that Jean Harlow had plucked them so much in the 1930s that they never grew back! So I intelligently gave that trend a pass. Now I have gray eyebrows but can put some light color on them to get a decent look – because unlike so many of my contemporaries I still have eyebrows!!

  19. PrissaO says:

    I’m in the minority because I love this! I’m a very hairy person all over and have very thick eyebrows and I hate them. I always asked my brow lady’s to make them thinner and thinner but no one would so I got my own wax machine and do them myself now. I’ve had some mishaps (think one shaped eyebrow and the other half gone), but for me even that was better than my natural bushy brow. I like the eyebrows from the 1920’s and 30’s so, even though it will be tricky; I’ll definitely try these.

  20. R says:

    Unpopular opinion…but I miss thinner brows. They were shaped, and way more dainty and feminine. Whenever I fill in my brows, I just don’t think it looks right. I don’t know if I’ll risk tweezing them thin again, but I also don’t think I want them to be bushy anymore. I’m pretty over that.

  21. AnneL says:

    Mine have always been pretty thin naturally, and light. I did have to wax/pluck the middle and some stray hairs when I was younger but now I barely need to groom them at all. Just darken and shape them. Fortunately I have a good natural arch, which is the best thing about them.

    I’d love to have thicker brows. My daughter has them, and they’re dark because she and my son got their father’s dark hair and eyes. They really lucked out in the eyebrow department: thick but not bushy, nicely shaped. My daughter can really play around with hers, but I wouldn’t advice her to go thin.

    I think people need to be careful about thin brows for the reasons stated: you don’t know if they’ll fully grow back. Also, make sure you get a GOOD stylist to do them to be sure they’re even. Nothing is more jarring to me than a pair of mismatched, over plucked brows. But done the right way, they look very nice.

  22. SpankyB says:

    I’m lucky in that my brows recovered from both the 70’s and 90’s thin debacle. But, they grow every which way now! I just plucked one because it was insisting on sticking straight out. No amount of brow gel could tame it. I have some hairs that are curly, some stick straight. Getting old is hard enough, I don’t need this on top of it all.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That happens to me, too! I have such thin sparse brows to start with, so it really bugs me when I’ve got that one thick dark wirey one just sticking straight out or up or curled up & I need to pluck it, otherwise I’m trimming it every day. My mother didn’t tell me this would happen! Nobody tells you this stuff!

  23. tealily says:

    I understand that beauty trends are kind of just part of nature, but the idea of a brow “trend” is a little weird to me. We all have different natural brows and we all have different face shapes. I did my brows maybe a little thinner than I do now in the 90s, but even then I knew what suited my face. The biggest difference is that I fill them now, which I never did back then. I’ve always just tidied up my natural shape. I don’t think you can really do more than that without making it a struggle!

  24. HeatherC says:

    I have eyebrows. They’re a little thick. But they don’t show up in pictures because they’re pale hair against pale skin and I never had the patience when I was younger to learn how to pencil them in. Now when I try, after so long having invisible brows, it just looks so strange that I can’t keep it. So I let the eyebrow trends just pass me by.

  25. mazzie says:

    No. Just don’t. It makes you look older, the forehead bigger and trust me, most of you will not be able to grow them back out without help.

  26. DeluxeDuckling says:

    Asian brow trends are much more flattering on everyone, imo.
    In general, they are just a bit softer and pretty adaptable to different makeup looks. I’d recommend anyone who is feeling a bit lost to do some light googling, it really helped me navigate a recovery from my super wonky skinny brows lol

  27. Abby says:

    I say no at this headline, but the examples here (except for Charlize), I think look nice. I used to pluck my eyebrows a lot in the 90s and 00s. My eyebrows won’t grow much more. But I go to an aesthetician and my brows are shaped carefully. I do fill them in, but only a little. Mine look like Sandras on my best day. I never felt comfortable with very thick heavy eyebrows. I like a strong brow but not heavy on me. And I’ve never liked the look of fluffy unruly brows. I have put gel on mu unruly brows for like 25 years at this point!

    If a Gen z-er started this up though, I would say DONT DO IT. Shaping is good. Don’t pluck into oblivion!!

  28. Mary says:

    A teen of the 70s here which were even worse than the ’90s eyebrow-wise! We plucked them both thin and too far apart. You will often see older woman today walking around with the inner part of their eyebrows starting at almost mid-eye! Not only is it not a good look but it is terribly aging and looks really weird when things start to go and get puffy and lines appear and all of a sudden it becomes very evident that the eyebrows are not in their natural place. And, as people have noted here, you cannot just pluck your eyebrows into oblivion and assume that they will grow back. They may not or they may not grow back in the same way. Don’t do it!

  29. Liz in A says:

    My brows are really pale and look non existant, and they get wide and bushy at the outsides from Hashimoto’s disease. I have to darken them anyway and at least products for that these days are SO much better than the 90s.