beauty trends The Modern Way to Try the '90s Skinny Eyebrows Trend

Sir John explains how to make pencil-thin eyebrows look chic, not tragic.

April 18, 2022
Skinny Brows


If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past few years it’s that beauty trends are totally unpredictable (thank you very much TikTok) and that everything that was once old will become new again. Recently, we’ve seen what some of us would consider the unthinkable in eye makeup trends — skinny eyebrows have made a comeback. 

Celebrities, supermodels and influencers alike have been seen sporting pencil-thin eyebrows as of late and it’s giving the ‘90s trend a resurgence. Before you run for the hills — towards or away from the throwback trend — it’s important to understand the difference between the skinny brows of then and the modern way to sport the look today. 

So we tapped celebrity makeup artist and L’Oréal Paris expert Sir John, to give us the skinny (pun intended) on this reemerging eyebrow trend, including tips on how to do it without permanently damaging those beloved brow hairs.

Why Are Skinny Brows Coming Back?

As we said, thin eyebrows have been seen on A-list singers, actors, models and social media influencers in the past year. Thanks to influential Gen Z creators, the trend is poised to make it to the streets this summer — becoming more and more popular with everyday people. 

It’s up there with the mullet, the bixie and a few other ‘90s beauty trends that are questionably stylish, undoubtedly edgy and somehow chic if they’re done right. 

How to do Skinny Eyebrows the Modern Way

When it comes to mastering the skinny eyebrows trend, everyone can try it but the real win comes in the form of not permanently losing your hair up there. While the look has an upside, according to Sir John, there’s also a huge risk. 

“Brows are gorgeous when they’re thin,” he says. “The reason why all the girls tweezed their brows in the ‘90s is because it does open the eyes. It gives the brows so much light, it expands the lid space and makes your eyes look really ethereal and bright — that’s the pro.”

The con, he says, is the fact that if you keep removing the hair there, your eyebrows may never grow back. 

“That one bullet there is the only one that matters, and it’s polarizing,” Sir John explains. “All of us made the pilgrimage to tweeze our brows in the ‘90s in the hopes that we’d have this resurgence of hair, but it possibly just may never come back. I love the voluptuous eyebrows that we’ve been seeing for the past few years — I love a feathered brow.”

So in order to avoid falling victim to the tragic drawbacks of this trend, try Sir John’s hacks for doing skinny brows in 2022 — the ultra-modern way.

1. Glue, Don’t Pluck or Shave

“Instead of shaving your brows or over-tweezing like we all regretted, take a glue stick and glue your brows down and draw them on like they [do in drag] and did in the 1930s and 1940s,” he says. “[Back then] Hollywood starlets plastered over their brows and right now, so many people on TikTok are taking their cues from the drag community. So if you’re going to [go skinny] that’s fine, but just block them off instead of shaving them off.”

Once you’ve glued down your brows you can go over the space with as skinny a design as your heart desires. Grab your favorite eyebrow pencil, like the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Waterproof Eyebrow Mechanical Pencil or L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Brow Magnifying Pencil with Vitamin E, and create a skinny brow shape that speaks to you.

2. Invest in Oregano Oil

If you do overpluck your brows and you’re concerned about your hair not growing back, Sir John says oregano oil may help.

“It’s about how you’re taking care of the hair or how you’re making the hair invisible,” he explains. “Oregano oil is an organic way to induce hair growth around the brow.”

Since the skinny eyebrows of 2022 are not the pencil-thin brows of your auntie’s era, you should avoid going too thin altogether. Make sure you opt for a hair removal version that won’t damage the hair follicle and only get your brows groomed when you really need to.

3. Consult With Professionals and Gen X First

Before you go extra skinny with your brows to mimic the look of your favorite pop star, talk to the people who have done it before. Get all the facts about the pros and cons, find out if they have regrets, if their hair did in fact grow back, and if they thought it was worth it or not. 

Essentially, Sir John says know what you’re really getting. And if you can, consult with a professional makeup artist who can help you get the look with minimal trauma to your eyebrow hair. No one wants to have that permanently over-expressive look because of their brows (unless that’s what you’re going for — in that case, carry on).

“This is obviously not for someone who’s been there or had to do that,” he says of the reemerging of the trend. “Let me offer this, I beg of everyone to just ask around before making that jump.”


Next: The Mullet Is Back — Here’s How to Give It a Modern Spin

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn