Brow shapes are ever changing, and if social media is any indication of what’s to come, the days of natural-looking eyebrows are limited. From barely-there bleached brows to brow slits, a new generation of beauty influencers are looking for arches that are designed to make a statement. Case in point: The latest trend to emerge from social media is razor-cut brows. Popular on TikTok and starting to pop up on runways and red carpets — see Bella Hadid at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival (above) for example — the straight, slanted shape is becoming more mainstream.
“Brows are the new playground of self expression when it comes to makeup and beauty. As brow products have gotten more and more sophisticated and ‘above the mask makeup’ has become even more of a focus, we’ve seen lots of microtrends when it comes to brow styles and shapes,” says Benefit Cosmetics global brow expert, Jared Bailey. “Bushy brows are certainly still a thing with no real end in sight, but the microtrend of straight, razor-cut brows has definitely started to reemerge.”
And although they certainly won’t appeal to everyone, Bailey says that razor-cut brows have their benefits. “The straight shape typically follows the orbital bone from the natural start and extends in a linear direction from the arch up toward the temple, versus curving downward,” he explains. “This creates a more open eye space and more lifted look overall.” Think of it as a cosmetic take on brow lift surgery, which is surging among younger patients. Both make the eyes appear larger, the cheekbones higher, and the face more symmetrical — but only one requires going under the knife.
How to Get Razor-Cut Brows
As demonstrated by TikTok users who post viral videos of the shocking process, to semi-permanently achieve the structured shape, you use a facial razor to shave off the ends of the eyebrows, clearing everything from the arch to the tail. Then, you use an eyebrow pencil to draw on a straighter shape in a linear direction from the arches up toward the temples. This, of course, is a commitment and will require constant upkeep — which is why Bailey suggests test driving the look with makeup first.
“Before doing a DIY brow razoring, try the look out with makeup and see if it’s something you want to commit to,” says Bailey. “If you’re into it, then go ahead and carefully shave off the very ends of the brow.” To test the shape with makeup first, follow his technique: Using a high-coverage concealer that matches your skin tone, tap it over your brow hairs from the arch of your brow to the end in order to create a blank canvas for the new shape. He recommends Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Cakeless Full Coverage Waterproof Liquid Concealer, which won’t budge or wear off midday.
Then, use a micro-fine pencil, such as Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Pencil, to slowly sketch a new base for your brow that slants up and out toward your temple, ending slightly past the corner of your eye. Keep the line super-straight and forgo any arch altogether, Bailey reiterates. Once the base is set, go over it using tiny strokes that are angled slightly and get smaller and smaller to mimic the look of natural brow hairs. Finish by applying a matte highlighter under the base of your new brows, which will “accentuate the shape and add even more lift to the outer half.”
Using brow makeup is a great way to experiment with different trends, but if you really love the look and want it to last longer than a few days — even after shaving, hair grows back quickly — Bailey recommends visiting a licensed professional who can help you achieve the shape through a combination of waxing and tweezing. “This will also allow them to grow back properly once you’re ready to try a new shape,” he says. “Learn from the at-home tweezing that happened in the ‘90s; when hair is removed incorrectly, there’s a high likelihood you’ll damage the derma vessel and hair will never grow back.” (You’ve been warned.)
Still, Bailey encourages you to play around with your brows until you find the statement set that suits you — be it big and bushy, colorful and bold, or straight and slanted. “Over the past few years, brows have become a fundamental building block of any beauty routine,” he says. “We all know how powerful brows can be, so I think people should try a variety of different shapes and styles until they find the one that works best for them.”
As for the razor-cut brow trend? “Everyone has gotten more experimental with their brows, and as the younger generation enters and has more influence over the beauty space, stick-straight arches might soon become the new ‘center part,’” Bailey says. Watch this space.
Razor-Cut Brows Inspo:
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