Since there’s no such thing as an eyebrow positivity movement (yet), I feel I can be frank: I hate my brows. They’re thin yet wild with a sharp arch that makes me look severe. So, I hide them with longer-than-I’d-like fringe while crossing my fingers that I’ll soon win the lottery so I can afford microblading or a private island and a pool boy who loves me no matter how my facial hair is groomed.
It doesn’t have to be this way, brow experts tell me. While I can certainly work on acceptance, and hold onto fantasies of an impending windfall, it’s also not that difficult today to achieve the brows of your dreams. “Brows are the one thing that can completely change your features with just a few tweaks,” says Brooklyn-based Shen Beauty brow specialist Joshua Beeler, who makes it sound easy enough for even me to have new arch aspirations.
Below, find four of the most popular brow shapes experts say are currently en vogue along with pro hacks on how to achieve them.
1. The soft angled classic
“This is my personal favorite,” says Joey Healy, celebrity stylist and eyebrow specialist. “The arch is about two-thirds of the way out, and it’s well defined but gradual with a tapered tail and a relatively squared-off front.” When aiming for this look, Healy says it’s important to reveal just a modest portion of the brow bone to give the eye lift without over-arching.
Pro hack: “The simplest way to achieve this look would be to use a brow gel, maybe even one with some fibers in it like Hourglass,” says brow and skincare expert Robin Evans. “Brushing the brows up and giving them a little bit of extra volume as well as lift will give a really nice natural soft looking arch.”
2. The high arch
Apparently, my current lewk is actually desirable. (Brow positivity points!) “This is similar to the soft angled classic, except you want to take one extra row of hair out from underneath and make sure you really define the arch from underneath,” says Healy.
Pro hack: In addition to removing that extra row of hair, Evans recommends using a brow pencil above the arch area to create a higher arch. “Use a spoolie to blend it so the line isn’t too hard,” she advises. “You can also add a highlighter pencil underneath to help enhance the look.”
3. The straight arch
I read once that straight brows make you look younger, and while I don’t know if that’s actually true my age positivity (working on being positive a lot over here) hasn’t kicked in yet, either, so I’m totally game for trying this look. Healy says that in order to achieve it, the tails should be kept thick so that the brow has an overall uniform consistency, and that you shouldn’t pluck all those stray hairs beneath the arch.
Pro hack: Can’t quite get hair to grow in all the right places? “Use a brow pencil under your brow in the arch area to connect a line between the lowest two points of the beginning of the brow and the end of the brow, under the arch,” Evans says. “Fill in the rest of the brow light handedly to balance it out, and run a spoolie through to blend it in.”
4. The boy brow
Ah, the boy brow, that most enviable of trends which eludes me as a ’90s-era emaciated-brow survivor. Healy suggests leaving hairs longer than you normally would if you’re hoping to achieve this look, and notes that keeping your “sprouts” (read: stray hairs) at the front of the brow is important.
Pro hack: “This look is best achieved by using a brow gel. If your hair is darker you can get away with using a clear gel—I like Kylie Jenners KyBrow in extreme hold clear. For lighter hair use a tinted gel like Glossier Boy Brow ($16) or Hourglass Fiber Gel ($28). Brush the brows up, and even back-and-forth a little bit to work the product in, then finish by brushing the hairs back up,” advises Evans.
If you at one point plucked your brows to near extinction, try these growth serums to rehabilitate your look. On the flip side, eyebrow shaving is an actual, advisable thing.