While people have been happily disavowing lipstick for the last year, there is one part of the face that has actually received more attention than ever: our brows. It’s also fitting for the times, says New York brow aficionado Joey Healy, as brows are one of the only features visible above a mask to show some facial structure.
During the pandemic, a cleaner, more defined shape evolved from the wide tail and feathery, fringy “boy brow”—popularized by model Cara Delevingne and beauty brand Glossier in the past decade—into what Healy calls the “Geolift.” The new style combines strong geometry with a notable lift, and “has a cleaner arch and a crisp, tapered tail, but is still fluffy and full,” Healy says. “It’s more refined—not so dark, not so bold—and there are no stray hairs underneath, as with the boy brow.”
Apply the wax with a spoolie to groom and shape. Or dip the tip of an angled brush into the wax to concentrate brow powder.
The Lancôme Brow Gel is Payen’s fave.
Another great option, the Brow Moment has a special applicator that steadies the hand.
Close any bare gaps with a brow pencil, like this one from UOMA Beauty.
Should you be blessed with ample brows (the last 12 months helped, as tweezers collected dust), Lily Collins’s makeup artist, Aurélie Payen, recommends a brow mascara for a dense, contoured look. Or try a clear, waxy grooming gel that gives sparse brows a bit of substance by coating them (for product recommendations, see right). Those who want to go the extra mile for a truly Lily-esque set can add powder or pencil underneath the hairs, closing gaps and “giving background music to the brow,” Healy says. If you’re feeling bold enough to shape your own brows, Healy suggests carefully tweezing an arch two-thirds of the way toward the temple, with everything underneath the brow plucked clean.
“The peak of the arch perks up the eyes and makes them look awake,” he says. And if you’re really game to go pro at home, you might consider graduating from tinted gel to dye—you can even do it yourself. “It sounds scary, but it’s not that hard,” he says. “Put a little Vaseline around the brow first, then apply.
Finally, if your follicles have failed you, some brow serums can promote the appearance of fuller brows. Just remember to manage expectations. “Celebrities are just inspiration—you don’t want to go hair for hair with Lily Collins,” Healy says. But with the right tools, your perfect pair is closer than ever.