just brow-sing

Are Skinny Brows Back?

Photo: Nick Knight/British Vogue

I’ve long been a proponent of the theory that Robyn Rihanna Fenty is the one living vehicle through which any trend, regardless of its horrificness, can be resurrected, made mainstream, and no longer deemed awful. It’s the Regina George army pants and flip-flops effect, if you will, but times a million because it’s Rihanna who also makes very baseline things, like being inclusive in the beauty industry, the new norm.

I was hoping “chipped three-week-old manicure” would be the next beauty trend upon which she chose to deploy the Fenty Effect, but as of Tuesday, July 31, 2018, the day Rihanna’s September cover for British Vogue was unveiled, it was the divisive skinny brow that emerged from the gauntlet.

Like, really skinny. Like one-pencil-stroke-and-zero-feathering, skinny. Just-sharpened-this-pencil-in-a-mechanical-pencil-sharpener skinny. Upon further inspection of makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench’s handiwork, the public collectively morphed into that gif of Winona Ryder at the SAG awards.

Is this a test? It feels like a test. This is our day of reckoning; the price we will pay for the fanny packs, the chokers, the overalls, the BSB reunion tour, and rebooting everything way too many times. This isn’t the beauty trend we want, but it’s the one we deserve. This is not a drill; this is how fads start. Do we sit idly by and let the cyclical nature of trends rule our destinies? Do we actively resist? Can we collectively try to delay the comeback by going harder on another haunting ’90s beauty trend in the meantime? Maybe we can try:

- Way more mini buns?
- Those two tendrils of hair framing your face?
- That zig-zag comb headband thing?
- Butterfly clips (the straight up plastic claw kind)?
- Foundation that’s two shades too light?
- Really haphazard highlights?

Maybe? Anyone? Bueller? Are you already Googling the glue-stick technique regularly used by drag queens (and possibly by Ffrench on Rih) to cover up your Boy Brows and see how skinny brows would look on you in the year 2018 “just for funsies?” Okay cool, me neither.

Are Skinny Brows Back?