The One Makeup Trend to Consider Ditching in 2017

Victoria Hoff

While trends constantly ebb and flow in our fast-paced culture, the transition into the new year always seems to brighten the spotlight on what we can expect to be popular in the coming months. And while bold eyebrows have been untouchable in this respect over the past several years, it looks as though the longstanding Cara Delevingne effect is in for a slight shift.

More and more makeup pros are publicly maligning what we'll call the "Instagram Brow"—an extreme take on defined arches that involves using an entire arsenal of products for a dramatically thick effect. One of the trademarks of this look is a gradient fade at the front of the brow, to (theoretically) mimic the look of smaller "sprout" hairs. The result is bold, to be sure, but far from natural—and experts agree that it's high time that we said goodbye to the over-filled look. 


A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

The look first gained popularity among makeup bloggers a couple of years ago, but has enjoyed quite a longevity thanks to high-profile proponents like Kylie Jenner.

But just like other techniques in the contrived "no-makeup makeup" category are starting to fade to the background (we're looking at you, contouring), this approach to brows is falling away in favour of truly natural-looking arches. "I warn people that there is a difference between heavy and full," brow expert Sania Vucetaj tells Bustle, a sentiment echoed by both runway trend and many makeup pros we've spoken to over the past several months.

The distinction is this: While it's more acceptable than ever to let your brows grow to their most natural state—stray hairs and all, à la '80s-era Brooke Shields—the idea is to play up whatever shape you were born with, rather than use a pencil (or pomade, or powder) to create new arches entirely. And while fixing any obvious patchiness is A-OK, over-filling is also a no-go. The goal is your brows, but better.

A huge part of this is finding your ideal product (or products), which is a personal endeavour based on your natural texture and volume—something we illustrated when we had three Byrdie editors with very different arches try on pomade, powder, and pencil for the camera. Using that story as your initial guide, check out one of our favourite products for natural-looking brows below.

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