Millennials vs Gen Z trend war has been going on for a while now. It first started over skinny jeans vs mom jeans and hair parting but it soon escalated to everything else. Eyebrow trends included.
Without trying to add fuel to the fire, let’s review Gen Z brows vs Millennial brow trends.
Millennial Brow Trends
Millennial brow trends aren’t as distinct as Gen Z brows are. Notably, the most iconic millennial brow trend is the famous Instagram Brow. But let’s not skip ahead. First came the rebellion against overplucking.
Natural Full, Bushy Brows
Slowly recovering from the overplucking craze and embracing the natural fullness is what kickstarted it all. Fuller, but still nicely groomed eyebrows were the 2010s’ most prominent brow trend.
Soon sculpted, neatly shaped and defined brows escalated into an even fuller, bushier version.
The poster child for this trend was Cara Delevigne. She popularized natural, thick, and dark, bushy arches…to the point of inspiring people to start dying their eyebrows and overfilling them with makeup.
Image source: Instagram @caradelevingne
If we had to single out one representation of millennial brows it would have to be the Instagram brow: polished, defined, filled in – but with an ombre gradient.
The inner section was always lighter, and as the tail neared, the color became darker and the shape sharper and neater. Then concealer (a few shades lighter than the skin tone, no less) underneath the arch would carve it out even more until it was… on fleek.
The infamous Instagram brow (otherwise known as Influencer brow) trend emerged thanks to the boom of the brow industry, popularized by influencers and beauty YouTubers.
This trend brought focus to the eyebrows more than ever before and suddenly brows became a staple makeup step.
Image source: Instagram @nikkietutorials
Instagram brow popularized permanent makeup like no beauty trend before. Microblading and, after a while ombre powder brows, became the most sought-after procedures.
They help save time for those that draw their eyebrows on daily (and if you know how to do the Instagram brow you know it takes time). They are also a perfect solution for those that don’t know how to draw on their brows and those that overplucked so severely there was barely any eyebrow hair left.
Image source: Instagram @thauanideluca
Gen Z Brows
Gen Z is much more experimental with trends. So it’s no wonder there are several polar opposite beauty styles trending at the same time.
Although the majority is in favor of thicker, natural (albeit neatly brushed) brows, there are some that prefer to completely surrender to trends all the way and style their brow accordingly.
Lately, 90s nostalgia or Y2K aesthetic has been making a huge comeback. And with 90s style come 90s brows as well.
Thin brows coming back in style scares a lot of people, mainly the Millennials. And it’s totally understandable. After all, they’ve spent over a decade trying to recover the damage they did to their eyebrows by tweezing them into oblivion. Spending so much time and money on brow growth products, makeup, and eyebrow tattooing just for it all to go out of style.
Regardless of the warnings, many Gen Ziers choose to still try this trend out. With the clean girl aesthetic and resurgence of the supermodel popularity, it’s no wonder they are after the clean, elegant, face-lifting effect this brow shape provides.
Image source: Instagram @georgiaolive
Shaved + Drawn On
Even further from the skinny brow, we have the no brow at all trend.
This trend has several variations:
- absolutely no brow at all Jeffree-Star-style
- a brow with the tail shaved off to achieve the futuristic or ‘facelift’ look,
- and then there are Doja-Cat-inspired eyebrow trends that encourage the most artistry and self-expression. According to her, brows don’t need to look like brows at all.
Shaved eyebrows are quite literally a blank canvas. It allows Gen Ziers to experiment with colors, shapes, and boundaries.
They can match their eyebrows to their outfit of the day and be fully immersed into the mood and aesthetic du jour. And then choose something completely different the next day.
For most this trend isn’t something they’d actively participate in. But you can’t deny it’s an awesome way to bring some playfulness, character, and fun into your everyday life.
Image source: Instagram @dojacat
Bleached + Colored
This trend has been brewing since 2016. It inspired many other looks we’ve mentioned so far – basically allowing you to be creative with your brows and change their color pretty much whenever you want.
But until this summer, bleached brows kinda flew under the radar. Well, at least it wasn’t named one of the biggest eyebrow trends at the moment.
Since Gen Z is all about creative makeup, we totally get why bleached brows are more popular than ever before. This barely-there brow doesn’t distract from what needs to be in the spotlight.
Image source: Instagram @kendalljenner
Common Ground of Eyebrow Trends: Brow Lamination
Brow lamination is essentially a perm for people who want fuller-looking brows. Which speaks to both generations.
Inspired by Gen Z’s soap brows, brow lamination is a more permanent solution to perfectly placed brow hairs.
The process restructures brows and sets them into the desired shape by using chemicals that fix the brushed brows into place. Brow lamination’s brushed-up shape helps fill in gaps and provides the illusion of fuller-looking brows.
This treatment is a simple way to maintain a confidence-boosting brow look, without applying any makeup. It can even be done at home using a brow lamination kit.
If you are interested in trying it out, we have a DIY brow lamination guide as well as best brow lift kit recommendations you can check out.
Brow lamination is the one trend both generations agree on, making it the most popular brow trend of the moment.
Image source: Instagram @thebrowmasterazllc
To Sum Up These Eyebrow Trends
Eyebrow trends have been dominating the beauty industry for a while now. The biggest eyebrow trends of the moment can be attributed to Gen Z’s experimental tendencies. They are into both more natural, thicker, and brushed brows, and the complete opposite – thin, creative, statement, and full of character.
As for Millennials, they still prefer their brows to be neat, defined, filled in, microbladed or laminated into place.
Right now it seems to be an ‘anything goes’ era for eyebrows. It’s hard to put your finger on just one of the eyebrow trends. There’s no universally wanted shape and you can achieve your desired look in many different ways. So it seems like you can do whatever you want and it’ll be on trend.
Cover image source: Freepik