What Does 'On Fleek' Look Like In 2017?

Bolder isn't necessarily better.

Image: Independant.co.uk

Our eyebrows have been through a lot over the last few years. After being neglected or, alternately, plucked to oblivion, we then rediscovered the power of a bold brow (thank you, Cara Delevingne), for which we raided Sephora’s stock of pencils and pomades in an effort to get them on fleek. The fleek movement then popularized trends from other cultural spaces: the Instagram eyebrow (drag makeup’s moment in the sun), the soft, straight-across Korean brow, and every pierced, bleached and rainbow-dyed look that emerged from the arch-obsessed masses.
But this is 2017, and “brows on fleek” has become an ironic throwback to a 2014 craze. That doesn’t mean that the eyebrow is on its way out, though – our obsessions simply evolve, aided by new products and technologies that are changing the shape of our collective brow game.
So what are the eyebrow looks we’ll be rocking this year? Check out how the latest trends have redefined fleek for 2017: 

Image: Besummercat.com

Remember the Sharpie-pen brow tattoos from our mothers’ generation (that actually turned purple after a couple of years)? The beauty gods must have taken pity on their discolored arches because they gave us microblading, a semi-permanent eyebrow tattoo that can work wonders on any shape from a 1993 Gwen Stefani to a 2017 Lily Collins. The procedure involves using a blade with a series of micro needles to deposit strokes of pigment that resemble natural hairs into the skin, resulting in a real yet defined brow shape that lasts between one and three years, with occasional touch-ups. We’re all about that full, no-fuss look, and with its gorgeous results and lack of daily upkeep, microblading fits the bill. To be expected, this trend is the priciest of the bunch – it can cost anything from $200 to $650 depending on your salon.

Image: Ko-te.com

Color on the lids is so passé, it’s all about accentuating that underbrow these days. On the runway we've already seen beauty looks move towards an eyebrow that’s very pop-art-meets-avant-garde, ones that are covered with bright shadows and contoured with a bold stroke of pigment (or glitter) underneath. Getting artistic with your underbrow isn’t as intimidating as you might expect: think of it as using eyeliner to emphasize a different feature. For the day, try a colorful stroke of liner just above your eyelids for a unique look that isn’t too over-the-top. For a night out, add some glitter into the mix by dabbing a small amount of cosmetic glue beneath the brows with a Q-tip, then adhering the sparkles until your heart's content.

Image: @aiyanalewis on Instagram

Gone are the perfectly groomed, in-your-face arches whose boldness dominated our #browgoals in recent years. This year is all about a full-yet-natural style that best suits your features, because what looked good on Audrey Hepburn won't necessarily work on, say, Megan Fox. Instead of contours so sharp they could slay, think softer and more rounded – even a few unplucked strays. For the perfect everyday look, take your eye pencil or powder and begin filling in your brows with small, soft strokes, following the natural direction of your hair to gently define the shape of your brow. With a spoolie brush, carefully blend out the pigment for a natural finish, making sure the front and the tail end of your brows aren’t too boxy or harsh. And if you really can’t resist fleeking it up, brush on a little bit of gel for some added fullness and definition (Glossier’s Boy Brow is our holy grail). Statement styles aside, sometimes we just want our brows to do what they do best: frame our face.

Image: Leseclaireuses.com

We’re only a few months into 2017, so there’s plenty of time to welcome new beauty trends (patterned temporary tattoos? Bejeweled brows?). We feel like we’re on the cusp of the next big thing, even if it’s something as simple as embracing or subtly enhancing what our mamas gave us. Our beauty ideals have become more diverse in recent years, with styles from Asia and the Middle East influencing bolder looks. So if there’s anything we’re taking into account when searching for the next “brow” thing, it’s our freedom to experiment with a variety of styles instead of automatically plucking our hairs into whatever the latest trending shape may be. Our brows may have been fleeked with Cara’s help, but we're past that now and doing as we please.

Inspired and ready to upgrade your brow game? Shop a selection of our favorite brow-perfecting makeup and tools here:
Glossier's Boy Brow Product - $16
Black Up Invisible Eyebrow Fixer - $21
Black Up Perfect Eyebrows Brow Stick - $25.50
Benefit Cosmetics 3D BROWtones Instant Color Highlights - $24
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz - $21
Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade - $18
Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel - $24
NYX Slide On Pencils - $8
Too Faced Cosmetics Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue - $22
Make Up For Ever Glitters - $15
tarte Pro Glitter Liner - $24
Tweezerman Pink Perfection Mini Slant Tweezer - $14
Benefit Cosmetics Angled Brow Brush & Spoolie - $20