Beauty experts confirm these are the 5 most common eyebrow shapes - this is how to keep them looking sharp

Straight? Rounded? Let's find out...

eyebrow shapes - Leonie Hanne wears white sunglasses from Celine, silver and rhinestones earrings from Balenciaga, a white latte oversized long belted coat, outside Coperni, during Paris Fashion Week - Womenswear F/W 2022-2023, on March 03, 2022 in Paris, France
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

As the adage goes, if the eyes are the window to the soul then the brows are surely the frame. There are quite a few different eyebrow shapes out there, and making the most of yours is the best way to compliment your features and kind of “complete” your face. 

Like many people reading this guide, I am somebody who plucked their eyebrows into the thinnest of arches, not worlds away from a 1920s film star, back in the day. They are still quite sparse along the bottom, and I rely on the best brow gels daily to help me shape my eyebrows. Lesson duly learnt. 

While we don’t tend to go quite so ham with the tweezers in 2023, that’s not to say that a little tidy or reshape can’t make the world of difference. According to Vanita Parti MBE, founder and CEO of Blink Brow Bar, working with your natural brow shape is the best way to keep maintenance to a minimum. However, "The shape must be right to balance your face—not everyone looks great with a high arch," she says. For all brows, Vanita recommends threading to create a defined shape in the first instance.

For the ultimate guide on the different eyebrow shapes, I asked two beauty industry icons—who between them have probably shaped thousands of pairs of brows during their careers—to break down the different eyebrow shapes and the tools recommended to keep them looking sharp and well-groomed. 

The expert guide to eyebrow shapes 

1. Straight

eyebrow shapes - Emilia Clarke attends Vogue World: London 2023 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on September 14, 2023 in London, England

(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

eyebrow shapes - Zendaya at the 54th NAACP Image Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 25, 2023 in Pasadena, California

(Image credit: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)

Sherrille Riley, Founder and CEO of Nails & Brows Mayfair and Beauty Edit Mayfair, notes that straight eyebrows particularly suit those with heart-shaped faces as it helps to balance the features. Vanita adds: "If you have a long face, a straight brow will suit you better with a few hairs removed [at] the arch to give you some height."

“Straight eyebrows require little maintenance as they tend to follow the natural shape of the brow,” says Sherrille. “Monthly tweezing and trimming would help to keep them in check."

2. Rounded

eyebrow shapes -Kerry Washington attends the 33rd Annual Producers Guild Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on March 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California

(Image credit: Momodu Mansaray/WireImage via Getty Images)

eyebrow shapes -Gigi Hadid attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images)

“Rounded eyebrows have a soft, curved shape and require little maintenance besides regular trimming and tweezing," says Sherrille. "This shape suits people with square, heart-shaped or oval faces. This shape will add softness to their overall look.” For sparser brows, our experts recommend using pencil to fill in any gaps, while the hairs can be set in place with a clear gel. 

3. Arched

eyebrow shapes - Olivia Wilde arrives at the "Babylon" Global Premiere Screening at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

eyebrow shapes - Lupita Nyong'o attends The 2022 Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 28, 2022 in New York City

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Gotham Film & Media Institute)

“High-arched brows are high maintenance as they need regular shaping appointments—[just like a] pixie haircut,” says Sherrille. “Regular tweezing, trimming, threading and brow pencil are necessary for this shape to look on point. They [particularly] suit oval or longer face shapes as they add more definition to the upper face.”

Arched eyebrows can be quite softer, like Lupita Nyong'o's above, while Olivia Wilde is a great example of high-arched brows, which Vanita describes as "beautifully shaped and dramatic. [They are] thinner brows but balanced to add drama and lift cheekbones, which works very well to balance her soft heart-shaped face."

4. Thick and full

eyebrow shapes - Priyanka Chopra Jonas arrives at the Los Angeles Red Carpet And Fan Screening For Prime Video's "Citadel" on April 25, 2023 in Los Angeles, California

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

eyebrow shapes - Lily Collins attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty" at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City

(Image credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

“[Thick and full brows] require almost no maintenance and suit all face shapes, and are a timeless look,” says Sherrille. “The big advantage of this natural look is the brow can be shaped to any particular shape as they are so full.”

Priyanka Chopra is a great celebrity example of full brows that are perfectly defined. "Bold brows that have retained their thickness with a defined arch place in exactly the right spot to lift the cheek bones and give definition," says Vanita. Cara Delevigne's iconic brows are another example of a brilliantly naturally full shape.

5. S-shaped

eyebrow shapes - Lana Condor attends 2023 WIF (Women In Film) Oscar Party at NeueHouse Los Angeles on March 10, 2023 in Hollywood, California

(Image credit: Monica Schipper/WireImage via Getty Images)

eyebrow shapes - Penelope Cruz attends the Lancome X Louvre photocall as part of Paris Fashion Week on September 26, 2023 in Paris, France

(Image credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Bear with us and don't take the name of this brow shape too literally—the "S" is subtle. “S-shaped eyebrows tend to have a gentle wave or curve in them that needs careful shaping,” says Sherrille. “They particularly suit square or diamond-shaped faces as they often have angular feature [and] often need regular maintenance.”

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.