Icelandic Eyebrows: The Guide

Icelandic Eyebrows: The Guide

Walking around 101 and you might be surprised to see so many bleach-blonde women strolling around with full thick dark brown eyebrows. You might be like, “Wow, Icelandic genetics are bizarre!” But here’s the secret: They’re not real. I mean I guess it’s not a secret. It’s pretty obvious that something is going on.

In an article for The Reykjavík Grapevine written in 2013, Ingibjörg Rósa Björnsdóttir described the iconic Icelandic eyebrows: “They start with a square shaped end, about 1cm wide, above the inner corner of the eye, actually all the way to the ridge of the nose. Then they stretch upwards for about 2/3 of the eye, narrowing only a little bit before taking a sharp 30° turn downwards, declining into a sharp pencil point above and to the side of the outer corner of the eye. And they’re black as coal, thick and symmetrically shaped for both eyes.”

These trendy dark Icelandic eyebrows are dramatic, pointed, regimented, and perfectly set. You’ll never see anyone of them wipe off even in the basement of Paloma. They are, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable components of the Reykjavík-look.

I’m in love with Icelandic eyebrows. I love the sharp striking look and so in adoration, I created a little guide to the perfect Icelandic eyebrows. Get ready to become a true Reykjavík-girl.

Step 1: Pluck and Shape

Icelandic eyebrows

Shaping eyebrows is the most important step in your eyebrow journey. It’s also a science. If you were around in the 90s, then I’m sure you overplucked your eyebrows to hell in order to get that uber-skinny highly-arched look that was so popular in shows like Friends and Charmed. Eyebrows do grow back, but it’s still best not to be overambitious.

If you’ve never plucked your eyebrows before, start small. Start by taking off all the excess hairs above and below (and obviously between) the eyebrows. Tweezing might hurt at first, but trust me, you’ll get used to it. Beauty is pain, remember? You could also buy waxing strips (you can get them at any pharmacy) and cut them up into smaller strips to get above and below the eyebrows. This is faster and a lot more effective.

Once you’ve removed excess hairs, grab a pencil or some other straight edge. Place the pencil along your nose vertically. Where it hits your eyebrow is where the head of the eyebrow should begin. No further! Now, move the pencil diagonally from the corner of your nose and across over your eye. Stop when the pencil is diagonally over the pupil when you are looking straight ahead. Where the pencil falls on the eyebrow is where your arch is. Place the pencil across to the corner of your eye and this is generally where the eyebrow should end. Check out the diagram below.

Eyebrow Shaping


Then grab some manicuring scissors. Comb the hair up with your fingers and trim that which goes beyond the top of your eyebrow. Be careful. This is a really easy way to cut off your whole eyebrow and be forced to rock the Amanda Palmer look. And who wants that?

Step 2: Tint 

Icelandic eyebrows

Obviously, if you’re a natural brunette you can skip this step but if you’re blonde or a redhead then I’d definitely recommend tinting your eyebrows—especially if you want the dark-101 look. You can get this done at a salon or you can do it yourself. It really is not very difficult to do yourself, so that’s what I’d recommend!

Eyebrow tinter is pretty cheap: I’m obsessed with RefectoCil personally. You can buy it at Hagkaup. It’s absolutely the best you can get in Iceland and super easy to use. First, get some Vaseline and cover the edges of your eyebrows with it—just like if you were dying your hair. Then, place the colour on and wait for about two minutes. Carefully wipe if off with a wet cotton ball or washcloth. It’s sometimes a little difficult to get off so you have to give it a good scrub.

Eyebrow tinting doesn’t just dye your hair, it also thickens it. So if you have super thin eyebrows—either from genetics or overplucking—this is such a good way to instantly make your brows look a lil’ fatter.

Step 3: Make-Up


You need about 4 products to get perfect brows: a brow pencil, a dipbrow pomade, a highlighter, and a brow gel. Obviously once you get the basics down there are a million more products you can use to perfect the look, but these are the basics. Personally, I get all my products from Anastasia, which you can buy at Nola. I can’t say enough good things about this brand. They are the queens of eyebrows and every single one of their products is fantastic. I’ve been using them for years.

Ok, instead of walking you through eyebrow make-up with words—which is essentially impossible—I’m going to post some of my favourite beauty tutorials to help you out. This is how I learned how to do eyebrows, but like all beauty lessons, the key is trial and error. Your brows won’t be perfect the first time but I guarantee that after a month or so, you’ll be doing it like a pro in 5 minutes or less.

Advanced Lessons

While permanent makeup has been a thing for a while, recently there’s this new trend called Microblading. It creates perfect natural looking eyebrows. I’ve had a few friends do it and I’ve been blown away by the results. I have not tried any microblading places in Reykajvík, nor do I know anyone who has, but I found this guide online that has a ton of links. Check it out!

Need some inspo? The queen of brows at the moment is indisputably Cara Delevingne. I though, am quite partial to the Kardashian look.

Anyway, have fun with your new brows and with them, I know you’ll easily blend in with the best of the Reykjavík style-sect.


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