There's a reason every Hollywood makeover starts with an unkempt unibrow. While not as glam as false lashes or as eye-catching as a red lip, eyebrows are incredibly expressive. Finding the right shape can change your whole life ... or at least your whole face.
So when you mess with the usual "Instagram eyebrow" — full, soft arch, subtle but expertly groomed — you just never know what will happen.
You might get a lot of shade thrown your way or you might accidentally start a sensation.
Or both, as Stella Sironin, a makeup artist from Helsinki, Finland, discovered when she posted a tongue-in-cheek caption about a "new brow trend."
"I was at (my friend Leevi's) place, and he randomly brushed my eyebrows and then burst out laughing," Sironen told TODAY Style. "I opened my phone camera and saw he had middle-parted my eyebrows. It looked like a feather.
"I thought it was really creative —something fun that people could be inspired by," she said. "I thought, I’m going to pair this with a nice eye makeup and posted it on my account. The caption was a joke, but the makeup was not ... I was feeling it!"
At the time, Sironen had about 25,000 followers whose response to her colorful, intricate work was mostly positive. But after what shall now be referred to as "Feathergate," all hell broke loose.
"People got really offended. I started getting hate comments," she said. "Most of the creative makeup people knew this was something fun for editorials, runways ... not something you’d wear outside every day. The rest of the people seemed to take it really seriously."
But then something else weird happened. People started actually doing it.
Sironen is all for it. "For most people, the up and down look is too extreme," she said. "But it's important that people feel free to express themselves, even through something really small like eyebrows." It seems her newly robust following of more than 60,000 followers agree.
So what does Sironen recommend we try in real life? "Brush them upward!" she said. "It gives them a nice bushy look — natural like your own brows, but more of a feathery, Cara Delevingne kind of look.
"I also love glitter on eyebrows, especially for festival season," she added. "Keep the normal shape, but it just adds something fun and different."
Above all, she wants to encourage makeup lovers to experiment. "I hope that if people try this out and post pictures, they won’t get the same hate that I did," she said.
"It's just eyebrows, people. Chill out."