Scarlett Costello doesn't paint self-portraits, but if she did, they'd surely go viral. The 19-year-old model has one of the most captivating faces in beauty right now—you may have scrolled past one of her relaxed, pouty Instagrams before. And if you did, you invariably did a double take. Because the beauty up-and-comer, who has already posed for brands like Converse, Nasty Gal, and J Brand, has a real-deal Frida Kahlo unibrow. And she's not ashamed of it—in fact, she never has been, not even when she was a tween. This fact is both refreshing and mysterious. A non-traditional feature and no insecurity? How? We had to find out.
Just in time for the anniversary of Frida Kahlo's birthday (which is today), we got to chat with Costello about her beauty inspirations, confidence, and (of course) her go-to brow routine. Keep scrolling to learn more about your newest beauty muse.
As it turns out, Frida Kahlo was one of Costello's biggest inspirations growing up. "I was weirdly obsessed with Frida Kahlo from a very small age," she tells us. "I was her for Halloween when I was five." Proving how important the representation of different faces and bodies in the media can be, Costello says that having that one iconic figure with a unibrow helped her feel more beautiful and less like an outcast. "I thought [Frida Khalo] was beautiful," she says.
Remember that it's way better to be weird than boring.
Since then, Costello has made her unibrow seriously work for her. Starting out as a young model, there were a few years when she was still waxing and tweezing her brows for work, but three years ago—right when the feathered brow trend started emerging—her agency advised that she grow them back out. "I started to think that I looked better with [the unibrow]," she told Teen Vogue. "I'm a big believer in the idea that everyone looks the best the way their genes intended them to. The confidence of embracing natural beauty is what makes it great."
So how exactly does Costello keep her unibrow looking so chic? "I layer ABH Clear Brow Gel with Nyx Tinted Brow Mascara or Glossier Boy Brow. Sometimes all three," she says. To keep her brows growing, she applies castor oil at night.
Costello reminds us that it's our unique features that make us confident, beautiful, and successful—not the parts of ourselves that look (or that we force to look) the same as everyone else's. Whether you have a unibrow, no brows at all, a prominent birthmark, thick thighs, or narrow eyes, Costella says, "remember that it's way better to be weird than boring."
Here at Byrdie, we know that beauty is way more than braid tutorials and mascara reviews. Beauty is identity. Our hair, our facial features, our bodies: They can reflect culture, sexuality, race, even politics. We needed somewhere on Byrdie to talk about this stuff, so… welcome to The Flipside (as in the flipside of beauty, of course!), a dedicated place for unique, personal, and unexpected stories that challenge our society’s definition of “beauty.” Here, you’ll find cool interviews with LGBTQ+ celebrities, vulnerable essays about beauty standards and cultural identity, feminist meditations on everything from thigh brows to eyebrows, and more. The ideas our writers are exploring here are new, so we’d love for you, our savvy readers, to participate in the conversation too. Be sure to comment your thoughts (and share them on social media with the hashtag #TheFlipsideOfBeauty). Because here, on The Flipside, everybody gets to be heard.