Iconic Styling of the Eyebrow: A Brief History

By common consent, the eyes are the most expressive part of the face, and what better to accent these windows to the soul than with a pair of elegantly styled eyebrows? Throughout eyebrow history, the definition of the perfect brow has changed considerably. Read on the eyebrow history to see some of the ways that women have adapted their eyebrows to the ever-changing whims of fashion in the past hundred years.

Eyebrow History: How They Changed Over the Years

  1. The Virtuous Victorian

During the Victorian era, makeup of any type was seen as something that only a prostitute would wear, so classy ladies largely left their faces alone! Eyebrows were left unplucked and beautifully bushy.

  1. 1920’s: Silent Movie Starlets

In 1920s became the first era where regular women got their fashion inspiration from celebrities. The silent movie starlets of the decade dominated eyebrow fashion, with actress Clara Bow’s enviably thin brows the gold standard. Women plucked their brows extensively to achieve this dramatically thin and straight style. After extensive plucking, Vaseline was used to add shine and control to any errant brow hairs that still remained.

  1. 1950’s: Bushy, Buxom Brows

Eyebrows became bolder in the 1950s, and fashionable women like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe set the standard by penciling in their already thick, dark brows in order to get a more distinctive look. Rather than pencil straight, the arched look became more in vogue and women everywhere relied on their heavy brows to define their faces.

  1. 1970’s: Flower Child Fashion

The hippie movement of the 1970s promoted an ideal of all natural fashion in every regard, and eyebrows were no exception. Women began to leave their brows alone, and those that favored at least a little grooming opted for a more subtle style than in earlier decades.

  1. 1990’s: Over Tweezed Nineties

After a push towards a bushy look in the 1980s, the 90s became another era that celebrated the slender brow. Movie stars like Drew Barrymore spent the decade with such tiny arches that their faces never stopped looking shocked. Though most women took a more lenient take on their brows, almost everyone was guilty of over tweezing. Perhaps for the best, this style phase for the brow was relatively short lived.

  1. Today: The Return of the Full Brow

Now more than ever you have an excuse to throw away your tweezers. The bushy brow is back with a vengeance, and runway models everywhere are rocking their brows au naturel. Women less naturally brow-blessed are relying on dark pencils and gels to pump up their look.

If you favor the bushy brow, rejoice! However, you might want to keep hold of your tweezers just in case. If history decides to repeat itself (as it is prone to do) the pendulum of eyebrow fashion will swing yet again and soon thin, arched brows may again become the look to emulate. The eyebrow history

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