Eyebrow Shape Evolution Throughout a Century

Beauties, have you ever thought about how a seemingly small thing can fundamentally change your image? This could be the new color of lipstick or the new shape of eyebrows. The latter detail has a completely magical ability to transform the appearance as proved by a bold beauty experiment, in which a woman “tried on” all the most fashionable eyebrows of the last century. These transformations are worth seeing!

The importance of eyebrows and their ability to change the appearance is known to any common girl, who could even write a successful thesis on this topic. Most modern beauties would rather leave the house without mascara or lipstick (or stay at home) than without eyebrow makeup. All this eyebrow fashion is not a fresh trend. In fact, it is already a hundred years old. Fashion changed frequently, generations replaced generations, and beauty standards of the female face experienced transformations together with them. Alle Connell, the editor of Revelist, demonstrated in the fast forward mode how eyebrow makeup looked over decades. Let’s join her in this journey.

1. 1917: a la naturelle

Since the appearance of photography and until the beginning of the 1920s, girls were not interested in their eyebrows. They preferred not to pluck them, as far as it can be judged from the old photographs. But there was an interesting tendency to darken the eyebrows. It was especially popular among the blondes. The faces must have looked more expressive even on pale pictures.

2. The 1920s: drama

The fashion for sadly lowered thread-shaped eyebrows that seemingly expressed eternal grief was introduced by actress Clara Bow (in the picture). The reason was purely utilitarian: such a hand-drawn facial expression helped to convey the dramatic nature of what was happening on the silent film screen. Clara’s example was followed by other stars and the most fashionable young ladies of the time.

3. The 1930s: flirtatious arcs

As cinema developed, more female types appeared on the screen. Except for the role of dramatic martyrs, the stars of that time gained the screen image of a fatal temptress. The unforgettable Greta Garbo became its vivid embodiment. She started the popular trend of shaving one’s eyebrows and drawing expressive crescent-shaped arcs. Moreover, it was this decade that made decorative cosmetics widely available. So, the trend (together with dark pencils) quickly embraced masses of people.

4. The 1940s: thicker and broader

War years and beauty trends seem to be poorly compatible concepts. Yet, fashion was not so easy to defeat. Of course, the hardships and social changes could not but leave their imprint. They affected even the eyebrows, which clearly acquired several masculine features. Clear “strong” lines, width and density replaced the coquetry of the 1930s. That was understandable as women had to demonstrate courage and wanted to remain feminine at the same time.

5. The 1950s: dolls!

The war was over, and femininity in its purest form began to regain its positions. The most famous blonde in history, Marilyn Monroe, became the symbol of beauty and sexuality in the middle of the last century. Of course, women tried to imitate her in everything, including the shape of eyebrows. Short, wide-set and coquettishly bent eyebrows adorned the faces of the then ladies. Such a shape made the eyes proportionately larger, the nose smaller. Girls looked like dolls!

6. The 1960s: eyebrows don’t matter that much

What matters is eyes, artificial eyelashes in four layers (including the lower eyelid) and avant-garde makeup in general. The sexual revolution and the feminist movement came as the result of women’s being tired of looking like dolls. They asserted their freedom of individuality. Even if it meant to look like aliens. Do you want to see the most fashionable eyebrows of that time? Study the photos of Penelope Tree models (in the picture) and of well-known Twiggy.

7. The 1970s: Disco fever

In the era of huge platforms, sequins, glass balls, futurism in fashion and ABBA hits in the cassette player, eyebrows were ruthlessly shaved or plucked as a thin “comma”. Apparently, this was done to save as much space as possible for glitter eyeshadows, just like sweet-voiced Donna Summer did.

8. The 1980s: eyebrows in the focus

The 1980s cultivated not only jackets with huge shoulders and wild hairstyles but also naturalness. Primarily, this affected female eyebrows, significantly grown since the disco era. Perhaps the rising star of Brooke Shields was to be blamed for this, as well as the first hits of Madonna – they were the celebrities of the new generation with expressive eyebrows. Those who could not grow lush eyebrows after the experiments of the previous decade dyed the missing hairs with eyeshadows and even liquid liner.

9. The 1990s: dark times

Including the eyebrows. In the 1990’s, the models on the catwalk were thinner, the clothes on stage were shorter and more revealing, and eyebrows were reduced to a minimum. Everything that had grown in the eighties was ruthlessly shaved, and the forgotten thread-shaped eyebrows returned in their place. Many ladies seem to have remained in that time. At least their eyebrows look this way.

10. The 2000s: aggressive sexuality

We will be brief: Angelina Jolie. Her small, delineated eyebrows with a somewhat aggressive (“angular”) bend still remain the standard for many women. Just like other parts of Mrs. Jolie-Pitt’s face and body.

11. Today: trimmed eyebrows

Wide, (not) moderately thick, made-up eyebrows. Seriously, you can have a separate cosmetic bag for eyebrows these days. It is hard to say how long this eyebrow craziness will last, but if you take into account that everything in the fashion world comes back and repeats itself, they will start to be shaved again soon. It must have been so hard to grow them…

It’s amazing and curious to see how fashion and beauty standards have been changing with time.

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