Eyebrow History

Eyebrows have changed a lot throughout recent history. They’ve been thin, thick, curved, arched, and everything in between.

Beauty trends and hairstyles have changed a lot over time. The glamorous 1950’s red lips and curls were a lot different compared to the bold, streaky colors of the 1980s. Eyebrows are one feature that has also changed drastically over time. Each decade has had a distinct style. They’ve been thick, thin, curved, angled, on fleek, and everything in between. Thank goodness for tweezers and professional brow geniuses.

(Related: 7 Eyebrow Looks That Are Just As Wild As Kaley Cuoco’s Pink Brows)

Here’s a beauty crash course in the history of eyebrows:


Clara Bow, "The It Girl"

The 1920′s were all about pencil-thin brows. Eyebrows were extremely plucked or drawn on. The uber-thin brows were also very long and curved downwards at the outer corners. Silent movie star Clara Bow’s dramatic brows personified the ’20s brow trend.


Jean Harlow Eyebrows

Extremely skinny brows continued into the 1930′s, but the straighter brows of the Roaring Twenties were replaced with rounder, dramatic shapes like Jean Harlow’s eyebrows.


Lauren Bacall Eyebrows

Women stopped overplucking their blows in the ’40s. The popular brow shape was thicker, well-groomed brows with a nice arch as popularized by stars like Lauren Bacall, Joan Crawford, and Grace Kelly.


Elizabeth Taylor Eyebrows

Brows continued to become bolder. The thicker arched shape of the 1940′s remained, but it was enhanced with eyebrow pencils in dark colors. Think of the strong, groomed brows Elizabeth TaylorAudrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe had.


Sophia Loren Eyebrows

Sophia Loren was the Cara Delevingne of eyebrows in the 1960′s. Everyone wanted to copy her brows. She famously shaved off her natural brows and filled them again with convincing short strokes.


Ali MacGraw Eyebrows

With the hippie movement, brows became more natural as people put down their tweezers and brow pencils.  Ali MacGraw and Lauren Hutton exemplified the natural, ungroomed eyebrow trend.


Brooke Shields 1980′s

When you think “1980′s brows,” you probably think about Brooke Shields. Her bushy brows were the look. If you weren’t blessed with thick, statement eyebrows, you faked the look with brow products—the bushier and more unruly, the better.


Canadian actress and model Pamela Anderson

The 1990′s overplucked brows were the antithesis to the power brows of the ’80s. Teeny, skinny brows that made you look a bit surprised were the fave look. They became popular thanks to celebrities like Pamela Anderson and Drew Barrymore.

2000′s To Now

Instagram brows fade

The skinny brows of the 1990′s remained popular for the start of the 2000′s, but eyebrows continued to get thicker. When Cara Delevingne rose to fame in the 2010′s thick, bold eyebrows became the must-have look. Eyebrow pencils flew off the shelves, and darkening eyebrows with tints became popular.

Gloriously thick, statement brows are still trendy, but there have been a few interesting brow trends. Celebs have experimented with alien-like bleached brows and #eyebrowsonfleek with a fade at the inner corners and an overall stark, the defined shape has taken over Instagram. Rainbow bright brows are also a look for daring people who want to match their crazy-colored hair.

(Photos: Getty Images, unless otherwise noted)

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