There’s no mistaking it, fierce brows are totally having a moment right now and making their mark in beauty history. And rightly so – beautiful brows are a must for framing the face and finishing off your look. From eyebrow pencils to eyebrow palettes and eyebrow pomades to gels, there are more brow products available than ever before. So, it’s no surprise that market research company NPD reported an average spend per British woman of £200 per year on eyebrow grooming – That’s a whole lot of primping and preening! Brows have always had their place in history and are a marker of beauty movements across the decades. From pencil-thin lines to bold, bushy brows and everywhere in between, there is no place the brow is afraid to go. … Are you ready to go back in brow time with us?
1920’s – Express yourself: We may shudder at the thought of not being able to get our hands on our fave beauty products in moments, but it wasn’t until the start of the 20th century that women could buy commercial beauty products. 1920’s Hollywood actress Clara Bow heavily pencilled in her brows, wearing them super-thin, straight and long with a downward curve just towards the end. This curve that created a slightly sad look helped to give these starlets more visible expression in silent moves. These movie stars had a big impact on their fans and this was the very start of celebrity influence that we know and love today.
1930’s – Ahead of the curve: While thin and fierce brows remained a firm favourite into the 30’s, this decade also saw brow shape become more rounded and curved, as loved by the likes of Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow. It was also becoming easier than ever to get your hands on make-up and prices were more affordable too, making cosmetics – including the beloved eyebrow pencil – available to the masses. [Image – Greta Garbo]
1940’s – A natural progression: During this decade a softer, more feminine look began to take shape. Celeb darling Marlene Dietrich championed a less severe curve compared to the brows of the 40’s.
1950’s – Arch angel: The natural thickness of the 40’s followed into the next decade, although the 50’s sharpened the shape and the curved brow progressed into a full, heavy arch. With Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor all sporting this look, it’s no wonder these brows became big news. Needless to say, this look demanded a brow pencil and a precision finish. These thick arched brows were needed to frame the beauty look of the moment – a full face of make-up and a super polished finish. [Image – Elizabeth Taylor]
1960’s – Stroke of genius: A thicker brow was still loved by the masses, although the arched shape softened for a more natural look. It was Sophia Loren’s brows that epitomised the 1960’s; she shaved off her eyebrows completely then pencilled in a full, thick brow using short, precise strokes to mimic natural hairs. Until then, women would paint in their brows in a straight line across the brow, so we have Loren to thank for the more natural technique we use today!
1970’s – Thin-spiration: After decades of an ever-thickening brow, the 70’s disco era saw brows become thinner again. Diana Ross raised her thin brows with a sharp arch. The 70’s was also the decade that saw the rise of brow waxing!
1980’s – Let it grow: The 80’s was aaall about the big and the beautiful and brows were no different. Brooke Shields wore a bushy, bold brow – just like our very own Cara Delevingne today. Oh, and the recent trend of brushing brow hairs upwards? Whitney Houston was totally rocking this look back in the 80’s. [Image – Brooke Shields]
1990’s – Less is more…?: In stark contrast to the 80’s caterpillar brow, the 90’s brow went thinner than ever. Everyone from Kate Moss to Drew Barrymore and Gwen Stefani was over-plucking like there was no tomorrow (and many of us are still suffering from the resulting brow-sparseness to this very day!). The 90’s was also a time for a more natural finish, where people ditched brow colour in favour of au-naturel. [Image – Kate Moss]
2000’s – Slow growth: After the plucking madness of the 90’s it was never going to be easy to regrow those brows, so while eyebrows stayed thin in the 2000’s, there was gradual growth to a more natural shape while brows took a breather. [Image – Victoria Beckham]
2010’s – Brow wow: Brows are now BIG news and this decade is totally marking its moment in brow history with brows that are bigger, bolder and braver than ever. The super defined brow of the TOWIE set and the mega-bold scouse brow from the early 10’s have given way to the likes of naturally bushy brow-queen Cara Delevingne and the thick, impeccably groomed brows of Kim Kardashian. Social media and selfies have fuelled our desire for a stand-out brow and there are now more brow products than you can shake a selfie stick at. The brows of now are definitely brows that wow!