Today’s definition of the perfect eyebrow is a perfectly arched, full eyebrow that frames the eye and enhances the features. But sadly, it has not always been so. A good portion of the client’s I see were slaves to their tweezers during their teenage years, spending their evenings painstakingly tweezing their brows into a (then fashionable) single line of hairs, emulating the eyebrows of their favourite singer or pop star.
For some, the trends passed and they moved on to the next eyebrow craze but for others, they tweezed so much and so often, that the hair never grew back and that’s where Permanent Makeup and Microblading has stepped in, offering a solution to replace some of what has been lost in the race to save face.
Eyebrow trends come and go, from the turn of the 20th century to present day, the journey has been emotional and epic. In this blog we are going to look at eyebrow fashions through the decades and the rolling trends we see come and go.
The 1920'S : Roaring Beauty
In the 1920’s, the increase in popularity of movies and movie stars becoming main stream celebrities had a huge impact on the way women wore their eyebrows. Stars like Clara Bow and Ana May Wong, often shaved their eyebrows off and painted them back in with theatrical makeup to better emulate emotion on screen. Along with her defined cupid’s bow, women of the age emulated Clara’s despondent downturned brow.
The 1930'S: Shaking Things Up
In the 1930’s women still kept their eyebrows thin and styled. Stars like Merle Oberon and Marlene Dietrich abandoned the downturned look of the 20’s in favour of a more rounded upward bend. Eyebrows weren’t the only thing that changed, makeup and cosmetics were becoming more readily available and the stigma of wearing makeup in public was no longer taboo. Subsequently, with makeup becoming more affordable, more and more women were shaving, plucking and pencilling their eyebrows back in.
The 1940'S : Women & War
In the 1940’s and particularly during the war, wearing makeup for women became part of their everyday routine. In an effort to remain feminine whilst taking on traditionally more masculine roles during the war effort, women wore even more makeup, particularly red lipstick and wore their eyebrows thick, arched in the centre and highly defined like Joan Crawford and Ava Gardner.
The 1950'S : Short & Sweet
Post war, in the 1950’s in an effort to return a state of normalcy, women were very quickly shoved back into their traditional roles of ‘Mother’ and ‘Housewife’. Makeup was worn even more heavily with the arrival of the ‘cat eye’ and heavy foundation and with this new era came a new eyebrow style. Eyebrows were worn short, full and wide set to give a doll like appearance, like Audrey Hepburn or Marylin Monroe.
The 1960'S : Swinging Into A New Era
The 1960’s were one of the coolest decades for makeup. Seperated lashes, pale eyeshadow and pale lips were staple looks for any fashionista like Twiggy. Traditional “prettiness” gave way to art, self expression and androgyny. Eyebrows were generally worn high, rounded and even bleached.
The 1970'S : Flower Power And The Birth Of Disco
Over the next decade, the swinging sixties gave way to the hippie movement and flower power took the world by storm. Women wore their makeup more natural with softer, rounded arches. In the later 1970’s the Disco scene took the world by storm and stars like Donna Summer and Cher sported thin high eyebrows, glitter laden eyelids and thick false lashes, laying foundation to a generation of over plucked pin thin eyebrows that never grew back.
The 1980'S : The Power Brow
Everything in the 80’s was BIG, BOLD and larger than life. Thick eyebrows were back for the 80’s, but shaped eyebrows definitely were not. Stars like Brooke Shields and Madonna paved the way sporting heavy, unkempt “caterpillar” eyebrows which became all the rage.
The 1990'S : Where Big Eyebrows Came To Die
The 1990’s are responsible for Baywatch, Girl Power, Supermodels, Britpop and Grunge to name a few crazes. Things i’m sure shaped most girls of my generation. Unfortunately, eyebrows did a complete 180・ and revived the skinny thin eyebrow. The best of us are still recovering from this heinous eyebrow fashion, me included. For fun, I’ve added some photo’s of what my own eyebrows looked like at the back end of the 1990’s.
The 2000'S : Bringing Sexy Back
With the new Millennium came a fresh look and eyebrows were starting to fatten up. Perhaps not quite back to their calorific former glory of the 80’s but enough to stop everyone looking perpetually surprised. The naughties were all about SEXY, cleavage was out, jeans were slung low, thongs were high and everyone was blonde, even Justin Timberlake.
2020 : Beauty Is Everywhere
Well, that brings us up to date. It is a beautiful world we live in. Beauty in 2020 seems to know no age, gender or race. Eyebrows are soft and natural and simply stunning, on guys and girls. Pictured above are Rhianna, Lena Dunham, Helen Mirren and Johnny Depp, all celebrities who are rumoured to have had a little eyebrow help from Microblading or Permanent Makeup. Who would know?
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