Eyebrows through the ages

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Egyptians started it with Cleopatra’s signature cat-eyed make-up and thick, sculpted eyebrows and since then the art of decorating the ‘windows to the soul’ has spread like wildfire and become a beauty trend through the ages and all over the world.

Shaping, grooming, and constantly maintaining brows has become a necessary beauty practice. It-girls, actors, and models alike have been defined by their brows, for better or worse, for the past century.

Brows in this era were typically pencil thin and straight, slightly slanting downwards and lining the eyes beyond the edge of the eye, giving a nostalgic, pensive look.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1920s

Building on the 1920’s trend, women in this era were spotted flaunting thin, but extravagantly arched brows making more of a strong, powerful statement.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1930s

Dominated by glamour it-girls Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Marylin Monroe the 40s and 50s were all about bold, big statements. The arched brow was still on-trend but these ladies changed the game by adding fullness, definition and dark colour.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1940s and 1950s

Similar to the signature makeup that Twiggy often wore, brows in this period had to be strong enough to stand out without taking away from the overall look. Hence, a lot of plucking if not shaving of the inner brows was common. They were then filled in lightly with a coloured pencil to add in subtle definition.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1960s
The 70’s signed the slow-down of the brow rollercoaster and saw models like Lauren Hutton flaunt eyebrows in their natural shape.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1970s

Probably the most iconic brows of a generation, Brooke Sheilds’ straight but full brows were typical of the 80s. Thick, dark and almost unruly brows mark the trend of this era.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1980s

With the 90s came an obsession with plucking, waxing and grooming eyebrows, creating a trend that lasted through the early 2000s. Many women are still fighting the aftermath of this process today, as thicker brows are back on trend.

Eyebrows through the ages - 1990s

Luckily, Elizabeth Arden has partnered with the world-renowned Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute to develop the ultimate tool for women to get back on trend: PREVAGE® Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum.
This revolutionary new treatment is clinically proven to make brows (and lashes) appear longer, fuller and healthier in as little as two weeks.

“I have been testing PREVAGE® Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum on my customers and the results are outstanding after just six weeks of application” remarks Gillian Lentin of BrowXpress in Johannesburg.
When asked about current eyebrow trends, Lentin comments “I’ve built a business over the past ten years with a client base who are all trying to get a fuller brow, so I’d say the thick brow is definitely back on trend”.
She adds “However, it’s important to remember that like hairstyles, brow styles should be suited to and shaped to an individual’s features and not to current style trends”.

Apply once daily at bedtime to clean eye area. Using the applicator, apply one stroke of PREVAGE® Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum to the base of upper and lower lashes, from the inner to outer corner. Follow the same directions for brows, covering the entire eyebrow area. Continue using 3 – 4 times per week to maintain the desired look and condition of lashes and brows.

Eyebrows through the ages - Prevage

PREVAGE® Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum features a fine tip applicator wand and is housed in a chic carrying pouch for easy storage and travel.

PREVAGE® Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum, .13 fl. Oz/4ml R695.00

Other articles you may be interested in:
The best eyebrow tools for perfect eyebrows
Fashion forward or ridiculous
On a thread
A balding brow
Kate Middleton and the Scouse brow

Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. Kariwo

    I love thick eyebrows of the 80’s…I think they give a woman a youthful and innocent look

    6 years ago •

  1. AndreaM

    1940,1950 & 1960’s were the best.

    6 years ago •

  1. Heidi G

    There were some awesome eyebrows in history!

    6 years ago •

  1. Anne

    Not a fan of the thin arch! Interesting article

    6 years ago •

  1. Gross

    Eye brows make a difference, there is no denying! I love the classic 1940-1950’s look.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lynne Singleton

    Great product, I will try it!

    6 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Not really a fan of the big, dark, bold eyebrows of the 40’s, 50’s and 80’s. Sadly I was “blessed” with a very bushy brow set, and I’ve had to resort to threading and plucking frequently.. :-/

    6 years ago •

  1. ABeauty

    Amazing too actually see the it era by era, great article hmm I recon I am more of a 70s girl!

    6 years ago •

  1. liedeman

    For some reason i love my full eye brows. So ya very 80’s then again i am an 80’s baby.

    6 years ago •

  1. ProMakeupMe

    wow! I’m glad I wasn’t around in the 20’s.

    6 years ago •

  1. Khensani

    Interesting how the most consisting eyebrow trend is the thick one. I think dark, defined eyebrows are always best. As long as they’re shaped right and don’t meet in the middle.

    6 years ago •

  1. Nicksta

    The worst ever… Drawn on eyebrows :O

    6 years ago •

  1. steenkamp

    Haha quite funny the different sizes to thin then bushy now normal is in again. would love to try the serum but it is a bit expensive.

    6 years ago •

  1. Govender

    My favourite eyebrow look is full eyebrows. It really makes you look young and fresh

    6 years ago •

  1. Miss Tee

    wouldnt mind giving this product a try but it comes with a hefty price tag

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    GOSH. It seems a lot of women are still stuck in the 30s then. The horror!

    6 years ago •

  1. anisha

    I am using Prevage Clinical lash and Brow enhancing serum and I am happy to report that I notice a marked improvement in my lashes & eyebrows. It works!

    6 years ago •

  1. TJK

    I definitely love the 40’s and 50’s brows! Defined, but full.

    6 years ago •

  1. Tundee

    If it can make my lashes look fullier I’ll buy it!

    6 years ago •

  1. McPherson

    Ohh that 30’s look is scary. Reminds me of clowns

    6 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    i love the 40’s and 50’s trend, groomed and neat with an arch. i am not a fan of thin eyebrows, it doesn’t look natural. it reminds me of clown eyebrows and a constant surprised expression.

    6 years ago •

  1. StephanieM

    Thank you Audrey, Elizabeth and Marilyn… I feel that brows should be minimally groomed to suit one’s face (so no over plucking or under plucking. The serum is very expensive, especially if it must be used “continually” to maintain results…

    6 years ago •

  1. Caroline-a

    I have brows from the 1940’s hehe.

    6 years ago •

  1. Abby

    wish my brows looked as good as any of these! :(

    6 years ago •

  1. fourieliandi

    i love the 60’s brow – my favourite look!
    and i would love to try elizabeth arden clinical lash and brow serum.

    6 years ago •

  1. Natasha#mommalicious

    40’s 50’s & 60’s for sure!

    6 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    I like the 60’s and 70’s, more my style.

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    40’s & 50’s are my favourite look

    6 years ago •

  1. Vumile Aayishah

    I’m for the 60’s brow – it’s actually how I look right now

    6 years ago •

  1. Azraa

    The thick bold arch looks best! It must be neat, but not thin and fake

    6 years ago •

  1. me

    So glad that over plucking is over. I never liked it- never did it. Now my thick brows are ‘in’

    6 years ago •

  1. Gisela

    I much prefer the 1940’s & 50’s classic all the way :)

    6 years ago •

  1. Zellikinz

    This is amazing. I over plugged my eyebrows just where my arch start. But thanks to make up, I can fill it in and make it look fuller, but it takes time and doesn’t always look that great.

    6 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Thin arched eyebrows are just “eewwhhhhh”

    6 years ago •

  1. Ayesh

    I love the natural shape of my brows. All I do is pluck away the stray hairs and then add definition with a brow pencil in a dark brown shade, which matches my hair colour. So glad I was never tweezer happy! lol. Good luck to all those ladies trying to grow back their brows. x

    6 years ago •

  1. DebbieT

    Can’t believe how much they have changed over the years, not liking the very thin brows.

    6 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    Wow what a change, the eyebrows are most important as it defines the faces, I think. Love the 1960’s brows

    6 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    I’ve never really thought about eyebrow trends before – will be looking at my brows quite differently now, trying to figure out in which ‘era’ I belong, LOL!

    6 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty

Beautysouthafrica.com is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In