Eyebrow Styles Throughout American History

At Brazils Waxing Center, one of our most popular services is our eyebrow waxing services. You may not have put a ton of thought into it, but eyebrows have been an important part of women’s (and some men’s) beauty routines for decades. Throughout time, different eyebrow styles have come and go into vogue, depending on the fashion and beauty trends of the time, as well as the social, political, and economic environment. Here, we will briefly go over eyebrow trends through the ages.

Eyebrows Styles Timeline

1910s: In the early 20th century, women preferred defined but natural looking brows. The goal was to appear as though nothing had been done to the brows, as too much attention to your appearance was considered immodest. Women would often dye their eyebrows, making them darker when they had light hair, and lighter when they had dark hair.

1920s: As motion pictures rose to prominence and movie stars became fashion icons, the style of eyebrows changed drastically. Silent movie stars like Clara Bow would shave their eyebrows in order to draw them back on so they would look more expressive on screen, and regular women adopted the practice in response. The stylish shape was long, thin, and downturned, making the eyes appear larger.

Greta Garbo

1930s: In the ‘30s, brows remained thin, but became more rounded and arched. A good example of this is Greta Garbo, whose U-shaped eyebrows inspired many women to adopt this dramatic look.

1940s: The occurrence of World War II had women taking on traditionally masculine roles while their husbands were overseas, so beauty trends responded by emphasizing a more feminine look. Eyebrows took a turn for the dramatic, with big, bold, thick, arched brows dominating the trends, as exemplified by Joan Crawford, one of the most famous stars of the time.

Marilyn Monroe

1950s: In the 1950s, women’s beauty trends focused on returning to traditional gender roles, which shows through the cat eyeliner, round lip shape, and rosy blushes of the time. The brows that were adapted to accommodate this renewed focus on femininity. Marilyn Monroe is a good example of the predominant eyebrow trend of the time: short, arched, light, and wide set, creating the appearance of larger eyes.

1960s: By 1960, with mod fashion, beauty trends shifted from looking pretty and feminine to an emphasis on self-expression and adopting your own personal style. Bold colors and big lashes were all the rage, and so brows changed to frame the face properly for this look. Thin, long, and rounded eyebrows like Twiggy’s were all the rage, and eyebrow bleaching became a common practice to create an almost alien-like effect.

1970s: The 1970s saw the beginning of eyebrow waxing, opening up the possibilities for shaping. The shape du jour at the time is one you have probably seen around today, as it remains a popular style among older women. The center of the brows near the bridge of the nose are squared off, then the rest is long and thin. This can be seen on Donna Summer, a style icon for many during this time.

1980s: The ‘80s saw a surge of women going to work and becoming more powerful professionally, so their eyebrows had to follow suit. Women grew their eyebrows out to be full and bold. Actress Brooke Shields is the perfect example of the strong brows that were popular at the time.

Kate Moss

1990s: Once the ‘90s rolled around, eyebrows took a dramatic turn in the opposite direction. Fashion was all about being small, from heroin-chic, rail-thin fashion models to skinny eyebrows. Pencil-thin brows came back into style, leading to a lot of over-waxing and over-tweezing of eyebrows. You can see this style on actresses such as Drew Barrymore or Pamela Anderson.

2000s: In the 2000s, style focused a lot of sex appeal: low-rise jeans, thongs, and cleavage were necessary staples in a starlet’s wardrobe. Therefore, brows had to be sexier to match the fashion of the time. Think of Angelina Jolie’s brows, which mimic Marilyn Monroe’s in that they are arched and short, but with a bit more edge.

Today: Today, brows are one of the most important parts of your look. Full, sleek brows are all the rage, à la Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian. Everyone wants eyebrows that are #onfleek, as can be seen in selfies all over the internet.

Clearly, what is in vogue for eyebrows has evolved over time, and soon, there will be a new style that everyone prefers. The important thing is to shape your eyebrows in a way that flatters your face and reflects your own personal style. Regardless of how you prefer to shape your brows, we can help you at Brazils Waxing Center with our eyebrow waxing services. Your wax technician will work with you to ensure that your eyebrows frame your face in a flattering way. Book an appointment online today!