Eyebrows Through the Decades

Posted on 13 June 2017


Brows are the defining feature of the face; they’re the curtains to the eyes’ windows.  Nowadays, full brows are embraced and celebrated, a stark contrast from the overly plucked brows of the 90s and 2000s.  For many decades, brows have been growing and shrinking based on the style shown by celebrities everywhere from the silver screen and the stage to the runway.  To see the trend of time, check out this flashback to the shapes of brows past….       





The roaring 20s were marked by extremely thin and highly raised brows.  They were penciled in on a downwards slope, creating an almond-shaped eye.  One of the celebrities that best showcased the drawn-out eyebrows of the decade is Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star.  




The brows of the 30s were fairly similar to those of the 20s in terms of their thin and rounded shape.  But, the tail of the brow shortened and the beginning of the brow bended inwards.  The award-winning Czech actress Vera Ralston perfectly captured the eyebrows of the era.



Following the style of the 30s with eyebrows that drooped down towards the inner corner, the style of the 40s’ brow progressed by slowly introducing a more natural shape to the world of eyebrow shaping.  Joan Crawford’s uniquely thick brows were a bit large for the time, but bridged the gap between the skinny brows of the 40s and the medium-sized brows of the 50s.




A squared-out eyebrow first started to peek through in the 50s with brows that became fuller and darker.  The stark contrast between the 50s and the previous decades was the dramatic arch and pointed tail-end of the brow.  One of the most famous actresses of her time and, arguably, the most recognized 50s icon of today, Marilyn Monroe popularized a more dramatic brow that opened the doors for the drama brow of the 60s.




The 60s is when we see the fullest brow in the twentieth century.  As seen in Audrey Hepburn’s awe-inspiring brows, the look was powdery and thick.  The shape was boxy and straight, including a strict arch that created a short, thinner tail.  




Cuing the accordion effect, the 70s marked a time of a return to the thin and sharply arched brow.  While the brows did remain fuller around the arch, as shown by the diva goddess Diana Ross, the thin shape still made its comeback for a short time during this decade.




The cry was heard for thicker brows once again, and the 80s presented one that wasn’t as dramatic as that of the 60s, but was the most feathery brow seen thus far.  Brooke Shields was known for her big brows, and the electric decade supported this brow trend by catapulting models with brows like Shields’ to fame.  The 80s were basically a big eyebrow party.




The next and last decade of the century was the 90s, and brows were plucked off of faces faster than you can say “bare-browed”.  The one-line eyebrow pencil motion was used again for the first time since the 30s.  Model Kate Moss exemplified the wire-y 90s brow with a barely-there arch.




The 2000s continued the trend of the 90s, with the exception of the brows following a more natural shape.  Angelina Jolie’s eyebrow, for example, was thin but was still shaped in the way that brows naturally grow.




If there’s just one person who wins best brows of all time, it’s the brow queen Cara Delevingne.  Today, we embrace a brow that combines the boxy, thick style of the 60s and the full and feathery style of the 80s.  To get Cara’s beyond brilliant brows, it’s best to use a combination of an eyebrow powder/eyebrow gel and pencil to create the look in the most natural way possible.  Use the Universal Eyebrow Pencil to shape your brows and then fill in the brow using Brush #16 and the Signature Eyebrow Quintet or the Eyebrow Gel, depending on which you prefer.  


For some fun eyebrow art, take a clear eyebrow gel and drench your brows in it.  Shape the brow using Brush #4.  Once you’ve gotten your eyebrow art shape, use the same brush and the OFRA Eyebrow Gel to accentuate and add color to the hairs.



Have you ever tried out eyebrow looks from different decades? Let us know in the comment section down below and follow us on social media to see more brow goals.


Written by: Annika Polatsek


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