We’ve been obsessed with our eyebrows for decades. I remember the late 1970s when eyebrows had to be well plucked and thin. Since then trends have changed from thick and untamed to almost invisible, but regular readers of this blog will know I’m all for a natural brow. But we keep getting asked: What are the best eyebrow trends, and which ones suit my face?
Every so often the trend shifts suddenly from one extreme to another, usually prompted by the arrival of a new supermodel, It girl or actress. The most recent change was prompted by Cara Delevingne back in the 2000s when she appeared in enormous posters for Burberry.
Cara’s thick, natural yet beautifully shaped eyebrows stole the show, they were the first thing you noticed about her, and since then women have been asking their beauticians for “eyebrows like Cara’s”.
What has changed over the last 100 years?
- 1920s and 30s: Razor think eyebrows dominated the social scene, sometimes eyebrows were even invisible
- 1940s: Big eyebrows reigned, thick near the bridge of the nose and thinning out nearer the temples – but with a sharp kink instead of a soft arch
- 1950s: Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, and Elizabeth Taylor was queen of the silver screen – their eyebrows were thick. ERII’s were natural while Ms Taylor shaped her brows with not a stray hair in sight
- 1960s: Strong and brushed. Eyebrows were very defined and the first signs of the power brow began appearing
- 1970: Thinner and flatter. Remember US model Cheryl Tiegs? She sported the unfussy, naturally thin brow which was so flat it was almost a straight line
- 1980s: Super thick brows thanks to Brooke Shields. The Blue Lagoon actress and Calvin Klein model shook the fashion industry with her mammoth brows while still a teenager. Soon, girls everywhere binned their tweezers and let their brows grow again
- 1990s: The years of grunge and Kate Moss – so back to “naturally” thin brows again, as if a reaction to the decade of thick brows
- 2000s: Not much change this decade. The brows were no thinner but they were fainter. People were plucking / weeding their brows to make them less stand-out and paler
- 2010s: Thick was back. Broad, dark and combed to its teeth
- 2020s: Long brows, medium-sized to thick but soft with a gentle curve
What are the best Eyebrow Trends to suit my face?
Each to their own. Eyebrows and make up are a personal choice and a matter of individual taste. But some general rules apply. Thin eyebrows enhance other facial features for better or worse.
If you have lovely big eyes they will be even more striking with thin eyebrows – little to distract. But equally if you have a big nose, thin eyebrows will also help make it look bigger simply because there is nothing to balance out the face. Nothing to lead the spectator’s eye away from your nose.
Best Eyebrow Trends and Kate Moss’ Fashion Forward
Kate Moss’s almost non-existent eyebrows in the early 1990s ad for Yves Saint Laurent’s fragrance Obsession looks great because her features are elfin feminine and near perfect.
A low eyebrow makes you look tired or worn out – or if, like the actress Charlotte Rampling, known for her low brow, you can carry it off, it will give that come hither if you dare look.
A strong Cara Delevingne brow is the most forgiving. A strong, prominent brow takes the pressure off the rest of your features, but generally it requires a good bone structure – cheekbones and even features – to look natural. And if you’re lucky enough to have even features, then strong, even eyebrows really does make you stand out in the crowd, in a good way.