Eyebrow Styles Over the Ages


It’s interesting to look back and pay homage to women’s beauty as represented by eyebrow styles from around the world.

Just like clothing fashion, eyebrow fashion has a life of its own. In our time, we’ve witnessed trends from thin, high-arched pencil drawn eyebrows to the natural, thicker, unkempt eyebrow style, and back again. Your eyebrows are surprisingly important in determining your look. They are meant to complement the shape of your face, and when your eyebrow shape is off, you’re entire appeal could change. While eyebrow styles come and go, what really matters is what fits for you face.

Ancient Trends


image via missfairchildcharmschool

In ancient Egyptian history, eye make up was applied as a homage to the god Horus – God of vengeance, sky, protection, and war. Eye make up was applied in order to protect against evil spirits and disease. They were shaved or tweezed and replaced with a dark gray or black powder made from the lead-based mineral galena. Brows were clean, arched and thick. Think Cleopatra.

Ancient Greek eyebrows, from 800 BC to 146 BC, were a determinant of purity. Married women sported a natural look while single women used incense to darken their eyebrows. Uni-brows were also considered beautiful.


image via libby rosof

The uni-brow, which is for the most part a beauty offense today, holds a history of praise. The Byzantine empress Theodor is depicted in a 548 A.D. mosaic with a uni-brow. Ancient Romans also considered the uni-brow to be a desirable trait and a sign of intelligence, from 753 BC to 476 AD. During the Qajar dynasty in Iran, from 1785 to 1925, uni-brows were thought to be beautiful. And let’s not forget Frida Kahlo, whose uni-brow is recognizable even today.

In Japan’s royal court during the Heian period form 794 to 1185, eyebrows were drawn over white powdered skin to look like hazy clouds.

In the Middle Ages, from 1066 to 1485, eyebrow trends took a U-turn from ancient times and were dwindled down to the barely-there look. Thin eyebrows were desired as to draw more attention to the forehead.

1900s Trends

claudette colbert

image via Kate Gabriel

In the 1920s, women were all about sporting pencil-thin eyebrows that were plucked to an extreme and then drawn over with a straight, slightly curved line. This was the era of flappers and beauty was a means to liberation. Going into the 1930s, eyebrows remained heavily tweezed but took on a more dramatic arch, as seen on Jean Harlow and Greta Garbo.

By the 1940s, eyebrow fashion tended toward the thicker, softer look but with a prominent arch. In the 1950s, a strong, meticulously-shaped eyebrow became vogue, as was seen on Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.


With the hippie movement in full swing in the 1970s, the natural eyebrow returned. Bushy eyebrows were all the rage in the 1980s with Madonna and Brooke Shields leading the trend.

The 1990s were less distinct in adherence to any particular trend, but tweezing or waxing was far more common and thinner eyebrows were again fashionable.

cara and kate

image via Hot Gossip Italia

Alas, today we are back to the bold brow, embracing thickness by filling in brows, but still keeping them clean and well shaped. Regardless if it’s in vogue or not, however, shape your brows to your desire as they fit your unique face.

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Top image: Juliana Cotinho