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The Iconic History of Eyebrows


From Cleopatra’s sharply defined eyebrows to Frida Kahlo’s iconic unibrow and Kim Kardashian’s “eyebrows on fleek,” brows have played a much more prominent role in history than most people realize. In this post, we’ll take a tour through the history of the most iconic eyebrow trends and the ladies behind them.

Ancient Egyptian Eyebrows

We start our brow history with none other than the iconic Cleopatra. In ancient Egypt, both men and women wore makeup for its supernatural powers. To pay homage to the god Hor us, people heavily lined their eyes and their brows. Ancient Egyptians darkened, arched, and elongated their brows by painting on carbon and black oxide substances — it’s safe to say that Cleopatra was the pioneer of the bold brow!





Barely-There Brows of the Middle Ages

Medieval women wanted all of the focus on their domed foreheads. So, they heavily plucked their brows — think of Mona Lisa’s barely-there eyebrows. But, that wasn’t enough! During the Elizabethan era, many women also dyed their brows reddish-brown in honor of Queen Elizabeth.

The Needle-Thin Brows of the Roaring Twenties

Clara Bow was the it girl of the 1920's, and women around the country set out to emulate her severely plucked and penciled in thin brows that dramatically extended to the temples — and the love for eyebrow pencils was born!


Frida Kahlos Iconic Unibrow

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is perhaps best known for her unibrow and for being a bad@$$ feminist. During her era, women adhered to a strict beauty st andard, and Kahlo’s unibrow was a direct refute of the times. She said, “I will not restrict my self-expression in order to fit your idea of what a woman should look like.” Flash forward to decades later, and Frida’s unibrow is one of the most well-known and adored eyebrows in history. To achieve her iconic brow, Frida used special tools to “groove” her brows into place and even made them darker using an eyebrow pencil to fill in the spaces.

Heavy Arches of The 40's

Two decades later and thin brows were out and replaced with softer, less severe-looking, thicker brows modeled after actresses Lauren Bacall and Grace Kelly, who also sported prominent brow arches.


The Plentiful Eyebrows of the 1950's

The fuller eyebrow trend took off in the 40's and continued well into the next decade, with famous faces like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn all sporting lush, immaculately trimmed and shaped brows.



The Painted Brows of the 1960's

Sophia Loren had the most famous eyebrows of the decade and a unique styling method to boot. Loren shaved her eyebrows completely before penciling them in with short strokes to secure a bold yet natural-looking appearance.

The More is More Brows of the 80's

Brooke Shields’ eyebrows are a national treasure. She led the resurgence of the natural bushy and bold eyebrow. Shields and Madonna were among the famous females that sported dark, brushed-up, and bushy brows.

The Less is More Brows of the 90's

Tweezers took center stage in the 1990's as women everywhere got very pluck-happy, tweezing their brows to the bone — we may have Pamela Anderson to thank for this! In fact, model Kristen McMenamy’s career skyrocketed only after she shaved off her brows.

The Bold Brows of Today

The bold brow is back, baby — and has been ever since Cara Delevingne debuted her perfectly imperfect brows on high fashion runways around the world. The full eyebrow trend eventually led to brow lamination — where the brow hairs have the ‘brushed up look.’

Giving Brows Fullness and Shape has been our speciality since 2016!

The our team at Wink iBoutique is made up of St. Louis’ go-to brow experts. We offer it all, from microblading to powder brows, brow lamination, and henna brow — we’ve got something for every brow style! Book your appointment today.

Image sources:

  1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ancient_Egyptian_eyes_makeup.png

  2. https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20210211-the-detail-that-unlocks-the-mona-lisa

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow#/media/File:ClaraBow2.1.jpg

  4. https://www.pexels.com/photo/creative-graffiti-wall-with-portrait-of-frida-kahlo-6424244/

  5. https://www.pexels.com/photo/creative-graffiti-wall-with-portrait-of-frida-kahlo-6424244/

  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Kelly

  7. https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/189524%7C46617/Elizabeth-Taylor/#overview

  8. https://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/116314%7C141476/Sophia-Loren/#overview

  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Shields

  10. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/pamela-andersons-marriage-dan-hayhurst-affair-ex-girlfriend-claims

  11. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/makeup/advice/a3068/how-to-get-cara-delevingne-brows/


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