History of Eyebrow Trend Evolution: A Look Back to 100 Years

By Josef Mohamed
Apr 29, 2024
History of Eyebrow Trend Evolution: A Look Back to 100 Years

Today we will have a look back at eyebrow trends over the years and explore what kind of looks women desired the most. In the 1920s, women sported ultra-thin, elongated eyebrows, but by the 1940s, the trend shifted back towards a more natural appearance.

But before we dig in let’s see how eyebrow market is performing today aligning with the latest trends:

  • Eyebrow Makeup Product Market size was valued at USD 24 Billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 71.7 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 24% during the forecasted period 2024 to 2030.

This market is defined by a wide range of products intended to style and shape eyebrows. Pencils, powders, gels, waxes, and stencils are a few examples of eyebrow makeup products. Consumer preferences and changing beauty standards are causing a dynamic shift in the eyebrow makeup product market.

But how the beauty trends affected the popularity of certain eyebrow makeup products? We have all the answers. Join us as we go through 100 years of eyebrow trends, most used eyebrow products and offering brief tutorials on how to effortlessly recreate each style.

The 1920s: Defined, Dark and Thin

In the 1920s, women often had thin, clearly shaped eyebrows that sloped downwards at the ends. These eyebrows stretched a bit past their natural endpoints. This style was particularly popular during silent movies, where actors relied on their eyebrows to show different feelings.

Core Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow pencils and powders, sometimes also petroleum jelly to hold the brows in place.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Map out the beginning of the brow and arch with the eyebrow pencil, marking points in brown or black. For the end tail of the brow, apply your mark a little further out and down. Then simply join the three markings with a single line. Keep in mind to draw the very beginning of the brow slightly thicker than the tail.

Iconic Examples:

image 132.jpg__PID:469526c0-a0ca-4c41-987b-1738c2bc7141

Clara Bow: American actress during the silent film era of the 1920s.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Bow

image 133.jpg__PID:416a0556-40b9-477a-a1e0-999f3883d893

Marlene Dietrich: German and American actress and singer.
Source: https://www.biography.com/actors/marlene-dietrich

The 1930s: Extremely Thin, Rounded, and Dark

In the 1930s, eyebrows became even thinner than in the 20s. Women began to create more emphasized arches which were a little sharper and edgier than in the previous decade. This brow type lifted the face even more. The highest point of the arches was directly over the pupil, making the eyebrow appear higher and the space between the brow and eye looked larger.

Core Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow pencils in darker shades, sometimes grease paint or even mascara to darken and define their brows.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Create a half-moon shape with a single solid eyeliner stroke. Begin from the bottom corner of the eyebrow and gently curve upwards, going past the highest point of the natural arch. Let it taper off just a bit beyond the usual endpoint at the outer corner of the eye.

Iconic Examples:

The 1940s: Natural, Thick, and Rounded

During the 1940s, there was a shift towards a thicker, more naturally shaped eyebrow style. Women embraced a more authentic appearance by allowing their eyebrows to grow back. The trend leaned towards thicker, softly rounded brows that tapered gradually towards the ends.

Unlike the higher arches of the 1930s, eyebrows in the 1940s were often positioned closer to their natural placement. Additionally, there was a slight exaggeration of the brow bone. Eyebrow colors were usually chosen to complement one's natural hair color.

Core Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow pencils and powders were still used, but with a lighter touch to create a more natural appearance. Women also used brow brushes to brush their brows upwards and outwards.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Allow your eyebrows to grow back and fill them in softly with a pencil or powder, focusing on creating a gently rounded shape that tapers gradually at the ends. Keep the arch lower and closer to its natural position, while slightly exaggerating the brow bone.

Iconic Examples:

image 135.jpg__PID:535d9da5-c708-4498-bb09-e93348351cf5

Rita Hayworth: American actress
Source: https://www.biography.com/actors/rita-hayworth

The 1950s: Defined, Thick, and With a High-Angled Arch

The 1950s, known as the Golden Age of Hollywood, saw the rise of iconic actresses who greatly influenced eyebrow fashion. During this time, eyebrows had a higher, angled arch and were slightly thicker than in previous decades, featuring enhanced definition and sharp edges.

This allowed to create of a distinctively high angular shape. Regardless of hair color, eyebrows were dark and meticulously defined, departing from the softer look of the 1940s.

Core Eyebrow Product: Eyebrow powders with an angular brush, also eyebrow gels came to popularity, to fixate the eyebrows in their position.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Start by filling in your eyebrows with a pencil or powder to achieve a fuller appearance. Focus on creating a sharp, angular arch that sits higher on the brow bone. Use a spoolie brush to blend and shape the brows, ensuring clean, defined edges.

Iconic Examples:

image 136.jpg__PID:c3e9d692-3b68-4fe0-80cb-43e2aef4ffea

Jayne Mansfield: American actress
Source: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0543790/

The 1960s: Thicker at The Front, Thinner Towards the End

The 1960s had two eyebrow trends: The iconic "Twiggy" brow, characterized by a thin, straight shape with a slight arch and tapered ends,The typical 60s brow, which was slightly thicker at the front with the tail end finished slightly shorter than the corner of the eye also above the brow bone. For both trends, the coloring was more natural than in the 50s.

Core Eyebrow Product: Eyebrow pencils were still used, but brows were often filled in with lighter strokes to create a more natural appearance.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Begin by brushing your eyebrow hairs upwards and filling in the sparse areas at the front of your brows with a pencil or powder. Then, gradually taper the thickness towards the outer ends of your brows, using light, feathery strokes. Avoid creating a harsh, defined arch.

Iconic Examples:

image 138.jpg__PID:8971ee5e-ae3a-4f64-b9d5-fd10b47987b8

Audrey Hepburn: British Actress
Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/336503403420714911/

image 139.jpg__PID:ee5eae3a-9f64-49d5-bd10-b47987b84eb1

Twiggy: English model, actress, and singer.
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/614600680397399126/

The 1970s: Very Thin, Overly Plucked Eyebrows / Natural and Unshaped

In the disco era of the 1970s, it was common to heavily pluck eyebrows, favoring thin, sharply arched shapes alongside bright, shimmering eye shadow to enhance the eyes.

On the other hand, some opted for completely natural, unshaped eyebrows without any defined arch. Despite these different styles, the overall trend emphasized keeping eyebrows looking natural, without overfilling or shaping them.

Core Eyebrow Product: Eyebrow pencils were still used to fill in sparse areas, but the focus was on enhancing the natural shape rather than creating a highly stylized look. Clear brow gels and waxes gained popularity for holding brows in place.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Start by using tweezers to pluck the eyebrows and carefully remove excess hairs, creating a thin and sharply arched shape. Be cautious not to over-pluck, as the goal is to achieve a defined yet delicate look.

For the natural and unshaped eyebrows of the same era, simply let your eyebrows grow freely without any shaping or plucking. Use a brow gel to tame any unruly hairs and keep them looking neat.

Iconic Examples:

image 140.jpg__PID:f660288e-ab0f-4b67-97cc-93612faa79bf

Diana Ross: American singer and actress
Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/194358540165248862/

image 141.jpg__PID:288eab0f-9b67-47cc-9361-2faa79bf3205

Donna Summer: American singer and songwriter
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Summer

The 1980s: Natural and Fluffy

In the 1980’s not only fluffy hairstyles were trendy, but also fluffy and bushy eyebrows. Women started to embrace the natural growth of their eyebrows and even unibrow was widely trendy during this time. Tweezers and eyebrow waxes were lost their popularity and dropped in sales during this era.

Core Eyebrow Product: Eyebrow pencils in bold colors like brown and black were popular, often used to create a dramatic and highly sculpted look. Women also used clear brow gels and waxes to shape and hold their brows in place.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Allow your eyebrows to grow out freely without plucking or shaping them. Use a spoolie brush to tu brush them up and then fill in any sparse areas with a brow pencil or powder. In the end set the brows in place with a clear brow gel to maintain their fluffy texture.

Iconic Examples:

image 142.jpg__PID:5599f679-a348-4994-9079-5a397f132924

Brooke Shields: American Actress.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Shields

image 143.jpg__PID:f679a348-1994-4079-9a39-7f132924b3e5

Madonna: American Singer.
Source: https://www.pxfuel.com/en/desktop-wallpaper-ibatc

The 1990s: Precisely Plucked and Thin

The 1990s favored a thinner and more minimalist brow, influenced by supermodels like Kate Moss. Brows were often plucked into a thin, high arch. It was fashionable to completely expose the brow bone and draw on an eyebrow that was unflattering and lacked authenticity.

Core Eyebrow Product: Women used tweezers to pluck their eyebrows into a thin shape. Additionally, they often relied on eyebrow pencils or powders to fill in any sparse areas and create the illusion of a precise, defined brow.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Start by shaping your brows with tweezers to achieve a defined shape. Focus on removing excess hair from the bottom and top edges for an arched look. Use a brow pencil or powder to fill in any sparse areas and then use a concealer or highlighter to clean up the edges and enhance the sharpness of the brows.

Iconic Examples:

image 144.jpg__PID:da5cd558-7372-41ea-8e5b-785a2a308df3

Gwen Stefani: American singer and songwriter
Source: https://thebeaulife.co/beauty-news/gwen-stefani-no-makeup-looks

image 145.jpg__PID:d5587372-31ea-4e5b-b85a-2a308df3d8b3

Drew Barrymore: American actress, producer, talk show host and author.
Source: https://www.vogue.com/article/drew-barrymore-90s-beauty-looks

The 2000s: Precise and Defined

The 2000s marked a shift towards fuller, more natural-looking brows, popularized by celebrities like Cara Delevingne. The emphasis was on enhancing the brows' natural shape and texture.

Core Eyebrow Product: Eyebrow pencils, pomades, and gels are commonly used to fill in and define the brows. Microblading and brow tinting have also become popular techniques for achieving a fuller, more defined look. Brow grooming products like brow serums and growth enhancers have gained popularity for promoting healthy brow growth.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Shape your brows with tweezers for symmetry, then fill in any gaps using an eyebrow pencil or pomade for a polished look. Finally, set the brows in place with a clear gel to maintain their shape throughout the day. Use eyebrow tinting for a more defined look and eyebrow serum to promote growth.

Iconic Examples:

image 146.jpg__PID:8c582f92-887b-43e8-b433-b6ef23385bbb

Cara Delevingne: English model and actress
Source: https://www.popsugar.co.uk/Cara-Delevingne

The 2010s: Carved out, Overly Filled, and Defined

In the 2010s, sculpted and heavily filled brows were all the rage. Eyebrows took on a thicker appearance with pronounced, pointed arches and meticulously drawn individual hairs. Sharp, angular edges were emphasized using lighter concealers to complement the hair's shade, often incorporating a fading ombré technique, transitioning from lighter to darker hues towards the tail of the brow.

Core Eyebrow Product: The use of eyebrow products like pencils, pomades, gels, and powders continued to rise. The introduction of eyebrow markers and liquid pens allowed for more precise application and detailing. Tinted brow gels gained popularity for adding color and definition. Brow kits containing multiple products became increasingly common, catering to various brow preferences and styles.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Begin by shaping your brows with tweezers or wax to achieve a clean, defined outline. Next, fill in sparse areas with an eyebrow pencil or pomade, layering the product for a bold, sculpted look. Use concealer around the edges to sharpen and define the brows further, blending it seamlessly for a polished finish.

Iconic Examples:

image 147.jpg__PID:cae7f252-f7dd-45e6-a4d4-93d7882616b5

Kim Kardashian: American media personality, socialite, and businesswoman
Source: https://www.reuters.com/breakingviews/kim-kardashian-will-be-kicked-off-instagram-2023-12-22/

Nowadays: Natural Appearance

In the 2020s, eyebrow trends continue to prioritize natural-looking brows with a focus on enhancing individual texture and shape. From embracing fluffy brows to experimenting with bold colors, there's a wide range of styles to explore.

Core Eyebrow Product: Eyebrow pencils are essential for filling in sparse areas and defining shape, while brow gels tame unruly hairs. Brow pomades offer long-lasting color and definition, perfect for bold, sculpted looks, and brow powders add subtle definition with a softer finish.

How to Recreate These Eyebrows: Prep by brushing brows upward to reveal shape, then fill in sparse areas with pencil or powder, following the natural arch. For a fluffy look, apply brow gel in upward strokes to add volume. Finish by setting with clear or tinted gel for a polished result.

Iconic Examples:


1. https://www.byrdie.com/brows-through-the-ages

2. https://us.kryolan.com/blog/posts/history-eyebrows-1920s-until-today

3. https://www.thelashlounge.com/blog/the-evolution-of-the-eyebrow-eyebrow-trends-over-time/

4. https://www.rush.co.uk/blog/skin/eyebrow-trends-throughout-the-decades/39624

5. https://www.verifiedmarketreports.com/product/eyebrow-makeup-product-market-size-and-forecast

image 115.jpg__PID:9a70c962-2b2e-4b75-a106-acbbf58a91a6

Josef Mohamed

Josef Mohamed is a Content Marketer and Web Designer with over 6 years of experience.He brings a wealth of knowledge to his work, making him a reliable source for readers interested in practical insights about beauty.His writing style is straightforward, aiming to provide real facts and avoid common myths in the beauty industry.