Original it-girl Clara Bow’s brows were a large part of her carefully constructed visual identity. They were very thin, downwards pointing, and worked well to express emotions on film.
Would it work today? Probably not. Pencil thin eyebrows have become tacky and undesirable and the sad looking shape wouldn’t be flattering for everyday.
Joan Crawford’s striking beauty was only enhanced by her high arching brows.
Would it work today? Yes, but you’d have to be prepared for a few looks. The high arch of this brow shape would be striking on a woman with a rounder eye but almond shapes would be too harsh against it.
Veronica Lake is best known for her flaxen locks but her rounded arches work perfectly to accent her face shape and signature look.
Would it work today? Absolutely. Slightly more shaped than a normal brow, this look would require regular upkeep so is high-maintenance.
Audrey Hepburn’s brows are one of her most defining features but a close look at any image shows that they were almost completely drawn on.
Would it work today? Probably not. This is a very strong and very harsh brow that, when drawn on, would look forced on most women. If you’re lucky enough to have naturally thick brows you could shape them to emulate Audrey’s.
With the signature makeup that Twiggy often wore, her brows had to be strong enough to stand out without taking away from the look.
Would it work today? Definitely. A good rule to follow when attempting any strong eye is to think how your brows will look in comparison. A filled in but not overly defined brow works very well with strong liner.
The 70s saw the success of models like Lauren Hutton and it was the time when we saw eyebrows in a more natural shape.
Would it work today? Yes. Most women are comfortable with their natural brow shape so this slightly shaped look is great for everyday.
Probably the most iconic brows of a generation, Brooke Sheilds’ straight but full brows were typical of the 80s.
Would it work today? Absolutely. Strong brows are one of the biggest trends so we should expect more women going with a groomed version of au natural.
The 90s brought an obsession with plucking, waxing, and grooming body hair, so many women are still fighting with the over-plucked brows they regret. Lucy Liu’s arches are a happy medium and representative of the era’s trends.
Would it work today? Unfortunately, many women are still struggling with the addiction to tweezing so we still see over-shaped brows. If you want a thinner look, opt for a shape like Lucy’s that complements your eye and face shape.
Julia Roberts was America’s sweetheart during the late 90s and early noughties and her brows were natural, if not a little wiry.
Would it work today? Yes, but I’m not sure if you’d really want them. Leaving sparce brows unfilled can draw attention to the wrong area of your face.
When Cara Delevingne hit the fashion scene in 2011, the world became obsessed with her bold and shapely brows. Thanks to Cara and celebrities like Kim Kardashian, women are tweezing, threading, waxing and even extending brows to ensure they are always “on fleek.”
Would it work today? Yes, the strong brow is here to stay — for now at least.
We’ve never been more brow obsessed than we are right now. Shaping, grooming, and constantly maintaining eyebrows has become a necessary beauty practice. It girls, actors and models alike have been defined by their brows, for better or worse, for the past century. Here are some of the most iconic arches from the past.