A Look Back at 100 Years of the Best Eyebrow Trends

A Look Back at 100 Years of the Best Eyebrow Trends

If you’re even the slightest bit obsessed with makeup and styling, you’d know how much the eyebrows can contribute to crafting your beauty look. With all the unmissable craze surrounding eyebrow fashion today, one can only wonder, where did it all really start?

Is it really any surprise if we tell you eyebrow beauty made it to the mainstream as early as the 1920s? Yep, 2022’s eyebrow-first approach to makeup wasn’t just born out of another social media fad. Movie stars back in the day made eyebrow styling a big part of their on-screen characters and naturally got the ball rolling for all kinds of brow trends in the decades to follow.

From the iconic straight across Audrey brow to the plucked-to-extinction 90s skinny brow back to bushy and big, it sure has been an exciting journey of eyebrow shapes over the years. Some that didn’t quite make the headlines while some others we literally still bow down to today.. or should we say brow down? (Yes, we’re thinking of you Cara Delevingne.)

Need inspo for your next eyebrow look? Well, you’ve got a 100 years of eyebrow styles to choose from.

1920s Eyebrows - Thin, Downward Sloping

With the start of the 20th century came the rise of Hollywood and the big movie star personality. The 1920s were characterised by silent films where everything depended on character visuals and brows quickly became the centre of attention for dramatisation. Eyebrows in the era were thin, long and sloping, with the tail of the brow drooping downwards on the face. Despite the lack of colour and sound in moving-picture-style movies of the time, the signature brow look was high-impact because it accentuated facial features and emphasised expression and emotion. Sophisticated, melancholic and highly dramatic, 1920s brows paved the way for a decade of iconic brow looks to follow. Celebrities like Kay Francis and Pola Negri rocked the brow look of the 20s.

How to get 20s inspired eyebrows:

1. Get your eyebrows threaded to precision by a brow professional.

2. Cover surrounding hair with small amounts of concealer, making sure to achieve a downward slope in the arch.

3. Draw in with the Imitations Micro Pencil in Granite to define and darken the brow until a crisp line is formed.

(Image: Kay Francis, Pinterest)

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1930s Eyebrows - Rounded, Upward Arch

Thin brows still stayed very much in fashion in the 30s, but moved away from the ever-so-nostalgic sloping down brow look of the previous decade to a much more rounded, defined and upwards eyebrow arch. Tweezers and eyebrow pencils were every woman’s best friend - especially as makeup started to become more affordable. In fact the pencilled-in brow look became so popular that women even went to the lengths of completely shaving off their eyebrows and re-drawing them in if plucking didn’t give them a perfect curved arch! Yep. With stars like Carole Lombard rocking the raised eyebrow look (and no we don’t mean a disapproving raised eyebrow) in her off-beat performances, the brow trend eventually became a symbol of female authority.

How to get round arched eyebrows:

1. Start with mapping out your eyebrow shape to the curve you want.

2. Trim the brow hairs with eyebrow scissors to shorten from the ends. 

3. Use an eyebrow pencil to draw in a defined arch. We recommend using the Imitations Pencil in Deep Dark Brunette.

4. Optional: To amplify the high point of the arch you can choose to underline with your favourite highlighter.

(Image: Carole Lombard: Pinterest)

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1940s Eyebrows - Soft, Full, Gelled Up

Come the wartime era of the 1940s, eyebrows became slightly fuller and more natural-looking - a heavy pencil effect was no longer the in thing. All thanks to icons like Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth, women got inspired to put their tweezers to rest, and let the brows exude softness through their natural appearance. The trademarks included leaving the inside of the eyebrows ungroomed, filling in with a soft hand instead of dark lines and finishing up with Vaseline to set the brow hairs in place. (You’re probably thinking um, Vaseline? Really? Apparently it worked but thankfully we now have far more nourishing products that can style and hydrate the brows). And as for the shape - the 40s had an eyebrow shape for everyone, whether you liked them arched, rounded or steep.

How to get the sleek and soft eyebrow look:

To get the 40s natural, sleek and soft signature brow, we recommend styling your eyebrows with the Alias Brow Lamination Gel. If your eyebrows are light in colour, you can choose to fill them in with an Eyebrow Pencil that is one shade darker than your skin tone. We don't recommend this for brown or black hair.

(Image: Joan Crawford, Pinterest)

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1950s Eyebrows - Pointed Arch, Defined

There’s nothing that influenced beauty more in the 1950s than Marilyn Monroe and her blonde bombshell character. Well-groomed, elegant and glamorous, she gave new meaning to femininity with her luscious curly hair, sexualised red lips and of course the classic angle-arch brow. Rounded brow shapes became a thing of the past and eyebrows now had a high-pointed, defined look, finished with eyeshadow for a powdery, thick, and bold finish. Fast forward to 2022, bold and defined eyebrows are everywhere so it’s safe to say women in the 50s were way ahead of their time.

How to get the classic Marilyn Monroe brow:

With your eyebrow accessories, start out with arching the brows first. Remember that every brow arch will vary based on your facial features, so make sure you map around your naturally highest point in the brows for a perfect shape. Once you’re happy with your brow shape, add definition with an eyebrow powder or eyebrow pomade. We recommend using the lightweight Creamades Brow Pomade for its pigmented finish. If you prefer a long-lasting treatment, tint your brows with the Brow Code At-Home Henna Kit instead.

(Image: Marilyn Monroe, Pinterest)

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1960s Eyebrows

As the golden age of Hollywood came to an end in the 1960s, an era of true experimentation was born in the beauty industry. Women were less bound by the mainstream and creatively took on many different eyebrow shapes, looks and sizes, driven by a strong emphasis on individuality and personal preference. On one hand there was the dynamic straight-tapered-archless eyebrow look worn by Audrey Hepburn and on the other you saw Twiggy starting a ‘loud eyelash’ craze that made brows short and minimalistic. We’ll give it to Twiggy, her youthful trendy eyelashes did take first place when it came to 60s beauty looks, but the way we see it, this didn’t mean brows took a back seat - they were just small and tidy! Our favourite look? Definitely the Audrey Brow.

  • Small and Minimalistic Eyebrows

    (Image: Twiggy, Pinterest)

  • Straight, Unarched and Bold Eyebrows

    (Image: Audrey Hepburn, Pinterest)

  • Grow

    If you have naturally thicker eyebrows, let them grow out as much as possible and don’t touch the grooming tools. You can use a serum or brow oil to promote hair growth, but this needs to be done for at least a month or two for noticeable results. As your hair grows, the brows will lose their arched shape.

  • Taper

    The next step is to taper the tail of the eyebrows. This will give it a straight-across effect. You can lightly trim, tweeze or thread the brows but we recommend just applying concealer at the ends so you don’t regret your hair removal decision later.

  • Fill

    Use strokes of an Eyebrow Pencil but make sure you blend the colour in with your finger for a smudged effect (not a regular pencil-lined effect). Then, apply a dark shade of Pomade to add boldness and depth. If you have really sparse brows, you may want to get semi-permanent microblading done from a professional stylist, but this of course depends on your commitment to the eyebrow style.

1970s Eyebrows - Lifted, High, Subtle

Disco, sparkle, and glamour - need we say anything else about the 70s? Born on the dancefloor of American nightclubs, the disco genre was built around an energetic stage performer ethos focusing on exaggerated looks - whether that meant glittered shirts, bright pink bell-bottoms or a full blushed face. Heavy eye makeup became popular in the form of colourful eyeshadow and heavy mascara, and eyebrows became thin and highly arched to act as a subtle framing accessory. Disco queen Donna Summer, among others, was seen wearing the waxed-up, stringy eyebrow look in style to highlight her dazzled up eyes - looking gorgeous as always.

How to get 70s eyebrows like Donna Summer:

Wax your eyebrow shape along the brow bone with Brow Code’s premium cherry blossom styling wax. You should aim for a lifted eyebrow arch in a slightly rounded shape (try not to wax too much hair off as it can take a while to grow back). A full coverage concealer is best for faking a super thin brow line. Tweeze extra hairs from the tail end if you want to shorten the brows. Don’t over-pluck. And that’s it! No fill-ins needed.

(Image: Donna Summer, Pinterest)

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1970s Eyebrows - Unplucked, Grown Out

At the same time, the flower child hippy counterculture was also emerging rapidly, seeing women reject all mainstream consumerist ideals and focus on embracing their natural selves. Eyebrows were left unplucked and grown out to be fuller in appearance. Women’s rights and the second-wave feminist movement were at the forefront of social change in society, and believe or not eyebrows played a big part in this reimagination of identity.

How to get natural flower-child inspired eyebrows:

Style your eyebrows with the Heist Brow Soap for a fluffy, natural look. Just dampen your spoolie with Rose Water, rub the bristles into the soap and stroke the brows upwards. Eyebrow Soap is great for everyday styling without the commitment.

(Image source: Pinterest)

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1980s Eyebrows - Bushy and Ungroomed

What started on the sidelines of hippy culture in the late 70s, quickly became the biggest fashion statement of the decade to follow - full and fluffy eyebrows! People in the 80s showed off their success in larger-than-life versions of beauty and fashion - makeup, outfits, hairstyles… anything that caught attention. The ‘less is more’ ideology practically didn’t exist and bigger meant better. Musical divas like Madonna and Whitney Houston paraded grown-out, bushy eyebrows fashionably, inspiring women to embrace the revival of the full brow trend with the greatest self-confidence.. unruly, untamed, and unshaped was the new groomed. Some women even took on Frida Kahlo’s unibrow look to question the ‘normative beauty standard’ and own their own style

How to get 80s inspired full and fluffy eyebrows:

Let your brow hairs grow out for at least 6-8 weeks. No threading, waxing, plucking or trimming. You will need to brush up your hairs with a Brow Soap once everyday to give your eyebrows a bushy look. For adding extra definition to the colour of your eyebrows, fill in with a dark shade of Brow Pomade.

(Image: Madonna, Pinterest)

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1990s Eyebrows - Skinny, Slim, Slender

If you take a trip down memory lane to the pop culture influences of the 1990s, what are you reminded of? If you ask us, only one thing comes to mind.. skinny eyebrows. All hail to plucking (again), every woman’s go-to brow behaviour. Razor-thin brows became trending thanks to Pamela Anderson, later becoming classified as the ultimate ‘supermodel brow’. All in all, we think the 90s’ slim eyebrows were nothing short of iconic and trend-setting - even if you’re still recovering from your own over-tweezing from back in the day.

How to get the iconic 90s skinny eyebrow:

You can thin your eyebrows in many ways. We recommend adapting a ‘fake it till you make it’ approach using makeup that can temporarily create the illusion of a skinny brow. Use eyebrow trimming scissors to trim any extra brow hairs. Wax or thread the brow to a round arch Apply full-coverage concealer to outline the narrow shape of the brow. Do this both under and above the brow arch to emphasise the shape. Use an eyebrow brush to lightly blend the concealer into your skin.

(Image: Pamela Anderson, Pinterest)

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2000s Eyebrows - Needle Thin, Drawn-in

Millennials were not letting the skinny brow craze of the 90s die down any time soon in the dot com era. Carrying on deep into the 2000s, the thin eyebrow trend saw brows get even thinner, going as far as a needle-thin look. Inspired by the edgy y2k aesthetic of the internet boom, fashion looks were colourful, loud and grungy and sharp pencilled-in eyebrows added a sense of rebelliousness to this already expressive mood. Christina Aguilera was the pinnacle of a plucked-to-extinction type eyebrow darkly outlined with a brow pencil, that she somehow even managed to flaunt. Her Über-thin eyebrows powerfully showcased a certain brash-rebel-kid persona of the time that is still iconic today.

How to get 2000s inspired pencil eyebrows:

You can achieve this look with tweezers but we recommend using makeup to fake the look. Apply a concealer shade closest to your skin tone, over the top of your brows. Blend in to even out the colour. With an eyebrow pencil, draw a single line in a simple arch across the eyes. As a guide, your arch should align with the outer nostril end and finish 1 cm outside the eye line.

(Image: Christina Aguilera, Pinterest)

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2010s Eyebrows - Powerful, Instagram Worthy and the Rise of the Alternative

Following on from the legacy of the 1960s experimental era, the 2010s is really when it all happened. Every brow trend you can think of today.. you name it, the 2010s had it. So many different eyebrow looks came into fashion this decade, from Insta-worthy HD brows to wild wavy styles.. it sure was a mixed bag.

  • Crisp, Clean Eyebrows

    The resurgence of the full brow came in full force to kickstart the 2010 powerhouse. Kim Kardashian, and the rest of the Kardashian clan, can be credited with influencing women all over the world to go the natural (but clean) route again and put an end to the frantic eyebrow plucking craze of the 90s and 2000s. Brows became bigger, more defined and cleanly shaped, with a rich pigmented colour. The trend was to grow out the brows but keep them highly groomed.. brow artists were definitely back in business with customers flocking in to get their brows restyled after years of plucking away at them. Till this day, the eyebrow styling industry pays homage to the gorgeous Kardashians for reintroducing this trend.


    How to get Kimmy K eyebrows:

    Wax your eyebrow shape to get a clean, crisp arch. Lightly tint the brows with a DIY Eyebrow Tint Kit.


    (Image: Kim Kardashian, Pinterest)

  • Dark, Thick Eyebrows

    Easily the headlining act of the decade, Cara Delevingne and her bold power brows took the beauty world by storm. The model’s lusted-after eyebrows were an ode to 80s fashion, giving big brows the credit they deserved. What defined the Cara Brow was a thick, bushy arch (achieved by letting the hairs naturally grow) lightly touched with a brush, but not too groomed, and dark.. really dark. 10 years later, and women are still obsessed with this look.


    How to get Cara Delevingne eyebrows:

    Use an Eyebrow Gel to brush up the hairs for a natural and fluffy look. Brush the hairs upwards from the root and in an outwards angle towards the tail end. Comb the inside end of the brow in the opposite direction to give it a messy appearance. Tint the brows dark with an at-home Eyebrow Tint Kit.


    (Image: Cara Delevingne, Pinterest)

2015 - Instagram Brow

It was the year of the Pomade, the year of Kylie Jenner (or should we say King Kylie)! Even at just 18 years of age, Kylie was gracing all our social media feeds with her high-maintenance, always-in-place beauty looks, and such was her polished eyebrow game too. Starting off soft and light at the front then fading to a dark, defined tail end in an ombre effect and an ultra HD, super-crisp finish.. the classic influencer eyebrow look was all about perfection. Celebrities and makeup artists who shaped and popularised the picture-perfect ‘Instagram Brow’ at the time, inspired women to let eyebrows become their number one beauty focus. Grooming companies AND makeup brands were really all booming at once! 

How to get the Instagram Brow:

For an ultra HD, crisp effect, we recommend getting your eyebrows microbladed by a professional. This will give your brows a tattoo-like effect and create a smooth ombre finish that leaves the eyebrows light at the head and dark at the tail (be mindful this is semi-permanent brow styling, so don’t do it if you’re not ready for the commitment).

Alternatively, an Eyebrow Pomade will do the job perfectly (it was the year of the pomade after all). We recommend Brow Code’s Beauty Global Awards Finalist Creamades Brow Pomade. First map out your eyebrows for a clean and defined shape. Next, dip your angled eyebrow brush into the pomade and fill into the mapped area of the brows using line strokes. Start from the base of the brow and move upwards and sideways to fill in all areas. Leave the hairs at the brow head sparse for an ombre effect.

(Image: Kylie Jenner, Pinterest)

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  • Kim Kardashian

    You know the Versace-backed bleached eyebrows we’ve seen swarm red carpets everywhere lately? Believe it or not, they actually made their first appearance back in 2016. There was of course Kim Kardashian’s pioneering bleached brow glam in the 2016 Met Gala, giving total avant-garde vibes.


    (Image: Kim Kardashian, Pinterest)

  • Lily Aldridge

    Big names like Lily Aldridge and Katy Perry followed suit with the no-eyebrow-eyebrow-look (although Aldridge didn’t really bleach her brows, she just painted them gold). The trend was to bleach the brow hairs to a super light blonde or ashy white to make the eyebrows virtually non-existent. If edgy and unconventional was your spirit, bleached eyebrows were the game.


    (Image: Lily Aldridge, Pinterest)

  • Katy Perry

    We recommend visiting a professional brow stylist to get your eyebrows bleached, but you can also do at-home eyebrow bleaching yourself. Source a gentle hair cream bleach for the hairs (you can easily find one under $20), and simply follow instructions on the box. The longer you leave a bleach to develop, the lighter the hairs will become.


    (Image: Katy Perry, Pinterest)

  • It was an ‘anything goes’ era. Riding on the momentum created by the big bleach brow moment on the Met Gala carpet in 2016, the following years empowered makeup artists and women to play around with all kinds of crazy (read: creative) eyebrow styles. It truly was a time of the alternative where eyebrows without arches were shining. 2017 really was an interesting time for eyebrows. Whether you see it as absurd or super-creative, there’s no doubt it opened us up to a whole new world of eyebrow art (after all beauty is about enjoying yourself isn’t it?). 


    (Image source: Pinterest)

  • First, there was the viral feathered eyebrow look. It’s exactly what it sounds like.. the eyebrows were shaped like a real-life feather by leaving the central arch line bare and brushing the hairs in opposite directions on both sides. Wild, but feather eyebrows took flight (no pun intended) everywhere after a Finnish makeup artist created the look on her Instagram handle.


    (Image source: Pinterest)

  • A play on the feathered brow trend, was another skewed, twisted, non-arched look.. barbed wire eyebrows. Sections of the eyebrows were sharply pointed up and down in a zigzag pattern to replicate a spiky wire. Although the barbed wire frenzy didn’t come anywhere close to shaking the internet like feathered brows did, they sure did have a notable moment. Then came boxed up eyebrows that literally had slits across the arch to create a square-sectioned like look. Well, 10 points for creativity, but they definitely weren’t a crowd-pleaser and no one saw them again. 


    (Image source: Pinterest)

  • There were also wavy eyebrows that instead of a round arch, were shaped in a curvy wiggly wave shape. Maybe not the most wearable of brow looks, but the wavy brow trend sure did bring a sense of playfulness, character and fun to the face. The colour-obsessed even went as far as dyeing their eyebrows in a full rainbow palette. Rainbow brows were funky and pride-celebratory, but definitely not for the faint-hearted. 


    (Image source: Pinterest)

2018 - Jewellery Embellished Eyebrows

Another Met Gala, another innovative eyebrow style. When Cynthia Erivo graced the red carpet with her sparkle-full ornamented eyebrows, you better believe many heads turned. She showed us that jewellery could make the ultimate eyebrow accessory and was more than just being your standard earring and necklace combo. Bejewelled eyebrows screamed festival spirit with its full-of-character vibe but also carried a sense of royalty with them to make an exclusive fashion statement.

How to get jewel eyebrows:

Start with disguising all your brow hairs either by bleaching or covering with a brow concealer. Apply a thin layer of brow glue or adhesive using a cotton tip to the brows, starting from the roots. Stick on your gems, jewels or stones of choice one by one, across the arch of your brows.

(Image: Cynthia Erivo, Pinterest)

2020s Eyebrows

Phew, that was a LOT of eyebrow looks to get through. Well if you’re still here and reading this, you’ve made it to the best part! We’re only two years into the decade, but the action-packed 2020s have already shown us that the horizons of eyebrow styling are unlimited. It’s hard to put a finger on what the defining eyebrow look of today’s time is, because in all honesty there’s absolutely a brow for everyone today - whether that’s bold, fluffy, natural, or glamorous - and so many different ways of achieving them.

There’s a few things we’ve learnt over the past couple of years.

Euphoria Influence

For starters, the era we live in is largely driven by TikTok and social media influencer culture and celebrities are probably our biggest inspirations when it comes to eyebrow styles today. Euphoria fever made us fetishise over its characters’ high impact eye makeup like no other. Rhinestone-covered eyelids, neon eyeshadow and glitter teardrops.. it was a beauty powerhouse that looked like something straight out of fantasyland or your most creative pinterest mood board came to life. Euphoria-created brow obsessions include the subtle yet sparkly encrusted eyebrow trend that Hollywood is all over and Sydney Sweeney showed us how. Then there’s Doja Cat who shaved off her entire eyebrow to decorate with colourful designs instead. Iconic.

(Image: Sydney Sweeney, Instagram)

Return of the Skinny

Gen-Z’s obsession with Y2K fashion has also brought about the big return of the thin brow look (although still in the works), a trend we NEVER thought would make a comeback. Bella Hadid, an absolute y2k queen, has sported the pencil thin eyebrow look of the 90s and 00s and approved its return to the mainstream, and can we say, we need nothing more. Even Euphoria’s Alexa Demie gives ultra classy vibes with her uber-thin eyebrows. I mean, would you just look at these beauties?

(Image: Bella Hadid, Pinterest)

Laminated and Soap

And now the winner.. Eyebrow Lamination, probably the most popular eyebrow trend of 2020. Lifted up, full, glossy and sleek is what lammy brows are all about and the rise in at-home lamination solutions has finally made people realise that it’s a lot safer for your brows than you might think. Dua Lipa has championed laminated brows since they first became a thing with Zendaya only giving them more power lately. We don't think the brow lamination trend is going away anytime soon, even if you think you might have a love-hate relationship with it. Natural and full is definitely the way to go in 2022, whether you want to jump on the eyebrow lamination trend, try soap brows, or just let them grow out!

How to get laminated eyebrows:

You can get your brows laminated by a professional brow stylist or do it yourself at home. For DIY styling, use the advanced Lustre Lamination At-Home Brow Kit.

How to get soap eyebrows:

Use Brow Code’s hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Heist Brow Soap to achieve a lifted, fluffy brow look by simple styling every morning. Moisten your brow spoolie, rub the bristles into the soap and apply to your brows by brushing bottom to top.

(Image: Dua Lipa, Pinterest)

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What's Coming in 2030?

Looking back at a decade of experimental, powerful and statement-making eyebrow styles, there’s two things we know for sure - eyebrow trends always repeat so a brow look or two from the past are definitely going to be back in fashion and at the same time, new avenues of eyebrow styling will keep being created. Whether it’s TikTok’s eyebrow slit trend, the classic 80’s big brow or Cara Delevingne’s bushy look, there sure is plenty of eyebrow inspiration for the creative crowd moving forward.


..Accessorised arches will be more than just the occasional fashion week appearance. People will be in favour of completely ditching the brow hairs and replacing them with jewellery and decorations instead.

..Different eyebrow colours will appear more, whether this means bleaching the brow hairs to lighten them or dyeing them in bright colours to match other makeup and outfit elements.

..Return of the unibrow? In praise of Frida Kahlo, of course. 

Whatever trend you want to jump on, we recommend first finding the eyebrow shape that best suits your face, trying a look and going easy on the brows. Get professional help if you’re not 100% confident. Don’t make hasty decisions like over-plucking that you can’t go back from!

That’s it from us. 100 years of trendsetting eyebrow styles, and we’re here for all of it.

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