The Hollywood Brow

This post comes to you direct from Old Hollywood Glamour.

The Hollywood Brow - Classic Fashion IconsSince the beginning of time, there have been beautiful, glamorous women. And since the beginning of time, we have been obsessed with copying their eyebrow grooming patterns. At least, this is what my mom told me when I plucked all of my eyebrows off in the sixth grade in an effort to look like Kate Moss.

Today, we’ve got the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and her thickly natural brows. But it’s a thin line between natural and “scouse brow,” and unless you are a duchess, you better tread carefully. As the Daily Telegraph defines them, these English eyebrows are produced as follows:

“Take one pair of normal eyebrows. Pluck, thread or wax to within a millimeter of their lives. Now that there’s little discernible hair left, it’s time to paint your brows back on of course!”

The Hollywood Brow - Classic Fashion Icons

Barely browed.

It was only a few years ago that we were all plucking our eyebrows into non-existence, a la Kate Moss. Before that, Brooke Shields’ eyebrows ruled the day with their bushiness.

But before all of THAT, there was the Hollywood glamour brow. The glamour brow consisted of shaving off the eyebrow entirely and delicately painting it back on. They drew in precise and gently curved lines (as Marlene Dietrich and so many others did). In sharp contrast to the scouse brow, less was more: only the thinnest of lines would do. This way, the drama of the eyebrow could match the drama on-screen — see Marlene’s expression.

The Hollywood Brow - Classic Fashion Icons

The brows are worth 1,000 words.


This also explains why all crazy old ladies have their eyebrows drawn on with Sharpies. THIS is why your grandma drew in her eyebrows for all those years, giving her a look of constant judgment with a touch of crazy: she was trying to look like Greta Garbo. (FYI – these ladies are staring at the caterpillars on our faces and thinking we’re all young, stupid, and hairy.)

However! Before you go shaving off your eyebrows, keep in mind the reason the actresses changed their brows in the first place: thin eyebrows accentuate facial expressions and give away your every passing emotion. This was great for showing the actress’ expressions to their best advantage, but if you want to hide your burning love for the barista or your true feelings about your ex getting married, you’re out of luck. These narrow, bold eyebrows will reveal everything. If eyes are the windows to the soul, eyebrows are definitely the curtains. Or is that eyelashes? Good metaphor, though, right?

So much debate and thoughts about what is, essentially, the fuzz to keep the sweat out of your eyes. Buck the trends and grow in your unibrow! Dip dye them ombre! Brush them to the side!  Throw them over your shoulder like a Continental soldier!

P.S. Did you know that the British sing this song differently?! They say “regimental” instead of “Continental.” I guess they aren’t big fans of the soldiers from the original 13 colonies.

Ready to hear about the craziest beauty tips from Classic Hollywood? Grace, Audrey, Marilyn and more star in Old Hollywood Glamour!

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