You made it to my SECOND blog! That’s exciting. If you read my FIRST blog, you will recall I mention something called “Symmetry”. (If you didn’t catch my first blog and you want to know what I’m talking about, CLICK HERE.) There is an interesting story in Psychology Today (July 08, 2019) titled “Why Are Symmetrical Faces So Attractive?” The author talks about features that drive perceptions of attractiveness… Specifically facial symmetry. We (humans) tend to rate faces that are symmetrical as more attractive. And I want to mention the importance of balanced facial features.
In fact, let’s chat about eyebrows. I have some experience here… In fact, I have a lot of experience when it comes to shaping brows. Let me say it here: I want to declare that brows are important. VERY important. They frame the face and they give us a point of reference. They help to balance our features. And if your brows are out of control, people take notice. Since my audience is mostly mature women, then it’s okay to joke about Andy Rooney’s brows (because back in the day we watched 60 minutes and loved his segments, right?) Mr. Rooney’s brows were like frozen caterpillars stuck on his face. Didn’t anyone tell him they needed grooming?
Mature women have specific hurdles when dealing with their brows that often much younger girls do not. For one, their brows are thinning. (Unless you’re my awesome client, Francine, whose been blessed with Brooke Shields’ brows. But, she’s the exception to the rule.)
The second issue mature women face when it comes to their brows is the nasty gray hairs that stand out like stiff Bermuda grass amongst the softer, more normal hairs. These gray hairs are usually longer and unruly. They just won’t lay flat. Often we pull these hairs out,(I don’t say “pluck” as that is what one does to chickens). Then products are needed to fill the void.
The goal is to find the right balance of product and techniques that will produce a nice, natural, filled-in brow. And one that easy to create. A thicker, fuller brow that looks as natural as possible, measured so as to balance with our other facial features, will provide symmetry to the face. (Be advised, the thick, drawn-on Sharpie look is not attractive.) You laugh, but I’m an esthetician, you have no idea what I have seen. Nicely shaped, natural and full is a good look for mature women, trust me.
Regarding brow shaping, I thought a brief history of women’s brow characteristics might interest you:
– Ancient Greeks used black incense or black paint. A unibrow was considered a beautiful trait. Frida Kahlo was Greek?
– Ancient Romans carried on the unibrow. Sophia Loren’s shaved and drawn-back-on look comes later.
– The Middle Ages (not to be confused with middle-aged) women liked to tweeze (or was it plucking back then?) their brow hair off and then add red dye to the “brows”, thanks to Queen Elizabeth I.
– 1700s (Georgian era): The myth is fashionable eighteenth-century ladies shaved off their eyebrows and used false eyebrows made of mouse fur. Maybe it’s not a myth? All I know is that Thomas Gainsborough’s “Lady in Blue” had big hair and nice-looking brows.
– Regency (1811-1820) and Victorian era (1837-1901) women practiced a low-maintenance beauty routine which meant full, natural brows.
– Edwardian era (1901-1914) brows were still full and natural. And cupid’s bow lips were all the rage. Lily Elsie was one of the most photographed women of the period.
– The Roaring Twenties brought back super thin brows that were pencil straight and extended well beyond the outer corner of the eye. Clara Bow, anyone?
– 1930s women were still thin-browed, but now the brow had a huge, high rounded arch. Jean Harlow for the win.
– 1940s women’s brows became thicker, softer and not as severe (thank you). Lauren Bacall was a hit. Humphrey Bogart thought so, too.
– The 1950s brought us Audrey Hepburn (my favorite gal) and Elizabeth Taylor. A bold, dramatic brow that was drawn/filled in.
– The 1960s were awkward. Sophia Loren actually shaved her brows, then added them back with a pencil in short strokes. At least they looked somewhat natural.
– 1970s brought us the hippie brow. Less tweezing (I’m pretty sure they had tweezers by now) and a natural look. Ali McGraw was the bomb. Steve McQueen agreed.
– 1980s brows are bushy, but nice. Brooke Shields was known as the brow queen of this era.
– In the 1990s women went back to tweezing. What were they thinking? Pamela Anderson was a Baywatch babe, but her brows were too thin!
– Today. Thick and full are in, but the brow shape sits a bit lower on the brow bone than in previous decades. It’s nice.
So there you have it. You now know that brows have gone through changes along with fashion and styles. Do you have a favorite era or brow shape? I hope you enjoyed this bit of history.