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Beauty ideal eyebrows – A neverending story

Schönheitsideal Augenbrauen – A neverending story

Ideals of beauty come and go – even when it comes to eyebrows. At the moment, dense and voluminous à la Cara Delevingne is popular, but it wasn't always that way. Hardly any other part of the face has seen the ideal of beauty change as frequently and fundamentally as the eyebrows.

If an ancient Greek or Roman woman were to find herself in 2017, she would be familiar with at least one thing: thick, dark and perfectly curved eyebrows. Since not all people in the southern climes were naturally blessed with it, people here simply shaved, plucked and added plenty of dark paint. The about-face took place in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; brows that were as thin and light as possible were now considered desirable. Where today eyebrow serum stimulates growth, ladies back then used walnut oil to prevent it. In the Baroque and Rococo eras, everything became much more opulent again: clothes, food, hairstyles and eyebrows. The latter were also often made artificially from mouse fur. No joke! Having eyebrows is the mother of invention.

In the 20th century, brows saw a new definition of “beautiful” in almost every decade. While naturalness still reigned in the 1910s, from the Roaring Twenties onwards the thinner the better. The brows were extremely plucked or shaved and repainted with dark color far beyond their natural end. It stayed that way in the 1930s and became a megatrend thanks to Marlene Dietrich. During the turmoil of the Second World War, women had to worry about other things than their appearance and so the eyebrow look became more natural again. In the 50s, make-up experienced a renaissance and the eyebrows were very strongly emphasized - only to become narrower and more inconspicuous again in the swinging sixties so that they did not steal the show from the extremely eye-catching eyeliner and (fake) lashes. The disco chicks of the Seventies also remained true to their thin eyebrows. “Anything goes” was the motto in the 1980s and stars like Madonna and actress Brooke Shields impressed with mega-voluminous eyebrows that would make even Cara Delevingne pale with envy. Then came the Nineties and with them a new brow trend. People plucked, shaved, repainted and dyed as much as they could. Particularly in the techno scene, there were sometimes quite questionable color experiments. It's a good thing that we're currently in more natural times. But you now know: No trend lasts forever. Let's see what awaits us in the next decade...