My entry this week has to do with something that many ladies overlook nowadays, but can really make huge difference in the look your are trying to achieve – eyebrows! Many women underestimate how a good and well-shaped brow can really bring your whole vintage look together and really authenticate it. Each decade has its own unique brow shape that defined the time and made its mark on the era. Some were more decadent, some more natural – but all very beautiful!
I decided to break down the eyebrow looks by decade, and give you a visual to show you a good example of the look of the time.
As you can see from Clara Bow, the eyebrows of the ’20s were rather exaggerated and unnatural. Eyebrows tend to show your expressions the most on your face, and this look shows a more worried or pensive look. You don’t really need to pay attention to the exact shape of the brow, as you just need to make a ever so slightly curved line, pretty much straight from one side to the other. Do note, however, that the end of the brow extends past the natural end to the brow. The thickness pretty much stays the same for the entire length of the brow as well. All you really need to create this look is an eyebrow pencil drawn from end to end.
Eyebrows of the ’30s really made a 180 and changed rather radically from the look a decade prior. No longer were the straight, low eyebrows of the ’20s the look to have – very high and very arched brows were the look to covet now. Jean Harlow is the icon to think of when it comes to this authentic 1930s look. This look almost a perfect half-circle, and I have often used Layrite pomade tubs as a guide in order to get the right look. I don’t do many ’30s looks often, but when I do, it’s helpful to have that as a guide 🙂 All you need is an eyebrow pencil and to just glide it smoothly across, up, and over to create this look. Be sure that the width of the brow is the same all the way across.
Eyebrows of the 1940s were much more natural than in the ’30s. They were still curved, but more to the natural curve you were born with. You can also notice that the brows gradually decrease in thickness as it goes along from the middle of the face towards the end at the edge of the eye. They keyword in this look is “gradual” as well as “natural”. During World War Two it was seen as frivolous and unnecessary to have anything other than that. This is the eyebrow I do the most frequently. I just do a slight line with an eyebrow pencil to get the general shape down, and then I fill it with brow powder on a slanted brush in order to fill and set the shape. Make sure also that you use some type of brow gel in order to keep the hair in place, as manicured eyebrows are a very important part of this look. I actually use Layrite’s Super Hold Deluxe Pomade to keep my brows in check. Even though it is specifically used for “extreme” hairstyles such as mohawks and such (the regular deluxe pomade is best for us retro styling ladies :-), I have found it works very well to tame brow hairs when I had initially gotten this type, which is not the best for retro styling.
When I think ’50s glamour, I think of Marilyn Monroe (As you will know as this blog progresses – I love Miss Marilyn!). And the brows this gal had? Very ’50s. The look and fullness was still very much similar to the ’40s, but if you look closely between Rita and Marilyn, you can notice one major difference – the arch. In the ’40s, the arch was more slight and rounded; in the ’50s, the arch was more pointed and severe. I think this had something to do with the fact of the prosperity after the war years. America was booming, and Hollywood entered a new phase of the glamour it had always known back then. The economy was very good then, and more women tried new things and looks changed a bit as a result. No longer was there a need to really dial down looks because of the Depression or the War – now was the time to go for it and have fun! Take that attitude to heart when having these eyebrows. Whenever I sport this look, I divide my brows into two areas, separated right at the arch. I pencil in the first area towards the inner eye, then the outer area to taper out. This creates a better arch as a base for when you fill in your brows with powder and set it with your gel. The cat eye liner goes great with this look!
Whatever look you choose, be sure to remember how good eyebrows frame the face and highlight your features. Most nowadays underestimate the importance the eyebrows have on your total look, but as these ladies demonstrate, they can really make or break your look – especially in terms of a vintage/retro vibe. I would not hesitate labeling eyebrows as being of the same importance as red lips! Eyebrows are the undercover workers of beauty – you will not notice the wonders they do until you see it for yourself. Then after you will never want to go without, because you will certainly notice the huge difference they make!
*PLEASE NOTE*: I am going to be having shoulder surgery this Friday, so I may not be able to really make posts like this for about two or three weeks. I may post one more entry before my surgery, we shall see. Of course, I will absolutely try to post an entry if I am feeling up to it enough to type, but it is kind of tricky with shoulder surgery like I am having. I may post random things here and there, but rest assured, the time I am recovering will be spent invested in researching and coming up with new articles to post about. I just wanted to let all of you know what was going on so you don’t think I am abandoning the blog. I also wanted to wish everyone a great holiday and a happy new year!