New Trend, Old Hollywood: Bold Eyebrows

March 7, 2012 · 48 comments

in Classics, Style & Beauty


Photo credit: Style.com

One big beauty trend on the radar for spring is the bushy, bold eyebrow. It’s no surprise I’m keen on it – you wouldn’t have to look through this blog too furtively before you discovered that I’m of the bold brow variety. (In fact, if you’re reading this on the site just scroll up and look to your left.) All the same, most of the dark brows on the runway felt a little…well, man-ish? It had me thinking about classic Hollywood stars and how they wore big eyebrows to the height of womanly glamour. I’m sure we all just thought of one lady in particular…


Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Audrey was the poster girl for magnificent eyebrows, that nobody will ever deny. (Of course, she had those amazingly large doe eyes to compensate, not to mention her feminine bone structure and effortless grace.) She’ll always be the go-to girl for the bold eyebrow, but she wasn’t the only one from Hollywood’s Golden Age for whom the trend punctuated her timeless glamour. Here are a few of my other favorites (and one more of Audrey for good measure).


Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Lauren Bacall

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Carmen Miranda

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Joan Crawford

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Bette Davis

 



Photo credit: Bing image search

Maria Félix

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Audrey Hepburn

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Vivien Leigh

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Sophia Loren

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Jean Simmons

 



Photo credit: Dr. Macro

Elizabeth Taylor


I love the way the trend varies a bit with each woman; from thin and dark to bushy and bold, they presented statement eyebrows in a way that was attractive, striking, but also achievable for the everywoman. Even well past their heyday, the women of the old Hollywood are teaching us a thing or two about beauty.

So here’s a question for you: which above is your eyebrow icon? (Or if I missed one – which I’m sure I did – let me know who your favorites are!)

Comments

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

kimmie March 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor are my Old Hollywood Brow Icons; current day is Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashian sisters. I love a full brow and while mine are full, I wish they were a little more defined naturally. I’ve found some great products to help me though :)

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Oh, great choices! Jennifer Lopez has such a great look, I always love how she does her make-up. I know what you mean; my brows are quite thin in reality, but I fill them in with dark eyeshadow. Anastasia has a great brow kit I used to use!

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Mariana March 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

Most definitely Audrey Hepburn!
I used to be self conscious about my eyebrows, as they’re also on the bushier side, and I think part of the reason I fell head over heels for Audrey is partly due to her eyebrows. Silly, but it was that one thing we had in common that I thought, “If she can work it, so can I!”.
That was way back in middle school… Nowadays, I’m very happy with my eyebrows, and I don’t even have to pluck them much.
Beautiful, beautiful pictures. I also love that you put Maria Felix! I didn’t think she was known outside of Mexico :)

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Aww, that’s sweet! I think a lot of Audrey’s beauty was considered unconventional at the time, and the way she set a new standard when she herself was so self-conscious says so much. ;)

And I only know Maria very vaguely, but she’s impossible to forget – and definitely an eyebrow queen!

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joy March 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I’m so glad bold brows have come to stay. A full brow is so beautiful! Thank god I bought a brow kit from Benefit which is absolutely lovely to use so far.

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I agree! I haven’t tried Benefit’s, but Anastasia makes a kit I used to love. Anymore I mostly just shape and fill my brows in with eyeshadow – not particularly exciting, but it works!

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Karen March 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I absolutely love Lauren Bacall. Though for my own face the shape would have to be just a tiny bit softer.

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I know what you mean, Lauren has such singular facial features. I’m always amazed by the way she can look so mysterious and secretive without even trying, it’s just her natural grace.

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Juju @ Tales of Whimsy.com March 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’ve heard of this.
I’ve also heard that as you age (and I’m 35) that thicker brows makes you look younger.
Thus, I’ve been trying to grow mine out a bit.
Problem is, after soooo many years of taming my unibrow into the perfectly sculpted thinness it is now, I have a hard time letting the hairs grow.
I loooooooooooove Carmen Miranda’s.
Speaking of powerful thick brows, have you seen Lily Collin’s (upcoming star of Mirror, Mirror).
She obviously has a unibrow and only tweezes a bit. It looks SO good on her but I’m not sure I have the courage to try it.

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Wow, I didn’t know that! Another reason to love the thick eyebrow trend. ;) I hadn’t seen Lily Collins’ but I just looked up photos and I love how she does hers! It’s so pretty, especially with her fair skin. Have you ever tried filling your eyebrows in with eyeshadow? It’s a quick and easy way to try a thicker look without the hassle of growing your eyebrows out!

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Juju @ Tales of Whimsy.com March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

That’s a really good idea. I should try that while I’m trying to grown them fuller. Great advice thanks doll!

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Laura S March 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Wow, is it just me or does Bette Davis look A LOT like Marion Cotillard in that picture?
I honestly don’t really have much of an eyebrow icon, but out of these Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor are my main makeup inspirations, which is kind of like eyebrows, I guess?
I’ve been so happy to have naturally “bold/dark” eyebrows over the past year or so! :)
- Laura

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Oh my gosh, she does! I knew she was reminding me of someone, but I couldn’t figure it out. Good eye!

And those are the perfect make-up icons. Elizabeth Taylor was just mesmerizing, always. And I especially love Audrey’s make-up in the ’60s when she got more adventurous (the first time I watched How to Steal a Million I was almost completely distracted by the film because I was looking at her make-up the whole time!).

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FASHION TALES March 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I agree with Laura S. that Bette Davis photo does resemble Marion Cotillard a bit. I love Elizabeth Taylor’s eyebrows, in addition to Lena Horne http://bit.ly/xH0IlO, and many others of Hollywood. I didn’t used to not like my eyebrows when I was younger, but I love them … bold with a natural arch. We all have interesting brow features some delicate, some bold. How beautiful is that! :) -xo

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Doesn’t she? I never would’ve put it together! And I completely agree about Lena Horne, she was just lovely. I don’t remember ever really disliking my eyebrows either, but when I was younger I didn’t consider them as a very vital part of my overall makeup. I think in some ways our eyebrows can be the most unique element of our facial features, when you really consider them. ;)

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Jenmarie March 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I definitely don’t like most of the big eyebrows we’ve seen on the runway. Big eyebrows don’t have to be bushy or look like a block of something on your face and all the photos you posted of these ladies are proof of that. I always liked Elizabeth Taylor’s eyebrows. For some women it just really works!

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Oh, I know what you mean. I feel like designers always go for this very weird sort of “ugly pretty” with the make-up on their runways, and I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I look for the basic themes – thick eyebrows, bold lipstick, winged eyeliner, etc. – and then I always have to translate it to something more accurate to real life. But I guess it all has to do with the designer’s overall vision. Or something. ;)

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Heidi March 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I like Jean Simmons the best. Unfortunately my eyebrows are too thin to make them look that thick! LOL
All the other people’s eyebrows are gorgeous as well. If I only had a more of an arch- mine is just kind of straight…lol

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Ha! Mine are somewhat thin and I fill them in with eyeshadow to make them look a bit thicker. ;) I know what you mean, mine tend to go very straight with just a bit of an arch at the end. They sort of have a mind of their own!

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Bere March 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Beautiful post as always, and very timely! :) I’m a bold brow girl too – always have, always will. They just suit me better, in spirit and aesthetically. I LOVE that you included Mexican actress of the golden age of Mexican cinema, María Felix, in your post. She is one of my style icons and I love her movies! I really love the way makeup is going this season: more authentic and bold, as the eyebrows! ;)

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks so much, dear!! I know what you mean, I’ve always felt like bold eyebrows really balance out my face in a way. And I thought you’d know all about Maria! I’ve never seen any of her films (shall have to see if there are any available on Netflix), but she was just stunning.

Couldn’t agree more about the make-up, too – it’s always interesting when the make-up trends get bold and adventurous. The one trend I never like is that sort of dewy face look – I’ll never be able to achieve it!

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diane @ a spot of whimsy March 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

the minute i saw lily collins cast in mirror, mirror, these lovely leading ladies came to mind. a resurgence is definitely on the horizon

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

She’s completely adorable! I love her look, and I’m definitely excited to see more of her. (And Mirror, Mirror just looks ridiculously adorable, in my opinion!)

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J March 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I love Sophia Loren, she’s beautiful. I always used to have full eyebrows, and have recently begun to embrace them since now they’re back in style. But, I must admit it was kind of difficult to be thankful for them when the trend was super thin eyebrows. Now, as I get older, I’ve realized to embrace your own beauty, trends will come and go (which is pretty evident from this awesome post!)

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Casee Marie March 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Very well said, and I completely agree. I tried to go for skinny eyebrows when the trends were in – I’d think of Claudette Colbert then – but it didn’t last long before I realized thicker brows suited me better. And you’re right, trends will do what they will but women like these made their mark forever. ;)

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Gabrielle March 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I like keeping my own brows a bit bolder. A couple times in the past when I’ve gone to get them waxed – I’m terrible at plucking them! lol I hate it, even though it no longer hurts – the salon person (what do you call them?) I’ve left so unhappy because my eyebrows were so thin. I think that unless you’re eyebrows are already thin it doesn’t look right; natural brows are better to me. I have an arch and when they’re too thin it doesn’t stand out as well. So I’m a bold brow girl, and my inspirations are most definitely Audrey and Elizabeth. But you probably guessed that! :)

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Ah, I know what you mean! I used to get them waxed too, professionally, but I just don’t do that anymore. (I’m not a fan of plucking either – I do it now and then, but most of the time this thing is my best friend.)

And I totally agree about the runway looks – they make natural look unnatural sometimes!

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Gabrielle March 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

P.S. I forgot to mention that I hate how on the runway looks can be so manly and unnatural looking. Well, those models’ eyebrows are natural, but I not natural in a female sense. Does that make sense? The pictures of starlets from Old Hollywood better convey the bold brow look, and make it accessible since they’re so feminine!

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noelani March 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I need to get my brow pencil at the ready. I love the looks that were sent down the runway, and of course, all the classics. I wish I could go back in time and tell my teenage self to take it easy with the plucking while we’re at it!

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Ha! I know what you mean, I got so carried away with my thin eyebrows. We can say we were just evoking more of the silent film era? That’s always glamorous!

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Sarah March 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I really love the fuller eyebrow look too. I wish mine were a little thicker, I’ve never plucked or done anything to them, but i guess they are a little thin! xox

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Oh, I wouldn’t have minded naturally-thin eyebrows for a time! Mine have a mind all their own – at least when they’re thin you can fill in with eyeshadow for a quick shift in your look!

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THE-LOUDMOUTH March 11, 2012 at 1:40 am

I’m all about this! Have you seen my caterpillar brows? I’m somehow related to Frieda Kahlo, I’m sure of it.

And in response to your wonderfully sweet comment, I agree that you get personal through your blog’s themes. I definitely see YOU behind the home decor posts and inspirational quotes! You provide more than just pretty pictures, which is why I continue to come back (and also because you’re a lovely friend).

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Hahaha! Whenever I think my brows are looking a bit ultra-thick I think of Paolo from The Princess Diaries. “I love your eyebrows – we’ll call them Frida and Kahlo.”

Aww, thank you so much for that. I’m so glad to know you see it that way! It’s a constant bemusement, the wondering of how all of this, the blog, looks from the “outside”, you know? I love bringing in parts of my life, especially the parts where I focus on sort of living your own brand of elegance. But then sometimes I see other blogs that seem to do that by only highlighting this sort of ultra-privileged, designer-riddled life of fabulousity all the time. And I know that’s (most often) manufactured so I never want to seem like I’m laying it all on too thick, you know? :)

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Fashnlvr March 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

I adore Vivien Leigh. I think she is my favorite OLD Hollywood star. Audrey and Joan Crawford sure had good brows too though. I have been wearing my own brows dark as well lately. I’m lucky they grow in a good shape so I don’t have to tweeze or wax!

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Oh, lucky you! I gave up on waxing a while ago, but it’s phenomenal how quickly my brows grow in. We do what we can! I’m glad to have such marvelous inspiration for living with thick eyebrows, at least. Viv was an absolute stunner, I just adore her. (Have you ever visited VivAndLarry.com, by the way? The editor, a friend of mine, is working on a book all about Vivien!)

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Kimberlee March 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I love bold eyebrows! I definitely keep mine “untamed” a bit fuller. Camilla Belle is my modern inspiration… hers look a lot like Liz Taylor

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Oh, I love Camilla Belle’s look! She’s one of those that just makes such an impression. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a film, just red carpet pictures and such, but she came right to mind when I was thinking of bold eyebrows.

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FashionCherry March 13, 2012 at 7:02 am

Eyebrows really do frame a perfectly set face… the photos of the silver screen actresses prove that! Absolutely stunning post

http://fashioncherry.co/fashion-makeup-in-under-30-seconds/

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nelly March 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hey, has everybody forgotten the 80s eyebrow ladies? Brooke Shields and Madonna. Actually, the trend coming on is a recap of the 80s which were a recap of the late 30s and early 40s. Is there anything new under the sun?

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Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud March 14, 2012 at 6:43 am

Since I’m built for strong brows I love the fact this trend is making a comeback. I also love the ‘brow icons” you picked! I don’t want to pick a fave- I love the variety here and relish that each woman looks so intrinsically herself! Great post!

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Casee Marie March 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Thanks, Bella! I completely agree, they each represent an entirely different brand of beauty all their own. That’s the best inspiration there is!

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Cathy of Eyelash Conditioner March 15, 2012 at 1:56 am

Wow these girls are really gorgeous!

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Claudia June 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Audrey Hepburn…BUT, as for Hollywood icons, I’d say Brooke Shields in her Blue Lagoon era is my icon. I like Camilla Belle’s brows nowadays too, and one local actress here(I live in Brazil) called Ana Paula Arósio, have a look…http://entretenimento.r7.com/blogs/fabiola-reipert/files/2010/10/ana_paula_arosio_311.jpg

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Claudia June 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

oh and I forgot to mention another actress whose eyebrows are stunning nowadays, she’s not well known by the pubic much, her name is Anna Sophia-Robb…I get wowzed everytime I see her http://annasophia-robb.org/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=3512&fullsize=1

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Lyddi October 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Funny how trends always circle around. Well-shaped brows are always crucial to a complete look! I had super thin eyebrows and a friend told me about Neubrow. I tried it and LOVE it. You can read up on it at http://www.skinresearchlabs.com. No more filling in with a pencil!

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haifaa January 20, 2013 at 2:50 am

one word .. (( LOVELY))
thank u very much casee ..
l really have some confusion .. what is the bold brow exactly ? is it scouce ?? or is it keeping the natural brow as it is but giving it some adjusments ??

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