After a few questions and comments from readers about my eyebrows, I decided to whip up this little tutorial about how to achieve vintage style eyebrows. Eyebrows are an extremely important and often over-looked feature. Your eyebrows change the overall shape and expression of your entire face. The shape and movement of your eyebrows aids in communication by expressing your emotions.
In the world of vintage, eyebrows are just as important as bold, red lips. We've all admired the gorgeous brows of movie starlets and most of us have probably plucked the heck out of ours to try to get the same coveted arches. With shaping, cosmetics and frequent manicuring, we can all have perfect, lovely vintage eyebrows.
Different Shapes- Different Eras
Eyebrows in the 1920's were extremely thin and usually a straight line or slightly turned down like 1920's "It Girl" Clara Bow
1930's brows kept the thin line of the 20's but had a high, exaggerated and rounded arch, often extending past the natural length of an eyebrow, much like Jean Harlow's brows
In the 1940's, eyebrows were kept at a more natural thickness with arches sharper than that of the 30's. Sultry starlet Lauren Bacall has fabulous 40's brows
By the 1950's eyebrows became thicker and darker than that of the 40's but still kept the elegant, defined arches and long shape. Elizabeth Taylor has always had gorgeous 1950's brows
How To Shape your Eyebrows
*please note*- avoid tweezing your eyebrows right before a first date, job interview or anything really important. Redness and puffiness happens sometimes and gorgeous new eyebrows won't make up for swollen, tender skin. Eyebrows are best plucked right after a shower when your pores are open and skin is relaxed.
1.) To find where your brow begins, hold a makeup brush or pencil parallel against the side of your nose. The spot where the pencil and your brow meet should be the starting point for your eyebrows.
2.) To find your arch, move the pencil across your face so that it is parallel to the edge of your iris. This marks the highest point of your natural arch.
3.) To find the end of your brow, hold the pencil or brush against your nose and tilt it so that it sits at the corner of your eye. This marks the end of your brow, unless you are choosing a 1930's eyebrow, which can be a bit longer.
4.) Once you have all of the points of your brow marked (with an eyeliner or brow pencil, draw a line marking the shape that you desire. Draw straight, thin lines for 1920's brows. Use high, circular arches for the 30's. Do sharp arches and thicker lines for 40's and 50's. If you are nervous about free-handing your brows, you can buy brow stencils at walmart, target and beauty supply stores. You should fill in the thickness of the desired brow with the pencil.
5.) When both brows appear even, you can begin! Start by tweezing both outside edges of the brow so that both brows are the same length, then start to shape the brow. Pull one hair at a time to avoid accidental bald spots and over-plucking. Take it easy and go slow. Gently pull the skin taut and pluck in the direction that the hair is growing. Make sure to have a magnifying mirror and natural light. If your eyebrows are thick and straight, remove the bottom hairs first. If you are trying to get high arches, you will want to avoid tweezing the top of your brows as much as possible. I prefer a 1940's brow on me. To get my arches, I tweeze in an upward diagonal line here to here:
And then continue in a downward diagonal line here to here:
6.) When you're finished, brush your eyebrows so they stick straight up and carefully trim long hairs with a small pair of scissors, then smooth them back down.
After tweezing, if your skin is red and puffy, apply aloe gel or a cool compress to the area to relieve swelling and pain.
If your brows have places that need to be filled in, you can use eyebrow powders (looks like an eyeshadow), brow pencils or cream makeup to fill them in. If using a pencil, use short, feathering strokes to achieve a more natural look. Many people really do shave or wax off the entire brow and draw them on. If that's the look you're going for, think about it for a while before taking the leap. Only a select few of us look fantastic with drawn on brows, which can take a while time to grow back! If you're starting with natural full brows and you're feeling uneasy about doing it yourself, most hair salons have experts on hand to shape your brows for you. It's cheap, easy and will guarantee perfect vintage eyebrows. Anyway, that's all I have on the subject of eyebrows. Feel free to post questions in a comment below or shoot me an email!