For two small strips of facial hair, eyebrows command a lot of attention. For good reason—they have a major impact on our appearance (have you seen these celebrities without eyebrows?!) While the shapes have certainly changed over time, our obsession with brow grooming has remained constant. Behold: a sweeping survey of arch trends, from overly tweezed Renaissance women to the ‘80s bushy caterpillar brows that we all know and love.
Ancient Egypt: Arched and Dark
The era: 3000 BC – 31 BC
Cleopatra and her peers were all about the dramatic, sweeping arch. Egyptians of all walks darkened their eyes and brows with black kohl, the precursor to modern eyeliner. The motivation may have been partially health-related: New researchsuggests that kohl, which contains low doses of lead salts, may have helped ward off infections like conjunctivitis.
Bold brows are decidedly back in fashion (see: showstoppers like Cara Delevingne and Camilla Belle). But slender arches are equally cool in our book. No matter your grooming preferences, one thing is clear: We have better tools than ever at our disposal. For the au-naturel look, tame unruly arches with Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. For varsity-level contouring, there’s Anastasia Beverly Hills 5-Element Brow Kit, which lets you fill in arches to your desired level of thickness.
Across civilizations and millennia, one truth about womankind emerges: we’ve never been able to leave our brows alone—and we never will.