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What Is It About Eyebrows?

Jocelyn is back, pondering something new!

By Jocelyn Johnson

Just about all human beings have eyebrows. Why?

A Google search provides an answer, but not necessarily definitive:

One approach suggests its main function is to prevent moisture (mostly sweat and rain) from flowing into the eye. Recent research, however, suggests eyebrows in humans developed as a means of communication and that this is their primary function. Humans developed a smooth forehead with visible, hairy eyebrows capable of a wide range of movement. Such eyebrows can express a wide range of subtle emotions – including recognition and sympathy.

Females use various means to shape and colour their eyebrows to, I assume, make themselves more attractive. Us CD/TGs also perform grooming of our brows to look more feminine.

I personally have a close look at women I meet or see on TV and try to determine if their brows are improving their facial features. The following charts show various shapes of female eyebrows and the general shapes over the past number of decades.

I don’t believe there is one shape that is correct. Our individual facial makeup is so personal to what each of us thinks is making us look our best.

When I was buying my first wig at a local boutique, and I finally decided on a brown colour, the kind SA suggested I darken my brows to match the colour of my new found hair. I guess old man grey, which was my hair colour, would not complement my wig colour.

I am sure all of us strive to get the right shape, thickness and colour for our eyebrows. If that is achieved, then symmetry between right and left is always a challenge. My personal choice is “arched” eyebrows. I also do some plucking to help get the right thickness and shape.

My accompanying photo shows my personal choice. How do I look?

What is your eyebrow style?



23 Responses

  1. Looking good there, Jocelyn, and the brows are a triumph.

    My brow routine involves a glue stick to bring the more wayward hairs into line. That’s the easy bit but then the part I dread comes – trying to draw in brows that are (a) symmetrical, (b) in some way coincidental with the aforementioned stuck down natural brows and (c) vaguely feminine which, without my glasses on, is at best challenging but more often a complete nightmare. One particular disaster I had recently was not putting my glasses on to find the right pencil to do the brows. It was only when I’d already got one drawn on that it became apparent that I’d picked up a black eyeliner pencil not a brown brow one.

    As for shape, it’s ‘straight’ on your chart for me and if I can get anywhere close to that, I know that the session is going to be a success!

    1. Amanda,
      Thank you for your thoughts and for your compliment. I believe for any woman, getting our eyebrows done correctly is the hardest part of applying makeup.

      I really like the above chart that shows the changing styles over the decades.

      What surprises me is that some beautiful women paint a thick, black, rectangular shaped brow above each eye. When I look at their face their brows are so prominent I can’t look at any other part of their face.

      When I first started doing my makeup and sharing photos with an online friend, she kindly told me my eyebrow makeup was too thick and dark coloured. She was correct. The “balance” on my face was wrong. Sometimes less is best.

      I do like your brow shaping. I cannot imagine doing my makeup without clearly seeing how things are going on.

      As we all know, practice makes perfect.


  2. I should add a thought about my male visits to my hair dressing salon. I don’t go to a barber, I see a very nice lady hair stylist. When she is finished cutting my hair she always trims my eyebrows. This ensures I don’t have any wayward hairs, nor too thick of brows.


  3. My natural brows are pale and thin. This actually works to my advantage in that I can drawn in a arched form that works for my face. (I think).

    I follow the standard technique of beginning my inner brow with the imaginary line from my nose over the tear duct. The arch is approximately the line from the nose to the pupil, and the outer end of the brow aligns with a line from nose to outer limit eye…extended to the brow bone. There are hundreds of these illustrations and how to’s on line.

    I’m generally satisfied with the results, but reminded that eyebrows are sisters, not identical twins. Our faces are not perfectly symmetrical and neither are our brows.

    1. Kim,
      Great advice. You have an excellent technique that works for you.

      I love your comment that our eyebrows are “sisters, not identical twins”. That gives me great comfort; perfect symmetry should not be my goal.

      Thank you so much for commenting.


  4. Jocelyn, my eyebrows have been my nemesis for years. I have very light, fine hair there and prefer to have a more defined brow when doing my makeup. I have tried pencils, brow mascara, and different applicators, and was usually just okay with how it looked. And it always seemed to fade over a couple of hours. The last time I went to Sephora, the SA recommended a brow pomade, which worked well for me the one time I used it. It takes very little product to fill in my brows, so even though it’s more expensive, it should last longer. And I have blonde hair, so the brows don’t match anyway.

    Your brows look good, and I agree with Kim that we shouldn’t obsess over brow symmetry.

    1. Tina,
      Thank you for providing your experience. Eyebrows are a very prominent feature of anyone’s face so women have to be careful on how they are highlighted.

      You have learned through experience what works best for your face. Of course blondish hair usually requires light coloured brows.

      The Sephora expert should be giving the best advice.

      And thanks for the compliment.


  5. Eyebrows are a facial feature that often result in people making pre conceptions about others. When you have a face to face meeting you always notice someone’s eyebrows, at least I do.

    1. Terri,
      Thanks for the comment.

      Since one of the purposes of eyebrows is to provide emotional clues, it is important to make them look good.

      Like you, I certainly notice people’s brows and what they are “telling me”.


  6. Kandi,
    I love the emoji you used as a header. It clearly illustrates the idea that eyebrows communicate emotions. Thank you.


  7. Jocelyn,
    Maybe the first point is having the freedom to groom our eyebrows in a more feminine way . I’m lucky having a high brow line as most men have a lower heavier line . They do need constant attention , most days I check and pluck or trim , my preferred shape is rounded . My daughter kindly gave me a tube of clear brow wax , I apply it everyday to keep any stray hais in check after applying a mid brown colour ( yes Amanda I’ve perfomed that mistake on more than one occasion ).
    I’m not keen on the latest fuller more hairy brows as I spend so much time trying to get rid of the look , I often joked that my male brows were often long enough to act as wiper blades .

    1. Thanks for commenting Teresa.
      Brows are always a challenge and they need regular attention. Once achieved, well made up eyebrows are a thing of beauty.

  8. Hi Jocelyn,
    If I had to pick one style my eye brow shape shape is and always has been similar to the 1990’s style. Actually in my younger days I used to pluck my eye brows into a fairly thin arched style. I just found it to be very feminine looking. My only issue when I did pluck them to the shape I liked I would have to use eye lash adhesive and glue on more hairs to my brows one hair at a time. This was time consuming to say the least but to me it was well worth it. As I have gotten older I have lost a lot of my eye brow hair for some reason which helps Trish in her appearance the hair I’ve lost is at the ends of the brows so there I just pencil in what’s missing and it looks really good. What I don’t understand though it how the thick eyebrows of the day became popular. To me they don’t look at all feminine at all but women are like that. It means more to be in style to them than how it actually looks on them. Have a wonderful weekend girl.

    Trish 💖

    1. Trish,
      Great to hear from you. I really like the 90s style and also the 50s style.
      I also pluck the brow hairs, but they sure grow back quickly.
      I am not a fan of the thick eyebrows for women, nor the thin pencil line. But as I look at all the woman on TV and while out shopping, anything seems to be in style. Go figure!
      That is what is wonderful about being feminine, we can choose our look that makes us happy.
      Enjoy you weekend.

  9. Hi Jocelyn,
    Great question, I wish I was around when this first was posted.
    I first need two disclosures.
    (1) I am blessed with the genes for long-thick eye lashes.
    (2) I now have glaucoma eye drops and one of the side effects is even longer-thicker lashes, but also my eye brows grow like they are on steroids.
    Many years ago I use to be proud of my 2 inch long eye brow. (You can stop laughing now.) But once I start to put the drops in my eye, my eyelashes started to grap the brows a poke me in the eye.
    I needed to do something with my brows. The woman that cuts my hair will run her clippers over them, but I prefer waxing.
    I got a coupon/birthday card from Benefit Brow Bar opening in a Macy’s nearby for a FREE brow waxing. So I took advantage of it. That ws many yers ago. I have used that Brow Bar several times.
    I get my waxing now at an European Wax Center. I have a 12 visit plan, now on my 4th plan. I have them done every 3-4 months, whenever the brows start getting caught in my eyes.. My brows grow slower in the winter. In a waxing, they also wax off the hairs below your brows on your eye lids. After waxing, they go back and tresser the hairs that did come out with the wax. If I ask, they will go back and draw in extra hairs or create a more feminine brow.
    Discloser 3: I am a semi-regular waxer and have plans for full legs and brazians.

    1. Cali,
      I am so glad you had a chance to read and comment. Eyebrows are certainly an area of our face that requires attention.

      It sounds like you have figured out what is best for you. And looking at your Contributors picture you have the perfect brows for your face and hair colour. You look fantastic Cali.

      Waxing works for you, and plucking and shaving works for me.

      I envy your long lashes.

      It sounds like the European Wax Centre is perfect for you. I don’t think I will ever have a Brazilian wax job. You go girl.

      Thanks so much for commenting.


      1. Hi Jocelyn,
        Thank you so much for your kind words. My kids also got the long-lash gene. But even with the longer lashes, I still luv to wear mascara and frequently do.
        I admit I enjoy getting waxied; I know its not for everyone. For me it’s just part of satisfying my high-maintenance inner girl.
        I HATE the itch as my hairs goes back in after shaving. I need to (sport) tape my legs occassionly, so I just decided to get them waxed on a regular basis. However, I really enjoy the look and feel of hairless legs, especially when wearing skinny jeans or leggings or short shorts.
        A (femle) friend talked so much about get brazilians to clean her hairly back end and the need shape the brushes that I decided to try getting a braziilan myself (I have a hairly back end too). When the brazilian became available for men, I went for it. First time just to experience it myself and see if I liked the results. It safe to say I enjoy the results. I like to wear side-tied bikinis to get a full leg tan and braziilans cleans up the look.

        1. Cali,
          You are a very sultry woman. WOW.

          I too like wearing mascara and eyeliner. As I described, I have to colour my eyebrows to cover the grey and to match my hair colour.

          I wholeheartedly agree with you about shaved legs and the wonderful feeling of shorts or stockings.

          Once again, no Brazilian waxing for me. I wonder how many of Kandi’s Land readers get bikini waxes? I bet you look great wearing a bikini.

          Take care Cali.


  10. Cali/Jocelyn,
    I never step outside the house without my makeup because I always need the basic cover it gives me . I have to smile at other women who choose not to, when I started attending my art groups they started to appear wearing basic makeup and lipstick .

    I’ve never gone down the road of waxing , the problem is having to let the hair grow before it can be waxed , I just accept full body shaving is part of my daily routine . I stopped having itchy skin once I’d found the right razor /cream combination , besides the skin toughens up with regular shaving . While it’s nice to have smooth legs , smooth hands and arms are far more noticeable at close quarters .

    1. Teresa,
      At my age the hair on my legs grows back sparsely, thinner, and lighter in color. And some spots not at all.
      My waxer is jealous and tells me that she has so much more hair than I do. I can go for months and they still look hairless.
      And I’m too lazy to shave everyday.

      1. Cali,
        It is the same for me. Age has thinned out a lot of my body hair and made the colour very pale. Shaving my body is an every other week event.

        Getting old has some advantages.


  11. Cali/Jocelyn,
    I wish my hair growth would slow down at my age , my transgender friend continues to tell me hormones might help , I feel it’s not a good enough reason .

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