15 dicembre 2009


Since man discovered tools with which to hunt, build, and meticulously remove facial hair, going relatively browless has been a globe-spanning phenomenon. The ancient Egyptians were all forehead, using green or black pigment to redraw brows. The double brow—a thin, straight plucked line of natural hair with a second line drawn underneath it—was the rage in Byzantine times. And during the Heian era in Japan, brows were often plucked out completely and replaced by black thumbprints. Kurosawa's Rashomon Neck ruffs and curly orange wigs weren't the only eccentricities popularized. In an effort to mimic Her Majesty, women of the court plucked their hairlines to accentuate their foreheads and removed, dyed, or concealed their brows with white powder. When fuller styles came back into vogue during Baroque times, mouse skins were used to replace brows that could no longer grow due to the culture of over-plucking. Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth Thin Greta Garbo was one of the few silent film stars to make it in the new medium of the talkies, but she never lost the tweezed, curving arches that she used to such expressive effect in silent hits like Flesh and the Devil and The Mysterious Lady. Mysterious indeed.
With Marlene Dietrich on movie screens, the 1930's were all about tweezed brows penciled in with exaggerated height using greasepaint sticks.
But some, of course, refused to accept the trend. Frida Kahlo, left, immortalized the unibrow by keeping her arches bushy and connected in the middle.
What Would Audrey Do? Christian Dior's 1947 New Look reintroduced a highly feminized silhouette and helped usher in a new day of eyebrow care and cultivation. Manicured into a towering arch that peaked over the center of the iris, the new shape was dubbed the "Diva arch," thanks to actresses like Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Hepburn, left, who made it famous
Le Freak, C'est Chic
Studio 54 gave us the platform shoe and the slinky jersey dress, but it also birthed the tadpole shape, which featured a round ball toward the beginning of the brow that segued into a very thin line. Sadly, not all things died with disco.
Pat Cleveland
Working Girl
The big careers, big shoulder pads, and big hair of the eighties meant equally larger-than-life brows. Brooke Shields may be all about lashes these days (she's a Latisse spokesperson), but she was the original poster child for the full arch.
Clean Shaven
Supermodels like Cindy Crawford brought big brows into the nineties, although edgier looks—courtesy of the burgeoning grunge movement—quickly gained favor.
When Kristen McMenamy shaved her arches, her modeling career took off.
Kristen McMenamy, Vogue Italia, May 1992
Peroxide Blonde
On the advice of Paris Vogue's Carine Roitfeld, model Lara Stone brought the bleached brow into the new millennium and snatched up countless major editorials as a result.
source: Style.com

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