The evolution of eyebrows

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The evolution of eyebrows

Strong, fierce eyebrows may be all the rage these days, but it hasn't always been that way.

Just like clothes, eyebrow trends have changed with time.

SEE ALSO: Women are wearing makeup at the Olympics to bust gender stereotypes

Ancient Egypt:

Cleopatra and her friends favored the arched and dark look. They used kohl to line their eyes and brows, which helped protect from diseases and sun exposure.

Ancient Greece:

Women rocked the infamous unibrow, darkening their brows with mineral or soot. Prostitutes and the rich were the most likely to paint their faces.

Imperial Heian Japan:

It was considered beautiful for women to shave off their eyebrows and paint oval shapes higher on their foreheads.

Middle Ages:

The high forehead look was favored during this time period, so women tended to shave or pluck their eyebrows.

1920-1930s:

During the Roaring 20's, women took after the stars with a super thin, high arch look. They replicated silent film actresses like Clara Bow who used this look to convey more emotion.

The 1950s:

This era brought a new wave of Hollywood's most admirable stars, including Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. These women reshaped the eyebrow trend by favoring straighter, bolder brows.

1980s:

Who could forget Brooke Shields' bushy brows? Apart from the hair getting bigger during that decade, eyebrows became a little less tamed.

Today:

Bold brows are definitely still the fan favorite, but are a bit more structured than their 80s counterparts. The 2010s have experimented with different style fads, including glitter brows.

So whether your eyebrows are thin or thick, rock them with confidence. Your best accessory is right on your face.

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Step away from the tweezers

The hardest step is also the most important. "You want to resist the urge to touch your brows for at least four months," says Madron. "It usually takes that long for brows to grow out unless you've removed a lot of hair. Then it might take a year or more." Lose your salon's phone number, avoid the mirror when you're PMS-ing, and freeze your tweezers in a glass of water, says Madron. "If you can't get to the tweezers immediately, the urge to pluck will pass."

Condition at night

A brow conditioner will help speed the growth process along. Madron's favorite is RevitaBrow, which she recommends to many of her clients. But one conditioner doesn't necessarily fit all. "You may need to try different products with different active ingredients," says Madron. Talika's new Eyebrow Lipocils Expert is quite good, as is the Crave Collection Brow Braun Eyebrow Conditioner. If all these fail, try talking to your dermatologist about prescription-strength options.

RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner, $110, nordstrom.com.

Talika Eyebrow Lipocils Expert Supplement, $57.50, amazon.com.

Crave Collection Brow Braun Eyebrow Conditioner, $65.99, amazon.com.

Pop some pills

The same supplements that help your hair grow—biotin and Viviscal (if you have an iron deficiency)—will also help brow hairs sprout. "That way, you're supporting the issue from the inside out," says Madron.

Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Nutrient Tablets, $39.99, ulta.com.

Fill in the gaps

There's no avoiding it: Your brows will go through an ugly phase during the grow-out process. "This is where brow fillers, pencils, waxes, and putties come in very handy," says Madron. "If your brows are a good shape but you're filling in holes, pencils and powders are best." Madron recommends Maybelline New York Brow Define and Full Duo (she's a spokesperson for the brand, but we're also a fan), which is a dual-ended stick with a pencil on one end and a powder on the other.

Maybelline New York Brow Define and Full Duo, $6.94, walmart.com.

Fake it

If you're growing out more than just a few sparse patches, pencil won't cut it. "What you want to do is paint on the brow shape you're desiring," Madron explains, "covering up all the patchy, new growth inside the lines with a wax/powder combination or a putty-like product, both of which are more forgiving, allow for less precision, and tame stubborn hairs." Madron likes Maybelline New York Brow Drama Pro Palette, which contains both wax and powder. As for putties and pomades, we're fans of Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro and NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade. For stubble or sparse hairs growing in at the tail end of your brows, you can cover them up with a very dry concealer, like Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

Maybelline New York Brow Drama Pro Palette, $10.99, target.com.

Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro, $34, sephora.com.

NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade, $6.99, ulta.com.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $34, sephora.com.

Employ distraction techniques

Keep the attention as far from your brows as possible. "Wear bangs, a statement lip, whatever you have to keep people from focusing on your brows," says Madron. And avoid cat eyes and winged liner. "Wearing liquid liner with strong edges during the growth phrase isn't a good choice: The sharp lines direct eyes straight to your brows, where they will be able to see every hole and gap," says Madron.

Try tinting

"Brow tinting is life-changing. It's helped me so much when growing out my brows because it bulks up all those baby-fine hairs," says Madron. Your best bet is to go to a professional rather than trying it at home (although, if you do, make sure to use a nice vegetable dye). "The other benefit of seeing a professional is they can paint on the tint in your desired brow shape," says Madron.

Avoid the unibrow

Remember how we said not to touch your brows? Well, if you're prone to sprouting a few hairs between your brows, we're not going to tell you to walk around like Ernie from Sesame Street for four months. To make sure you're not over-plucking, Madron recommends using your finger as a guide. Place your index finger between your brows and draw a line on either side of it with eyeliner pencil. Remove your finger and only tweeze the hairs in between those two lines. "You don't want to remove too much hair from the inner corners," says Madron. "It's very hard to get hair to grow back in those spots, so I always err on the side of caution."

Set yourself up for success

After four months—or once your brows have filled in substantially—you will want to shape them. We recommend leaving it to a professional, but if you prefer to tackle them at home, Madron stresses the importance of good lighting. "You want to be in front of direct natural light if possible. Overhead lighting creates shadows, which obscure your view." To determine your perfect brow shape, look at pictures of yourself before you started plucking them and assess your face shape. "It's all about balance," says Madron. "If you have small, petite features, like Kirsten Dunst, Winona Ryder, or Halle Berry for example, your brows shouldn't be too large, and if you have big features like Keira Knightley or Sofia Vergara, your brows can also be bigger."

Dust off the tweezers

Once you've determined your perfect shape, it's time to carefully clean up errant hairs with tweezers. But before you start plucking, break out a black or bright-colored eyeliner pencil and outline the shape you want. Get really close to your mirror and, using slanted tweezers, only remove what is outside the pencil lines. Then wash off the pencil to see the results.

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