Which eyebrow shape is most attractive?

We therefore conducted an experiment in which we examined how the change in the shape of the eyebrows affects the assessment of the attractiveness of this person. For this purpose, we experimentally changed the shape of the eyebrows in seven female faces using morphing software in three variations.


Left: Arched eyebrows with a maximum in the middle of the eyebrow.
Middle: “Classic” brow shape, where the brows rise above two thirds and then fall off in the outer third of the brow.
Right: Low lying brows. Identical in shape to the “classic” brows, but shifted downwards.

The first variation was an arched eyebrow with a maximum in the middle of the brow. In the 20s and 30s this brow shape was especially popular. A prototype for a woman with this brow shape was Greta Garbo. The second variation is the “classic” brow shape, where the brow rises above two thirds and then falls in the outer third of the brow. In the third variation the shape of the second variation was kept, but it was shifted downwards. These low-set eyebrows have become increasingly common in recent years, especially among young women.
More than 350 test subjects of both sexes, aged 12 to 85 years, evaluated three variations of each of the seven faces and gave a ranking of attractiveness.

The result: Overall, the faces with the classic brow shapes (high, two thirds rising, one third falling) performed best. They were well received by all test subjects. Surprising side effect: For the other two brow shapes it depended on the age of the judges which brow they preferred. Persons under 30 years of age clearly found the low-set eyebrows more attractive than the arched ones – in the persons over 30 years of age it was exactly the opposite (Mann-Whitney-U-Tests, p < .05).

These results show two things: On the one hand, it sometimes also depends on the observer what is perceived as beautiful and what is not, in this case the age group. On the other hand, these cross-sectional data (comparison of different age groups) indicate that the ideal of beauty in eyebrows is obviously undergoing a change. While younger people cling to a newer ideal (low-set eyebrows), older people cling to an older ideal (arched brows), an ideal that was common when they were young themselves and that they may have internalized as teenagers.
Two top models on the cover of Vogue. Gisele Bündchen (left) has a brow shape according to the “classic” ideal (high, two thirds rising and falling in the outer third), which is well received by all test subjects. In Carmen Kass (right), the low lying eyebrows can be seen well, which are preferred especially by young people and are becoming increasingly popular. However, older people find this type of eyebrow rather unattractive.

Since fashion trends are usually set and promoted by young people, it can be assumed that in the future the ideal of low-lying brows will become increasingly widespread and the ideal of arch-shaped brows will be pushed back. However, whether this is really a trend will only be known with certainty when this experiment is repeated in a few years’ time and the shift in these preferences is confirmed. However, the term “trend” must not be misunderstood in any way: It does not mean what many fashion or women’s magazines try to make their readers believe is a trend (“This season eye shadow in colour X is in”). Rather, the change in the ideal is an extremely slow development that began several decades ago and is still continuing.

A study by Oakland University Michigan asked more than 1000 people about their perception of attractiveness. The result: women who have bushier eyebrows were preferred over all others. The respondents were shown several pictures of women to be ranked by attractiveness.

“It may be that slightly thicker eyebrows are associated with other characteristics.” The thicker hair could be subconsciously perceived as a greater openness to sexual encounters.
Some stars have now made their full eyebrows a trademark. Lily Collins or Cara Delevingne are the girls we associate directly with bushy eyebrows.

Eyebrows give our face charisma. If they are a little fuller, we probably do more with the male sex. Earlier, the icon Audrey Hepburn has turned men’s heads with her petite appearance and distinctive eyebrows.

You can style the popular Audrey Hepburn eyebrows so easily!

If you really want to have full eyebrows á la Audrey Hepburn, you have to let your brows grow. Do without your evening make-up removal routine, which includes a small eyebrow plucking session. It may take up to 8 weeks before you can finally see a visible result. But here again, the motto is: It pays off! This is the important foundation which you can then later on shape up.

Many people feel a little uncomfortable when their eyebrows are obviously not plucked and prefer to cut a pony for the time being. This is left to you. There is nothing wrong with seeing some hairs growing out above and below the eyebrow.

Make sure that the shape of your eyebrow matches your face. As different as our faces are, so different are our eyebrow shapes. Some grow rather flat, others in a high arch.

Work through from back to front. In other words, you start at the end of your eyebrow and work your way to the beginning. Get a small brush at hand and comb your little hairs upwards and then trim the hairs that stick out a bit with the scissors.

The attractive eyebrow – not only a question of shape

The eye area plays an important role in the perception of a face. The eyes, so they say, are the mirrors of the soul. They tell us the feelings of our counterpart, whether he is angry, sad or happy. When we look at a face, we usually look into the eyes of the other person, because the eye area reflects the emotional state of a person most clearly.

The eyebrows should not be neglected: They not only “give us expression” and make us unique, but also help to determine the attractiveness of a person.

Various studies have shown that a face must meet certain criteria in order for us to consider it beautiful. These include high cheekbones, long and thick eyelashes, narrow nose and full lips, as well as the colour and shape of the eyebrows.

Basically all small things, but all in all they probably have a great influence on our sense of beauty. With the eyebrows, it is apparently mainly the darker ones that make (adult) faces attractive. While they may be a little stronger for men, those of women should be rather narrow.

In some times, for example in the late Middle Ages, a high forehead was considered the ideal of beauty. To meet this ideal, the eyebrows were often plucked out completely or shaved off, which sometimes gave the faces an artificial, mask-like expression. Eyebrows bring a face to life and are virtually inseparable from the eyes. Even the slightest movement of the muscles can change their position and shape and make us look more angry or amazed. And not only that: As studies show, they also play an important role in the recognition of a face. Without his eyebrows, Theo Waigel would not be Theo Waigel, or at least it would be much more difficult for us to recognize him.

It all depends on the shape

The fact that the eyebrows are not just a few hairs but also play a role in the assessment of a face in terms of its attractiveness is shown, for example, by the study of Dominik K. Feser and Martin Gründl, who used a morphing program to change the shape of the eyebrows in seven women and then had their faces assessed for attractiveness by a total of 357 test subjects aged between 12 and 85 years.

Each woman was depicted three times, each with a different eyebrow shape. The following brow shapes were available:

1. the arched eyebrow, with the highest height in the middle of the brow
2. a brow set high above the eye, which rises above the first two thirds and falls in the last third
3. the shape is the same as the second variation, but the brows are closer to the eye, so they have been moved downwards.

The arched eyebrow was considered ideal especially in the 30s until the 70s. A particularly beautiful example of this brow shape can be found in the face of Greta Garbo.

A prominent representative of the second eyebrow variation, also known as the classical form, is Marilyn Monroe. The third variation, which is flatter above the eyes, can be admired for example in Top Model Heidi Klum.

Beauty in this case is a question of age

The classic eyebrown shape is probably not called “classic shape” for nothing. Apparently independent of fashion and time and in this case also of the age and sex of the study participants, the faces with this brow shape were rated most attractive in the study. Luck, therefore, for those who possess them by nature.

For the other two forms, the assessment of attractiveness was primarily a question of age. While the older participants (primarily those over 50 years of age) preferred the arched brows – as in the case of Greta Garbo’s brows – the younger participants (up to 29) judged the faces with flatter brows above the eyes, as in the case of Heidi Klum, to be significantly more attractive.

Ideals change

So it seems that there is not the ideal brow per se, but different “ideal forms” depending on age, which exist parallel to each other. And the results of the study show something else: the change of ideals over the years.

It seems that the ideal of eyebrows beauty is also currently undergoing a change, because while older people apparently still cling to a shape that was considered beautiful in their youth, younger people already prefer a new ideal.

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