Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.



by Robyn Cosio, Cynthia Robins (With), Cynthia Robins

Tweezed, penciled, dyed, or waxed — welcome to the fascinating world of the eyebrow!

The eyebrow. No other facial feature is as easily changed — and none can make such a dramatic difference in your total look.

In this highly original beauty book, renowned makeup artist and eyebrow specialist Robyn Cosio reveals everything you ever wanted to


Tweezed, penciled, dyed, or waxed — welcome to the fascinating world of the eyebrow!

The eyebrow. No other facial feature is as easily changed — and none can make such a dramatic difference in your total look.

In this highly original beauty book, renowned makeup artist and eyebrow specialist Robyn Cosio reveals everything you ever wanted to know about the often neglected eyebrow and helps you create the perfect brows for your face.

Cosio follows the evolution of eyebrow fashion through history, from ancient Egyptian women's recipes for homemade brow powder to eighteenth-century English beauties who glued tiny pieces of mouse hide to their foreheads, then focuses on the twentieth century and shows how changes in brow shape have given a different look to each decade.

The Eyebrow is filled with dozens of beautiful photographs of stars from throughout the twentieth century, ranging from the silent-film vamp's angry slash of a brow to the thin, stylized, glamorous brow of the 1930s to the haute-couture Diva Arch of the 1950s — the pinnacle of elegance and sophistication — to the tadpole brow of the 1970s and Brooke Shields's natural-looking brow of the 1980s.

Stars have completely changed their looks over the years by changing their eyebrows. Joan Crawford's incredibly thin blond brows of the 1920s evolved into her signature thick black brows of the 1950s. And powerful brows have shaped the looks of countless men, from Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff to Clark Gable and Clint Eastwood.

Finally, Cosio helps you create your own perfect brows, whether you have thick, bushy brows or only a few sparse hairs to work with. She shows the folly of eyebrow trends, instead helping you to create a pair of classically elegant brows that make the perfect frame for your face, giving you an instant facelift.

With this eye-opening book, you'll never look at eyebrows the same way again.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.66(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Twentieth Century

One Hundred Years of Eyebrow Transformation

The story of the eyebrow's progress through the twentieth century parallels the story of women's independence. In the 1920s, when women started paying attention to their faces and their freedom, brows were tweezed, narrowed, and groomed with great elan and creativity. In the 1930s, in the midst of a worldwide depression, when fairy-tale images of the Ideal, the Perfect, the Elevated were sought after to alleviate the penury of no jobs and few prospects, eyebrows were tweezed nearly into nothingness and redrawn. In the 1940s, during World War II, when women not only kept the home fires burning, they stoked the defense machine, America's wholesome Rosie the Riveters were too busy to maintain narrow, labor-intensive eyebrows, so they let them grow out. And in the postwar years, when Christian Dior's soignee New Look put women back in girdles and corsets, the eyebrow experienced its most stylish and high-maintenance decade yet. Like the Roaring Twenties, the Swingin' Sixties was another profligately free decade when creativity spawned a painted eye and a brow decorated with lace, feathers, glitter, and even diamonds. In the 1970s, the Disco Decade of Dreadful Taste, women were at their tweezers again, manicuring their brows into cramped little tadpoles or flighty commas. The Go-Go Eighties were years of more is more, and the brow took its cue from big hair and big shoulders as career women attacked boardroom doors in their power suits. And in the 1990s, the eyebrow was once again a malleable fashion accessory, designed now by superstar makeup artists who determined The Look of fashion model, trophy wife,and screen star… and, eventually, the rest of us.

The Fabulous Fifties

If ever there was a decade dedicated tot he worship and beautification of the eyebrow, it was the Fifties. Never has the brow had as much attention in all of its flagrantly full, expressive glory.

The most important component of the Fabulous Fifties face was the Diva Arch — an eyebrow so totally designed that it could carry the graphic eye that sat beneath it. The eyebrow was cultivated, pampered, and manicured into a soaring arch that peaked over the exact center of the iris. It was an amused arch, an ironic arch, but mostly, it was full, generous, and considered a statement of feminine perfection. But the whole face had to be perfect, too, especially the eye and the lip.

The shape of the 1950s eye came mainly out of Paris and from the ballet tradition that involved l'oil de biche, the doe eye, which was designed by a Parisian makeup artist named Etienne Aubrey and featured prominently in American fashion magazines and on Hollywood's movie goddesses. Patently artificial and unnatural, the eye was overdrawn with a precise, thick, black line above the lashes that extend upward and outward into a wing at the end of the eye. Either the brow mirrored the shape of the eye, or vice versa. As for the lip, it was anything but neutral. (Somehow, toward the end of the century, contemporary makeup artists declared that a woman should choose between a strong eye and an obvious mouth. In the 1950s she was allowed to have both.)

What Kind of Brows Do I Have?

Before doing your own brows, it is absolutely necessary to figure out how your brow should be shaped for your particular face, eyes, and bone structure. I am not a trend person. If brows are looking sparse, shiny, or anemic on the fashion runway simply because a designer has decreed that they will be so for the next fifteen minutes, I ignore it.

At one time makeup artist Kevyn Audoin advocated tinting brows lighter than your natural hair color. And a few years ago, New York designer Todd Oldham pasted graphic, thick, black fake eyebrows on his runway models, setting off chatter in fashion magazines that a trend toward heavier, darker brows was coming. But my skill has always been designing a brow specifically for the face of the client who is in my chair. It is something you can learn to do for yourself.

Before we start, let's try an exercise.

Sit in your chair near excellent natural light and hold a plain hand mirror in front of your face to get the big picture. I always recommend a hand mirror to begin because you can hold it as close to you as possible and you won't have the barrier of your bathroom sink between you and your mirror.

Be very objective here. Analyze your brows. Are they heavy? Are they light? Do they have a natural arch in them? Do they sit on your brow bone with no arch? Do they march across your nose? Are the hairs in your eyebrows thick and plentiful, or are they sparse and thin? Do these hairs slant? Do they curl? Are they short? Is one eyebrow thicker than the other? Do your eyes look too close together? Do your brows make your expression look angry?

How your brows are shaped can change your appearance. An example: One of my clients once told me, "My eyebrows betray my innermost emotions."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because," she said, "everyone says I look so angry." She had a very small face and extremely heavy brows that sat much too close together. I took out the heaviness near her nose, found her arch, and removed the hairs that obscured it. The result: Her new eyebrows opened up her face. She looked more relaxed because her brows did not appear furrowed in anxiety or anger.

Another woman told me when I cleaned up the hairs under her brows, "You've given me an instant face lift." And still another said that she looked as if she'd lost weight when I took out most of her heavy brow.

So, it is possible to change your whole look with judicious tweezing. Who knows what might happen? Changing the shape of a brow has changed the course of a career. For example, take actress Teri Hatcher (who played Superman's girlfriend, Lois Lane, on television.) When she first started out, her eyebrows were heavy and rather thick. They gave her face a naïve, innocent look, and her Girl-Next-Door roles reflected that. Then a makeup artist shaped her brow, made it narrower, discovered her gorgeous, expressive arch, and gave Hatcher a more worldly, sexy look. She went from everybody's best friend to Bombshell with a flick of the tweezer.

What People are Saying About This

Gina Gershon
By changing the shape of your eyebrows, you change the look of your face. Robyn Cosio understands that.
Sharon Lawrence
Robyn is a magician who changes you from girl next door to glamour girl in five minutes or less. With her influence on my eyebrows, I've seen a definite improvement in my total look!
Christina Applegate
Robyn Cosio always makes sure to give your eyebrows a shape that's designed especially for you. She will never give you someone else's brows straight out of a magazine. She's the only person who can make me laugh as she pulls hair out of my head. Her stand-up comedy is great.
Jamie Lee Curtis
After her soul, the first things I check out in a woman are her eyebrows. Thankfully I met Robyn Cosio, and now and I can walk with pride and confidence in the knowledge that at least my brows are in order.
Louis Dell'Olio
Robyn Cosio and I have worked on many runway shows and ads, and no one has made the models look more beautiful. Robyn's creativity as a makeup artist is her understanding of the total face, the brows being the frame.
Jody Watley
You take a good brow-shaping for granted until you get a bad job! Robyn Cosio has a classic approach to shaping brows. Precision, perfection, and out the door. She is a brow master.

Meet the Author

Robyn Cosio is a well-known makeup artist in Los Angeles and New York City who specializes in eyebrows. Her clients include Christina Applegate, Marisa Tomei, Gina Gershon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura San Giacomo, Vanessa Redgrave, Jennifer Grey, Jody Watley, Joan Chen, Lesley Stahl, and Elizabeth Perkins. She has been interviewed as an authority on eyebrows and makeup in Vogue, InStyle, Bazaar, W, Elle, Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, Allure, and many other magazines and on CNN, Today, FOX, and MTV. She has designed makeup for Louis Dell'Olio and Donna Karan for Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Bill Blass, and many other fashion designers. She lives in Beverly Hills.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews