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EYEBROWS

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charliechaplinfan
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EYEBROWS

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 6th, 2009, 5:47 pm

Maybe I've been watching too many 30's movies, but I've really been noticing the eyebrows. I know that they shaved them off and then pencilled them back in again, on film and stills it's very flattering, it has the effect of making the face more symmetrical. I'm thinking especially of Marlene and Jean Harlow, I have noticed it on others. The ones I have noticed aren't pencilled back on in the original place but a bit further up giving the eyes a wider expression.

It occured to me just how strange we would look today if we adopted the look.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

Hollis
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby Hollis » June 6th, 2009, 6:32 pm

Hi Alison,

Isn't it a shame that we can't ask Joan Crawford why she did it? It may have something to do with face lifts and other plastic surgical procedures. If they hadn't shaved them off, they would have wound up in the middle of their foreheads!

As always, Hollis

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silentscreen
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby silentscreen » June 6th, 2009, 7:02 pm

But later on Joan adopted the bushy brows of Bette Davis in "Now Voyager." Now what was that all about? 8)
"Humor is nothing less than a sense of the fitness of things." Carole Lombard

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knitwit45
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby knitwit45 » June 6th, 2009, 8:04 pm

Alison, I'm an "eyebrow" girl, too. I always notice the eyebrows, male or female. The pencilled-in look was hideous, in my opinion. I know it was the style of the day, but it detracted from the wearer. I remember reading a book by a makeup artist (of course I can't remember his name :roll: ). His clients included Jennifer Jones, Barbara Rush, and Marilyn Monroe. He said if even one time some one had said "Marilyn I love your eyes/hair/lipstick" he would have been out on his kiester. She wanted people to see the whole package, not one particular thing over others. I have to agree, when one particular feature jumps out at you, you have a hard time focusing on the person.

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Birdy
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby Birdy » June 6th, 2009, 10:56 pm

In Katherine Hepburn's biography, she said they all shaved them off in the 30's and drew them on higher and she said hers never grew back right. She said the only star she remembered whose eyebrows grew back right was Ginger Rogers. What I wonder is, did they shave them every day or two? If not you'd surely have stubble. Yuck.
B

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 7th, 2009, 4:56 am

I've read Eve Golden's book about Jean Harlow, the shaving of the eyebrows was common all over Hollywood, only no one told the public so they plucked their's into oblivion never to be seen again. Joan's eyebrows certainly proliferated in later years.

I've heard it said on magazine programmes that a good eyebrow trim and pluck is as valuable as a facelift, at least you can still move your face afterwards. :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

Hollis
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby Hollis » June 8th, 2009, 6:46 pm

Hey there y'all... Boy it hurts to say that!

I'm guessing that it was somewhere on the order of 25 years ago, but I had to have a sebaceous cyst removed from just above my left eyelid and just below the eyebrow. The surgeon said that it would be much easier to perform the procedure if he could simply shave the eyebrow off and work unhindered by its presence. But before he did so, he asked me for my approval. When I asked him why he was asking me, he explained that when an eyebrow is shaved off, unlike other hair, there's more than a good chance that it won't grow back at all. Needless to say, the eyebrow stayed right where it was and I was blessed with about a half inch long scar just below it that I'll take with me to the grave. Fortunately, he used something he called "microsutures" which minimized the amount of scar tissue and made the scar far less noticeable. I'm left wondering how many actresses were aware of the risk involved and assumed that they could simply let the brow grow back at some future date only to be surprised when it didn't. What's the old line? "Vanity, thy name is woman."

See y'all down the road, Hollis

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Professional Tourist
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby Professional Tourist » June 8th, 2009, 8:35 pm

Birdy wrote:In Katherine Hepburn's biography, she said they all shaved them off in the 30's and drew them on higher and she said hers never grew back right. She said the only star she remembered whose eyebrows grew back right was Ginger Rogers.

This practice was pushed on a number of the young female stars at MGM in the '30s and '40s, including Judy Garland. Judy's eyebrows were over-shaved/tweezed to the point that they stopped growing back and were non-existent. :x :x By the time she filmed A Star is Born she had begun the practice of wearing little eyebrow toupees, because such looked more natural than penciled brows. Here's a photo of Judy from 1961 with her toupees:

Image

jdb1

Re: EYEBROWS

Postby jdb1 » June 9th, 2009, 9:17 am

Doesn't Judy have the most gorgeous mouth?

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phil noir
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby phil noir » June 9th, 2009, 10:18 am

For me, even more distracting than the plucked and re-pencilled eyebrows in classic films are the absurdly long false eyelashes. The last time I watched The More the Merrier, I was very distracted by how ridiculously long Jean Arthur's eyelashes were in close-up. It's the same in Arizona. (And she is one of my favourites, so I'm not criticizing.)

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vallo
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby vallo » June 9th, 2009, 12:46 pm

Same goes for the razor thin mustache. As a kid I remember using my mom’s eyebrow pencil to draw in a mustache if I was playing Zorro or any of the other characters that had a beard or ‘stash. It seems like the thin style is back in facial hair, whether it’s above or below the lips. I was watching “Dodge City” with Errol Flynn and he gets shaved and by the end of the scene he really looked clean shaved except he had to trim his own mustache (who else could do a better job then Flynn himself.)
It reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld's "Uncle Leo" when he burns off his eyebrows. So of course they draw them in and goes to the doctor and his doctor asks "Why he's so angry" :D

Bill
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 9th, 2009, 1:05 pm

I just love Marlene Dietrich and she must be the biggest culprits for eyebrows in the wrong place and huge eyelashes but it never detracts, with her it seems right because she's almost other worldly.

I never knew about eyebrow toupees. I learn something new every day :wink:
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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moira finnie
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby moira finnie » June 9th, 2009, 5:12 pm

phil noir wrote:For me, even more distracting than the plucked and re-pencilled eyebrows in classic films are the absurdly long false eyelashes. The last time I watched The More the Merrier, I was very distracted by how ridiculously long Jean Arthur's eyelashes were in close-up. It's the same in Arizona. (And she is one of my favourites, so I'm not criticizing.)

For me, it's the beaded false eyelashes even more than the regular fakes that drive me crazy. You see this alot in silents, but also in the early '30s, as evidenced by the Man Ray photo below. That's actually a small wax bead of melted wax with pigment or Vaseline with coal dust, which was originally how Maybelline sold mascara in cake form that was applied with a wet brush to a lady's lashes. How comfortable could this have been??
Image

To get back to the eyebrow question, when Ingrid Bergman was hired by David O. Selznick in the late '30s to remake Intermezzo for American audiences, he wrote reams of memos just about her eyebrows and her "fresh purity", as well as the expressive brows of Vivien Leigh and later Dorothy McGuire and, of course, Jennifer Jones. Though he'd hired and promoted many actresses who favored that shaved look in the '30s, by the war time period, the "almost natural look" was in, at least with the influential tastemaker, D.O.S.

I'm sort of glad he did like natural looking brows. Where would Scarlett O'Hara have been without the ability to raise one eyebrow?
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silentscreen
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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby silentscreen » June 9th, 2009, 7:09 pm

LOL, I would never pluck or shave my eyebrows, they are thin enough as it is! What women do for the sake of trying to look prettier is beyond me! A little bit of natural looking makeup is okay, but shaving brows and fake eyelashes is beyond the pale. One thing amongst many things that I like about living in today's world is the natural looking makeup. Now if we could only get past the anorexic look that started with Twiggy, I'd be happy! :D I thought MM was gorgeous, and she was never skinny.
"Humor is nothing less than a sense of the fitness of things." Carole Lombard

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Re: EYEBROWS

Postby jdb1 » June 10th, 2009, 8:46 am

moirafinnie wrote:For me, it's the beaded false eyelashes even more than the regular fakes that drive me crazy. You see this alot in silents, but also in the early '30s, as evidenced by the Man Ray photo below. That's actually a small wax bead of melted wax with pigment or Vaseline with coal dust, which was originally how Maybelline sold mascara in cake form that was applied with a wet brush to a lady's lashes. How comfortable could this have been??


And don't forget to mention to the young 'uns how ladies applied that mascara: some may have wet the brush, but most spit on the cake. You can see it done in quite a few Classic movies -- I remember Dietrich doing it -- maybe in The Blue Angel?

My mother, who rarely wore anything but lipstick, had an old cake of Mabelline mascara in the back of a bureau drawer, as I recall. It smelled like celery powder.


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