Anyone who has ever DIY’d their eyebrows knows this: Those few hundred hairs above the eyes are essential to communicating emotion. One false move with the tweezers and bam! — you look permanently angry, confused, or surprised. Plus, they’re key to maintaining overall facial symmetry, which studies have shown to be strongly correlated to overall attractiveness. The Atlantic recently dedicated 1,300 words to the subject in an article that covered their importance in nonverbal communication and facial recognition, the haunting fact that ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows off to mourn the death of a pet cat, and the tale of how one woman’s eyebrow transplant changed her life for the better.
Over the years, brow trends have come and gone — now fat, now thin, now mono-brow-lithic — but some iconic arches endure the test of time. Here, the Cut’s 50 picks for the most memorable sets of all time.