Merseyside researchers ask what do your eyebrows say about you?

Eye - Brews and Brows

Scousebrow or powerbrow? Pluck, pencil, thread or wax? Researchers at LJMU and the University of Liverpool want to hear about your relationship with your eyebrows at a special Brews & Brows event hosted by FACT.

Inspired by the performances of mid-20th Century Mexican screen icon María Félix, the University of Liverpool’s Dr Niamh Thornton began investigating the evolution of the eyebrow in contemporary culture, from Desperate Scousewives to Cara Delevingne.

And now, the team of researchers want people from across Merseyside to come along to FACT and share your eyebrow stories.

Not only will your views feed into live academic research, but a special Brow Bar will be in place offering free treatments; and there will also be space to chat and discuss brows over tea and cake.

Participants will be invited to step into the Brow Booth – a purpose built video diary booth – to tell their story and contribute to an upcoming documentary about the place of the eyebrow in Liverpool.

Dr Liz Greene from LJMU’s Liverpool Screen School said: “We want people to be able to tell their own stories in their own ways.

“We will be making a conventional documentary, but the brow booth will also give individuals a more private opportunity to reflect on their grooming practices.”

LJMU’s Jacqui McAssey will offer participants professional photograph sessions, while the LJMU Face Lab team will scan your eyebrows to collect a permanent record of Liverpool’s eyebrow culture.

Sarah Shrimpton PhD Researcher at LJMU’s Face Lab said: “Over the years different types of eyebrows have gone in and out of fashion, with the more recent Scousebrow and Powerbrow taking centre stage.

“Face Lab will be 3D scanning participant’s eyebrows so they can reflect upon their own eyebrows in three dimensions and open up discussion about eyebrow aesthetic.”

Edge Hill University’s Dr Catherine Wilkinson and Manchester Metropolitan University’s Dr Samantha Wilkinson will also run a focus group, with stories documented in novel ways on Thursday 26 April.

Dr Thornton said: “It’s clear that whatever way you craft your brows it is an important part of your identity; showing how you groom and present yourself to the world can be read in many different ways. 

“Because of the buzz around certain styles, we are confident everyone has a story to tell about their brow.”

“We want to get away from eyebrow shaming and give you an opportunity to have your eyebrows scanned, talk about what your brow means to you, and shake off the negativity around the brow.”

Brews & Brows is led by LJMU and the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with Edge Hill University and Manchester Metropolitan University. The project is part-funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Brews & Brows is open at FACT on Wood Street, Liverpool from April 25 – 28. To find out more, please visit or follow @BrewsBrows on twitter.


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