Featured Project - Brews and Brows

Posted on: 30 May 2022 in 2022 posts

'Brews and Brows' Project Success in REF2021

Dr Niamh Thornton is co-investigator with Dr Liz Greene (University of Reading) on “Brews and Brows: Shaping Stories from Eyebrows to Scousebrows”. It is an interdisciplinary collaborative project aimed at creating opportunities to discuss the importance of eyebrows to our identity and sense of self. Working across the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences, the team consists of researchers in Film Studies, Filmmaking, Human Geography, Facial Scanning, and Fashion Photography, and has worked with scholars in Queer Studies, Art Practice, Evolutionary Archeology, Brow Artists and Technicians, and Cosmetic Surgery. Inspired by the Mexican film star María Félix, whose eyebrows were a recognisable feature of her screen performances, the project builds on the association between Liverpool and a recognisable eyebrow shape, the Scousebrow. Both were starting points in the conversation, but the research so far has shown that for participants their eyebrow grooming is an expression of multiple aspects of who they are, their wellbeing, and their sense of belonging. So far, the project has invited people to share stories via a video diary booth, to get their brows scanned, and to pose for photographs in order to record what their eyebrows mean to them and who or what inspires their styling. The project aims to continue to gather stories to explore the centrality of the eyebrow to identity, self, and belonging.


In May 2022, the project was featured as part of CNN Style’s focus on Eyebrows as part of the As We Are series


Participants share their story in the video diary booth, LightNight, 17 May 2019, Garstang Museum



María Félix in Enamorada/The Hidden One (Emilio Fernández, 1946)


Participants contribute their stories in the video diary booth at the FACT event 25-28 April 2018