Your Stylist: Bringing your eyebrows back with a little brow rehab
If at 16 you went through an intense grunge phase or idolized Kate Moss in her Calvin Klein heyday, then like me, you have wimpy little eyebrows that just refuse to grow.
I discovered the possibility of tweezers around that age and haven’t looked back, using them a couple of times a week to grab a rogue hair here or there. But since being put through a brow rehab by eyebrow specialist and makeup artist Kristie Streicher, I now realize that while I may never be Brooke Shields, I’ve certainly got better brows than I thought.
Streicher’s first rule in getting your brows back to being full and lush is giving the tweezers a timeout for a few weeks. This means no plucking a stray hair or cleaning up the shape, just letting them grow no matter how messy they start to look or feel.
Streicher, who shapes Julia Roberts' famous eyebrows and sees clients at the Warren Tricomi salon in New York and L.A. (her new Beauty Bar just opened at the L.A location) advises getting the hair to be on the same growth cycle, meaning even the little strays should stay put until the wanted hairs have a chance to sprout.
“Most people I see have overplucked,” she says “More than anything, people want thicker brows, but they’re under the impression that they can’t grow them. What they don’t realize is that pulling out a few hairs everyday does affect how they rest of the brows grow.”
The first step of simply putting the tweezers down is definitely the hardest part, but as Streicher points out “knowing you’re on a plan helps.” She also tints the brows with a vegetable-based dye to bring out each hair, making them immediately appear fuller and more defined. She then plucks around the brow area lightly to show clients the shape she is going for.
“Full brows look so fresh-faced and healthy,” she says. “Skinny little scrawny brows put more focus on the fine lines and dark circles around the eye area. You also end up using less makeup when you have a full brow, because they really do frame and define the face.”
After an initial session of consulting, light tweezing and possible tinting, Streicher generally won’t see a client for six to eight weeks to give the brow hair ample time to grow. In the meantime she recommends a handy little pencil from Darac Beauty called the Brow Trio. The pencil has a clean, angled shape, and the low oil formula make it glide on more like a powder for a softer finish. Streicher also likes the product for the brush at the end and highlighter in the middle of the pencil, which she uses to further define the shape of brows and hide the little hairs coming in while you’re on tweezer hiatus.
Lash-growing products are also helpful and something Streicher recommends not for lashes, but definitely for brows. She name-checks Latisse, GrandeLash and RevitaLash to boost hair growth in the area, and for very extreme cases, a visit to Bosley for a hair transplant of your own hair into your brow.
Whether you need to remedy the results of your grunge beauty phase or just want to whip your brows into really good shape, Streicher takes appointments in L.A at the Warren Tricomi salon. 8327 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA (323) 651-4545
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Photos: Brow expert and makeup artist Kristie Streicher works on a client, top; Brow Trio from Darac Beauty, middle; Kristie Streicher, bottom. Credits: Kristie Streicher, Darac Beauty, Kristie Streicher.