The One Where I Convince You to Always Have Your Brows Professionally Shaped and Tinted

by anna on August 26, 2008

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I don’t know, maybe you’re like me and you’ve spent several years trying to figure out the best place to get waxed (in Los Angeles, or wherever you hail from). You’ve checked the beauty boards at Craigslist, you’ve checked the Citysearch pages, you’ve even trolled Makeupalley, desperate for depilatory advice. Still, you have no credible source of geographically specific waxing savoir-faire. Like me, you have accepted this is something you’ll just have to figure out through trial and error.
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Or maybe you have never been waxed at all–anywhere–and you are afraid, and you don’t want to take the plunge. You figure that dull tweezers and boyshorts are good enough solutions for now. And besides, you are not interested in trying to manage what you assume must be a process involving an inordinate amount of pain.
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Well, my hirsute friend, you are in luck! For today is the day on which I begin my series revealing all of the hair-removal information it has taken me years to glean. That’s right: I have assembled the pros and cons of all of the best places to go for waxing in my immediate geographical area into easy to read and understand posts for perusal at your leisure. And, for those of you outside of Los Angeles, don’t feel left out, because I will also be pointing out the essential things to look for in waxing establishments, wherever you live.
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You might think this is something that could be accomplished in one post. Nay, less than a post. A tweet, even. But you would be wrong. This is an elaborate, controversial question with several different right answers, depending upon the area of the body you need waxed, your hair color, your age, the popular culture of your immediate geographical area, and your budget.
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And today, today we are going to deal only with eyebrows.
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This is the simplest way to begin this topic because for eyebrow waxing, I have a definitive, unmitigated recommendation. There is no better place to get your eyebrows done in Los Angeles than Damone Roberts. Incidentally, if you live in New York, Damone has recently opened a location there as well.
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Damone is yet another of the beauty providers to the stars, and like my hairdresser, Sean, he has a wall full of magazine cutouts documenting said status. If you regularly watch the TLC show, “Ten Years Younger,” then you will know Damone as the “tranny makeup guy,” as one of my imaginary friends refers to him.
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He refers to himself as the Eyebrow King.
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It is my understanding that Damone at one point worked for Anastasia, who is the eyebrow expert featured on Oprah, and whose line of brow maintenance products are sold at Sephora, among other places. Her salon is right around the corner from Damone’s, on the ground floor of the medical building from which Dr. Rey from Dr. 90210 practices (note to self: Dr. Rey as subject of future post, must not leave that adaptation of “scrubs” go undiscussed). When he realized how talented he was, Damone decided to set up shop for himself, choosing a location two doors up from Jonathan Antin‘s ill-fated Beverly Hills salon’s former location. The rest is history.
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Although you can get other kinds of waxing done at Damone Roberts, I only go there for the brows. It is their specialty. You have a choice of going to see Damone ($125 for first visit, $80 after that) or see one of the “brow divas” (average $45 first visit, $40 after that) who have been trained by Damone himself. Personally, I have been seeing Kristina, the Lead Brow Diva, for about four years now. She is slightly more expensive than the other Brow Divas, and for that price you get her knowledge of blonde hair and how it should be tinted.
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Yes, tinted. To be darker. This makes your eyes stand out more. Trust me.
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[singlepic=127,320,240,,left]If you are a natural blonde and do not tint your eyebrows, you might want to consider it. I have Kristina wax and shape my brows, tint my eyebrows, and tint my eyelashes. Now, this is important: if you are a blonde and you go to somebody to have your brows tinted: MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH BLONDE HAIR. There is something about blonde hair that makes it absorb more of the dye and turn very dark very quickly if you do not know what you are doing. Make sure anybody who tints your eyebrows knows about this–if they blow you off or don’t know what “oxidizing” means, then don’t let them do your brows. It will fade within a week or two, but in the meantime you will look like somebody took a sharpie marker to your face.
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Let me show you how much of a difference a good eyebrow shape and tint can make:
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This picture is not as illustrative as I would like, but I think you can see that my eyes are more noticeable in the right picture–assuming, of course, that you can get yourself to look away from the lines in my forehead. (Note to self: time to start Botox is NOW.)
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If you are not ready to commit to a full brow tinting, you can also try Brow Zings by BeneFit. They have these in different colors based on your hair color and complexion.
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If you are not in the area, or if you would prefer not to spend this much on your brows, here is my advice:
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  1. Do not tint your eyebrows if you are a blonde unless you know what you are doing.
  2. In brows, thin is as bad as bushy. You want a medium sized brow that frames your face perfectly, not a Pamela Anderson look.
  3. Consider buying some eyelash stencils, and experiment using eyebrow powder and/or brown eye shadow to see what each shape will look like on you. Anastasia makes eyebrow stencils, but there is also a more reasonably priced drugstore brand called eyebrowz that you can also use.
  4. After you have your eyebrows professionally shaped, you can keep up the shape by using tweezers every couple of days to catch the stray hairs. You should use good, sharp tweezers, and I highly recommend the Tweezerman brand. You need to do this regularly in order to ensure the shape doesn’t get away from you.
  5. Even if you prefer to tweeze at home, consider getting a professional shaping done once every six months or so, just to keep the shape up.
  6. If you have unruly brows, consider using clear mascara or a wax brow product like the one made by Vincent Longo (may be discontinued, though) or, as a less expensive alternative, NYC makeup makes a kit with brow wax to keep the hairs straight.
  7. Never underestimate the power of well groomed brows to make you look put together.
  8. Please don’t judge me based on my having the ability to type that last sentence without throwing up.
  9. Likewise, don’t judge me based on the inordinate amount of information I have at my fingertips about eyebrows.
  10. Listen, nobody is perfect. Everybody has their foibles.
  11. So, yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Next time: all of my various advice, tips, and tricks for the scariest and most intimidating of waxing experiences: the waxing of the hoo hoo.

{ 10 comments }

the ex August 26, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Oh sweet baby jesus, yes. More women need to be put on to the proper way to wear one’s eyebrows. There is nothing cute about going around with caterpillars on your forehead.

That being said – I get my eyebrows waxed at a very scary looking place in Los Angeles by a woman who has never once spoken a word to me and really? I have fucking FABULOUS eyebrows.

shonda August 26, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Happy 6th 29th birthday! Loves it.
Also, I wish I could get on board with the eyebrow genies, but that shit hurts. I will just keep shaving mine with my man’s mustache trimmer. Are you cringing yet?

anna August 26, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Well, since it’s your birthday, too, I will reserve my judgment. :)

AKD August 26, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I don’t have very many DIY beauty skills, but I seem to be able to tweeze my own eyebrows in quite a pleasing way. Whenever I do a full re-shape, people ask me odd questions, like, “Did you color your hair?” or “Are you wearing makeup?” This is proof that cleaning up your brows makes your whole face look better.
After you cover the hoo-haa tomorrow, will you move onto moustache, chin, and sideburns? As a blonde, you probably don’t have those problems. I hate you. Happy Birthday!

J. August 26, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Tweezerman rocks! I didn’t think the brand mattered until I bought a pair, now I won’t use anything else. What I REALLY dislike is the opposite of the “caterpillar” look, (at least they can be groomed) that being the “shaved off and redrawn with Sharpie” look that seems particularly popular among certain ethnic types. Goes along with my distaste for “steak lips,” that overdrawn lip line and pale color also popular with said ethnic types.

Mary Anne August 26, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I have to comment on J’s observation…I agree wholeheartedly. However, sometimes there are “waxing accidents”. As a recent victim, I feel the need to speak out and warn others before the Sharpie Brow becomes a national disaster. I’ve been going to the same person for years and learned a very valuable lesson. Never, ever…ever, never, discuss the details of said waxers divorce whilst she is applying the wax because sometimes, said waxer becomes very animated and you end up needing a Sharpie. Trust, I know of what I speak…now I have to go find my Sharpie before I go out for dinner…sigh….

Xenapie August 27, 2008 at 6:44 am

This is all so true!! I’d also recommend brow tinting for darker brows – it really defines your brows and eyes.

Also Laura Mercier brow powder is fabulous but make sure you get the brow brush for perfect application. I find I have to dust off a bit after I have loaded the brush other wise it looks too dark.

Jen August 28, 2008 at 8:58 am

I feel so low brow (pun intended) now w/ my $10 waxing at the local nail salon! I have the darkest eyebrows ever so I think I’m ok w/out tinting. Just have to keep the bushiness in check which ironically, I did not do regularly until I was married. Huh.

weezy August 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Brava for the well-groomed brow! If I could only get my tweezers on a certain friend, what a transformation there would be. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a granola girl to submit to tweezing.

anna August 28, 2008 at 3:01 pm

We can only lead them to water, Weez.

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