Friday, October 24, 2008

Brows: The good, the bad, and the ugly

I'll admit it, I have a thing about eyebrows. It's probably one of the first things I notice about a person. Over the years, I've used a variety of ways to keep my own in (the) perfect shape. I now have a brow lady. Her name is Nini. I have went to her for several years now. Many of my friends have been drug into her little room in the back of Glamour Nails only to immerge slight pink and totally hooked. Why, you ask?

Well, for starters, Nini charges $8 for eyebrows. The going rate in most salons around these parts, $12... so right there you get a 33% discount. But price isn't the only factor. The reason that I go, and the reason so many of my friends have followed suit, is exactly what you get for that $8. Now I have on occasion, been in a brow emergency (yes... they exist) and was unable to make it to Nini's... and quietly slipped into the chair of another... and $12 later, I would emerge, moderately pleased with my results. In most cases, the person would have me lay back, slap on a little wax, pull it away, rub on a little oil and send me on my way... occasionally I might get a stray tweezed... more often than not, they matched...sorta

When I walk in to see Nini, I am summoned back to this little room in the back of the nail salon, and recline comfortably on her chair. Now, there's no mood lighting or aromatherapy here, but what you will find is a clean workplace, a knowledgeable person and all the tools needed. She starts with the wax... and maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, but I enjoy my eyebrows being waxed. It's not that I am particularly fond of my hairs being ripped out by the roots, but there is a sort of zen sensation about the whole thing. Once Nini removes the wax strips, she will then grab a piece of guaze or cotton and use a remover to get rid of any excess wax. This is where most people think they are finished... but this journey is not quite over. The next step for Nini, is to break out the tweezers and carefully examine your brows... providing you with the precision that can only come from removing the pesky little hairs one by one. Once she's done.... she then reaches for her little brow brush and scissors. She then proceeds to trim any long hairs, ensuring that your brow line is perfect. The result, a perfect brow... She's really great about getting just what you want, whether you like a high arch or something a bit more relaxed, whether you lean more towards the Brooke Shields 80's brows or something a bit thinner.

My last time venturing outside of her world, provided to be disasterous. I vowed, if I made it out of the salon alive and with eyebrows that still grew, I would never again step out on her. See, I was in a hurry one day, and had accompianed my friend to get his hair cut at Ziyan, a local hair salon. Since I was already going to be there, I figured I would multi task and get a brow touch up... This was a big mistake. The same gentleman that was cutting my friend's hair, stepped in to do my brows (This was my first red flag... Just because you can cut and style the hair on top of my head doesn't mean you can work magic with the ones that sprout above my eyes). He first took me over to another corner of the salon and slapped on some wax. When he went to remove the wax, his "well, huh" was my second red flag... none of my hair came out! He proceeds to do this a second time, only to get the same results... asking me, if I have ever had problems before. Nope... this has never happened. After the second strip is yanked off... again my little eyebrows hanging on for dear life, he then advises me that we're going to go back to the esthetician's room and use something different. Now, I should have just cut my losses, but perhaps my mind was a little numb from the fight between my brows and this man's wax, because I followed him. He proceeded to use a different wax, which was a hotter wax (normally, the heat from a wax doesn't bother me, however, after having this warm goo placed in the same spot 3 times only to be ripped back off, I was feeling something alright!) Thankfully, this wax worked and he proceeded to then wax the other brow. When he finished, I sat up and he handed me a mirror. I admit, the only thing I was concerned about was that I still had skin above the nose. I barely glanced in the mirror and high tailed it out of there. It was only after I was safely in the car that I bothered to actually inspect my eyebrows. And of course, I wasn't pleased with the results... I did however surmise that I could manage to camouflage the flaws with some brow powder while my poor little brows healed. I went home and iced them and was happy to wake up the next morning to find no permanent damage. Since then, I have not strayed... there are just some things that you shouldn't chance.

So what are my tips for great brows.
#1 - If you want to do them yourself, start small, suck it up and have them done once, and then perform the maintenance

#2 - If you don't like the eyebrows of the person doing the job, chances are you won't like their results

#3 - If you are going to do them at home, using some ice or anbesol can help minimize the discomfort

#4 - If you aren't sure where to get yours done, ask someone who's brows you like where they go

#5 - Don't overdo it! You can always remove more, but it's hard to glue 'em back on

#6 - If you have sensitive skin, mention that to the esthetician, there are waxes that are better for sensitive skin

#7 - If you are getting them waxed, do yourself a favor and skip the makeup. It will make it easier for the wax to work and you won't get weird makeup lines

That's it, happy grooming!


Natalie said...

YAY! Now I know somewhere to try. I miss my girl back in bama

MJ said...

Glad to offer the recommendation. Yeah, Nini is really good. At least a dozen or so of my friends see her now