Take a Brow

Full, sexy brows are back in demand, yet many clients ignore or take minimal care of what could be their best asset. "Eyebrows are important because they balance the face," says Laura Sabessar, an eyebrow specialist at Hair Fashions East in New York, who has been doing brows for 13 years. "You can have the best makeup in the world, but if your eyebrows aren't even, your face looks off."

If you touch up your clients' brows or want to become an expert, Sabessar, who has clients ranging in age from 14 to 77, offers these tips for professionals.

    Fudge  Haircare
Fudge Haircare

  • Before you touch a client's brows, ask if she's using any medication for the skin, such as Retin-A or Accutane. If she is, you cannot wax her, no matter what she says. You should also ask clients if they wear contacts and if they've ever had a bad experience with waxing.
  • Consider the client's height, weight and how much makeup she uses before you begin. It's best to avoid a thin brow for clients who are heavyset, tall or young, or who wear little makeup or have big hair. On the other hand, stay away from heavy brows for clients who are petite, short or slim or who have a small face or straight hair.
  • Establish a natural brow line. The brow should be an unbroken line of hair, so establish an outline before you begin, combing the hair up and down. And don't remove too much hair in between the eyes; it makes the eyes look unnaturally big.
  • For older clients, shorten the brow a bit at the corner. If the brow gets too long, it causes a drooping effect, pulling the face down.
  • Work around scars and cowlicks. Camouflage scars, then make the other brow the same. With cowlicks, have a visual of the shape you want first, then tweeze around it to clean it up.
  • Fill in over-tweezed brows with a little powder for the in-between stage. If a client with over-tweezed brows wants you to remove an ingrown hair, don't break the skin. That's a job for a dermatologist.
  • Avoid an overdone look on men. Most male clients just want a groomed look—trimming and cleaning up anything above and below the natural brow tends to work best.
  • Color the brows to achieve a subtle, soft, even tone on the face. Blondes with a darker brow need to be lightened; otherwise all you see is the brow. On the other hand, consider darkening the brows for blondes whose eyebrows disappear. Also, if you have a client who doesn't wear makeup, take the dark out.