by Danielle Bouchat-Friedman and Alex Karlesses
Search #EyebrowsOnFleek on Instagram and you will find over 850,000 photos and videos of eyebrow inspiration, ranging from celebrities and models to budding makeup artists and teen selfie queens. (Thanks, Kim Kardashian.)
Nowadays, complimenting a woman’s brows boosts her ego more than flattering remarks on her skin, weight or wardrobe. Having brows that are #onfleek (read: on point) boosts self-confidence while making others feel envious.
Worried your brows won’t make an impression on your wedding day? Not to worry—four local experts share their advice on how women can bring their brow game up a notch.
Erin Draper, Pagavé Salon and Spa
“Let ’em go, let ’em grow,” is the first piece of advice esthetician Erin Draper of Pagavé Salon and Spa in Wilmington gives her clients. “The day a woman gets engaged, I would tell her to put her tweezers down,” says Draper, who warns clients that beautiful brows take patience: The process can take between 12 to 24 months.
Draper has been in the business for 16 years and says clients often get lost tweezing, removing too much hair. “Brows are sisters, they’re not twins,” meaning women shouldn’t get caught up trying to make them look identical.
During a 15-minute appointment with Draper, she will tweeze and trim and only wax what is necessary. She uses Nufree, a soya-based, antimicrobial product that resembles wax.
Draper recommends that brides come in every three to four weeks. She says many of her clients have come from word-of-mouth. Perhaps this explains why she typically has 150 appointments booked per week.
Pricing ranges from $20-45; brow tinting and shaping is $45.
Tonia Marisa, Ooh La La! The Makeup Studio
Take the stairs inside the Centreville Café and enter Ooh La La! The Makeup Studio, a whimsical dollhouse of sorts. Owner, makeup artist and stylist Tonia Marisa has created an oasis for women craving a bit of pampering. Marisa has been in the biz for over 20 years and the former model is forthcoming with her beauty and skincare secrets. Her eyebrow approach is simple and straightforward: she sticks with tweezing and trimming. “Tweezing is the only way to really achieve a clean, well-defined brow,” says Marisa who also sells her own line of pencils, brow ink and brow balm.
Marisa says brides often come in with pictures of brows they love, either for their enviable arches or fullness. But she tells all her clients to take their eye and face shape into consideration. “Finding the right shape can really make you look younger and fresher,” she says.
All new clients receive a consultation with Marisa before their brow shaping. Marisa sees up to 25 clients each day, doing everything from shaping to providing makeup lessons.She tells her clients not to wait more than three or four weeks in between appointments, otherwise they may try and take matters into their own hands. “Step away from the mirror,” jokes Marisa.
Pricing begins at $30.
Liz Martin, Noche Azul Spa
If you have over tweezed and don’t have the time or patience to let your brows grow in, consider microblading, a semi-permanent eyebrow service that originated in Japan. Liz Martin, a makeup artist, esthetician and owner of Noche Azul Spa in North Wilmington is one of the few people in the state who is currently certified and licensed in microblading. “The process offers tiny hair-like strokes using tiny needles lined in a row,” says Martin. And unlike a tattoo, the lines are very controlled and not as deep.
Martin assures her clients that there is minimal pain during microblading, thanks to the numbing cream she uses before the two-hour procedure.
The result? Natural, fuller-looking brows that will last a full year. You can shower, swim and workout and not have to worry about your eyebrows.
Martin says maintenance is simple: wear SPF, use a mild facial cleanser and avoid using harsh retinols or acids near your brows.
Price: $400, which includes your first touch-up within 90 days.
Debbie Feeser, AME Salon and Spa
Debbie Feeser, the lead esthetician at AME Salon and Spa in Wayne says women are often asking for very defined and contoured brows. Feeser provides a service to her clients that she has coined H-D brows, which involves a brow tinting first. “The tinting lasts about four weeks and really defines the brow,” says Feeser. She then waxes the brows using Depilève, a French wax system perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Feeser, who has been in the beauty business for 27 years, says she likes to spend a little extra time on her mature brides using the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device. Pricing ranges from $26-$46; brow tinting is $20.