I usually do my own brows (insomniac tweezing should be considered a treatable medical condition). I’m pretty good at it, so I never needed profesh attention. But I was chatting with a famous brow technician friend at a recent event, and…well, she sort of read my arches. This is our relationship. We’re lovingly catty. Last time I saw her, I called her way-too-baggy jeans “ex-boyfriend jeans.”
Famous Technician: Even though your brows are full, they’re feathery. Sort of sparse. So they can seem vague. Ever tried a brow tint? It’ll fill in all the spaces, giving you a bolder, more Ava Gardner sort of look.
Me: You’re so manipulative. You knew that if you mentioned Ava Gardner, I’d have to try it.
The Famous Technician was going on tour with a pop star for a month, so I booked a tint appointment at Lower Manhattan’s esteemed Boom Boom Brow Bar. It’s the cutest place. The inside of it looks like the boudoir of a 1950s showgirl (there’s actually a chandelier strewn with brightly colored bras).
I sat down with the owner, a curvy Long Island Italian bombshell named Malynda. She broke the whole process down for me, saying, “First of all, you need to stop tweezing. The reason you’re constantly plucking is because you have every hair on a different growth pattern, so they’re coming in at different times. If you wax every month at the same time, they’ll all be on the same cycle. You’ll have two week of clean brows, and one week where they’re growing in. Lightly.” I never thought about this!
“And a vegetable dye tint is perfect for someone like you, a mom with a busy career,” she continued. “Because, with no pencils or gels or filling-in, your arches will look perfect every day. Like you’ve had a makeup artist groom them every morning! And it fades away naturally, in a month or so.”
I was sold. The dye part was weird…
Guys, the results were truly stunning. I had no reason to be afraid. See:
I’m such a dork for living my entire life without proper, professional brow maintenance. And now I will be tinting once a month. What I’m not going to do is a my mustache, which she was quite vocal about aching to remove (you can barely see it, goddamn!). If you want to try the look at home first, I’d suggest Perfekt Beauty Brow Perfection Gel, a smudge-resistant tinted gel that comes in mascara form. It fills-in so prettily, and doesn’t look weirdly artificial like other brow tints. Get into it!
Everyone has a Fairy Beauty Godmommy. Tia’s is Iman — and mine is, well, Tia. Thanks to Shake Your Beauty, I spent my entire 23rd year rocking Revlon’s Raisin Glaze, and invested in satin pillow cases when she advised that it might be less than sexy to sleep in a scarf with my new boyfriend. I listen to all her advice.
Almost all of it.
In a 2012 post, she cautioned against wearing lace front wigs and heavy lashes if you’re not on tour or on the red carpet. But see, I’m going to the Dominican Republic for eight days of sexy sunning with my not-so-new-anymore-boo. I’m also transitioning to natural. So there’s no way I’m hitting the beach without faux hair help. I usually get a SVW — i.e., a Special Vacation Weave. I even name them (my favorite is Bianca, a shoulder-length straight ‘do that looked so real I got confused about which parts were my real hair). But this time I decided to do a full-closure lace front. No, I never considered that I might look like Wendy Williams. It’s a mess. I’m scalp-less and rocking a fake hairline. Now I notice chicks with bad lace fronts and wonder how did that happen to you, hon? I want to compile their stories and, like, do an expose. “When Bad Weaves Destroy Cute Girls.” But whatever, at least my delicate transitioning hair will be protected from the super-drying salt water and 90 degree sun. And I’ll just hide it with a straw fedora.
Since my hair situation will be a tad sketch, my makeup game has to be flawless! My go-to beach beauty essential is Bobbi Brown Coral Cabana lipgloss. It’s the prettiest orange-y pink sheer shade…and it lasts for hours. Hours! It practically binds to my lips. Plus, it makes me look glowy, tan and breezily sexy. A tropical vacation non-negotiable. Every time I reach for it, I thank Tia for introducing me to lipgloss — and I remember that life’s too short to learn all the lessons on your own. Sometimes you just have to heed the warnings.