Some women are truly skilled beauty do-it-yourself-ers, but hair color, and eyebrow shaping are for me, two things that are splurge-worthy. I leave these activities, to the pros.
Not long ago I was having my hair expertly colored (with Redken’s new Chromatics, no-amonia hair color) by David Stanko at the Angelo David Salon in mid-town Manhattan. While sitting there, he introduced to makeup artist and brow expert, Julie Tussey.
Brow and makeup services are a new addition to the salon, and that makes perfect sense. After all, if you’re going to invest money in great hair, your brows should not only match in color (one service Julie offers is brow tinting), and they should be as well groomed as the rest of you. Furthermore, if your hair is looking great, you want your makeup to look equally as good. This is especially true if you’re at the salon for a blow-out for a special event, and you’re leaving from there, salon-fresh!
While David worked on my hair, I had a chance to chat with Julie. It might have been the longest conversation about eyebrows I’ve ever had. Sitting there being the main focus, was certainly the strangest interview I have ever conducted, for the Advice Sisters.
Julie, whose mother (also a makeup artist and brow specialist in Indiana), personally trained her. Former salon jobs for Julie were at two other great salons: John Barrett Salon and Warren Tricomi. Julie doesn’t believe in trendy brows, but believes each person has brows much like fingerprints, that are unique and should remain natural (within limits). Her views have gained her lots of fans, from fashion designers like Catherine Malandrino and Tory Burch, to socialites Katie Lee Joel, Beth Ostrosky, Ivanka Trump, Tinsley Mortimer and Whitney Fairchild. “I believe brows should be like wings,” she said.
That is a fanciful description, but what does a winged brow look like? There is a gold standard for brows and there are 6 basic brow styles to get it right. But brows are like a fingerprint, unique to the individual. Julie believes that a nicely shaped brow isn’t an “arch” but more an “angle” (a rounded angle is 3/4 to 1.4″). By that she doesn’t mean that your brows should be peaked like Mr. Spock in Star Trek, but that the angle at which the brow starts and stops, and how thick or thin it should be, is determined by your face. Moreover, she says most people have a strong and a weak eye, and you can adjust brows to balance this. She even mentioned that some of her clients get corrective lift from a bit of Botox, when absolutely needed (she refers people but doesn’t inject fillers herself).
As David continued to work on my hair, Julie and I continued to talk about symmetry (the “good and bad” side of the face or the lazy eye on one side). She mentioned two celebrities as examples. Drew Barrymore is a good example of a star with a good and bad side, and she uses her brows to fix that. Jennifer Anniston used to have rounded brows when she first started out, but now hers are more angled which opens up her face. Here is are two photos of Jennifer Anniston. You can really tell the difference!
One of the most damaging things a woman can do to her brows is over pluck them, especially when she is young. While teenagers love to experiment with new looks, once a brow is plucked out from the root, it may never come back. But Julie helps women of all ages who have over-plucked their brows to bring them back to life. You can do that with good shaping, with brow revitalizing products and with good products that add the appropriate color in the right places. She told me that pencils need to take the place of a strand of hair, and you need to place the pencil strategically. Powder products are softer, but also shouldn’t be used to totally color in a brow.
Thin brows are not my personal issue. In fact, they’re naturally thick and wire-y, so when Julie plucked a few strategic hairs here and there, but mostly she cut the length down with scissors. Then she asked David Stanko to tint them a Cinnamon color. While I would never consider tinting my own brows, the brighter color added a definite lift to my face–no additional brow color would be needed for a while, but a bit of blond brow gel from MAC tamed the brow, a bit more.
Although I didn’t get my makeup done, apparently Julie has plenty of celebrity clients. She mentioned a few favorite lines such as MAC Cosmetics and NARS, but she is a big fan of Laura Mercier’s products (she used to be a Laura Mercier makeup artist), and I noticed that she had some Laura Mercier powders displayed on the counter in her brow/makeup room. ”I love handing someone a mirror when I’m done and seeing her begin to sparkle from within,” she adds. “I help women find that inner light, that moment of love. There’s always an instance when it happens. And that’s what keeps me going.”
If you’d like to get the celebrity treatment for brow shaping, tinting, or makeup application from Julie, she’s available at the Angelo David Salon (48 East 43rd Street 2nd floor, 646-666-7300 | 212-883-6620) and you can also check out her web site.