Beauty Etiquetter: Should bad service equal no tip?
The Quandary: I recently received a terrible brow job, but I still tipped the stylist out of guilt. Is it OK to not tip after a bad service? Should I explain if I don’t, or should I just ask to have it fixed somehow?
The Expert in Residence: Soul Lee, grooming specialist at Kiehl’s Spa 1851.
The Advice: “If you paid for the service and tipped your brow specialist even though you weren’t happy with the shape, you absolutely did the right thing. Standard tipping at a spa or brow studio is about 15 percent to 20 percent for good or great service, and even though you had a bad experience, the brow specialist booked the appointment and blocked out the time for you to take care of your needs. If you leave less than the standard tip, I think the specialist will get the message that you weren’t happy with the result.
“But to prevent an unsatisfactory result, always fully communicate with your brow specialist exactly what shape you are looking for before you begin. Bring inspiration photos if you need to, and talk to the specialist about what shape is best for you and how many hairs need to be removed for that shape. After the service, if you’re not happy with the result, you should definitely tell your specialist why you are not happy with the brows while you are still in the chair and give the specialist a chance to fix the problem before you pay. However, you should only go back to fix the problem if it can be fixed by plucking a few hairs or trimming to even out the thickness or balance the arch. If the brows are way over-plucked and beyond repair, do not go back to the same person. In this case, give your brows about a 30- to 60-day break from hair removal to allow the hairs to grow. You can fill in any sparse areas with brow powder or pencil. Then, to find a new specialist, ask friends or colleagues, or search online for a specialist with a good reputation. Make sure to find a specialist whom you can ask for a consultation while your brows are still growing out, so you can get advice and tips on how to grow them in properly. The specialist can tell you where you should let them grow and where you might be able to pluck, until you’re able to make the full appointment to reshape your brows. To further eliminate a bad brow job, remember that waxing and threading alone can be tricky and can result in over-plucked brows, so make sure you find a specialist who combines tweezing and trimming, or only tweezes and trims, to shape brows.”—As told to Aja Mangum
Photo: Sasha / Hulton Archive / Getty Images