Bird of a Feather
In the beauty realm, eyebrows wield a particular power. Too sparse, too bushy, too inky, too light—all can significantly alter a visage, for better or worse. Molding them is an art form that few have mastered. Kristie Streicher is among the virtuosos. Her arch-grooming talents led her to open her namesake Beauty Bar in L.A.’s Warren-Tricomi salon (she makes frequent trips to New York to see clients as well) and have garnered her favor among such discerning celebrities as Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Emily Blunt, and Julia Roberts. Here, Streicher talks about her signature (and trademarked!) Feathered Brow and reveals her all-time favorite arch icon.—Fiorella Valdesolo
You’ve become known for a style called the Feathered Brow. What is it exactly? Can you describe the shape?
“The Feathered Brow is my signature style. It’s a natural-looking and softly shaped eyebrow. The start of the brow is gently fanned and ends with a diffused tail. The Feathered Brow creates a beautiful, sexy brow that draws attention away from dark circles or other imperfections around the eye. The effect is achieved with tweezing, and seamlessly blends the eyebrow with the contours of the face and forehead, resulting in brows that are just naturally gorgeous. I came up with The Feathered Brow name because I really love the image of softness that ‘feather’ elicits. The overall look of a full natural brow closely resembles a feather, with the broad fanning of hairs at the front and a softly diffused tail.”
What motivated you to develop that signature shape?
“I really started specializing in the fuller, more natural brow style when I moved to New York in 2011. I found most women in my chair wanted to look younger and less tired. Everyone in New York works twice as hard as the average person, then you add the harsh weather and elements on top of it, and it’s above and beyond hard on the body, mind, skin, etc. I began seeing a significant change in the face when the eyebrows were fuller, stronger, and more abundant. Never having been a fan of wax to begin with, I started using tweezing as my main form of epilation. I found I not only had more control when shaping, but it left a more natural, less contrived look. Tweezing is gentler on the skin, especially around the sensitive eye area. I also found that coloring or tinting the eyebrows made a tremendous difference—it immediately helps to richen the brow hair color and add fullness to the base of the brow.”
How do you execute the Feathered Brow?
“The Feathered Brow is achieved by first applying a custom tint, usually a shade darker for better definition to the interior of the brow. Then strategic tweezing of hairs from the outer arch of the brow gives the feathered look. The result is a diffused edge, rather than a hard, lined, definitive brow. It softens the eyes and face, detracting from age lines and dark circles. The Feathered Brow looks great on every face because it is simply your own, natural eyebrow shape with just the few carefully chosen hairs removed from selected areas to open and widen the eye area.”
If someone can’t score an appointment with you, any advice on how they can DIY a feathered-style brow?
“The first step is letting your eyebrows grow out for three to four months in order for their natural shape to become apparent. For some, this is by far the most difficult part of the process. Then only tweeze the few hairs it takes to open up the arch. To find your natural arch, draw an invisible line from the corner of the nose straight up toward the forehead; this is where the eyebrows should start. The arch should fall just outside the pupil and go all the way across the brow bone. The biggest mistake women make is not finding their own natural arch. Oftentimes it is placed too close to the inner part of the brow, rather than the outer portion of the brow. If you try to arch your eyebrows too high above the bone, it will look unnatural. All bone structure is different, and so are eyebrows. Stay with the arch that works best with your bone structure. It’s the one that you naturally have. Eyebrows that are too long and come too far down can make eyes look droopy. Be sure to feather ends outward, giving the eye a lift. Look at your bone structure and hair texture as a guideline for your eyebrows. Softer, more delicate facial features look best with a slightly thinner, more elegant eyebrow, while a stronger bone structure is the perfect face for a thicker, stronger eyebrow. Avoid making the brows slant upward; this has the potential to create an angry look.”
Any general tips for tweezing? Is there any way to make plucking less painful?
“Tweeze hair in a comfortable, well- and natural-lit space. Get a pair of good tweezers with sharp slanted edges, and pull hairs in the direction of growth. Hold skin taut while you are tweezing. If you’re wary of pain and want to make the process of brow tweezing less uncomfortable, use children’s teething gel to slightly numb the area. Tweeze after you get out of the shower when the skin is softer and pores are open, which makes the process less painful. After pulling a few hairs, step back and look at your entire face. Sometimes hairs that look like they need to be tweezed up close are actually a part of the eyebrow and can create a hole if removed. A magnified mirror is not recommended; if you can’t see the hair in a regular mirror then neither can anyone else. I always warn clients never to overtweeze from the ends—this area thins out first naturally as we age and is the most important part of the eyebrow.”
What about brow trimming? Any advice for how to do it at home without mishap?
“For trimming I use Mehaz cuticle scissors with smooth, rounded tips to trim—always one hair at a time! The biggest trimming mistake people make is cutting a bunch of hairs at once all the same length.”
What’s in your brow grooming kit?
“K. Streicher Beauty Aforé oil (which means “before” in Old English) is a pre-tweezing Argan oil blend that lubricates skin and hair follicles, making tweezing nearly painless. The blend of oils also conditions eyebrow hair and skin to promote healthy, strong brow growth. KS Beauty Après Calming Cream is a gel-cream that calms skin and prevents redness and irritation after tweezing. Its antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits are great for all skin types, especially those that are oily or prone to acne. The cooling benefits are great after shaving or sun exposure. My tweezers of choice are Rubis Mehaz Slant Tweezers.”
Your all-time favorite brows belong to whom?
Any other favorite brow looks?
“Although it doesn’t translate as well on everyone, dark brows with lighter hair color or skin color truly is my favorite look. One needs to have either perfect skin and facial features, or just have stronger features and even a slightly stronger personality to pull it off or it can look harsh. But I’m always a fan of a strong brow…”
Visit kristiestreicherbeautybar.com for more information.