Service Scout: Benefit Brow Bar Wednesday 20 June, 2012
Where eyebrows are concerned, I am lacking—lacking in hairs, lacking in the skill set to shape them, lacking in care to even do so. (I know: That last admission is a particularly sad one.) But, when I meet Hilary Foote, educator for Benefit Cosmetics (or, as she’s known around the block, the “Arch Empress”), at [...]
Where eyebrows are concerned, I am lacking—lacking in hairs, lacking in the skill set to shape them, lacking in care to even do so. (I know: That last admission is a particularly sad one.) But, when I meet Hilary Foote, educator for Benefit Cosmetics (or, as she’s known around the block, the “Arch Empress”), at The Makeup Show, she sets me straight (or, rather, she got me arched!). First things first: Did you know that Benefit, purveyor of kitschy-cool packaging and tremendously innovative makeup, has Brow Bars? I didn’t. “Over 400 in the U.S., and more than 600 globally,” Hilary tells me. “A lot of people recognize and know the brand, but they don’t know about the Brow Bars—even though we have so many!” Some of the bars are free-standing, others are tucked inside Macy’s or Ulta.
What can you get at this bar? A signature Benefit Brow Wax. Benefit has been on the waxing track since 1976, and the company has honed the Benefit technique to a T. “We feel passionate about sharing our technique,” Hilary says, referencing Benefit’s new book, Raising Eyebrows, penned by popular Bad Gal’s guide author Cameron Tuttle in conjunction with the beauty brand.
(Benefit’s brow tome, Raising Eyebrows, is a fun read, extremely helpful and even includes the history of arch shaping!)
And what’s the brow technique to sweat? “First, we don’t use stencils or stamps. No one stencil is going to fit the specifics of so many different faces! Second, we use a measurement technique where we form your arch with respect to the bridge of your nose, rather than the nasal fold area (where nostril meets cheek),” she says. Huh? She holds up a pen, using it as a guide, anchoring it on the bridge of my nose (nestled into the dimple where the nostril starts), and rotating it to where my brow should begin, where the arch should be, and where the eyebrow should end. “See, don’t hold it against the nasal fold area; that’s where you’re typically taught to anchor your guide,” she says. She also stresses that the Benefit way is to create straight lines with no curves, which, surprisingly, doesn’t mean your arch will have all sharp angles.
(Benefit’s “Arch Empress” Hilary Foote starts my brow-waxing as she explains the Benefit way.)
Hilary waxes my sorry arches, and does a little clean up with tweezers. Then, she pencils in my shape, stressing that since I don’t normally touch my brows, I may be a little taken aback when I first see them. (She’s right: I am, but in a good way.)
I am honest with her; I tell her I’m not one to go in for regular waxings—or any at all, to be exact. “Listen: You’re low-maintenance when it comes to your brows, so at-home tweezing will give you a nice, clean look without much maintenance. But waxing—waxing simply gives the brow a better look, but it’s for higher-maintenance girls, the ones you know will come in for their waxing appointments,” she says.
(Ouch! The first rip is always the hardest, Hilary tells me—and she isn’t lying.)
I am nervous about taking tweezer to arch by myself (the very reason I don’t do any shaping these days; like most, I had a high school over-plucking problem), but Hilary tucks a copy of Raising Eyebrows into my bag, and assures me I’ll be A-OK if I follow the guide’s extremely customizable rules. Which, thankfully, has held true!
Find a Benefit Brow Bar near you at benefitcosmetics.com.
Do you visit a professional to wax or tweeze your brows?