Originally published in Skin Deep, November/December 2009. Copyright 2009. Associated Skin Care Professionals. All right reserved.
Brows are one of the scariest body parts to learn how to wax. And by wax, I mean getting all the hair off with the wax, as opposed to waxing first, then finishing up and shaping with tweezers. But can it be done, you ask? Yes, it can. You truly can learn how to wax, and use wax only, to create perfect brows. You can do this even if you want to create "Hollywood" brows; in other words, absolutely perfectly shaped brows.Shape and Correction
The basics of shaping brows have been around and unchanged for many years.
To make it simple, I use only one measurement--where a natural brow should begin. Brows that live too close together almost create a frowning appearance. On the other hand, brows that are too far apart don't frame eyes as beautifully as they should.
It isn't possible to alter where the peak of the eyebrow arch naturally falls. A person's brow grows the way it does, at the angle decreed by their genes, and somehow brows always look best left in their natural shape. Of course, I am not suggesting they be left shaggy and unshaped. But if we shape brows within their natural outline, they will always appear balanced and will best frame the eyes.
Where does the brow end? I have never seen brows naturally grow too long. They end where they end. If you are drawing or tattooing a brow onto a client, then use the standard measurement. Otherwise, remember that natural brows end on their own and your job is to give them a shape.Consultation
Unless you specialize in brows, you might have a tendency to gloss over the consultation, but resist that temptation. A thorough consultation includes information on all medications and the skin care products clients are using. This is also your opportunity to discuss the best way to have perfect brows all the time. This means putting the tweezers down.
How can you get perfect brows every time without tweezing? It may be hard to imagine sending a client out the door with an errant hair on their brow, let alone many hairs. The reality is that unless you stop tweezing, you will be stuck tweezing every time. For hair to be pulled out by the wax, it must be long enough and this means letting it grow out.
I've been able to get all my clients to stop tweezing and let the hairs grow out. The best part of this approach is about three months down the road, clients say they had less hair between appointments. (Obviously, this approach does not work before special occasions when clients need to look perfect right away.)Which Wax?
My preference is, and has always been, hard wax. This is wax that is applied a little more thickly and peeled off, as opposed to a thin wax removed with a strip. I think hard wax adheres less to skin and is less traumatic to remove. The challenge with hard wax is that it removes coarse hair better than it does fine hair, and brow hair (like upper lip hair) is usually finer. If you learn how to make skin nice and firm and use good pressure when applying wax, you will get the hair off in one application. It won't happen immediately. It will take practice and a commitment to using hard wax. I find when I'm teaching waxing that estheticians often resort all too quickly to what they already know. Sometimes you need to force yourself a bit to master a new method.What to Charge
No one can tell you exactly what to charge, but your brow waxing prices need to be aligned with your other prices. You should have a wax price and a tweeze price. List tweezing as an extra charge and make sure you charge it. If your facials are $65, then your brows should be around $15-20. You can always charge a first-time price and a repeat price.
Go forth and prosper! Brow waxing should be something you offer to everyone who calls or walks into your business. When booking appointments, ask clients, "Would you like your brows and lips waxed as well?" If you ask everyone who calls, books, or walks in, you'll not only jog their memories, but get them into the rhythm of waxing at the same time they're receiving other services from you.Lori Nestore, known in the industry as the Wax Queen, is chief executive officer of Eva's Esthetics in Oakland, California. She runs a message board at www.evasesthetics.com. Contact her at email@example.com.