The Violet Files contributor and Striiike brow-training guru shares her step-by-step guide for restoring eyebrows to their full glory.
Written By CHRISTINE WHITNEY
If you see a pair of lush, full eyebrows in Hollywood, you can most likely trace them back to The Violet Files contributor and Striiike salon brow sorceress Kristie Streicher. In fact, she has trademarked them: Her signature Feathered Brow look is coveted across the 310 area code and beyond. A huge part of her craft involves what she calls brow training (formerly known as brow rehab), during which she helps overplucked arches reach their full potential. Especially important for those of us who came of age in the Pam Anderson era, the regimen requires clients to abstain from plucking, waxing, or otherwise interfering with brow growth for a full 6 to 8 weeks before their first consultation with Kristie.
Her number-one rule? NO TOUCHING. “Every hair counts!” the artist explains. “When you tweeze (even the lower-lying stragglers), it sends a signal to the surrounding hairs not to grow.” Below, read her step-by-step guide to the process of getting your brows back—or making already good arches great.
This is the most difficult phase: You will notice a small, sporadic amount of hair growth closer to your eyelid, rather than the brow line. Trust the process—when you leave this new hair alone and do not tweeze, it will eventually start to get closer to the brow line. Breathe, and think positive, growing thoughts. Some clients feel the need to disclose the fact that they are growing out their eyebrows to avoid judgment. Trust me—they don’t look as unkempt as you feel they do.
Tweezing can be a habitual pleasure, so breaking the habit—in addition to seeing your brows look unruly for several weeks—is not easy. I encourage clients to use a low-oil, powdery pencil and/or gel to smooth the transition. I really like using a Surratt Beauty pencil with the Tarte Amazonian Clay to lightly shade in sparse areas. The latter is a high-performance natural gel with a wand that grabs the hair while depositing a generous wash of color. It also contains a peptide blend that conditions the hair—it’s like a a double-duty brow enhancer, especially helpful for dull areas like the tails or stubborn, hard-to-cover grays. This combo makes a really beautiful brow that looks full but still natural—not too opaque or drawn-in.
Using shading to help define the lower brow helps accentuate the actual shape, and play down the random stragglers underneath. You can also use concealer to cover the initial stages of outgrowth. I prefer something with a smooth, dry, blendable texture, like the Clé De Peau Beauté Concealer. Start with a slightly lighter color, using a concealer brush to blend it with and against the hair growth. Applying your usual shade of cover-up on top can almost completely hide any stubble.
*Note: It is very common for one brow to grow faster than the other. The eyebrows grow at different rates, so the first one may sprout more hair initially, but the growth will catch up on the other side.
After you’ve refrained from tweezing for another 8 weeks, you’ll find the hair begins to grow slightly closer to—although still not quite on—the brow line. But once these hairs are left alone to grow, the ones hiding dormant closer to the brow line will begin to grow, too. Sometimes there may even be a distinct line between your previous shape and new hair growth. Don’t panic—this will fill in. You may also notice some hairs not growing in the direction you want or sticking straight out, another side effect of years of tweezing or waxing. They will eventually settle down if you leave them alone during this stage. At the end of the 16th week, I have clients come in for selective tweezing of the hairs closest to the eyelid (furthest from the brow bone). The gentle stimulation of tweezing at this safe distance can promote growth along the actual brow line. You are now training your eyebrows!
By now, you will see that your eyebrows are starting to fill in the places you actually want them, usually under the arch or at either end. The new growth will be short and may still come in at different angles or in the wrong direction. But over time, the new hair will fall in line. It can take up to 12 months for every hair on the brow area to show up, so be patient.
Once you’ve trained your brows (that is, gone 8+ weeks between shapings without any kind of tweezing), they become so low maintenance that you will have to do very little for them. I ask clients to schedule their appointments with me at least 8 weeks apart, and to refrain from messing with their brows in the interim.
Get to know The Violet Files’ resident brow expert, here.
Name: Kristie Streicher
Known For: The Feathered Brow
Where to Find Her: Striiike in Beverly Hills, California
Clients: Emily Blunt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz
Years in the Industry: 22
Kit Essentials: Rubis Tweezers, Rubis Cuticle Scissors, Rohto Eye Drops, Aforé Oil, Surratt Beauty Expressioniste Brow Pencil
Mentions in The Violet Files: 3 Artists, 1 Family: The Streicher Sisters, Lessons on Brow Maintenance, Brow Architects, all Streicher Secrets columns
Agent: Spencer @ Forward Artists
The Streicher sisters share their distinct takes on natural beauty.