Somewhere, Brooke Shields is rejoicing. After several seasons of puny, weak, overplucked brows, Fall 2007 runways showcased the return of a strong, dark brow. The look is intense but perfect for framing the face. So, what better time to chat with one of our city’s finest brow gurus, Ramy Gafni? Cue the interview, please!
BN: How did you get your start doing brows and makeup? Do you identify yourself more as a brow esthetician or a makeup artist?
RG: I dropped out of Law School here in New York and moved to Sydney, Australia where I attended beauty school and then apprenticed with some of Australia’s top makeup artists. I returned to New York and went to work for different cosmetic companies. Then I was hired to be makeup director at a top 5th avenue salon and they decided that I would “be in charge of eyebrows as well” so I started practicing on the salon staff. It turned out that I had a gift for brow shaping and they started lining up. Then they booked me appointments with clients and the next thing I know I was written up in Vogue for brow shaping.
For years, I considered myself a makeup artist first and foremost (the makeup artist who gives you perfect eyebrows!) but there are many brilliant makeup artists, and very few great brow shapers – so now I accept the title of “Brow Guru” – I’ve stopped fighting it!
BN: You exclusively tweeze; no waxing and no threading. What’s so great about tweezing?
RG: Tweezing is the most precise method of brow shaping. With waxing, hair is removed indiscriminately and is harsh on the delicate skin around the eye area. (Waxing is for cars!!). Threading does not always remove hair in a uniform manner, sometimes hair is removed by the root and sometimes the hair breaks – this results in uneven regrowth which looks messy.
DF: Why are brows SO important?
RG: Brows are so important because they are a feature on the face and they frame your eyes and entire face. Think of your favorite beautiful movie star – now envision her with badly shaped brows. Great brows are the difference between looking “OK” and looking “Perfect.”
BN: What mistake do most women make with their brows?
RG: Over-thinning and mis-shaping the brow by creating a hook in the front part of the brow are the most common mistakes. Another mistake is having your brows shaped or cleaned up by someone who doesn’t specialize in eyebrows. It’s often better to do them yourself or do nothing as opposed to having them done by someone who is not an expert. A great manicurist or facialist is not necessarily a great brow person.
BN: Are there any universal “brow rules” for women?
RG: Yes. Less is more. A conservative approach will always serve you well. Also, following your natural brow line is key. Like all beauty – an open mind is the most important tool. While its good to discuss your likes and dislikes with your brow person, its key not to tie his or her hands and dictate what you can do yourself at home. You came to the expert for a reason, so let him work his magic.
BN: You have an amazing product line – are there any products that you recommend for at-home brow maintenance?
RG: Good tools are key. A slanted, rounded tweezer and scissors that are curved to follow the natural brow line (The RAMY Tweezer and Scissors by Tweezerman!), If you need to fill your brows, I recommend the Miracle Brow Compact or the Miracle Brow To Go Pencil. For skimpy brows that you’re trying to grow, I recommend my Eye Grow Brows! Conditioner (all available at www.ramy.com).
BN: What’s next for Ramy?
RG: Global Domination (just kidding!) I’m coming out with some revolutionary products, like Sleep in Beauty, an anti-wrinkle, anti-blemish, skin calming tinted moisture cream that you wear at night, Lip Oils, flavored lip conditioners made with Almond & Jojoba Oils and freeze dried collagen to moisturize and plump lips in yummy flavors. The Ultimate Eyebrow Kit is also coming as well – it’s a revolutionary new brow product that I can’t discuss just yet!
For an appointment with Ramy, visit RamySpa at 39 East 31st Street, 212.684.9500 or Rita Hazan (Thursdays-Saturday only), 720 5th Ave., 212.586.1920.