It all starts with the frame. This frame can be thick, thin, arched, angled, tweezed, plucked, waxed, trimmed, dyed or shaven. It can appear as a singular unibrow sensation. It can tell people about your beauty standards, grooming habits, age and social status. It is the key to your facial expressions and nonverbal communication. Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich were women who all too clearly understood the frame’s power. Their modern day equivalents do, as well.
In beauty, the frame begins with your eyebrows. In my pursuit of understanding how to make your frame a signature part of your look, I went straight to the preeminent source: the legendary Damone Roberts.
Velvety smooth cocoa skin, soft eyes, a radiant smile and flamboyant hair are the trademark beauty features of Damone Roberts, aka “The Eyebrow King”. He has invested the last 12 years developing a reputation that is venerated by those inside and outside of the beauty industry. And yes, his eyebrows are fierce.
In speaking to him, it is clear that his status is well deserved. His presence is like the calming flow of a crystal-clear turquoise ocean. He is approachable, humble and full of gracious zeal. In this sometimes confusing and intimidating beauty world, his philosophies are refreshingly simple. One of the first things he shared with me is what I have coined his “5/10/10” philosophy.
According to Damone, the perfect eyebrow can “transform your entire face and presence. In just five minutes, you can reduce your age by 10 years and your weight by 10 pounds.” Now that is music to any woman’s ears. But, his words aren’t for women alone. His message is intended for men, too.
On any given day, upwards of 200 clients receive eyebrow, makeup application, body waxing and eyelash extension services in one of two Damone Roberts Salons. His original salon was established seven years ago in Beverly Hills, across from Wilshire Boulevard’s fashion row. Last year, he opened up a namesake salon along the posh 5th Avenue district in New York City.
His devotees, girl-next-door types, socialites and A-list celebrities, invest up to $125 for a personal eyebrow appointment. Regardless of the person, everyone receives the same, customer-centric service experience. He believes that everyone deserves to be treated with the utmost respect, which he imparts to his entire staff. Every customer is invited to lie down in a comfortable chair to enjoy the relaxing glow of candles and sounds of soft music. A refreshing palette of sipping options– tea, coffee, champagne or wine – round out this ultimate pampering experience.
Pampering the A-list is certainly what has made him the speed dial go-to for
Madonna, Beyonce, Britney (yes Spears), Gwenyth and more. Naturally, I asked how he got from his makeup artistry beginnings to tweezing the most particular cultural icons in the world.
“Lots of time and lots of hard work,” he replies. “I take my craft seriously. I’ve always strived to be my best.” His desire, skills and energy had to be what attracted his first celebrity client, Heather Locklear. During her days on the original Melrose Place, she was the one who spread the word in celebrity circles. “It’s the experience that these women are talking about. They understand that their talent and beauty are interlocked. The use the best of the best and take time to put their best face forward at all times. They see themselves on the red carpet and are thrilled. When they look good and receive that acknowledgement, then they share with their friends.”
Even celebrity men, like Robert Downey Jr., are getting in on the act. “Men take care of all of their facial hair but generally ignore their eyebrows. Groomed eyebrows don’t need to be obvious,” Roberts assures. And the results of his 5/10/10 philosophy still apply.
Another incentive for retaining a clientele that has been with him for upwards of ten years is the popular VID (Very Important Diva) referral program. The VID is an elegant card that entitles the holder to a sixth complimentary service. This card is offered to clients who have been with the salon for at least a year.
He’s a firm believer that his longevity and client loyalty warrant a karmic return by giving back to the community. Recently, his salon hosted a party for Gilda’s Club members undergoing chemotherapy by giving them a variety of services, on the house. During their time together they celebrate life with wine, cheese, champagne and gift bags.
Those gift bags contain grooming and glow goodies. Three years ago, Roberts developed a line of products designed to groom and spotlight your facial frames. The Brow Kit has everything in to maintain perfect eyebrows, including easy self-help steps. Brow Gain enables hair follicles to grow, which is a gift especially for those going through chemo. The Brow Highlighters are designed to lift your eye; there are three shimmery shades with equally saucy names, like Pinkaboo, which works for every skin tone. This color you just might see on Britney, because she’s using them all on her “Circus” tour.
Although you might change your makeup palette colors, your eyebrows are not so affected by fashion trends. “Think of your brows as a timeless cashmere sweater. Stick with your perfect eyebrow shape. You can adjust the thickness, but the basic shape will remain the same,” shares Damone.
In fact, to further illustrate his point, he referenced childhood classic Cinderella. Even Disney storytellers understood the power of the brow. Thicker brows make you look softer and younger like Cinderella. Thin more extreme brows give you a more severe and harsher countenance, like her stepsisters.
Perhaps consulting for Disney might be next on his list. After all, he has appeared on TLC’s How to Look 10 Years Younger (which airs internationally) and in celebrity mags like People. One day while watching TV, he discovered that he is a “Jeopardy” answer and is part of the Trivial Pursuit game as a subject. Clearly the world had become obsessed with the ultimate brow master.
So, what is next? Naturally, his first beauty book tops the list. A book will enable him to answer his global fan base with how-to responses. His own show and more salons are also considerations. Time will tell, which means that we’ll have to stay tuned with perfectly tweezed, arched and colored brows, of course.
Extraction of Beauty Tips
* Use pencils to fill in your eyebrows. The powder looks most like hair.
* Avoid using eyebrow stencils.
* Less is more. Great eyebrows, gloss and mascara can generally give you a polished look.
* If you have dark hair, your eyebrows can be one to two shades lighter.
* If you have blonde hair, your eyebrows can be one to two shades deeper. No eyebrow makes your face lose its balance and structure.
* Think like a celebrity and put your best face forward at all times.
Yvette Craddock is the Founder and Style Director of StyleFolioJewelry.com, an accessory web site devoted to helping women define themselves through bold, modern and luxurious jewelry. She regularly participates in social media conversations. Become a member of her FaceBook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube (Style Folio) and Twitter communities.