“I love when men come in here with big, beautiful brows that they don’t know what to do with,” was one of the first things brow grooming expert Sania Vucetaj told me as I walked into her third-floor salon, Sania’s Brow Bar, in the middle of Manhattan’s Flatiron District.
I’ll admit it: I’m one of those guys. Luckily, I was in safe hands. Sania has been grooming both men’s and women’s brows for nearly 25 years and has perfected her technique using only tweezers and scissors (and, for women, a brow pencil).
Sania says her technique is more precise than all others, and since she encourages full, natural brows, it’s perfect for her. It also makes her the perfect brow groomer for men, as the most important thing for men is to retain masculine and natural looking brows even after grooming.
“Men want to look like they didn’t have anything done to them,” Sania told me. “They just want to look clean.”
As many as five of her 30-40 daily clients are men, a number that has grown in recent months. Many of the male clients she’s acquired recently are Wall Streeters, thanks in part to some exposure she got from a New York Times article, she says.
To help put her new male clients at ease, Sania has even expanded her salon and made a separate waiting room area and chair just for them. Groomings will set you back $75 a pop, and she’ll recommend you come back every six to eight weeks.
After Sania showed me her technique, it was easy to see why her clients leave ecstatic.
Sania's Brow Bar is a serene oasis on 20th Street, close to 6th Avenue in Manhattan's Flatiron District.
Sania is a veteran of the eyebrow grooming space of nearly 25 years, and has developed her own grooming technique using only tweezers. Waxing and even threading can look too perfect, which is 'definitely a throw-off that you had something done to them,' she said. The key, she says, is to make it look natural.
She sees about 30-40 clients a day, some of them celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Matt LeBlanc, and Tony Hale. Pictured here is the women's waiting area.
An average of 5 of those clients a day are men, and she says that number is trending up. This spurred her to create her own masculine-accented men's area in her salon. Sania told me her male clients are often nervous at first, and ask Sania and her daughter, who works as Sania's assistant, if they will still look 'like themselves.' Sania puts them at ease by assuring them that their brows will still look natural, full, and masculine.
There's even a mini-bar stocked with Johnnie Walker Red Label and Double Black. Sania offered me a shot to take the edge off before we began -- I declined, though my nerves did tempt me.
The men's station in Sania's salon was markedly different from the beaded pillows and bright lights of the women's -- clean, masculine colours and understated design permeated. She created this space, separated from the women's areas by a gauze curtain, because she said she felt 'guilty' her male clients had to wait and have their procedure done in the same room as the women. She opened this space about a month and a half ago.
Truth be told, I was nervous. I had little idea what to expect, but I trusted Sania. To start, she wiped my brows clean with an astringent called Sea Breeze, which also contains a small amount of moisturizer. This got rid of any dirt or oil that might affect Sania's tweezing ability.
Sania uses fresh tools for every customer, including packaged tweezers and makeup applicators she uses to brush the eyebrows.
Next, she gave me the lowdown on my brows. She told me that I tweeze too much on the ends and in the middle, and that she was going to let those grow in while cleaning up the edges.
Once she got started, it was incredible. She was like a one-woman plucking machine, with the speed of your grandmother's sewing arm.
I thought it would hurt more, but she was so quick I could barely distinguish one pluck from another.
She also trimmed my brows using a technique where she brushed the brow hair up and used a small pair of scissors to cut the length that extended beyond the natural brow.
Here, you can see the difference between the groomed brow on the left and the un-groomed on the right.
As she moved to the other side, it hurt a lot more. The tissue in my hand caught a single tear that shed from my eye.
True to her word, the procedure took only about five minutes. The finished result clearly made me very happy. My heavy and thick eyebrows have never looked better, and I was very pleased with Sania's professionalism and speed. When you hear that Sania only tweezes, you may think 'Oh, I can do that myself at home.' Well, the truth is you would have no idea what you're doing. For perfect brows, trust an expert like Sania.
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