The taming of the brow 

When Bette Davis tra

When Bette Davis traded spinster lace and wire-rimmed spectacles for the wardrobe of her debutante niece in the 1930s film Now, Voyager, she was transformed from bushy-browed old maid to romance-ready sophisticate. While clothes, hair and sultry cigarette smoking contributed to the Cinderella transformation, all would have been for naught had the caterpillar-like eyebrows continued to spoil her otherwise lovely face.

Every girl knows her face is her best asset; most are aware of countless options available to help improve what Nature has provided. Nose jobs and Botox aside, arching the brows is the best way to transform your face. In fact, my friend Dan, who knows more about being pretty than the average boy, says it"s possibly a girl"s most important beauty ritual. "You have to wax the brows," he says. "There is no other alternative." It enhances the face, opens the eyes. Ignoring your brows is like wearing scuffed shoes, says Dan. "It just means you"re unkempt." Achieving perfection Achieving a set of perfectly symmetrical, well-groomed eyebrows is no small feat. Women will go through all sorts of painful processes that can only be compared to rites of passage in Third World countries to put their best faces forward. Some girls prefer tweezing, but they should never, ever refer to this act as "plucking." "Chickens are "plucked"" says Dan. "Ladies "tweeze"." In high school, I had a friend who would raid her parents" liquor cabinet, drink a bottle or two of vintage wine then tweeze the heck out of her numbed eyebrows. Being a wholesome and sober sort instead, I paid monthly visits to my second cousin, a licensed beautician known as Sister Imogene in fundamentalist circles. Globbing dollops of hot wax between my unwieldy brows, she would then rip out the offending hairs with the aid of a few squares of cheesecloth, leaving my brows to grow much as they always had. High brow/low brow In those days, I knew that left unattended, my brows could end up looking like Bert"s, that Muppet with one long eyebrow sprouting from his pointed felt head. I would have nightmares where, looking in the mirror, I discovered that I suddenly had two sets of eyebrows: the bottom set horrifying replicas of Martin Scorcese"s, the top, placed alarmingly in the center of my forehead, were consummately-arched Veronica Lake masterpieces. Then I would wake up, dash to the mirror and sigh with relief to find my own, perfectly fine, arched by hand eyebrows, right where they belonged.
Browsing for the best brows in town
Fringe Beauty Parlor 5990 E. 71st St., 849-0191 These days, thank goodness I have an eyebrow goddess, who tends to every stray hair as carefully as if she was pruning her own face. It"s not a choice, it"s a necessity, for every girl in the universe. While all the technicians in this sherbet-shaded salon give good brow, Rosie is reigning Princess of the Wax. As my friend Lori once said, "That Rosie does a mean eyebrow!" Phillippe"s Day Spa 4635 E. 82nd St., 578-9900 This good-smelling pampering spot for Indy"s pretty set offers full beauty packages. Best of all, after your treatment is complete, you are invited to the "relaxation room," equipped with new age music and a fake fountain. As the sole local distributor of a handful of indulgent beauty lines, the staff here should know plenty about making a girl look her very best. David and Mary 1540 E. 86th St., 844-6662 Another heavenly haven on the Northside, this place is all about making beautiful faces. From skincare and beauty products of their own design to expert handling of facials, peels, waxing and more, a girl can walk out of David and Mary"s Pepto Bismal pink door feeling prettier than she ever has before.

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