I had the distinct honor of interviewing Ramy Gafny, known as "Manhattan's Brow Guru". His spa is on East 31st, between Park and Madison, and his line of cosmetics is growing steam in the industry.
Not sure you've heard of Ramy? You may have seen this makeup artist, whose theme is "minimum makeup, maximum impact," on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Entertainment Tonight, or E!. Or perhaps you read about him in Vogue? In Allure? InStyle? Shape? Self? Town & Country? (I'm a confessed magazine junkie, so that's how I first heard of him) He has worked with Britney, Lindsay, Nicole, Halle, Regis, Ivanka, Naomi, Mariska, and a bunch of other folks whose names you'd recognize even if I do have to use their last names! Hullo, Katherine Heigl, Liev Schrieber, Rhianna, Emme, Carol Burnett, Julia Stiles, Ray Romano - random much? - Barbara Walters, Debra Messing, Renee Zellweger and the Queen of the Red Carpet: Joan Rivers.
Now that we've established his credentials, let's talk philosophy. He believes that women don't need tons of products that languish in their cabinets or drawers. (He would shudder at my makeup collection, no?!) Ramy beauty therapy - that's the name of his line - was created to give women multi-purpose products that will give them a quick way to enhance their natural look. And he also believes that brows are important - so important that he's picked up that moniker: Manhattan's Brow Guru.
So here's what he had to say. Hopefully I'll have some Ramy product reviews for you soon...
How did you come to be known as a specialist in eyebrows?
I was hired to be Makeup Director at a top Fifth Avenue salon and they said "You're going to be in charge of eyebrows too" and I said "OK" and started practicing on the staff. It turned out that I had a natural eye for brow shaping and people started lining up. Then the salon started booking me clients and next thing I knew, I was written up in Vogue as New York's Best brow shaper!
Are there trends in brows? If so, what is the next trend you see on the horizon?
The current trend is having very full, strong brows that look polished and arched. I happen to think this look is classic and that brows should be classic and not trendy. You don't want to see a picture of yourself in ten years and have to say, "That was the trend back then" I think brows should always be as full as possible with a nice arch. The next trend will probably be too go a touch thinner - which will then lead to overly thin brows and come back full circle to the full brow.
What is the worst faux pas one can commit with her brows? What about for men?
Making the brows too thin or creating the dreaded hook shape (or both!) are horrible and common mistakes. No one should ever wax, but men especially look overdone and like drag queens when their brows are waxed.
How do you feel about brow color? When one changes one's hair, should the brow color change as well?
Your brow color can be up to two shades lighter or darker than your hair color, but no more than that. Your brows do not have to match your hair color exactly, but you don't want a huge discrepancy, like black eyebrows with blonde hair or blonde eyebrows with red hair.
What's best: waxing, threading, tweezing? Why?
Tweezing is best because it's the most precise method that offers the most control. Waxing is the worst as you're just indiscriminately removing rows of hair and one wrong move means "bye-bye eyebrow". Waxing is also aging and bad for the delicate skin around the eye area. Threading is what was done before tweezers were invented and its a trend. I hear it's more painful than tweezing and that sometimes hair breaks instead of being removed from the root, so it may not grow back in a uniform manner.
Advise us on how to fill brows in for a most natural look, please. And tell us what products you like for this task.
You can use a pencil, a powder or a pomade to fill brows. As a rule, choose a color a shade or two lighter than your brow color. Lighter looks more natural, darker, more artificial and heavy. When in doubt, choose taupe. Whatever you use to fill brows, always brush it through to remove excess product and blend. This leaves you with a natural looking borw, not a made up looking brow. My favorite products are my Miracle Brow Compact ($28.) which has two universal shades that work on most everyone, my Neutral Impact eyeshadow, and coming in April, My Perfect Brow Wand, which will be a double ended pen witg a neutral brow filler on one end and a highlighter on the other!
Taking advantage of this opportunity, I'd like to ask about my own brows. They used to be full but are more sparse now (overplucking, age, and a touch of trichtillomania). What's the best way to encourage them to grow back, or is it too late? Do I go in stages or just not touch them for a few weeks/months?
The fastest way to grow them back to former glory is to touch NOTHING for up to three months. Really go back to square one. Be sure to take a good multi-vitamin to ensure your body has all the nutrients it needs for optimum hair growth and try a product like my Eye GROW Brows! which can be applied nightly to help hair grow faster and fuller.
Is there something you want to tell the world about eyebrows?
Having your eyebrows professionally shaped is the fastest way to improve your appearance without plastic surgery. A proper shaping can make you look younger, more sophisticated, and generally more perfect!
Thanks to Ramy for his time and expertise!