By Amy Kaufman
Los Angeles Times
Even if you were willing to shell out hundreds of dollars to have your eyebrows done by Kristie Streicher, she couldn’t see you.
That’s because at the start of 2019, with her roster already full with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Adele and Mandy Moore, she stopped taking on new clients. She wanted to spend less time at Striiike — the Beverly Hills salon she runs with her sisters, Ashley (hair) and Jenn (makeup) — and more at home, focusing on starting a family. The endeavor worked: Streicher and her husband, an orthopedic surgeon, are expecting a son come winter.
The lucky handful who do get to see Streicher, 43, pay a pretty penny for the honor. The brow guru charges $225 for a 30-minute “feathered brow” session, during which she tints and tweezes. Those looking for a more permanent fix opt for her signature “microfeathering,” a more subtle take on traditional microblading, which deposits pigment into tiny incisions created by a fine blade. Two sessions run $2,500, but the results last between eight and 12 months.
So how did Streicher become so in-demand with the Hollywood set?
Growing up in Northern California’s Grass Valley, Streicher and her sisters were self-described tomboys who never spent that long getting ready. But after high school, she took a job at the Clinique counter and became fascinated by the beauty world, which led her to enroll in aesthetician school. In 2001, she moved to New York and got a job doing facials and brows at the Warren-Tricomi salon.
But unlike most of her peers, Streicher never waxed eyebrows — only tweezed. This was long before the likes of Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins popularized a fuller brow, and Streicher had to work hard to convince her clients to embrace a more natural look. When she requested some leave their brows untouched for six to eight weeks before seeing her, many balked.
“People thought I was crazy,” she recalls now. “All these city women worked so hard and probably smoke and drank and had these harsh faces — and they had these thin, harsh brows to match.”
But her work really caught on after one of her clients, an editor at New York magazine, decided to feature her in the publication’s “Best of” issue. Suddenly, she was doing Julia Roberts’ brows and offering tutorials on “The Today Show.”
Although you can no longer nab an appointment with Streicher in person, she has trained two specialists at Striiike to do the feathered brow — and their appointments run a mere $140. And if you’re down for some virtual advice, for $100, you can upload some photos of your brows to Streicher’s website and receive detailed personal instructions from her on how to properly tweeze and trim.
Because Streicher is currently serving as the brand ambassador to the Hourglass cosmetics brand, I was offered a sit-down in her chair at the Grove pop-up to demonstrate how to get the perfect brow. And I took notes.
NO TOUCHING YOUR BROWS
If your ultimate goal is to get a fuller brow, you’re going to have to stop doing them for a while. That’s right — no tweezing, waxing or threading for at least six weeks. The logic here, Streicher says, is to let your natural hair grow back so you can see your brow’s “fullest potential.” Once you repeat this cycle about five times — nearing a year in total — you’ll have trained your eyebrow hair into a growth pattern that works for you.
“Before I do any microfeathering on my clients, I actually make them go through the year grow-out process to just see the natural brow,” she says. “Eyebrow hairs are like people — they can be trained to do whatever you want them to do. If you’re tweezing them every day, they’re gonna grow every day. But if you put them on a cycle, they’ll start to grow where you want.”
LEAVE STRAGGLERS ALONE
Although I normally tint my brows at the Benefit Brow Bar, I actually haven’t visited the store in almost a year out of sheer laziness. As a result, my brows are already really full, but there are a few of what Streicher calls “stragglers” under the arch. To my surprise, she doesn’t tweeze those, wanting to create a “softly diffused look.”
“I keep them there on purpose,” she says. “Ninety percent of people fill in their brows, and having a bit of native hair there makes the product look so much more natural.”
BRUSH OUT YOUR BROWS
Using a spoolie brush — the tool that looks like a mascara wand — brush your brow hair up and out to get the best shape before applying any product. “This helps me see the natural hair pattern,” Streicher explains. “It’s amazing what a difference brushing can make in the shape. Brushed down, they can look so skinny.”
FIGURE OUT THE SHAPE
Take any instrument with a straight line — a brow pencil, a real pencil — and run it from the outer corner of your nostril up to your eye strip. Your brows should extend at least this far, Streicher says. Mine go even further, which she says she’s into because she’s a fan of a “sprouty, Brooke Shields look.”
To figure out where the arch should be, use your pencil and run it from that same place on your nose across your pupil. Then set it up in a line from that nose point to the corner of your eye — this is where your brow line should end. Again, Streicher says, they can be longer than this, but never shorter.
INVEST IN A GOOD BROW PENCIL
Now that you know the shape you’re going for, you can fill in any problem areas with some makeup. Right now, of course, Streicher is obsessed with Hourglass’ newest product — the Arch Brow Micro Sculpting Pencil (retailing for $28). But this is the only brow makeup she’s ever partnered with, so you know she must really stand behind it.
“It’s easy to make little hair strokes with this pencil, whereas most pens you use to fill in, it just looks solid,” she says, applying each stroke in the direction of the hair’s natural growth pattern. “Seeing every hair in place like it’s drawn in looks contrived, and to me, it’s not pretty. I think it’s OK when it’s not perfect. It’s so hard to maintain. What if you want to jump in a pool and do a cannonball?”
HOW APPLY A PRODUCT
Getting the skin as flat as possible gives you a “really even, consistent stroke and allows the product to glide on,” Streicher says. Pull up in the direction your brows should go, otherwise the product “almost goes on a little bumpy.”
TRIM BROWS CAREFULLY
Although she doesn’t do any tweezing on me, Streicher does trim a bit. She uses pointy gold Rubis scissors that come in her Essentials Grooming Kit, which retails for $225. “They are sharp, so you have to be careful,” she advises. “You can do just as much damage trimming as with tweezing — but with trimming, at least it grows back. With tweezing, the follicle can get damaged and then you’re screwed.”
FINISH WITH GEL
To get an even darker, fuller look — “This might be only for you at night,” Streicher tells me — add some brow gel on top of the pencil look. Though she used the soft brunette pencil on me, she opts for the dark brunette color in the Arch Brow Micro Fiber Gel to create a more dimensional, less “ashy” look.
After running the brush over my brows, she uses it to backstroke them, getting the product on all sides. “This not only colors the brows but it adds these little microfibers to look like you have more hair,” she says. “It’s a fuller, fluffier look that adds shine and color.”