Pretty in the City - Shape Up at The Brow Shoppe

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Maybe you inherited your father’s beetling brows, which look dignified on an older gentleman but a tad scary on a woman. Maybe you’ve plucked your own brows down to the barest minimum, and the Whoopi Goldberg look is starting to freak you out. Maybe the hasty, unprofessional wax job you got in the back of some rinky dink mall salon left you with an unattractive and out-of-date Vanilla Ice eyebrow stripe. No matter how it happened, the essential truth remains – your eyebrows are all jacked up, homegirl. No worries. The Brow Shoppe has your back!

Owned by Laura Di Niro (AKA The Brow Queen), the Brow Shoppe currently has two retail locations – one in Coral Gables, and the other in Brickell. The Brickell location is the new crown jewel, and I plan to visit soon. My first Brow Shoppe experience was at the Gables store, and be forewarned – you just might drive past the low-key location a few times before you see it. Apparently there’s some kind of ridiculous “no outdoor sign” ordinance on the location, thereby ensuring that this neighborhood gem stays hidden. So for those familiar with Ponce de Leon, it’s between LeJeune and the roundabout, before the DMV and near to the animal clinic on your left if you’re heading towards Merrick Park. Look for a red cloth awning, and you’ve got it. And unlike in other parts of the Gables, there’s more than ample parking.

My appointment was with Tania, the second-shaper in command. 15 minutes of her time costs $35, and she is as professional as they come. The Brow Shoppe is elegant but simple – shopping area to your left, salon chairs to your right. While threading, tweezing, and shaping my brows, Tania gave me the rundown on the other services offered in this specialty salon. “Oh, we do it all – full body waxing, spray tanning, facials, and eyelash extensions and perms for ladies who have those stick-straight lashes.” This was the first I’d ever heard of an eyelash perm, so I was intrigued. The curling process lasts for three months!

Tania’s been a professional brow shaper for 12 years, although she looks not a day over 28. At The Brow Shoppe, they’re fully expecting you to come stumbling in with tragic eyebrows. “Our specialty is arches. We’re known for giving you an arch. We don’t believe in thinning out your brows – we’d rather keep them thick,” says Tania. If your brows are super thin, Tania recommends Rogaine, and there’s two amazing products sold on site – Renew Eyebrow Revitalizer, and Revitalash Eyelash Conditioner. For filling in spaces before your new brows grow in, Tania recommends brow powder instead of reaching for the eyeliner. The Brow Shoppe’s goal is to create an ideal arch above your eyes, and to keep the shape easy to maintain. I was so ecstatic with the end results of my 15 minutes with Tania, my eyebrows looked perfect. No more Vanilla Ice stripe! I was so pleased with my experience, that I already made a follow-up appointment. If you’ve been desperately searching for someone in the Magic City to teach your untameable eyebrows a lesson or two, you shouldn’t look any further.

-- Patrice Yursik

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