POP INTERVIEW: Joey Healy Brings Eyebrows Back

Eyebrows go in and out of style like fad diets. Thin, thick, humungous, natural, invisible, bleached, blackened, etc. A fashion conscious man or hipster chick can go nuts trying to fit in. Joey Healy makes house calls for eyebrow emergencies, has his own eyebrow care line, frequently works on magazine editorial shoots and may very well be the only male threat to eyebrow queen Anastasia's empire.

Eyebrows go in and out of style like fad diets. Thin, thick, humungous, natural, invisible, bleached, blackened, etc. A fashion conscious man or hipster chick can go nuts trying to fit in. Joey Healy makes house calls for eyebrow emergencies, has his own eyebrow care line, frequently works on magazine editorial shoots and may very well be the only male threat to eyebrow queen Anastasia’s empire.

joey healy

There isn’t one single perfect eyebrow shape. What kind of people look good with thin eyebrows and who looks good with thick?
That’s right – with eyebrows, there is no “one size fits all” shape. I take pride in giving each of my clients their perfect shape. With that said, keeping them on the thicker side is usually more flattering 9 times out of 10. The only people who look good with a more “delicate” shape are those who have deep set eyes and heavy brows bones. Thick brows look like they are crushing down on their eyes; giving them a more shapely, lean shape helps to open up their eyes and give them a much needed lift.

Can someone look good with any brow thickness?
A general rule of thumb is to make sure your brows sit right smack on your brow bone, this will give you a helpful guideline for determining thickness. They shouldn’t be creeping too much onto the forehead or curling under the brow bone. Eyebrows are inseparable from bone structure and anatomy. I really take the time to feel my clients brow bone with my hands. It’s also important to note that the basic thickness we are born with generally works best with some minor adjustments. For example, if you have thick, Turkish brows, chances are they will look “off” if they are hacked away too thin.

When you were working in theater at Villanova University, how did you notice how eyebrows play a big part in a character’s persona?
Absolutely. The same goes for when I did lots of character makeup work at the New York City Ballet. Eyebrows were emphasized with sharp inclines and aggressive top points for villains; softer brows for our heroines; and strong, dense brows for our protagonist males. They are as important as the costumes!

How can someone change his or her eyebrows to appear sweet?
Make sure your arch doesn’t have a triangular point above it. Even by removing the highest two hairs, you can successfully lower the brow to create a more serene (and less severe) expression. Also, no centered arches – opt for placing your arch 2/3 of the way out (toward the temple). Another rule – if your eyebrows are dark to the point of almost being black and this color doesn’t suit your overall complexion, consider lightening them with a pro for a softer look.

Can stage or film eyebrows ever look good for going out? I really like Nicole Kidman’s extended brows in “Moulin Rouge.”
They certainly can! Life is too short not to have fun with our beauty routines, think of how dull fashion week would be if every beauty look was grocery store wearable. I adore Nicole Kidman’s extended brows in “Moulin Rouge” – the tail gives an exaggerated elegance that supports her character. The key here is to find your best individual brow feature and exaggerate that singular component – don’t reinvent the entire wheel!

When you later worked at the makeup counter, what kinds of bad eyebrow grooming, or none at all, inspired you to teach women about eyebrows? And men, for that matter?
Everyone just seems to have it wrong. Most of my clients were spending thousands of dollars on their makeup and skincare while cutting corners on their eyebrows and opting for waxing or threading. Waxing can cause burns, involves chemicals and will ultimately break down your collagen, giving you wrinkles. Threading, while less harsh, creates brow shapes that are harsh, thin and asymmetrical. Threading has become “trendy” in the past few years and draws women in as more of a novelty. I wanted to see these ladies (and gentlemen) return to art of tweezing. Not only is it a chemical-free approach that can be used on all skin types (sensitive, retinol users, etc.), the results are simply more precise and thus more flattering. Artistically speaking, you are given complete control to sculpt the brow in a manner best suited to your bone structure. Additionally, chances of ingrown are highly diminished and it is a method that you can uphold at home! I knew that if I could combine this detailed approach with educational, customized lessons for each client, my business would take off. Deprogramming them from incorrect information is half of the battle; I’m always setting my clients straight on eyebrow myths that their big sister told them when they were 12 and correcting the half-truths they’ve read about eyebrow grooming in magazines!

Can someone wear different eyebrow shades with the same hair color? I like changing this a lot. Sometimes, I hate how harsh something is in certain lighting – day versus night, or perhaps a cloudy day versus going to the beach.
Harmony in eyebrow design lies not only in the correct shape, but also in the ideal color. If the enhancement of a color eyebrow cosmetic just isn’t cutting it for you, consider having your eyebrows tinted by a professional. For women with light blonde brows or for those with greys moving in, tinting your eyebrows is an excellent way to bring the most out of your existing shape. A richer brow tone will also immediately enhance your iris color and make the whites of your eyes look brighter. With that said, can you picture blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe without her signature chocolate brown eyebrows? I didn’t think so! Eyebrow color doesn’t adhere to a cookie cutter rule. For example, most Asian women fair best with a soft charcoal toned brow – not one that matches their jet black, raven hair. Redheads need a kiss of auburn, but a fiery copper brow isn’t always what the doctor ordered. The key here is to assess your hair color’s undertone – warm, neutral or cool and match your brows with an unobtrusive tone in that harmonious range. Blondes are the wildcard here, either a soft ash or chocolate brown can work! The idea is to assess your entire complexion and make sure your brows seem appropriately impactful.

If someone completely plucks out their eyebrows or burns off their eyebrows to baldness, how can he or she grow them back? One time, my aunt burned off all her eyebrows using the gas stove too strongly. I secretly thought it was hilarious, but in all seriousness, that must not have been much fun when applying natural looking brow makeup!
Oh Lord! Everyone knows someone like your aunt – I’ve heard the craziest brow “horror stories”. To begin the long to recovery, first avoid plucking for a solid 4 weeks to observe the natural growth capacity of your untouched eyebrows. Sometimes we believe that our brows aren’t robustly growing but the truth is we are simply overplucking. Additional tips: avoid rubbing your eyes, getting acid-based facial peels and sleeping with an eye mask.

In terms of a brow growth product, The Joey Healy Eyebrow Collection Brow Renovation Serum is the cure for those with overplucked, thinly waxed or just plain sparse eyebrows. This paraben-free formula will help to stimulate growth and thicken the hair follicles of your eyebrows when used twice daily for six weeks then nightly thereafter. A genius cocktail of glycosaminoglycans, pentapeptides and hyaluronic acid are the key to this product’s success, containing a nutrient blend of properties that get eyebrows back on the road to a lush recovery. Vitamins A, C and E, and advanced moisturizing agents hydrate, condition and strengthen existing brittle brow hair. Botanical ingredients such as chamomile, white tea, licorice and cucumber heighten effectiveness with a powerful boost from nature. Thicker and fuller brows will result in just 2-3 weeks if used properly every day. This innovative serum is excellent for those who have over-shaped their brows or for those who seem to have disappearing brow hair over time.

The exception here is those with serious burns resulting in scar tissue – hair follicles are compromised in this case since the burn goes right into the dermis. In this case, using waterproof, well-matched eyebrow makeup like The Joey Healy Eyebrow Collection Luxe Brow Powder or Brow Architect Stylo is the best solution!

You are an out gay man and a strong example of someone who has worked many jobs to get where he wanted to be successfully. What do you want to tell people in the LGBT community about how to find career success? Especially being self-employed, like you are?
Find your passion and chase it. I worked from general to specific. I loved art which led to a love of fashion, which led to a love of beauty, which led to a world of makeup, which led to a world of skincare, which led to MY world, eyebrows. Find a road that interests you and follow it – along the way you’ll narrow down your true passion. Once you find it, the rest falls into place! NEVER SETTLE and know when to move on from jobs once you’ve gotten enough from them. If no business feels like the right fit for you, start your own, just like that! I remember feeling so proud for having created my OWN eyebrow shaping business that I used that confidence to create my product line, The Joey Healy Eyebrow Collection I remember thinking how cool it would be to have my own product line but I kept thinking “I can’t just DO that,” then one day I said “why NOT?” As cliché as it sounds, the best advice is to believe in yourself, even if no one else does. Use the adversity you have faced in your life to fuel your determination and realize how special you are. You can change the world!

Nicole Russin aka. Richárde

Nicole Russin, also known as her alter ego Richárde, is a bestselling chef, experienced print journalist and beauty/editorial model. You may visit her official website at NicoleRussin.com.

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1 Comment

  • Hello. I’m thinking of purchacing the joey healy brow serum. My over plucked eyebrows have not grown back it’s 12 years. I’m 47. A few had grown back but I had used a serum and they fell out that was 5 years ago. Can’t rememer the name of that serum. Help.

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