Malynda Vigliotti, aka Boom Boom, is a self-proclaimed eyebrow queen. She was educated at The Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked in the fashion and beauty trenches long enough to be considered an expert. She originally opened Boom Boom Brow Bar in Santa Rosa, California, but moved the business to New York City’s West Village in 2008, where Boom Boom and the Brow Bar have since been featured on The Real Housewives of New York City. She believes that the eyebrows are the most important feature on the face and sees no reason why everyone should not have thick, gorgeous brows. Boom Boom loves living in the Big Apple, and is proud to say that at the end of the day, her brows ALWAYS look good.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you become a brow expert?
I have always been obsessed with brows and I wanted to create a place where women could get a quick brow shaping that was fun, affordable, and convenient. I lived in California for a bit in 2005 and was annoyed that there wasn’t a place to get a wax that was convenient, so I took a little money and a whole lot of personality and started the concept of the brow bar. I eventually sold the business and returned to the Big Apple and opened Boom Boom Brow Bar in the West Village. All it took was a disco ball, some intrigue, convenience, and affordability (everything on the menu is under $50) and now we do about 500 bow shapings a month. I don’t believe in thin brows or thin women, but I do know a perfectly done brow is an instant eyelift—no Botox necessary!
Do you have any tips for our readers to figure out what brow shape is best for them?
Brows are sisters not twins, they should be complimentary, but not identical. And, they should be unique to each individual. The space between brows should be equal to or a little wider than the eyes. Use a makeup brush or pencil to assess.
Start: Hold the brush parallel to the side of the nose; where the brush meets the brow is where the brow should begin.
Arch: Hold the brush parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of the eye (the iris); where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of the arch should be.
End: Extend the brush diagonally from the nostril, following the outside edge of the eye toward the brow; where the inside edge of the brush hits is where the brow should end.
Is brow waxing strictly a salon service or can it be tried at home?
Waxing is efficient, inexpensive, and yields baby smooth skin. Sure, a client can do it at home, but getting the wax the correct temperature, working up the courage to pull it off, and cleaning up the mess is a production. Waxing is probably the cheapest of all beauty regimes if done professionally; I charge $24 and it takes only 10 minutes— that’s a lot of bang for the buck! If you get the recommended one shaping a month, it’s less than $300 for the year!
How often should brows be professionally shaped? Can touchups be performed at home?
The goal is to get hair on the same growth cycle so it grows in at the same time and can be removed at the same time. Once hair is on the same cycle, brows can be groomed just once a month.
Brow shaping can be painful. Do you have any tips for easing discomfort?
- Low Temperature Wax: It’s kept at a lower temperature, so it’s very gentle and never burns.
- Hair Length: Remove hair when it’s about ¼ of an inch long, so wax can stick and grab hair for removal. If it’s too short, the wax won’t stick enough, and if it’s too long, hair breaks off before the root making the process more painful.
- Exfoliate and Moisturize: Softer hair follicles surrounded by clean skin release hair the best. Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, so the wax sticks better, and then apply a moisturizer to soften the follicle.
- Ibuprofen: Take an anti-inflammatory a half hour before waxing to prevent swelling and dull pain.
- Tanning Beds: Avoid 24 hours prior.
- Menstruation: Avoid doing the week prior when nerves are more sensitive.
- Meds and Chems: Stop using AHA’s 4-5 days prior and if using any meds like Retin-A, Retinol, Accutane, Proactive, and antibiotics, stick to plucking, not waxing!
What’s the best way to highlight brows?
I prefer using a powder like my Boom Boom Brow Boostiers to fill in holes, add definition and depth—it’s more natural looking than pencil. Go for a lighter color over darker, just make sure it goes with the natural undertones of skin and hair. And, if brows are too light, they should be tinted. Tips: always use a vegetable based dye around the eye area; never lift brow color, use deposit only color; go a little bolder to define brows and match the color to skin and hair undertones; and always use SPF on brows for protection.
You also can use the matte concealer side of my Boom Boom Push Up brow highlighting pencil on the brow bone to create lift and camouflage stragglers that are growing in while waiting for a brow wax. The sparkle side can be dabbed on the inside corner of the eye for a dash of pop and you can line the lower inside of the eye with the matte side of the pencil to make eyes look bright and happy.