TANIA & ILANA: HAPPILY EVER AFTER, POST THREADING
There has long been an American fascination with all things Indian, in which I have been known to partake on more than one occasion – from Bollywood dance classes in college, to the Bhangra workout series, and a heaping plate of Aloo Gobi and Chicken Tikka Masala when I feel the urge. My deep rooted appreciation for films like Monsoon Wedding and most recently Slumdog Millionaire runs very deep, indeed. I find the beauty rituals of India to be an extension of my general interest in the sensuality and local color of the land.
I was introduced to threading in the same way I learned about henna – through Indian and Bengali friends, the good old fashion way. My friend Tania has just about the most enviable eyebrows I have ever seen. They are arched, groomed, and curved to a point of perfection that almost makes you want to cry (maybe that’s just my India-envy). A few years back I learned her secret, and since then have been a loyal devotee of the practice. And my eyebrows and I have never been the same. In fact, when I look at photos of myself pre-threading, I have to fight the urge to hide them. Why did none of my friends think to pull me aside in confidence and suggest a little brow shaping? (I hope it’s because they didn’t notice.)
I have learned a little beauty lesson since then: a strong pair of well-groomed brows can make your face look a lot more attractive and symmetrical. They also soften your look and make your eyes pop! I now visit a chic salon called Thread in downtown Manhattan, and in just under 10 minutes I am in and out the door feeling cleaner and more well-groomed than ever. The cost is minimal — I think I paid $7 last time I visited (and that’s for both brows), and they give me a frequent-threader card that offers a free brow shaping after seven visits. Now that’s economy! The ladies are warm and friendly, and they are real pros. Thread creates an atmosphere of authentic Indian treatment at a modern beauty salon, complete with artistic chandeliers and minimalist decor.
I have absolutely no idea how they can tame brows so precisely with sewing thread and elbow grease, but I chalk it up to one of many mysteries of the world that are better left to the experts. The pain factor is bearable on the brows, but elsewhere on the face threading will likely make you squirm in your seat, tear, sneeze and generally make a spectacle of yourself. That said, it’s so much more sanitary and precise than waxing. And admittedly, the whole process makes me feel a little more fabulous and culturally keyed in…