Raising the (Brow) Bar
MELISSA CLIFTON-BAHRS knows faces—
especially eyebrows. She says shaping those two
sometimes unruly, often overlooked, ever-ex-pressive lines of hair can be the key to dramatically improving your appearance.
“People say, ‘I want your brows.’ If I put my
brows on their face, they would look ridiculous
because my brows are for me; they fit my face. To
look their best, they have to have the right balance
and fullness [of brow] for them,” she says.
A former makeup artist, Clifton-Bahrs opened
Arch Brow Bar in 2008 with four eyebrow specialists, called browistas. Since then, she’s doubled
her browistas and the staff has grown to 17—all
licensed aestheticians and cosmetologists meticulously trained by Clifton-Bahrs. The elegant,
1,000-square-foot unisex salon in Shrewsbury is
spa-like, with crisp, white furnishings, wood floors
and nature-inspired details.
Arch sees an average of 550 clients a week. In
each 15-minute appoint-
ment, browistas work
with a client’s bone
structure, looking at a
face straight on, rather
than lying down. “You re-
ally don’t have the proper perspective unless you’re
actually looking straight at the person,” says Clifton-
Bahrs. She approaches a customer’s face like it is
a drawing, paying attention to its symmetry and
balance. “The brow should never be something that
someone looks at right away. If people notice them
right away, they are misshapen or off somehow.”
To accomplish their careful sculpting, browis-
tas use wax to remove excess hair, followed by
shaping with tweezers and then trimming. Brow
styling is $33 to $50 for first-timers (depending
on browista experience level) and maintenance
appointments run from $25 to $39. The shop has
a collection of brow pencils, powders and tinted
gels, as well as post-wax products like Serious
Serum, and Revitabrow, which Clifton-Bahrs says
“is like Miracle-Gro for brows.” Facials and a full
assortment of skin-care products are available.
Clifton-Bahrs, a dedicated single mom, is passionate about her work. “When [brows] are right,
you notice the person’s eyes and face. It’s one feature you can change that will enhance your face
and doesn’t require any surgery or injection.”
Stylephile EDITED BY DEBORAH CARTER & SUSAN BRIERLY BUSH
FASHION :: ACCESSORIES :: HOME :: HEALTH :: BEAUTY :: ENTERTAINING
sessions, Melissa Clifton-Bahrs’s
eyebrow sculpts to
550 clients a week.
Give the brow a
feathered e;ect with
a colored brow pen-
cil and brush; $14.
Brush-on gel tames
and fills brows.
Choose blonde, brunette or clear; $18.
powder for natural-
In six shades; $19.