Christi Harris Precision Brow Planing System — Wow or Whoa?
Back in college, my friend T gave me a crash course on eyebrows. Up to that point, I’d been having my eyebrows waxed, but I hadn’t bothered to go to any brow specialist — I’d been getting them done in the back room at the same nail salon where I got my acrylic nail fill-ins (yes, I sure did have acrylics back in the day! lol). Needless to say, there was no real science to how they removed the hair from my brow area, and so, while my brows were groomed, they were also relatively shapeless. T told me that perfectly arched eyebrows could really change the entire mathematics of my face, bringing out my eyes and framing my features. So when my brows started looking unruly and T volunteered to pluck them, I decided to let her work her magic — and I was stunned. She took those amorphous strips of hair and sculpted them, giving them a nice arch that made my eyes pop and helped to slim my face. After that point, I was obsessed with brows.
Of course, there’s an art to tweezing — it’s like tugging at a loose thread in a sweater in that, if you pull the wrong strand, the whole thing might just fall apart. If you get a bit excitable and overdo it, you’ll wind up with brows the size of angel hair pasta. If you pluck wrong hair, you’ll wind up with unseemly bald spots. So how do you know which hairs can go and which can stay? How do you work that arch? It’s perplexing. And sure, you can go to a brow guru, but you’ll wind up shelling out at least $100 a month — and, as much as you might love those brows, those prices are just obscene.
So what to do? Well, Dallas native Christi Harris, a former model and eyebrow expert, is hoping she can teach women how to sculpt their own brows from the comfort of their homes using her Precision Brow Planing System kit, pictured above.The central component is the Precision Brow Planer, a handy tool with a straight blade tip and a curved handle. If you place the blade above the brow, so that it’s in a horizontal position vis-a-vis your brow, and you press it flat against the skin and move it downward in a steady movement, you can trim the area atop your brow to create a smooth line. Now, when you’re tweezing, you’re told never to touch the hairs on the top part of the brow because plucking the wrong one can have disastrous results, but with the Planer, you can groom this area — a it’s pretty uncanny how much cleaner of a silhouette it yields. Now, to get the stray hairs sprouting up along the brow bone, you place the Planer right under your brow, flat against the skin, holding the tool at a 45-degree angle and moving it inward, guiding it in the opposite direction of the hair growth.
In essence, you’re shaving the area along the brows, but the blade was cleverly designed, so the chances of cutting yourself are pretty slim (trust me: I’m a clumsy fool, and I’m pretty sure I would’ve had a tragic accident already if the Planer posed any real danger). It takes a minute to really get the hang of it (I kept having to remind myself to hold the Planer at a 45-degree angle because, otherwise, it’s hard to maneuver the tool along the brow bone) but, once you do, it’s a breeze. And the good part about it is that you don’t have to tolerate any stubble as you would with waxing and tweezing, where you have to wait a certain amount of time in order for the hair to be long enough to pull it from the root. I was a bit concerned about ingrown hairs since that’s been a big problem for me in the past but, so far, I have no complaints.
Now, the Precision Brow Planer is only one part of the Precision Brow Planing System. The kit also includes the following tools: Diffuser/Refiner brush (one side is a spiral brow brush while the other is a fan-shaped shadow brush), a Contour brush (for applying shadow along the outer “V” of your eye and along the crease), and a Designer/Definer brush (one side is an eyeshadow brush with an angled tip and the other is a stiffer brush meant for stippling). The tools are meant to be used with the Color Blend Trio, Adda Brow, and Diffusing Powder Duo. The Color Blend Trio is precisely that: three pigments ranging from a creamy, dark brown to a khaki-like color and a lighter, dirty sand hue. The idea is to use these shades to match the color of your brows, so that you can fill in any gaps you may have, as well as extend the brow as needed. Harris includes a pamphlet explaining where your eyebrows should ideally begin and end, where the arch should be placed, and how to obtain a symmetrical shape, and she recommends using the Color Blend Trio to accomplish this feat. The next step is to create a sense of texture so that the brows don’t look painted on but, instead, have a more natural look. The Adda Brow deposits fibers that allegedly yield a hair-like appearance, so you’re asked to take the Definer end of the Designer/Definer brush and stipple (use quick, dart-like motions) the Adda Brow into any areas that were filled in. Once you’ve gotten the desired look and shape, Harris recommend using the Diffuser end of the Diffuser/Refiner brush (which is, in essence, a fan brush) and applying some of the Diffusing Powder Duo to set the colors and lighten the area overall.
So what are my thoughts on the kit as a whole? Well, I had the pleasure of meeting Harris and having her give me a brow consultation, and I was pretty impressed with what she managed to do with the kit’s contents. I was curious to see if I could even begin to replicate the look at home. Sadly, I have yet to master the art — even after watching several video tutorials and studying the kit’s pamphlet as if it were an LSAT prep book. The Brow Planer is a nifty tool, and I think anyone can appreciate this component, but I’m not too sold on the Color Blend Trio and the Adda Brow. The Adda Brow, in my opinion, is the most challenging aspect of the kit. As much as I tried to stipple and blend, I found that, when I extended my brows, it looked faker than a three dollar bill — as if I’d applied some Dracula-like Halloween makeup. Not cute. It did help to fill in small bald spots within the brow, but extending and thickening the brows proved way trickier. Personally, I’m gonna stick with the Brow Planer and probably pass on the rest.
Christi Harris Precision Brow Planing System, $39.95. Visit ChristiHarris.com