Meet The It Girl-Approved Brow Guru With A 200-Person Waiting List
Azi Sacks wants to level up your brow game.
For Azi Sacks, brow artistry has always come naturally. “People ask me how I do it — I really don’t know. It’s like drawing. I’m self-taught,” she says. “I think what happens is I look at a face and I see what’s there, along with what should be there, expression-wise — what I feel like your face should do — and I find a way to make your eyebrow do that.” As founder of The Brow Studio — originally a Washington D.C. outfit, now with a new brick and mortar in Chelsea — Sacks has developed a reputation for her unmatched brow prowess, cultivating a list of more than 5,000 repeat clients including models, politicians, and actresses.
Ahead, Sacks shares her journey to being the buzziest woman in brows — and some helpful tips for bettering your brow game at home.
Tell us your backstory. How did you career in brows come about?
Before I was even a makeup artist, I worked retail at a beautiful store in Georgetown that had a small cosmetics area, and we sold a standard Tweezerman tweezer. I used to open the tweezer package and tweeze customers’ eyebrows, and before I knew it, I would have a line of women waiting for me every Saturday. It was comical because it was a boutique. The manager would come up to me and be like, “This is so weird, we’re not a salon. You have to sell them clothes. You have to sell them lipgloss.” So, then it was like this phenomenon where they would come in and be like, “I’ll buy two shirts! I’ll buy a tank top! I’ll buy a lipgloss! Can you just do my eyebrows?” At that point I started realizing that I should probably just be doing makeup.
I started to work in different high-end salons in D.C. Within three years, I had 5,000 repeat customers annually; I was twenty-two years old. I would see 55 people a day, and it was $20 at the time, with a new client every ten or fifteen minutes. I would start at like 8 a.m. and still be going at 9:30 p.m. It was pretty amazing. It just happened, and it never stopped. By the time I was thirty, I had my own company and started subcontracting space inside a salon, which was a new thing at that time.
Less than two years ago I moved to New York City, and I actively launched last April. I ended up having such an incredible welcome, and word spread really fast. Now I’m booked until June with 200 people on my waitlist; I opened my own studio in January.
Tell us about your technique. Where do you start?
First and foremost, I ask clients what their dream brow is, and what is bothering them about their existing brow or where their brows have been in the past. We talk about what kind of products they use in their brows and try to find out what they might be doing that could be creating damage or prohibiting growth. I try to see how far I can assume that your brow can go over the course of anywhere from three weeks to a year and a half. A lot of times the brow is going to tell me what it’s going to do each time I see you, so the first time someone sits with me it’s often about creating balance and symmetry and getting the brows to sit a little better on the face. From there, we work on width and filling and holes and increasing the arch gradually over time.
After you assess the situation, how do you typically proceed?
A lot of times I tint the brow to try to catch all of the fine hairs on the perimeter or those that are mixed into the core of the brow, because you have hair of varying textures throughout your brow. Tinting is not always necessary in terms of making the brow darker, but rather to make the brow more even and appear denser. So, we do that to build the brow and then we shape from there.
I don’t wax — I only tweeze. Tweezing allows for more precision and control. I honestly, truly, genuinely believe that just one hair can change how the brow looks. It’s all super calculated. A lot of times, I pluck every other hair to create a certain sort of shape. Tweezing is better to the skin, better to the hair. You can train the hair with tweezing, too. At least with me, my pull is more accurate with the tweezer. It’s my favorite tool because it’s thoughtful, precise, and accurate. It takes longer and is definitely more tedious, but it’s the only way I would want someone to shape my eyebrows so I’m not going to cut any corners.
I spend at least an hour on a client, and I’ll take two clients at a time; tint one and shape the other and then we swap.
I honestly, truly, genuinely believe that just one hair can change how the brow looks.
What are the latest trends that you’ve seen in brows?
When I started out, everyone had this tadpole shape: it was like a little ball at the front and the arch was always too far inward. With each year within the past two decades, arch placement and balance have improved, and the love of the integrity of the brow has become stronger. Before, it was such a harsh line — over-shaping, over-arching. Every woman’s eyebrow was a bit messed up. I spent the first maybe twelve years of my career fixing the fallout from those shapes. It really affected the core of the brow. Then, a couple of years ago, everyone went through a phase where they were overdoing and overfilling their brows.
I’m Persian, and coming from a Persian background, brows are everything. On your wedding day, brows are the most important part, and then your partner. Persian women really are the masters of the brow — the attention and the accuracy. I think now, brows are something that in Western culture is becoming more respected as an important part of the face.
For those who can’t make it to your chair, what’s your best brow advice?
Aim for growth. Take great care of your brows. Use castor oil or sweet almond oil on them nightly, or a plant-based brow serum, and try to see if you can let your brows grow without shaping them for a couple of months. Use thoughtful products in the daytime for styling, and otherwise leave them alone for a period of time to see what they tell you they can do. Like all hair, brow hair grows in a cycle, so it can take like a year and a half of hair cycle to actually see if there is permanent damage to the brow or if you can regenerate growth. Allowing your brow to really grow before you shape is really huge. Most of my clients see me every 8 to 12 weeks.
When you wake up in the morning, you’re going to almost always need to fill your brow. I like tinting to take that away, so all you need to do is brush up and go. It’s my job to enhance your brow, not yours.
The Brow Studio, 205 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011
$120 for design; $40 for tint