Before COVID-19, my brows were the only thing in my life that I had on a regular schedule, and my face was better off for it. Once every few months, I'd see Joey Healy, celebrity brow expert and owner of Joey Healy Brow Studio in New York City, at the Refinery29 office or at his shop to work on my arches that are full in shape, but fine in density.
My brows and I were coming into a new stage of greatness until things rapidly changed due to the pandemic. My once-defined, lifted arch slowly began to resemble a fuzzy caterpillar as the weeks went on. For the first three months, I was able to refrain from grabbing my tweezers to pluck off "a few" rogue hairs. I was successful until a video assignment for work made me bite the bullet. I took tweezing into my own hands, and a few extra hairs later, I immediately regretted my decision. After that, I made a final vow to hold off on messing with my brows until they could (safely) be in the hands of Healy again.
I went on a few extra months with droopy brows before getting hopeful news: New York City entered Phase 4 of its reopening plan, and after four months, Joey Healy Brow Studio opened for business once again in July. My initial reaction was a moment of pure excitement quickly replaced by fear: "Is it really safe to get my brows done?" I thought. It took me two more months of working on my comfort level before finally making an appointment with Joey in September. Ahead, everything you need to know about my experience if you're considering getting your brows done amid COVID-19.
You have to come to your appointment alone.
As in, no more group brow dates with your girls. Before social distancing, it wasn't unusual for me to drag my boyfriend or best bud along to wait with me while I got my eyebrows done — Healy has the cutest couch area, which made waiting less painful for my guest. However, those days are over. Instead of showing up 15 minutes early for my appointment, I arrived right on time. The doors were locked, and Healy greeted me wearing a mask. Only one additional staff member was in the studio, and she was also wearing PPE. Upon entry, my temperature was taken, and when the LED light flashed back in the color green, I was ready to start my service.
Capacity has changed and cleanliness is super important.
While standing outdoors waiting to go inside, I observed Healy and the team thoroughly sanitize the area and equipment used during my service before I entered. Hand sanitizer was also available at each station and was provided to me upon entering the studio.
For Healy, allowing enough time to sanitize and maintain social distance between clients means spacing out appointments. During my slot, I was the only customer serviced, which helped me feel much safer. For the full 45 minutes, I got tweezed and tinted, and I felt like there was ample space around to feel comfortable. When I left the studio, the same thorough cleaning took place for the client after.
Wearing PPE made me feel safer than ever before.
It's almost impossible to maintain six feet from someone messing with your eyebrows, but wearing a mask — and being serviced by someone wearing one — made the experience feel safer than ever before. The paranoia I felt about transmitting germs even pre-coronavirus was eased, since both myself and Healy wore face coverings.
I was also concerned that my brows wouldn't look the same since most of my face was covered, but I was thrilled when I saw how they looked when I took my mask off at home. I left the salon with a new arch that immediately made my face look brighter and more refreshed. I felt even more confident knowing that I was in the safest possible environment for myself and my eyebrows.