How to get FIERCE Brows.

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(Believe it or not, I have a huge scar that runs through my right brow. Here are some tips of my brow game.)

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not for everyone. But I can’t help myself. I want the fiercest eyebrows around. I want to bring the world to tears as they gaze upon the artistry that is my fierce as fuck eyebrows. I’ve been going on and on about eyebrows so much you probably think I secretly shame others for their undressed brows but it’s simply not true. I’m a makeup girl. I’m a modified girl. I love finding new ways to create different looks on my face and lately I’ve been really into taking my brows to the next level. To me, makeup is coequal to clothing, tattoos, hair color, nail polish and piercings. They all modify our body from the natural and give us a chance to express ourselves artistically.


I’m assuming you are familiar with eyebrow grooming and the basics. If not, please refer to my article Back to Basics,  get them brows in check and then come back here to level up.

Step 1: Make sure the area around your brows is clean and not oily. The filler you choose to use with have a hard time sticking and staying all day if your skin is oily. I usually just splash my face with water in the morning and pat it dry. I also use a brow primer. Yes, they make those and they are awesome. NYX makes a good brow primer but if you don’t have that just pat a little translucent over your brows and brow bone.


Step 2: Find a killer eyebrow filler. Anastasia Beverly Hills makes amazing eyebrow fillers and a luxurious brush that goes along with it. NYX makes a great (and cheap) mircopencil I also use. But there are tons out there. I like to go to Sephora or Ulta and try them all out. A eye shadow can works well too! Sometimes I use a brow pomade with a powder over it if I know I need some extra stay power.

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Step 3: Practice freehand or buy stencils. Stencils generally come in a pack of several sizes. I’ve used stencils but they are usually too long for my face, but sometimes I use them anyways because I like changing it up. Really take the time to practice. I really love the NYX mircopencil for this, you can start out keeping it really soft and build it up.


Step 4: Dust em off. You can use concealer and a small brush to help define them. My brows are much differently shaped from each other, and that’s cool. Eyebrows are SISTERS not TWINS, so don’t sweat over them not being identical. However, I do like it to have a defined line along the bottowm, so I use a flat eyeshadow brush to run a small dab of concealer along my browbone.

Step 5: Highlight.  I use a fat white pencil.  During the day a swipe a short line along my arch and use a shadow brush to feather it out along my browbone.  At night, I start above my iris and run a line out along my brow just past the tail.  I use the brush to soften the line, sometimes I’ll leave the line a  little less smudged, just to keep them more dramatic.

( Tip-this fat white pencil is awesome to use for highlighting under your brow but you can also use it as a lip primer under a really bright lipstick, this will really help it pop!)


Step 5: Make sure they stay in place.  I go over my brow hair with a black mascara (I wipe the wand first so it’s not chunky) to keep the hairs in place.  Several companies make a clear brow gel that will work the same way if the mascara makes your brow hair too fat.

Pin Up Turns 1!


Although it has been a year since I bought Pin Up, I still feel like I’m just getting started!!! Exciting things are happening and sometimes I’m not sure if I’m completely ready but I’ve decided to trust myself and just allow this progression to happen.

Lately I’ve been catching up on one of my favorite shows, Project Runway. Each week the gang gets a project with specific parameters they must follow and produce something original that also shows their style. They create a vision and have to stand up for that, but lucky for them they have a panel of experts who can help steer them in the right direction. As a salon owner, I don’t have that.

Having my own shop and team has taught me a lot about myself. If you asked me two years ago if I wanted to eventually own my own shop, the answer would have been, NO THANK YOU. It takes a lot of guts to have your own thing, your own baby that you present to the world. And it takes even more guts to stand up for it, and keep it going in the direction you envision. I’ve watched so many of my bosses struggle with this and I knew if I would ever decided to open my own spot it would take a lot of time, heartache, focus, and dedication. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. But, as the opportunity presented itself I had to, as Tim Gunn says, ‘Make it work’!

I am so grateful for all the hands and help I’ve had along the way. Without the backing of family and friends that believe in me, I’m not sure I would have pulled it off! I also cannot thank my clients enough, they believe in me and my vision, and as a thank you I wanted to create a space that felt comfortable and cool.

Here’s to many more years of Pin Up!!

The New Classic

I love my new Sam Villa Texture iron.  Its great for adding bulk to otherwise limp hair.  Here I textured the hair all over with the iron and folded it under in the front to look like a faux bob.  I love these more simple, modern styles that I don’t typically get to do on clients.  I wanted her hair to look classic with a softness, like a pillow.

 Make up is Kat Von D blush in Por Vida on the lids and cheekies,  Kat Von D everlasting lipstick in Love Spell, Anastasia Beverly Hills dipbrow in Soft Brown, KvD everlasting Eyeliner in Ink and Perversion mascara and subversion primer by Urban Decay.




Photographer Tim Tiebout

Model Dana Buckley

Hair and Makeup by Alex Tuley

Model Down

I’m not exactly camera shy but after I agreed to be a model for  Phoenix, a photographer in my building, I could feel my stomach flip.  All I could imagine was me desperately trying my best to make a “sexy” pose and the woman begging me to stop.  Looking like a child with lipstick smeared all over their mouth and mommy’s high heels on.  I spent a few minutes here or there looking at myself in a full length mirror practicing posing.  The more I thought about my body, I forgot about my face, the more I thought about my face the more anxious I got about my body shape.  Eventually I decided to just relax, being insecure and neurotic certainly was not going to help produce a good photo.

Phoenix had a few different shots in mind that she wanted to capture.  One was a head shot inspired by a men’s razor advertisement from the 50’s, another was a photo of Jennifer Lopez with amazing hair and low back cut dress.  We sat down a week before the shoot and had a quick chat about the logistics of it all.  She told me I can bring a bunch of fun outfits, sexy underwear, dresses or whatever to play with.  I was also told there would be wine and snacks (thank god!).  Phoenix sounded super pumped about working on this project together, so naturally it helped calmed my nerves and got me really excited too.

The day of the shoot, I arrived at the studio in the late afternoon.  Part of the set was already in place and several big lighting fixtures all around it.  I had a glass of wine while I applied my makeup and fixed my hair.  The first photo we were working on was the men’s razor ad.  In this scene, Pheonix wanted to capture the long necked pose from the original.  Getting the set and lighting perfect can take some time, the actual picture taking part didn’t take long at all.  The directions were easy to follow, and the bright lights and wine put me in a model trance.


All the photos came out more amazing then I could have ever imagined!  I realized after doing this shoot that I had no reason for being nervous.  A talented photographer is going to set you at ease and help bring out the inner hotness. Turns out in the correct lighting and through a very expensive lens, we are all babes.  But, truthfully, we are mega-babes already!  And I think it’s important to remind ourselves of that, no matter the shape, size, or age.  Everyone has a beauty that is unique to them.  Having confidence in yourself is one of the sexiest traits a gal can have.  It’s too bad so many woman shame each other into thinking confidence is somehow showing off or slutty.  And even if it is, who cares??  We shouldn’t be so quick to judge what makes others feel good.  To each it’s own, girlfriend!  Show it, Flaunt it, Selfie it, Tuck it, Accentuate it, Hide it, Color it,  Love it!

Back to Basics: Shaping Your Brows

Every once in a while its good idea to take a hard look at ones self and pose the question  “Do the way my eyebrows look represent who I am?”.  Do your eyebrows, RAISE other’s eyebrows? If while still considering what your brows are about you say to yourself “I’m going for the Whoopie look” or “my eyes are down THERE” or “Hi, my name is BatSHIT crazy”, you should probably step away from the tweezers, take deep breath, and continue reading this article.


Q: Why should we care that the world has decided it is now important to pay attention to our brows?

A: Well, it’s not “all of a sudden”! The world always thought it was important, you just weren’t paying attention. And besides, it’s fun to look fierce as fuck and this just helps us get to the next level.

As if it wasn’t already hard enough to keep on top of all the other crap in our life, we now have to make sure our brows are on point or they may end up on Buzzfeed’s next Top 10 Worst Brows Ever.   Eyebrows are like snowflakes. No two are exactly the same.  Much like the rest of your body, all your parts are unique to you.  No ones face is symmetrical but sometimes wonky brows can make it even more exaggerated.  Balancing the brows can assist in balancing all your features.

HEY!  It’s going to be OK! Because for the last several decades, every single beauty magazine ever published has included a “how-to” on shaping brows.  For the most part, people should REALLY stop messing with their eyebrows.  The natural shape is there for a reason.  Believe it or not, they have a funtion too!  To keep sweat out of the ol’ eye balls.  Also, it’s good to flip through a few fashion magazines every once in a while.  Most often the womana and men you see modeling clothing or makeup have nice full hardly touched brows.   We are not all that lucky though, and if you still insist on shaping them up, you may as well do it correctly.

If you are either looking to shape up your brow routine or fix something you did very late one night cracked out on coffee, I will attempt to absolve you of your latter day plucking sins.


Do you remember that brow diagram showing what shape your eyebrows should be? In case you forgot, it looks like this:


The diagram is showing us the “ideal shape” and sure, it looks good, but I would say its safe to assume only a small percentage of ladies have this natural arch.  It’s not a perfect guideline and we really shouldn’t get caught up in trying to match this.  However, there are a few lessons we can learn from this:

1. Your brow should start around the same place as where your nostril ends. Take a pencil and line it up and down next to your nostril.  (line A)

2. Your brow should end somewhere past the edge of your eye. Grab that pencil, angle it out from your nostril and have it pass by the edge or your eye. (line B)

3. If your brow hairs allow, there should be some kind of angle in there. But don’t be too hard on yourself.

We now have some loose basis of the length of your brow.  There are always exceptions to the rule. For instance, some people prefer their natural inside edging that may creep in further than where your nostril pencil suggests. And that is totally cool! This is just a guide line people and there is no need for brow shaming when it comes to an inside creeper. Same goes for the outside. Personally, mine do not grow that far out.  But whatever, just work what you got.


I really think this area of the brow is where people most often go wrong, in terms of shaping.  In the diagram above the drawn brow has a perfect lower edge line.  No ones brows grow like that!


    The purpose of plucking below opens the eye up.   It frees up some real estate for your peepers to shine.  If your eyebrows are distracting people from making eye contact with you, it is time to hit the switches girlfriend.  The trick is to grab hold of those random hairs that are not a part of your main brow.   If you are unsure about a hair close to the bulk of your brow-keep it.

Pulling hairs out at random is where most of us go wrong.

How To Pluck

It is also important to plucking the hair correctly.  When removing a hair always pull it out in the direction it is growing.  Pulling out hairs in the opposite direction can damage the follicle, causing the new hair that grows in it’s place to grow incorrectly.  This can lead to rogue hairs or ingrown hairs.  Its also important to find a nice pair of tweezers.  I like Body Toolz Double End Tweezers, one side is flat and the other side is pointed.


A good trick for removing hairs below your brow without messing with the shape is blocking out the stuff you want to keep.  Grab that pencil again and hold it up over your everybrow.  Creating a edge will help you focus on the hairs to remove.  Another good trick is picking up a handy eyebrow stencil.  These can have a duel purpose.  One use is using the stencil to fill in your brows with some dark shadow. Okay, yeah you’ll look like Brooke Shields for a few but this will help show what NOT to pluck.  Simply remove the hair around your filled in shape, wash off the dark brows and you should have an even shape on both sides.  The second purpose is for filling your eyebrows in, stay tuned for a “how-to”.


Most of the time, this is not necessary.  Some people with dark body hair will find their eyebrows creeping up their forehead into their hairline.  Again, the stencil will help you determine what hairs will stay and what to remove.  I prefer to pluck my eyebrows over waxing.  I pluck almost every night this way I only plucking a few hairs a day.  But I do wax the outside top corners of my brow.  The hairs grow long and dark into my hairline.


Should definitely go, right?? I don’t think so.  I have a technique I use on my boyfriend (sorry for calling you out boo) to help keep his monobrow in check without it looking over worked.  I pluck about half the hairs that fill the middle of his brows, keeping a random pattern.  Of course, waxing can be a bit easier for guys, one good swipe compared to tedious plucking is a more compelling sell.  I find with plucking my boyfriend is less likely to develop ingrown hairs or acne.

                                          rpat2                                                                                               Rob rocks a lite uni.


Hopefully I’ve uncovered some brow mysteries for you or at least entertained you with my untrained writing style.  Remember, you can always get help from a professional.  Most hairstylists can shape or wax eyebrows but make sure they have good references.  Almost every brow disaster story I’ve ever heard started with “I didn’t know the girl…” or “It was a last minute discussion”.  It is your face and deserves a trusted and well trained professional.  Waxing mistakes can cause injuries like burns and scarring.  YIKES!

PROTIP:  I keep a pair of tweezers in my purse.  I find my car mirror to be very helpful in pointing out the strays I always miss.

Perfect Pout with NYX Lip Primer

Up until about a year ago I wasn’t sure if I could wear lipstick. Actually, I wasn’t sure if I should.  I spent many nights in front of my bathroom mirror trying on every shade.  No matter how careful I was, I still felt like I was 5-years old going through my mother’s makeup.  Lip stick just looked like a smear across my mouth.   I kept blaming the lipstick, it must just be those cheap brands. I needed high-end rouge if I want a high-end pout.  And yeah, it helped, the better quality the product the easier it was to apply.  Wearability was another problem though.  Smudging, creasing, caking, feathering, I couldn’t figure it out.  And on top of it, trying to remember,  when you are a REAL lady, you can’t touch your face! Anyway, let’s just say I went through all the mishaps so you don’t have to.  I finally found my miracle product!



This NYX Lip Primer is the best! Truthfully, it is the only lip primer I have tried but it was everything I dreamed of! It has a velvety application which helps smooth lip texture.  I find using it with a matte color helps it turn into a sort of lip stain.  I can even kiss my boyfriend and his lips stay color free!  It has worked well with any lipstick I have put to the test, and no feathering!  I often wear lip stick to work.  I’ll apply my lipstick at 9am, spend all day under heat, talking, eating lunch/snacks, being awesome and get home around 8pm and my lips are in place.  Best part?? It costs about $7 at Ulta.  Thank you NYX, now anyone can be a real lady.

Hair for a Throne

Photos taken by Cait Molloy

I invited one of besties, Erin,  to stop by the salon and have a little medieval fun! The style was inspired by the totally bad ass head chain she produced from her bag. A very lucky thift find, no doubt. I wanted her to look elegant, regal and commanding.  A style she could take to a battle field or ball.

.As you can see my hair is black, these photos were taken about 2 years ago. I have SOOO many photos to add to my portfolio that I haven’t had a home for until now.  I will be a very busy bee this summer making the seacoast beautiful and plan to update all my favorite wedding styles and trends weekly.

Coconut Dip



I Love Coconut Oilcoconut


Summer time can be a little tricky when it comes to good hair days.  For one, we have some harsh elements against us: sun, humidity, ocean, and random thunder storms.  Secondly,  what is the point of making your hair look pretty if you’re just going to jump in the ocean? That is why I recommend all my clients head to their local grocery store for some tropical treatments. Coconut oil is light, so it absorbs well into the skin and hair. It also has natural anti-fungal anti-bacterial properties, which can’t hurt right?

Slather a teaspoon through your hair after a long day on the beach. The oils will help bring back some oomph into those salted locks and help block humidity from making it grow, even if you haven’t washed the sea out (and why bother?).

Hair Creations and Life Lessons on being Effortlessly Fabulous