Monday, December 14, 2009

Kelley Baker Brows at Trim

I'm really not that high maintenance of a girl, but one thing I feel pretty particular about is my eyebrows. It took one gruff Russian lady a bunch of years ago in San Francisco to compliment me on my hair, "but awful eyebrows", before I had a whole new appreciation for the art of the arch. It really completes one's face, and for people who have it done freshly, it's almost like a face lift. So after the Russian lady tore my brows into stream-lined magnificence, I had to find someone local. For years that was my lovely Tracy at Anastasia (who I still love and hope isn't reading this) in Beverly Hills. I figured if Oprah was down with the place, it had to be good. It was.

When I stopped working in Hollywood though, it started being a drag to haul myself to Beverly Hills for a 15 minute brow wax ... and it's not cheap either. My friend Steph cuts (gorgeous) hair at Trim in Venice, and kept telling me how great the eyebrow lady was there, Kelley Baker. Habits die hard though, so it took me a while to book an appointment, but once I did ... I was sold.

Kelley was born and raised here in Los Angeles. She was always into doing makeup, and had a talent for it from a young age. She wasn't really feeling college, so she went to beauty school and learned all the ropes. That led to working on indie films, working at the Christian Dior counter, a whole range of things that kept her busy and honing her skills. The long set hours weren't that fun for her though, so she decided to get her license and look into salon work. Damone Roberts ("The Eyebrow King" and a protegee of Anastasia) was in her class at the Culver City Beauty College. He opened his own salon in Beverly Hills, and brought star pupil Kelley along with him.

She observed and learned from the best, and it shows. She helped him open the salon, doing everything from sewing curtains to painting the place, and then the fun began. Damone took her along to do brows in Japan, to Golden Globes parties, all sorts of adventures, that introduced her to a celebrity clientele (Mandy Moore, Kelly Rowland, Jaime Pressley, etc.). All the jet-setting around had to relax a bit when Kelley became a single mother to her darling little boy, Travis, and she started looking around for a salon gig on the West Side. After bouncing around a bit, she has now been at Trim in Venice for a year, and we're all looking better for it.

She does the whole shebang, brow shaping and tinting, eyelash tinting ... all in a super calm and friendly manner, so that you find yourself actually looking forward to the Band-Aid-like ripping off of eyebrow hairs. Weird, but true. She's confident, and can tell just by looking at you what needs to happen with your arch. Guys too ... I don't know if you all know how much better you can look by just a quick little "man-scaping" session. She said most of her male clients are "Manly Men" too, like tattoo artists and big burly type guys, that feel a bit nervous the first time, but then soon become addicted to the cleaned up look a groomed brow presents.

Some female clients have been too over-zealous in their self-plucking and think there's nothing to be done with their balding brows. Kelley said, "There's ALWAYS something you can do", to salvage a crazy eyebrow scenario. She just did mine, and even without a lick of makeup on, I still feel fancy and fresh. It's pretty amazing, really, how such a seemingly little facial feature can brighten up your whole deal.

Kelley has started her own eyebrow product line, Kelley Baker Brows, with a whole range from shadows, highlighters and gel, to brushes and a fresh new Tweezer that puts Tweezerman to shame. She is the new brow guru, having just won First Place in the FOXLA Hot List for best Eyebrows in L.A. That recent honor follows her winning best Eyebrow Shaping in L.A. on Citysearch last year.

Kelley loves her work, and you can tell. She's happy and fun, and so soothing when piling hot wax on your head that she said she's even had clients fall asleep in the chair! The atmosphere has a lot to do with it too ... comparing the people and vibe in Venice to that of Beverly Hills, we were commenting on how everyone down here is so much more themselves and comfortable seeming, making it so much more of a joy for her to come to work.

She loves the Abbot Kinney neighborhood too, frequenting the Habit, Skylark ("they have the best tops"), Casa Linda, Firefly, and The Brig on Tuesday nights for the music. I'm so happy to have found her, and to be able to just roll up the street when I start looking like a grizzled old man above my eyes. I came out of there the other day feeling like a brand new lady. And you can too (or a gentleman, of course).

Kelley is at Trim:

Wednesday 10:30 - 2:30
Thursday 12 - 5
Friday 9:30 - 2:30
Saturday 10 - 5

... But she's also real cool about squeezing you in if you have a brow emergency and she has time.

Just call Trim (310) 396-3330 to set up an appointment, and you'll be on your way to looking Holidazzling for your million Christmas parties.

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