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24 Mar

Master the Art of Arches With Brow Queen Kelley Baker

Posted by Bikini Owner in Text

When it comes to brows, there's only one name in the game: Kelley Baker. Her work covers brows of all shapes and sizes, giving each client a full, natural look that's not overdrawn. The transformations are awe-inspiring, proving that with proper guidance, anyone can get perfect brows. Just ask her celebrity clientele — Zendaya, Khloe Kardashian, and Lucy Hale, to name a few. Below, check out her tips for your best brows ever.


Kelley Baker Brows


BIKINI: How did you get started in the beauty industry? What led to your focus on brows?

KELLEY BAKER: I've liked make-up since I was a little girl. I was always into it, always in my mom's purse. During high school, I always did my friends' makeup for any dance or for fun. I wasn't really good in school; I got bad grades. My friends were like, "Why don't you go to beauty school?" I never even thought about that — I was like, "Oh, okay! That sounds fun!" So, I went to beauty school and got into the beauty industry as a makeup artist. It's my first love, my first passion. I went to the Academy of Beauty in Culver City. In beauty school, I met a guy who did brows, and he taught me how to do them. And that was really it. I'm a Virgo and a perfectionist — then, I was taught it was an actual art. When I learned how to do brows, I had horrible eyebrows. I grew up in the era of Drew Barrymore and Pamela Anderson — horrible, thin, overdone eyebrows. Once I learned how to do them, I was like, "I could do that."


BIKINI: Describe the perfect Kelley Baker brow.

KB: Just trying to give someone a pretty, natural, defined brow. I don’t want to say full, because not everyone has full brows. We do many different shapes and sizes, so it’s hard to say what the perfect brow is.


BIKINI: Most of us over plucked when we were younger — is it possible to regrow eyebrows?

KB: I can’t say 100% what works. I don’t like to say "Yes, use it," unless I know for sure. Some say use Latisse or castor oil. With anything that you use, you have to do it every day for three months to see any kind of progress because it needs to start stimulating regrowth. It’s like a diet — you need to be consistent with it for it to work. If it was that easy, there would be no bald men. Girls who have fit bodies, they probably work out every single day. It’s the same concept. If you put a lash serum on your lashes every day, they start to get full and fluffy. If you stop using it, they look naked again. It’s a catch-22.


BIKINI: Tell us about your line – what products do you always have in your kit?

KB: In my kit, I have everything, of course. I use what we call the Three Bee Brow Defining Set. For any person, I’m going to use my Camo-Light Highlighter Pencil. It’s paired with the Highlighter Smudge Brush. You put the highlighter on your brow bone and you use the smudge brush to blend it in. That lifts your brows and eyes and makes you look awake. It also makes that line look perfectly crisp and makes your brow look even more perfect than they are. With that, I use the Brow Defining Pencil. My shades are super, super simple. I just have everything in blonde, brown, and dark brown. A lot of lines out there have nine thousand colors, and that’s really confusing. I’ve made it super simple, and made it where the blonde works for blondes, the brown works for brown hair, and the dark brown works for dark brown hair. They will always match.


Kelley Baker Brows


BIKINI: How do you know the right color for someone’s brows? How do you pick a color for someone that may have a different root color than the rest of their hair?

KB: It’s pretty easy to pick — just look at their brow hair and see what matches best. I'm not looking at your hair color per se — I'm looking more at what your natural brow is. That's why I don't have a whole lot of options in colors, because I'm not trying to match the hair on your head, I'm trying to match the hair on your brows. Everything I do is all about being super natural because I want everyone to walk around with beautiful brows, and people looking at you and thinking they’re yours. Not super makeup-y.


BIKINI: Finding the right shape for each person – are there guidelines for that, or do you follow what their natural brow is?

KB: I honestly just follow what your natural brow shape is. Yes, it makes sense, if you have a rounder face, you don’t want to make your brows more round so you’re not just one big circle. But I don’t give anyone a specific shape. I just follow what your natural brow is and work with that. And that’s what lasts longer for clients, too. If I’m following your natural shape, you're happy. If I’m giving you an arched brow, when your natural brows want to be softer, you’re going to have to constantly get them done because you’re changing what they really are.


BIKINI: What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had with a client?

KB: I actually had a girl come in the other day and she said that every time she gets her brows done, they never do them the way that she wants them. She wanted them more arched. There are ways to tweak it, a little bit. If you want more of an arch, you pull a couple hairs out to help create that. Of course, I can’t just give it to someone, but I can help try to make that happen. I could feel her doubting me and her nervousness. Once I showed her the mirror, she was so happy and so excited that it gave me my own confidence back. It’s so fun to see women just light up with joy and say, “I never thought I could have such good eyebrows.” That’s the fun part; that’s what I enjoy.


BIKINI: Have you been able to truly touch a client’s self-confidence?

KB: There was a girl who would come in, years ago, who was was in high school. She brought her whole family. She had brows that grew straight up, like all the way across. I had never seen anything like it before. Literally, every single strand went up. I had no idea what I was going to do. I had to completely give her an eyebrow. She had these big squares — it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I did them, and she started crying. Her mom started crying, her sister started crying. Her mom was so thankful – her daughter had been teased so bad in high school that she’s tried to commit suicide. I didn’t charge her. I gave her free products. I told the girl, "Anytime you want to come here, I’ll take care of you." It’s this big deal — kids are mean. I remember when I was a kid, a boy telling me I had a mustache. I was mortified.


Kelley Baker Brows


BIKINI: You were one of the first people to post before and after pictures on Instagram – how did that help with your success?

KB: There was no one posting before and after pictures. I’ve been posting before and after pictures since I started. I figured out what works and who to reach out to. I would tag team them. I would get to do their brows – that’s how people trusted me, by showing them the before and after. Now that I have my product line, I show them how to use it. That's helped with my success – 100%.


BIKINI: Not everyone is blessed with full brows – what’s the secret to making brows look fuller, without looking drawn on?

KB: The highlighter pencil really changes everything. It really makes them look fuller. It’s like an optical illusion, almost. You put it a little bit lower and push it up. You don’t want it to actually be in the hair, just underneath the hairline. Even with me, I have holes in my brows. It makes those holes disappear. It’s also lifting your eye and makes you look awake and makes your brow look fuller. It’s the weirdest thing to me — I’ll be doing someone’s brows, and waxing alone makes what’s left look fuller. But definitely the highlighter pencil, for sure.


BIKINI: When you use the eyebrow pencil, do you fill in where the hairs are, or overdraw the brow?

KB: Not everyone needs to use a pencil. You’re just doing it to make them look fuller or hide any holes. My pencil is so soft and natural, you can’t tell the difference between where the brow is and where the pencil is – it’s going to blend in completely. Some people like the makeup-looking brow. But the pencil is just to give it a little more definition. I tell people to outline the top part of the brow.


BIKINI: How do you avoid the dreaded block eyebrow?

KB: It’s the product. It’s all about quality and picking the right products. That’s why I’m such a stickler for what I use on people and sell and put my name on and create. If people can’t do it, then they walk around with brows that are too much. It’s really the products. My favorite part of someone buying the pencil is when they come back in to get another one. They say, “This is my favorite. It’s so easy to use.”


Kelley Baker Brows


BIKINI: What makes your products different and easy-to-use?

KB: I think because I’m a brow artist – I try and test everything. So it’s being tried and tested by an expert. Rather than Revlon, or a cosmetic line that’s picking colors and a bunch of stuff to put out in the market. Mine is aimed specifically for a brow salon; that’s all we do. It takes me a year to make one product. My team’s always like, “Oh my God, Kelley, you’re killing me.” If it’s not perfect, we’re not doing it. When I’m asked what I’m going to do next, I don’t really want to do a million different things. I just want to have one great line. I don’t need 9000 new brow products. I just want to make something that works.


BIKINI: Let’s talk trimming. Can that be done at home, or should it be left to a professional?

KB: It should be left to a professional. It’s even hard for myself to trim my own eyebrows. The one main thing that people need to know, is that when you trim it, you’ve gotta brush up the hair and cut the hair one at a time. Most people will take a mascara wand and hold the hair up and cut all the way across. What happens is the hair will fall, it creates dips and holes because it’s not how the hair wants to be. So, brush it up and every one little hair, cut it one at a time. You’ve gotta be patient, that’s the most important part. If you trim it too short, you mess up the whole eyebrow.


BIKINI: You work with a lot of celebrities – who’s your favorite to work with?

KB: I like them all. I like Khloe Kardashian a lot. She’s very friendly and talks to you and is super chill and normal and asks you about your life. Zendaya is awesome – everyone loves Zendaya. They’re all fun.


BIKINI: You worked with the Game of Thrones cast — what was that like?

KB: I got hired as a makeup artist to do their red carpet events, so I did makeup for John-Bradley West, Kit Harrington, Rose Leslie. I did their brows, too.


BIKINI: What are your tips for doing men’s eyebrows?

KB: Just to do like, the middle. So they don’t look like they have one eyebrow. We call that manscaping.


For more brow tips, visit Kelley's YouTube channel: