“I got them at the SoHo boutique,” Jimena Garcia says of the thick, black-rimmed Chanel glasses she’s been wearing for years—the better to see individual brow hairs as she masterfully sculpts them into shape. The accessory has become almost as signature as Garcia’s renown for face-framing with a flick of her tweezers and a slick of vegetable-based dye for a natural tint. That she has just been named Chanel’s first-ever U.S. Brow Artist is kismet in a way—and a boon for the brow-challenged hoping for a hint of the salvation Garcia has long provided her private clients, a who’s-who list of power brokers in New York and Los Angeles, including more than a few Vogue editors.
“It’s amazing,” Garcia says of the partnership—a first for her, and for the French house, which is hoping to leverage the in-demand aesthetician’s tricks for growth (she is a proponent of dragging a dry mascara brush against the hair grain, at the root, to exfoliate skin and stimulate follicles); conditioning (a touch of jasmine oil before brow gel does wonders); and a little je ne sais quoi. “It’s just fun,” she says of multitasking makeup staples, such as highlighter, on brows for a glossy, illuminated effect. When she officially takes up residence at the Atelier Beauté Chanel on Wooster Street in SoHo next week, as the concept store is transformed into a New York Fashion Week hub, Garcia will bring these ideas—and other techniques that she’s been honing “for 100 years”—to the people.
It’s actually been more like 20 years since Garcia got her start in the beauty game, for those counting. She was born in Sydney and her father, who was the Colombian ambassador to Australia at the time, was transferred to the United Nations when she was six. Garcia grew up in New York, becoming interested in aesthetics and the architecture of the face while studying art history and fine art at Parsons. “Brows create character,” she says of why she has dedicated her adult life to the fine fringe that grows above our eyelids. She paraphrased the sentiment from a Coco Chanel biography, she admits (as all newly minted members of the Chanel family, Garcia has been reading up on the brand’s history and the legacy of its iconic founder). But it will also be a guiding principle in her work with the house, where she will be tasked with educating its army of makeup artists while getting full access to its extensive library of products. “I’m kind of obsessed with the Boy de Chanel eyebrow pencil,” she says of the waxy stick finished with castor oil.
So, is there such a thing as a “Chanel brow”? “Trends are dangerous,” says Garcia, who approaches every set of arches individually. “Specialization is such a treat,” she continues, explaining why having your brows done should really be like a trip to a couture studio. And then, a lightbulb: “Chanel brows are couture brows!” she exclaims, her thick, waist-length hair swinging with excitement. Couture looks at ready-to-wear prices.
Brow services with Jimena Garcia will be available starting Wednesday, September 10 at Atelier Beaute Chanel, 120.5 Wooster St, New York City. Appointments will be first come, first served, and cannot be booked in advance. Text 855-550-3033 for more information. To book appointments beginning October 23, visit atelierbeaute.chanel.com.
Originally Appeared on Vogue