“My first job out of high school was at the Clinique counter, which I thought was so cool because I wore a white lab coat and pantyhose and heels and I felt like a doctor. I loved the education that they provided—I learned about skin and how it works. It was obviously to sell the product, but I loved engaging with women and having that relationship, and it was just so fun. Adrien Arpel did my brows there and that’s what spurred me to go to aesthetician school. I did facials, and learned to do brows and waxing. But they kind of teach you just to wax, they don’t really teach you how to shape brows or anything out of just getting rid of hair. I got really into makeup as well and it wasn’t until I moved to New York–I followed my sister Jenn out there–that I realized that you could actually be an eyebrow specialist. I loved doing brows, but it was kind of lumped together with everything else.
When I moved to New York, I got a job with Warren Tricomi doing facials and eyebrows, which was really lucky and amazing because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I remember I started doing an editor for New York Magazine and I talked her into growing out her eyebrows a little bit. I find that everyone in New York is very into controlling [their brows], but it was also coming out of the ‘90s and brows were so cleaned and trimmed and just very thin. Everyone in New York works really hard and smokes and drinks, so they had this harsh look about them, and here I am, coming from Northern California and I just wanted to make everyone look younger and softer. I started helping people grow their eyebrows out and I think for a while people thought I was crazy—but Beth Landman listened to me. I made them thicker and I lightened them a little bit to just soften her whole face. Then she put me in the ‘Best Of’ list and all of a sudden I was doing just brows five days a week, 30 clients a day. I started doing Julia Roberts, did an eyebrow tutorial on the Today Show, it just really happened fast. It was around that time that I started naming what my philosophy was because it was soft and I liked to leave a few hairs and not use wax. The look alluded to a feather, so I called it the ‘feather brow.’ It wasn’t until five years later that I actually trademarked it.
At a certain point, I wanted to move back home to California and LA seemed like the best place given the industry. I still kept my clients in New York, so I was going back and forth between there and LA for about 10 years—every six weeks. It’s crazy when I think about it, but it was also great. When we opened Striiike a little over a year ago, I couldn’t travel as much and I realized how stressed out I was going back and forth. And I love being settled and being here and having a beautiful place to work. I would love to go back to New York at some point and do something, I just haven’t figured it out yet.
People are still used to seeing that really clean line because everyone just waxed [their brows] for so long. Tweezing, letting them get a little longer, and brushing them up so they look natural is my approach. It’s really more about the hairs you leave than the hairs you take. Sometimes it’s just using a little bit of pencil to fill them in and they look great, rather than tweezing them to look perfect. That’s 90% of what I do as my job at Striiike—make it easier to go the 6-8 weeks between tweezing. I find that tinting brows fills them in and gives me a little bit more hair to work with, too. Or if you have someone who has really dark, dark hair, sometimes lightening them changes the texture of the hair and makes them a bit softer. Mostly, I would say, when you tint them, it just makes every hair in that line stand out, so it makes them look fuller.
Now I make all my own products—I blend my own tints and my Aforé Oil and Apres Calming Cream. It’s something that has been slowly building, but now I feel like it’s the time to do a line of color products, like pencils and gels. Aforé is the oil that I use before I tweeze and it really softens the skin. It’s about 90% argan oil and it has a little bit of aloe vera oil and a blend of really calming, soothing essential oils that are therapeutic grade. Then the Après is a oil-free gel with a natural cortisone that is really soothing and it takes the redness down. Even though I don’t wax, when you tweeze it can still get a little pink and it just feels really good. In beauty school you were taught to put powder down before you wax, which really dries the skin and it can create the risk of pulling skin off, so I always put oil down. I’ve been using these products for 20 years and it’s worked!
I don’t wash my face—I just work with whatever oils I wake up with in the morning. I’ve been really into this Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil or La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil to put on top. La Prairie Platinum Rare is my favorite eye cream. If I’m going to be outside, I’ll do the EltaMD sunscreen.
Occasionally, I’ll get facials at Biba De Sousa. She has a spa on Beverly Drive. She’s hard to get into now because I told so many people about her! She’s really, really good. I also do this Ziip for 12 minutes at a time. It sends nanocurrents to soften dry lines. They’re not cheap, but I prefer it to facials.
I will rinse off in the morning, especially after the gym, but I love to take a bath before bed. I’ll do aromatherapy oils on the weekend and I’ll sit for a while. My husband has to come check on me! I’ve been really into making my own bath salts lately. I do Himalayan Sea Salt and eucalyptus. When you have an aesthetician’s license, you have access to so many crazy things in bulk—like every kind of oil. And I always do a mask when I sit in the bath. The Glamglow Thirstymud Mask is pretty good and this Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask is a good one, too. [For a scrub], I use the Caudalie Crushed Cabernet Scrub. It’s nice because it’s oily. It’s not super fragranced either, but it’s a good combination of smells. I also really like the Caudalie Nourishing Body Lotion, too. And then Vita Liberata makes the best self-tanning products. I use it on my arms and legs once a week.
My daily routine is the RMS Un-Cover Up followed by Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint—I mix them together. At night I’ll do Tom Ford Traceless Foundation and blend it out with a damp Beautyblender. The Clé de Peau [concealer] is also a must. Recently, I’ve really been using my M2Brows. It’s a lash and brow growth serum and it’s really good—it works so fast! I used it last night and I can already tell my lashes are longer and thicker—I can’t speak for the brows, though. But it’s only sold in Europe at the moment.
My mascara is Benefit They’re Real! I always wear it—I love the brush, and I love the formula because it stays on, but isn’t a nightmare to get off at night. I really like the RMS Lip2cheek in Smile, Charlotte Tilbury bronzer, and these Fiona Stiles cream shadows—they’re so dreamy! My favorite is Outpost. They’re like the consistency of eye cream, but they blend out beautifully and they just add [something], just enough to pop the eye. For brows I just do clear brow gel from Mary Kay. Sometimes I’ll pencil them in with the Surratt pencil. I’ve been doing my brows myself for years. Nobody else has ever done my brows I think. I just kind of let them go and brush them out.
I prefer to do my own nails. I don’t have time to get a proper, well-done manicure, so I just have all the stuff at home to do it. I really like the Tenoverten products and their base coat is amazing! When you take your polish off it doesn’t stain your nails and the colors are really beautiful. We're actually launching a collaboration with Tenoverthen soon—the three of us each did a color and they'll be sold in a set.
Three out of seven days of the week I get ready at the gym, which is super fast. And I typically only wash my hair three times a week—if I’m coming from the gym, I just dry shampoo it to put some texture in it. I always do some kind of oil, too. If my hair is clean, I’ll always do a texturizing spray. I’ve really been into the Rene Furterer one and it smells so good. The dry shampoo is really good, too. This Show Beauty Treatment Oil I put in when it’s wet and dry it and it adds a little texture and volume, but it softens your hair a little bit. I have this Davines Hair Refresher for if your hair is a little bit dirty. I’ll use my straightening iron to get that S-wave bend in it–it’s from ghd, the Eclipse.
I like this L’Oréal Pro Fiber shampoo for red hair that my colorist, Nancy Braun, gave me. It doesn’t have sulfates so it doesn’t strip the color. I decided to go red just for a change I guess, but I’ll probably go back to blond eventually. I feel like it warms your skin a little bit, but I do miss my blond.”
—as told to ITG
Kristie Streicher photographed by Emily Knecht at her home in Los Angeles on February 1, 2016. Interview by Alexis Brunswick.