Eyebrows are like shoes??!!

Many don’t realize it but thin eyebrows are one of the first clear signs of aging. Eyebrows frame the face, show emotion, and when shaped properly, brighten the eyes and define the cheekbones.  In terms of physical features, other than a full head of hair, nothing is more important in looks than a great set of eyebrows.  Earlier generations of women knew this, but I feel that many now just see it as a beauty aid. They don’t seem to realize that too-thin eyebrows are something of a silent assassin. I remember smiling reading a New York Times Article that stated “eyebrows are like shoes; you won’t notice them unless they are exquisitely right or disastrously wrong.”

I have also noticed that along with thin eyebrows, many women suffer from crow’s feet which can make one look even older. Some in the beauty industry have managed to put the focus on marketing cures for that knowing full well that it is near impossible to get rid of crow’s feet. The simplest cure is fuller eyebrows. A brow makeover is an anti-aging miracle.  Well shaped eyebrows make an immediate difference in your perceived age.  So instead of wasting your time and money on those supposed “miracle cures” why not just ensure that you have the best eyebrows? Just like you know what the perfect shoe is for you, come to Ziba to know what the perfect eyebrow is.

The Politics of Threading

I was recently reminded by my mom that I helped create a new beauty category not just in California but in the United States. I reminded her that that had not been my intent. I just wanted to right a wrong. I am not a political person by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I avoid political discussions, and for that matter, politicians. However, almost 10 years ago, I got fed up with the State Board of Cosmetology handing us tickets for “unlicensed activity.”  When I asked the inspector what activity, they referred to Threading. The State Board is the governing body for Cosmetologists and Estheticians, and technically anyone in the business of hair removal.

I asked how Threading could be licensed, and their response was it couldn’t be since it wasn’t taught at Cosmetology. So let me guess this right. You hand me at $1000 ticket for an activity that you don’t teach?  My mom and sister were as perplexed, and thus began my journey to convince the legislature that threading was more than hair removal. I called everyone I knew.  I attended meetings. I testified at committees.  I travelled to Sacramento so many times that it almost felt like a second home. My goal was simple  To education and inform them that threading  was a cultural activity that did not need to be regulated by a organization that didn’t teach it. After months of negotiations, I became part of a consortium that helped create an exemption for Threading, one of the only two given (the other was for African hair braiding).

Now I look around, and am amazed to see threading salons popping up as quickly as Starbucks.  What had started as my own small journey to create cultural awareness has now turned into a mainstream beauty trend.  I am grateful for all those who helped me realize this, and more, in awe of the power of the Art of Threading.

Threading Is Like Flossing Your Face??!!!

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Recently I ran across a blog post entitled Eyebrow threading: It’s like flossing your face by Cezanne Colvin that cracked me up.  The blog post itself was a few years old, but what caught my eye were the author’s admission that she kept up her eyebrows “the way most of us try to keep up with the Kardashians.”  As someone who probably could not name all the Kardashians, I knew the author did not have me in mind when she wrote this.  However, I fully appreciated her commitment to her eyebrows. She then continued making me smile by stating ” as we all know, brows that aren’t groomed invade your space like the Kudzu vine until they’re all you can see. Just ask Colin Farrell, actor and unfortunate victim of eyebrow circumstance.”  I was hooked already.

Then the author went on to make me cringe: “From a distance, threading looks like a woman is terrorizing another woman’s face with a bunch of string. In reality, threading is a woman terrorizing another woman’s face with a bunch of string.” Ouch. That is not the image of threading I want people to believe. If you feel terrorized by anyone on your face, then that person is not the one for you. I am compelled to be snarky and say that author went to a competitors, but I truly believe that the Art of Threading is not something you should ever dread in the right artist’s hands.

The author ended the post saying that after her threading session, “you look so regal afterward that it doesn’t even matter.” I may not agree with the method, but I can definitely second the sentiment!

An Indian Family

On Saturday, I finally got a chance to go watch my friend Anjul Nigam  perform in the amazing show “A Nice Indian Boy.”  I admit,  I am more of a musical show kind of fan, but when I heard the premise of this show, I knew I had to go.  An Indian boy brings home his fiancee to meet his parents. Except its not a good indian girl but a white man!  Hearing that, I had to go see it, and the show did not disappoint. If you are in Southern California, I highly recommend checking it out.  The main thing that did resonate with me immediately is the value of family in our culture. As I walked out after the lights turned, I couldn’t help thinking how intertwined I am with my family.

It is natural for me to consult (they may call it fighting) my family about things that are important to me.  I find myself often having lunch with them, and we discuss what’s on our minds. I am proud to say that my oldest does the same with me. It baffles me that there are those who do not speak to their parents or siblings, and others who engage in decade long feuds of not speaking to each other. And then there are some who have created their type of families with friends, co-workers and online support systems. Ultimately, it always come down to the same thing:s are you being supported?  Are you being listened to all? And most importantly, are you being loved?

Acceptance is paramount. We all hunger for it whether or not we admit it. We all need to be heard. We form families to not just be alone, but to create a blanket of love and understanding.  So yes it’s nice to have an Indian family, but more than that it feels wonderful to be understood. I wish you well.

Remembering Our Path

The morning quiet has always moved me deeply. I love walking into my Zen room and take in the beauty that nature has bestowed on me that day.  The silence fills in the gaps as the day awakens. I sip on my tea, and take in nature as it is meant to be enjoyed.  In those moments, it strikes me how grateful for all that has occurred in my life.  I cannot help feeling proud of my family as well as all the people I consider loved ones.  More than anything else. I am aware that I am on a journey whose path has been in front of me for most of my life.  Each person that has come across my path has either pushed me along or helped me grow as the person I am today. I used to wonder sometimes if I was on the right path, and I have to admit there were many, many days I asked if something as simple as a cotton thread could really make a difference in someone’s life.

I never imagined being partners with my mom, sister, husband and brother, and actually enjoying working with them. It amazes me that in our ups and down, we are in synch, and we remind each other of what our business path is: to be the best in the world of brow artistry. To some or maybe many, it may not mean much that we are talking about eyebrows, or about Mehndi or something that is cosmetic.  Yet what we are really doing is not about being superficial, but sticking to your path. It is about making your destiny.  In a nutshell, always remember your path and your journey. No matter how many people tell you to abandon it, it is always up to you to create your own path and destiny.

The Art of Listening

I started this blog as a way to educate people about the unique industry we inhabit in the world of beauty.  However, there was another major reason: showcase what listening can truly accomplish for someone in life. Before you roll your eyes. let me explain. I started at Ziba Beauty as a newlywed 21 year old who loved what her mother was accomplishing. It was atypical for an Indian housewife to start a business let alone a beauty salon in a 400 square foot storage room.

What was even more amazing was that my father and brother helped her get the place ready along with my older sister.  Were they doubts? Did we ever wonder if we were crazy?  Yes, of course, but what was even crazier is that we all LISTENED.  It amazes me how often we get so caught up in talking over each other, that we forget one of the foundations of great communication is to be able to listen.  Not just head nodding or grunts, but really actively listening and giving feedback to the other person.

I assumed everyone did this because it is what I saw in  my family especially when making business decisions. It was natural for me to go to my mom and talk over my ideas, and then also talk to my husband.  I am used to being listened to, and in turn. always give others the same courtesy.  I see too often, others get caught up in being right or talking over the other person or really just preparing a reply before even the other person has finished.  What amazes me that some of these people consider themselves to be entrepreneurs.  If you are not willing to listen to your customers, vendors or even loved ones, then what you are really courting is defeat.

Yes, Luck and Hard Work play a part in Success, but what you also need to is the Art of Listening.  Until next time, I wish you an amazing week!

The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Heard About Threading

When my mom, sister and I started Ziba Beauty in Southern California 25 years ago, our goal really was simple: beauty.  It is why we chose the name Ziba which means beautiful in Persian even though we are Indian by birth. They say there are no such things as coincidences. My mom and sister were born in Iran, and all of us are fluent in Iranian. So when we got this chance to open a salon, my mom’s instinct was it had to honor our past influences as well as our culture.   Which is why I cringe when I hear some of the advice given to our customers by their friends and family about threading. It doesn’t matter where you go to get threaded, and the cheaper the better.

Just hearing that makes me blood boil because threading is more than just someone running a cotton thread over your skin. It just cannot be done by anyone, and if you are make the mistake of going to a kiosk or a hole in the wall business, then don’t be shocked when you walk out with eyebrows that are mangled,uneven, or worse, filled with cuts.

The Art of Threading is based on an exclusive curriculum that we created based on our 25 years of collective expertise, customer experience as well as knowledge. Yes. anyone can run that thread over themselves, but do they understand what eyebrow is best for you?  Can they knowledgeably discuss with you the latest trends or products that are best for you?  The reality is someone has to consider your face a canvas, and themselves as an artist; otherwise all you will be left is regret at going to the cheapest place rather than the best.

3 Reasons Why I Love Valentine’s Day

Let’s face it, if you have a significant other in your life, they are either dreading this commercialized holiday or accepting it full heartedly.  I am a hopeless romantic, and as someone who has grown up on Bollywood movies, and better yet, have a romantic father, I am in love with love.  My dad taught me that it matters not the cost of things (he usually plucks flowers for my mom), or what it is (his favorite thing to do is make her CDs), but the thought behind it.  So naturally. this is one of my favorite celebrations.

But the reasons I truly love Valentine’s day is because

1) It is a reason to pamper yourself and your partner.. Stay in the honeymoon suite at a five star hotel, visit a day spa together, shower each other with gifts, get dressed up for dinner, and order two rounds of dessert.

2) Celebrating your love in a new way keeps the spark alive. My husband is a Golf fanatic so I always try to incorporate Golf on our day. It is my way of celebrating one facet of who he is.

3) Life is short.  Celebrating Valentine’s Day gives you a reason to enjoy it more.

What are your reasons?

Think You’re Cut Out To Become A Threader?

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I don’t know how many times I have been asked when we will start teaching threading classes.  In fact, one of the main goals I have had for many years is to have an academy with a primary focus on  Beauty classes (Threading, Mehndi, Glitter, etc) for the Beauty Professional.  While we have always trained employees and franchisees, I have hesitated to train individuals because I needed to know that the person or persons had what it took to be in this artform.

And it is an art. If you dont have passion, then don’t apply. If you are lacking integrity, then the Art of Threading is not for you.  If the idea of hard work scares you, then you are better off doing something else. If you don’t like people or are scared of learning new things on a regular basis, then perhaps Threading is not the path for you.  If being the face of a business unsettles you, then Threading is not your career.

If I sound a bit fanatical, there is a reason for it.  Threading is rapidly becoming a mainstream form of hair removal, and the people that join this beauty category need to be evangelists.  They need to be leaders. They are fearless, and invigorated at the thought of growing something unique. Now is NOT the time to be iffy or unsure.  I can tell you this right up front. If you have doubts, then Threading is not for you.

But, and this is a big but, if this post excites you then I suggest you email us at contact@zibabeauty, because classes are starting soon. :)

7 Common Misconceptions About The Art of Threading

In all the years, I have threaded and at events I speak at. I am constantly asked certain questions about the Art of Threading (r).

1) Does It Hurt?  Well, No and yes. It hurts if you have high sensitivity to pain, but if you have done waxing, then you would not consider threading painful. Since threading only targets the individual hairs, skin irritation is kept to a minimum. This is unlike waxing, which often causes unnecessary stretching and removal of the skin’s delicate top layers.  even the first session, it will feel like small tugs on the brows, but nothing uncomfortable.

2) Can you really fix my brows?  Threading is very precise and allows specialists to have greater control than waxing — resulting in a better brow shape for you!

3) Is Threading Natural?: Threading is 100% natural, there are no artificial waxes, chemicals, or invasive techniques used.

4) Do I have to grow out my brows in order to get threaded? Even those short stubbly hairs can be removed so you can avoid that yucky growing-out period that everyone hates.

5) Will threading make me break out? The majority of people that break out from waxing tend to not break out from threading. Also, threading is completely safe and dermatologist-recommended for individuals who are currently using medications like Accutane and Retin-A.

6) Will threading cause wrinkles? Waxing can tug, pull, stretch, and even remove the delicate skin on your face, eventually facilitating in the development of wrinkles. The good news is that threading does none of this.

7) How Long Does it take?  The average eyebrow procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes, while tweezing takes about 20 minutes.