Aug. 22--AMBRIDGE -- Here's a story sure to raise eyebrows.
It's the story of a trendy, highly specialized beauty salon in a 183-year-old building.
The place is Everyday Esthetics, where women -- and a few men -- go to get their brows shaped and sheared.
That's most of the salon'sbusiness, eyebrows. No hair, nails or facials, just eyebrows.
OK, owner-stylist Pam Jeschonek does wedding makeup, too, but typically it's an eyebrow emergency or periodic brow upkeep that keeps choosy clients coming back to her red-brick, 19th century building that began as a home for Harmonist Society members who occupied what is now historic Old Economy Village, across the street.
"I liked the neighborhood," Jeschonek, a Harmony Township resident, said, adding that people often ask why she didn't open her salon in Shadyside, Sewickley or somewhere else deemed to be more chic.
Most of her clients come from Allegheny County. They are women like Kelline Gaghan, 30, of Pittsburgh, who was steered to Everyday Esthetics after asking a woman at her gym how she got such fabulous eyebrows. Up to that point, Gaghan didn't realize the difference well-coiffed eyebrows could make.
"My face looks better now. My eyebrows frame my face better, and they're easier to take care of," Gaghan said.
We live in a celebrity-obsessed society, and by going to a professional eyebrow designer like movies stars and models do, "You can look just as good as the girls in the magazine," Gaghan said. "When you do it yourself you get carried away, then you tend to over-correct and pretty soon you have a mess."
Another regular customer, Pine Township housewife Birgitta Annal, agreed that professionally done eyebrows make a world of difference.
"Your eyes look brighter. It makes you look younger," Annal said.
Buzz about the Ambridge shop reached People magazine, which several weeks ago ran a link to Everyday Esthetics' Web site as part of a feature showing women how they can get the same casual-glam look as actress Sophia Bush.
"One of my clients had her brows done before she attended a dinner at the White House," Jeschonek said. Sorry, she won't spill who that was, except to say that client is married to a radio executive.
Appointments are required at her salon.
"My services are at the high end of the cost factor. Your first visit with me would be $40," Jeschonek said.
Return "brow couture" maintenance costs $25.
Salons that do eyebrow waxing as an add-on service might charge $15.
Jeschonek formerly worked at a salon like that in Cranberry Township, until reading up on eyebrow fashion trends and recognizing a business opportunity that appealed to her personality.
"I'm very detail oriented," said Jeschonek, a Mensa member who predicts eyebrow salons will become as commonplace as nail salons.
She trained in New York under Victoria Bush, author of "How to Create the Perfect Eyebrow," and opened her shop a year ago with high hopes that so far are being fulfilled. She also offers "celebrity service" where for $125 she will sculpt brows in a client's home.
"Great brows are the hottest wearable art in beauty right now," she said, citing as proof a recent issue of Oprah Winfrey's O magazine, which dedicated six pages to eyebrow makeovers.
"Nothing can make you look older, angrier or just plain uglier than a botched eyebrow shaping," Jeschoneck said. "Eyebrows are the perfect accessory -- they go with everything and are forever in style."
Local eyebrow expert Pam Jeschonek picks the Hollywood stars with the best brows:
Oprah Winfrey -- Always well-balanced for her face and kept full.
Beyonce -- Probably the best eyebrows on any celeb at the moment.
Anne Hathaway -- A classic, long brow for her classic features.
Kate Winslet -- A natural, well-groomed arch. Very attainable for most women.
Brandy -- She goes to a brow guru, and it shows.
Tips for great eyebrows:
Watch out for the "Pittsburgh Brow," otherwise known as the tadpole brow. It starts thick near the nose then suddenly becomes ultra-thin, so it looks like there is a head and a tail, says Pam Jeschonek of Everyday Esthetics in Ambridge.
Some of her other helpful brow tips:
Keep brows full but groomed. Nothing is more aging than a thin brow.
Use powders and pencils. Every makeup artist does. A little color in the right places can take so-so brows to red-carpet ready.
The longer the better. The brow should frame your eye. Too much tweezed off of either end can make all your features look 'off.'
Stay away from the magnifying mirror. More bad brows are created by using these mirrors.
Scott Tady can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org