Julie Tussey Inc.
Subtlety + Symmetry are both art forms that Manhattan-based makeup artist / eyebrow stylist Julie Tussey has mastered. She employs her own brand of shading and highlighting techniques to create the sheerest, most radiant complexions while breaking down the brows to design an angular brow that moves naturally with one’s expression.
“I play with low, middle and high tones, so everything looks 3-D,” Tussey explains. “I enjoy mixing and finding the right colors.” Using airbrush makeup and a Kabuki brush, she customizes textures too, adjusting formulas so that they last all day and night, yet remain undetectable. “Skin should always glow, as if there were a soft filter on it,” she says.
Transforming brows, Tussey magically makes the brows appear fuller by making every hair count. By adding a little tint then systematically wielding her scissors and tweezers, she explains, creating a well balanced brow will frame up the eyes and complement the cheekbones / jawline which make the face appear slimmer and more shapely. “Everyone has what I call a happy brow/sad brow and it is my passion to create two happy brows so that the face appears more open and inviting.”
Is there no wonder that Tussey has such enthusiastic fans, from fashion designers Catherine Malandrino and Tory Burch to celebrity Kerry Washington, musician’s James Taylor and Billy Joel, model Christy Brinkley author’s Katie Lee, Beth Ostrosky Stern and Ivanka Trump, and magazine editors including Vogue’s Laurie Jones and online Hollywood Life’s very own Bonnie Fuller. But it’s Tussey’s keen intuition that makes her a true powerhouse. “When I first meet a client, I try to assess whether she is natural or whether her look and her style are more polished. Her wardrobe might give it away. I strive to work within a woman’s comfort zone so that she’ll feel beautiful. Another key question for me is: What’s the occasion? Dinner by candlelight? A TV appearance? A wedding? or is she walking the red carpet? Once I know that, I know what will work and more importantly, when to stop.”
When clients ask Tussey how she got her start she simply explains that her mother told her that she was messy in the kitchen, so she taught her how to do makeup and brows instead. “I remember being in 5th grade when my mom opened a magazine to an article and exclaimed ‘ Look Julie, this is how you shape the brows.’ So my mother and I shaped the brows of my best friends in 6th grade when it all started making sense. When I size up a brow it is always my first reaction to help women to grow back their brows as much as possible. I feel that brows are like plants, because the more you pay attention to them the more that they will grow. A simple brush of the brows will send blood to the area, which helps stimulate growth.”
It’s really the small touches that make all the difference, Tussey notes. “By adding a single element, false lashes, for example, you’ll start to bat your eyes. When I apply lip gloss, you’ll want to pucker, and mostly when you have a beautiful brow it enhances your eyes and you naturally begin to use them in an alluring way to communicate.”
The Indiana native originally moved to New York in the early 80’s to fulfill her dream of dancing on Broadway. After appearing in the original cast of such blockbuster shows as A Chorus Line, Damn Yankees, and Smile, she channeled her energies into another passion: makeup/brow artistry. Before joining the John Barrett and Warren-Tricomi Salon where she worked as a Laura Mercier makeup artist, she was a makeup artist show host on QVC’s sister network Q2 and a representative for makeup lines ranging from Indian Earth and Ultima II to Estee Lauder, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Nars, Elizabeth Arden, Prescriptives and Bobbie Brown.
“I love handing someone a mirror when I’m done and seeing her begin to sparkle from within,” she adds. “I help women find that inner light, that moment of love. As a makeup artist, I manipulate light. I use colors and textures to throw the light and catch the light. As a brow stylist, I help women to grow their brows back, train them how to lay them down and reshape them. Tussey says that she has clients who referred to her as “Light Catcher and The Brow Whisperer.”
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