Brand leader, entrepreneur and beauty therapist Damone Roberts shares his advice, inspiration and more.
In Los Angeles, makeup artists are a dime a dozen, so instead of blending in with the crowd, Damone Roberts made a conscious effort to focus on brows. “I noticed that even without makeup on, once the brows were shaped properly it would completely change a person’s face,” he says. Utilizing his art degree from Rutgers University and experience behind the MAC counter, Roberts cultivated a talent for sculpting the perfect arch.
Then, in 2002, he opened Damone Roberts Beverly Hills. “I had no idea the journey I was embarking on. When I opened, no one cared about eyebrows,” he recalls. Back then, everyone told Roberts that he was making a mistake opening a salon dedicated to brows. But despite the naysayers, he carried on: “Before I knew it, Madonna, Robert Downey Jr., Rihanna and Oprah were calling!”
Finding Inspiration: “I’m constantly inspired by the beauty around me. I can be walking my dog and literally stop and take pictures of flowers, trees and sunsets—God is my favorite artist. I also love the glamour of ladies like Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich, and rock legends like Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. That’s not to say that I don’t also appreciate the talent of today, like my clients Rihanna and Solange—and I love me some Harry Styles and Adam Lambert!”
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Price Line: “We’ve always set our prices based on how much time the service takes and the zip code in which we’re doing the service. You can’t overcharge in an area where people are not paying that much for services, yet you must also charge based on your experience and resume.”
Memorable Moments: “I remember being ecstatic that I was part of a question in the board game Trivial Pursuit. It involved me and my childhood idol, Madonna, who is one of my clients. I was also a question on the game show ‘Jeopardy’; I was amazed that a guy from the middle of nowhere answered it correctly! OPI even named a nail polish after me. Of course, while those accolades are incredible, nothing compares to that ‘OMG’ moment when clients see themselves for the first time in a new light after receiving my brow service.”
Best Advice: “It’s important in today’s over- saturated market that you become a leader in your field. Figure out what separates your product from all of the others, and when you launch it, constantly promote it through your social media, clients, friends, etc. You can hire a PR firm, but nothing works better than good old-fashioned word of mouth.”
Success Secret: “I don’t know anyone who is successful who hasn’t fallen on his or her face numerous times, but what separates the truly successful are the ones who always stand back up. There’s a Japanese proverb that states, ‘Fall down seven times, get up eight.’ True success comes when you keep standing.”
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Go-To Brow Tool: “Our personalized steel-cut, angled-tip tweezers.”
Best-Selling Product: “The Damone Roberts Brow Gain. It’s absolutely fantastic because it truly works. And it’s been reformulated to work on lashes as well!”
Favorite Brow Style: “Whatever works best for the individual; I don’t believe in stencils.”
Brows on the Outs: “I call it the Instagram brow: heavily painted in a squared-off shape at the forefront with a tiny downward point at the end. It’s very heavy and artificial looking. Brows should look like brows, not like patent leather.”
–by Lotus Abrams
[Images: Ben Nelson; Seamus Lyte]