By Michelle Konstantinovsky
Quality window decor is always a good idea, but when it comes to the windows to your soul, a little extra investment goes a long way. Enter Anna Lee, San Francisco’s renowned lash and brow expert, and the beauty-savvy brains behind Union Square’s Blink Eyebrows and Cosmetics.
After nearly two decades as the makeup director for 77 Maiden Lane (now Joseph Cozza Salon), Lee launched her own eyebrow empire, and over the course of 10 years has turned some of the city’s well-groomed scenesters into loyal fans. All told, she’s not content to limit her passion to just one specialty.
“Although Blink is popular in eyebrows and lashes, my heart always aches for makeup,” she says, noting that social-media-driven trends (à la Cara Delevingne’s bushy brows and Kylie Jenner’s permanent pout) aren’t necessarily for everyone. “Every face is individual; I like to help each person realize their fullest potential, from the biggest minimalists to the most dramatic divas.”
Whether you’re into the au naturel look or red-carpet glamour, Lee’s list of favorite goodies will inspire you to put your best face forward.
The sun wages war on your skin every single day: If you want to win the anti-aging battle, you’ll need the right weapons. In Lee’s view, nothing beats SENTÉ’s medical-grade products, especially its science-based Dermal Repair Complex with SPF 30. “Give up just one pair of shoes to pay for this,” she says. “If I could, I’d spread that message to the whole world.”
While SPF is your face’s most important accessory, hands also require daily protection from the harmful effects of exposure to UV rays. Lee recommends Bloxsun’s Sun Gloves: “They’re a must for driving and hiking, and I love the flesh-tone, lightweight fabric for maximum comfort.”
Kardashian-inspired contouring may be all the rage, though Lee’s no fan of caked-on makeup. That’s why she was pleasantly surprised to discover Image Skincare’s I-Conceal Flawless Foundation, a lightweight formula with staying power. “It offers superb creamy coverage and it works as a treatment to calm sensitive skin,” she says. “It’s the foundation that’s safe for skin right after lasers, peels or aggressive treatments.”
Slather on all the pricey products you want—if your skin’s not baby-smooth, the results will likely bring disappointment. “It’s crucial to exfoliate regularly,” Lee explains.. “SkinCult’s Surface Smoothing Gel re-texturizes even the most flaky, dry skin without the abrasiveness of scrubs or brushes.”
You’re putting in extra hours at the Pilates studio, but above-the-neck fitness matters too. “As you work out in the gym to firm and tone your body, you can do the same with NuFACE Microcurrent Facial Lifting and Toning Devices at home,” Lee says. “Scientifically, it works! It uses thousands of micro-current signals to firm, lift and tone your muscles and promote circulation. Saggy skin will appear healthy and youthful.”
“Lipsticks are out, liquid lips are in—and Blink’s Liquid Lips are my new pride and joy,” Lee enthuses. Don’t mistake these satiny-smooth pigments for too-shiny, too-sticky glosses: “All you need is an ultra-thin layer to see it’s the most luxurious, silky texture you’ve ever felt,” she adds. “And it stays on like there’s no tomorrow.”
Kate Moss and Gwen Stefani overcame their overplucked 1990s arches, but if you still suffer bald spots after all these years, it’s time for brow rehab. Lee says her clients see the best results with Grande Cosmetics, and the magic doesn’t end at the eyebrows: The award-winning line also includes growth serums for the lashes and scalp. “They’re the most gentle products and so effective,” Lee declares.
If you’re looking to go from ’90s Drew Barrymore to 2017 Lily Collins in minutes, Lee suggests opting for Blink’s brow extensions. “They add depth, fullness and style,” says the guru, who also offers faux eyelash treatments.
Is your pillow up to par? “I have the most sensitive skin and Circadia’s pillowcase saves me from sleep lines and dehydration,” she reveals. “Cotton and other fabrics actually strip moisture from the skin. This moisturizing pillowcase retains moisture and makes your regimen more effective every night, while you sleep!”