By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Mar 28, 2006 at 5:23 AM

Ten years ago, just about the only kind of bar you could find in Milwaukee either served up the suds in a cold mug or displayed a series of salad options under a sneeze guard.

More recently, martini, wine and sushi bars have made a splash, and starting April 8, Third Ward cosmetic and beauty boutique, Blush, adds its own flavor to the "bar" scene with the introduction of the Brow Bar.

The first of its kind in Milwaukee -- and, as far as owner Sarah Brucker knows, anywhere else -- Blush's Brow Bar is giving a new shape to the art of eyebrow perfection.

Unlike the traditional spa or salon setting, Blush Media Director Ashley Cox says that the boutique's brow experience is a "nouveau collaboration of innovation and function."

The concept, says Cox, was developed by Brucker as a way to transform the dull monotony of yet another beauty routine into a fun and social event in a "bar-like" setting.

Set amidst upscale retail cosmetics, fragrances and skin and body care, the Brow Bar is a plush bar environment where the individual -- or a group of friends -- can pull up a chair, enjoy a glass of signature "Blush" champagne and let six-year brow veteran Mary Braden shape and tweeze untamed eyebrows to excellence.

Each session, says Cox, runs approximately 30 minutes, with prices ranging from the $24 full service session to the $16 brow cleanup.

So why, exactly, the need for a brow expert?

"It's the same reason people don't cut their own hair," says Cox. "I think most people are unfamiliar with the correct techniques used for shaping brows and they tend to get 'tweeze happy.'"

"Choosing the right shape for your brows can make or break you," adds Brucker.

Cox says the proper brow arch is as importantly to shaping your face as a flattering haircut is. To help the brow novice choose an appropriate shape, Blush has created a menu of options, including the celebrity styles of Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Beyonce, and Angelina Jolie.

"It's exciting to be part of a concept like the Brow Bar," says Braden. "It makes a beauty regiment that most people lack knowledge in and find mundane a fun and enticing experience."

Blush is located at 249 N. Water St. and its Web site is

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”