There’s no denying that brows are big business. Over the last few years the popularity and growth of brow products has been nothing less than stratospheric. So much so that in 2017 eyebrow grooming products had a market worth of over $60m. That’s a $14m rise from the previous year. And that figure is only set to rise this year. However, whilst you may have your brow kit sorted, do you ever wish there was a way to get your brows looking ‘on fleek’, as the youth of today would say, without any effort in the morning? Well wish no more, because with the rise of products and our desire for the perfect brows to shape our face – for that is truly what a great set of brows can do – has come more innovation in the brow treatment arena. These salon- and spa-based procedures are all striving towards the ultimate goal of being able to give you your perfect brows without the dedicated daily maintenance. Read on to find out how to get the best out of your brows right now.
THE LOWDOWN ON MICROBLADING
If you haven’t heard of microblading, where have you been?! Pitched as the newest and hottest way to shape your brows, it is taking over in popularity from traditional tattooing as it creates a far more realistic and natural effect. Giving you the brows you wish you’d been born with none of the hassle. So what is it exactly? It is a form of semi-permanent tattoo that uses tiny needles that make up a small blade to deposit pigment under the skin on your eyebrows. It’s used to either reconstruct, define, cover gaps or fill-in brows to make them look fuller, bigger and create a perfect shape.
But don’t take our word for it. We spoke to microblading guru, Suman to tell us everything you need to know about the process. “Microblading creates crisp, mini hair strokes that resemble natural brow hairs, which differs it from permanent tattoo which leaves a more block, uniform looking brow. Tattooing also deposits the pigment deeper into the skin, whereas microblading only goes into the superficial dermis of the skin meaning you will need a top-up appointment 6-8 weeks after your initial treatment.” How about after that? “Then it’s really down to your skin type – colour will fade quicker on oilier skins - and hair colour. I have some clients I see once a year, others will come back to me after eight months.”
But what it does it actually involve? “The actual needling process is probably the shortest part of the treatment. I firstly analyse the face shape and brows. Then, if required, I tidy them up by threading and trimming them. Then it’s time for anaesthetic, which takes 50 minutes to work. In the meantime I draw on the brows and get the client to check they are happy with the thickness and length of them, and then it’s microblading time.”
And we know what you’re thinking. How painful is it? “Obviously everybody’s pain threshold is different but only five per cent of my clients feel pain when they are having the treatment. If you have your period then you may find your skin is more sensitive so you might want to delay your appointment. If you have undergone cancer treatment and have no hair, or suffer with alopecia then it will be more painful for you, but I always have a backup numbing cream for anyone who is really struggling.”
In terms of the healing process, it’s really quite simple. Immediately afterwards you need to keep the skin supple and hydrated. Suman recommends applying a coconut or grapeseed oil over the brows twice a day. Gently clean the skin but keep your newly shaped brows away from excessive water and heat. That means no scalding hot showers, saunas or heavy exercise whilst the skin heals. The colour will get darker before you are left with your dream shade and the skin may scab slightly. Most importantly your new brows need to be kept out of the sun during the healing process and afterwards they need to be protected with SPF50 to prevent fading.
WAX LYRICAL ABOUT EYEBROW WAXING
Not a new treatment, but waxing is a stalwart in the brow shaping zone. Not only is it a great option for those that are time poor but it’s at the low-end of the pain threshold and also extremely cost effective. It’s a treatment that suits those who have pretty full brows already and need them tidied and given some definition and shape. Lisa Potter Dixon is Benefit’s Brow Expert and recommends you get your brows waxed every four weeks. When it comes to waxing, it’s really about whipping away the hairs that aren’t adding to your brows overall look and leaving the ones that are. And don’t believe the old wives tale of not waxing above the brow for fear of hairs growing back threefold.
“By getting your brows waxed above you will get a much smoother finish to your brow shape” says Lisa. But don’t expect waxing to fulfil all your brow needs, “you will still need to have your brows tweezed after waxing as the wax will get rid of the hair quickly and covers a lot of skin in one go but tweezing is more precise so required to help create the shape you’re after.”
In between appointments you may need to keep a brow pencil to hand to maintain the shape but you may also like the slightly over-grown look hat comes with it and decide to rock a fuller, bushier look a la Cara Delevingne until you’re booked in next.
ALL ABOUT THREADING
Threading is a hair removal technique that was developed in Asia. It uses a superfine, silk-cotton thread and is expertly twisted and turned over the brows to pick up even the most minute of hairs. The thread can be held in a variety of ways by the therapist and is even sometimes held partly in their mouth to create maximum tension.
Threading expert, Daxita Vaghela explains why you might opt for threading over any other brow treatment. “Threading is far more safe and hygienic for the skin, it doesn’t pull the skin like waxing so it’s not as irritating and it also doesn’t pinch the skin like tweezing. You’ll also find the effects are far more long lasting than other hair removal methods.” And it’s important to find a threading expert, “someone who is well trained in threading will know how to remove hairs from the root to prevent breakage which will ensure you don’t end up with ingrown hairs,” explains Daxita – a problem that can occur if your brows are threaded by someone who isn’t qualified. Threading is for everyone, however Daxita suggests more mature ladies make sure they visit someone who comes highly recommended, “if you have slightly crepeier skin around the eye then the technique can pinch the skin if not done by someone who really knows what they’re doing.”
YOUR BROW DIRECTORY
The best places to get your brows sorted…
The Nail Spa (thenailspa.com)
With branches scattered all over Dubai, the therapists here really know what they’re doing when it comes to threading and it can be done from the comfort of your mani chair for just Dh60.
Tips and Toes (tipsandtoes.com)
You have no excuse to skip a wax appointment as chances are you will always be near a Tips and Toes and they offer an eyebrow and upper lip waxing combo for just Dh52.50.
Sisters Beauty Lounge (sistersbeautylounge.com
A total hot spot for brow (and lash) treatments. Book in for a consultation first to discuss every element of the appointment. It takes an hour and costs Dh2,365.
To book an appointment with Suman contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her Instagram account to check on her availability @SumanBrows