The brow expert shares how she got her first big break with a Vogue Beauty Editor, her hard and fast brow shaping rules and her relationship to self-care.
You’ve built up an empire of brow studios, tell us where it all began.
It all began when I was a therapist at Michael John Mayfair where I developed a following for my eyebrow shaping by providing salon clients, who would normally be getting a facial, with complimentary brow threading. I was the only threader at the salon and realised that there was great potential in this simple hair removal technique that uses a cotton thread, to accurately remove hairs.
Was there a tipping point/what was your first big break?
My big break was when a now ex British Vogue editor came in for a facial. I offered her a brow shape by threading, something that was, at the time, a less appreciated aspect of beauty and promised her that the brow shape would give a non-surgical “face-lift” in less than 15 minutes! She was so pleased with the results that she published an article about her more youthful appearance, which was my first ever press coverage.
Soon after, Harrods approached me to offer a concession space and it was then that The Brow Studio was launched. From then, the business has been going from strength to strength and we have over 20 locations nationwide in selected Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and House of Fraser stores plus flagship boutiques in Knightsbridge and Chiswick.
What have been the biggest challenge running your own business?
Biggest challenge has definitely been learning to juggle things. Between running a business, working as a therapist twice a week in our Knightsbridge studio and taking care of my children, you have to learn to adapt and prioritise what is most important.
What has surprised you most along the way?
The generosity of people I have met along this journey.
Any hard and fast brow shaping rules?
Eyebrows are like frames! You wouldn’t create a beautiful picture and then forget to frame it, it would look unfinished and incomplete. My number one advice would be to always visit a professional who can understand exactly want you want to achieve but always give your brows enough time to grow out. This gives your therapist time to make sure you are happy with your shape.
What works best to fill in brows, pencil, powder or gel?
It really depends on what type of eyebrows you have. I would recommend brow pencils if you’re filling in gaps between hairs, brow powder if you have blonde or grey hairs and brow gel if you want to fill and tame unruly brows.
What do you think of the current brow trends?
I think Rihanna carries those thinner eyebrows beautifully on her Vogue cover, but would I do them on my clients? No way! They're a commitment and such hard work. Eyebrows should silently frame the face and in the last three to four months we are definitely getting away from that very heavily painted-on look. More and more clients are coming in asking for a more manicured/arched look.
What new and exciting thing are you most looking forward to currently?
The launch of our new product, Day-Long Brow Tint! This revolutionary tinting pen gives you a natural finish that lasts all day, gliding easily over every single brow hair instantly colouring your hairs and defining them. Perfect product to use in between your brow tinting appointments. We will be launching this product very soon so keep a look out for a launch date!
Next, tell us about your relationship to beauty/self-care, is this something that’s always been important to you?
Very important! When and if I have time off to myself, I just like to switch off, chill out and binge with a good box set, it feels good to do absolutely nothing now and again when you’re always on the go. I recently took 3 weeks off work for my 50th birthday, which was my first holiday in over a year!
What do you do to relax and unwind?
Netflix! I love relaxing on my sofa and finding new shows to watch, that’s my perfect night in.
What book is on your bedside table?
I’m not a big reader! I definitely prefer watching TV over reading.
Desert island skincare product...100% sun cream, I love Balance Me's daily SPF. It's always important to wear sun cream even if its cloudy outside.
Favourite scent... Joseph Parfum De Jour.
Favourite indulgence... Shoes! I think I have an addiction.