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eyebrows

An audience with Brow Queen Sharon Lee

Amanda Whitley

When it comes to brows these days, ‘bigger is better’, but back in the early ’90s it was a very different story. And so it came to pass that I plucked and tweezed my previously plentiful eyebrows away into thinner than thin lines. At the time, I was the height of fashion; unfortunately, when bushiness came back into fashion, my brows weren’t willing to cooperate.

Needless to say, I have tried pretty much every eyebrow pencil on the market, and had kinda resigned myself to always having sparse, sad little half-bald caterpillars that I had to draw in each morning.

And then.

I received an email inviting me to an audience with Sharon Lee (widely known as Australia’s ‘Brow Queen’) during one of her Canberra ‘tours’ for her Brow Wow package — her signature brow consultation starts with a full face read consultation, followed by an all-inclusive service that comprises any tints, stains or bleaching required with full brow shaping. Every 10 weeks, Sharon Lee and her team descend on Hyatt Canberra’s Diplomatic Suite, plucking and tinting and lifting the brows and lashes of local ladies.

I turned up at the Hyatt expecting to be ushered into some kind of hushed, dim haven befitting a ‘Queen’, but what I got was something very different. Two tables were set up in the sitting area, with therapists bustling around the clients lying atop them…I was ushered over to the table in the sitting room and urged to enjoy a drink and some sandwiches (I did – the chicken was delicious). There were no pan pipes, no burning incense — and I decided I liked it. This was a space intended for serious work.

When I met the lady herself, I was pretty damn impressed. When Sharon Lee sat down with me, it took her all of two seconds to talk to me about how I raised one eyebrow more than the other, that my hairline was higher on one side, that my broadest point was my cheekbones… Turns out this is her signature ‘face read’ technique.

Brand Manager Lenore Proctor says Sharon Lee is “utterly anal and has a face down pat the moment she lays eyes on you. From there she can’t look at you as you will inevitably move your face in response, which detracts from the whole read process.”

The face read is crucial in Sharon Lee’s understanding of the face, its balance or lack thereof, pitch and depth, colouring as well as skin type (oil flow and age), colouring, hair colouring and your maintenance habits.

Sharon Lee told me she’d like to do some ‘feather strokes’ on me and I just said, ‘ok’. The woman is known as one of the world’s best brow artists – who was I to argue?

I really had no idea what feather strokes involved, but I twigged that it must be some kind of tattooing when one of Sharon Lee’s therapists came and applied some anaesthetic cream to my eyebrows. Sharon Lee’s Triple Layer Method is actually a brow feathering tattoo, where a row of needles is used to hand-draw in each brow hair, then a dye is applied on top and allowed to absorb into the small incisions.

“The Triple Layer Method is more detailed than traditional feathering, or ‘micro-blading’, and encompasses multiple techniques and colours,.” says Lenore of the three-step process.

“The strokes are woven in at differing depths as well in order for them to look natural and the end of the overall process. It’s not quick but it’s right.”

The scraping sound of the lines being etched into my eyebrows was a little unnerving, but I soon got over that. Did it hurt? I won’t lie to you — yes, there was some discomfort, but the pain wasn’t unbearable, and Sharon Lee was clear that I could always ask her to stop if I needed a break.

While my colour was developing, I was also given a Luxe Lash Lift, Gold Collagen Eye Mask, and a lemon myrtle infused hand massage. I really liked this bit…lying down during the day is always ok.

eyebrows

When I was ‘done’, I was guided to a mirror to check out my brows. They were really WOW! By that I mean quite intense and almost ‘painted on’ — after years of no brows, it was quite a change. Sharon Lee was at pains to tell me that they would fade by approximately 70%, around 40%  in the first few days, and she was right. Within the week, the colour had settled, leaving immaculately shaped brows that needed no filler.

The shape of my brows is slightly more arched that I’d drawn them before, and they’re fuller. Lenore says there’s a perfect shape for every individual.

The only thing that changes with fashion is colour — the shape that is right for you from a ‘technical’ point of view is the shape that is always right for you.”

My new brows have changed the look of my face. It’s stronger, somehow, and I’m finding that — especially with my tinted and lifted lashes (LOVE LOVE LOVE) I now need less makeup and can get away with a little tinted moisturiser and a slick of lipstick for everyday.

So, how long will they last? It depends on a few things: the colour used, your oil flow, how many sessions are layered in, and whether you use glycolics or retinols.

“Generally, once the line is perfect, you’re looking at just one top up visit every 10 to 12 months. In and out. Done.”

And cost. You’re asking ‘how much?’ about now, aren’t you… Well, the Brow Wow package itself is $155, but for feather strokes, you’re looking at between $900 and $1900. It ain’t cheap, but you’ll never need to buy another eyebrow pencil again.

ARE YOU BROW BEATEN?

the essentials

What: Sharon Lee tours
Where: Diplomatic Suite, Hyatt Canberra
When: The next tour is in July 18 and 19, 2016
Book: Call 1300769011 or email [email protected]
Web: sharonleeinc.com

The author received her treatment free of charge for the purposes of this review; nevertheless, opinions are her own. Home page feature image of woman with beautiful eyebrows from shutterstock.com.au

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

  • Kelly Smith

    Not entirely true, it is a wonderful low maintenance treatment. But like life, the same goes within beauty treatments, there is no such thing as a no maintenance treatment.

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