From her big dreams of brow bars to the miracle growth-boosting oil and why we should wave bye-bye to the slug brows, the most famous brow expert out there divulges all…
I didn’t choose brows, they chose me! I’m a qualified beauty therapist and a Vogue Beauty Editor was one of my clients. I was waxing her legs one day and plucked up the courage to tell her that she had really dodgy eyebrows, so she asked me to sort them out, after which she wrote about me, and that was it! I was doing 20 eyebrows a day and the salon phone rang off the hook. Off the back of that I launched my first product in Space NK and it carried on. My advice would be to never let an opportunity go, but instead to maximise it and run with it like I did - I launched a range in M&S and QVS and now I have 24 studios nationwide.
What was your big break?
Launching my first product, then QVC and then opening in Harrods. It was actually opening my second bow bar that was the real challenge. I was trying to prove to someone that I could open a successful studio and not be there - that I could run a team of people and not have clients. There wasn’t a brand name or a reputation, there wasn’t a national trainer. It was me doing the contracts, me doing the training. It took time. Now I have a HR director, a finance controller etc. I’m still hands on but I don’t deal with it all on a day-to-day basis. I didn’t open the 24 salons all at once - it all grew organically. It’s like coping with five kids.
What tips would you give to someone starting their own business?
Believe in your product and love what you do - that way you’ll thrive with challenges. Look at the numbers but don’t look at them thinking it’ll be highly profitable - do it because you genuinely love doing it. I’m still on the shop floors 34 years later, because I like seeing my clients. There is no such thing in getting rich quick. When it’s your passion you do it because you love doing it and the money will come in time. It’s you that makes that business.
Who are your role models?
My family and friends. When I was 40 I did a big clear out and got rid of energy vampires. All of my true friends are very energising, successful and motivational, and I became more confident in my own skin. If something isn’t making me happy now I’m willing to make those changes.
Being the number one brand in eyebrows isn’t easy. We’re not expanding but we are introducing new treatments in September and I’m always looking to make our services better. We want to improve our training and services and make everything stronger. You have to appreciate that there’s always someone better and younger and you’re only as good as you’re last eyebrow - so it’s about making sure we stay at number one. But there are now so many brow bars and number two and number three are nipping at our heels – we’re not going to let them catch up with us!
What are your brow-shaping rules?
Follow your natural line. Eyebrows should silently compliment your face - they should never be a feature. That big sludgy heavy eyebrow look is not cool. To frame the eye, making the eye the focus, they need to be natural. I hope the heavy brows disappear soon!
What if you have thin brows from over-plucking?
Micro-blading and semi-permanent, if done well looks amazing. If the follicle is dead and gone there’s nothing you can do, but if you want to help the hairs that are there and make the fine hairs stronger and thicker then Crest Castor Oil is amazing. Then it’s about pencil and makeup to create the shape.