My brows and I have a long, drawn-out history (pardon the pun so early on). From using a blade to create two ‘bad gyal’ lines when I started secondary school to over-tweezing in my later teens (so much so that I have to squint at old pictures of myself to see the five hairs I had left) to the aggressive highlighter I painted beneath them in my early twenties to ‘accentuate’ them, there is no eyebrow trend I haven’t tried.
Nowadays, all I want is a medium, bushy brow with a perfect arch but between DNA and perhaps far too much play time, I’ve found it almost impossible without the help of a great eyebrow product - which was going well until I found myself presenting live on TV whilst standing in thirty-degree heat. Luckily the large hat I was wearing could conceal the fact that my brows had made a run for it and were now slowly making their way down my face. Knowing that I would perhaps have to work under such conditions many times over, I decided to investigate a more permanent way of achieving perfect brows.
One thing that I’m learning about working in TV is that everything is very last minute; it’s not real until the producer yells ‘action!’, so imagine my surprise at finding out that I was off to work in the Caribbean. Naturally, one of the first things I did was scroll through some of my favourite beauty influencers’ pages to try and find the source of their bushy yet natural-looking brows. One woman’s name came up again and again - the eyebrow queen and microblading specialist, Nez Hasan.
Nez has worked with a plethora of celebrities and influencers but what impressed me most was her clear experience of dealing with melanin-rich skin. Nez instantly made me feel comfortable by explaining that microblading alone wouldn’t be deep enough for my skin tone - she would also need to do a treatment called microshading. While I’d heard of microblading (a semi-permanent form of tattoo that involves sketching single lines to mimic natural brow hairs) I’d never come across 'microshading' before.
The difference? While microblading involves only a blade to sketch in fine hair-like strokes, microshading (also called ‘powder brows’) uses both the blade technique and a one-point needle to create pin-like, semi-permanent dots for the shading element of the treatment.
Firstly, Nez expertly made a template shape and then checked to see if I liked the shape. Next came the shading, which admittedly was a little painful at times. I have many tattoos and I can confidently say that the sting is similar but, as anyone with tattoos knows, once they start there is no point stopping so I just tried to concentrate on breathing; Nez’s personality also kept me calm and engaged over the hour-long treatment. A brow perfectionist, Nez would regularly stop and ensure that the pigment was even and top-up on spaces she thought needed more depth.
Sitting up and looking in the mirror I honestly couldn’t believe the result. My brows were thicker and fuller but still very natural looking – just what I was after. Nez explained that the colour would fade by up to 40% and that I would need a top up in a month’s time, after which they should last up to a year. Once she had explained aftercare (no getting them wet or wearing make-up in that area until they healed) I was free to go.
It’s been three days now and I still find myself glancing in the mirror in disbelief. My brows were the most time consuming and frustrating element to my make-up routine. To know that I don’t have to think about that, or most importantly them disappearing during filming, is something I’m very thankful for.