To be truthful, I’ve never done a whole lot to my brows because I guess I have been fairly lucky in that area – they’re not too thick, not too thin, and have a very definite natural shape which I just tidy up every now and then, when I realise I’ve started to look like someone who never leaves the house.
So I am a bit brow lazy.
I have tried waxing – if the therapist hasn’t taken a chunk of skin off, then I get very red and also get small white blisters on my skin (this is when I’ve had strip waxes and hot waxes). I have tried threading – I do like it although I find it painful, I get very red, and I find it is not as precise as I’d like. I also find threading tends to snap off hairs and within a day I can see some blunt ends that need tweezing out.
What is this, Rowena’s Brow History Day? No. This is the Shu Uemura TOKYO BROW STATION Day!
Shu Uemura and the ‘brow’ thing have always been a thing, like how they’ve always had a ‘lash’ thing going on. Well, Shu’s Hard Formula Brow pencil is very well known for being one of the best available – it is a very hard formula, as the name spells out, meaning you can’t overdo it and look like you had your eyebrows done at a HD Brown training convention.
Note; The Hard Formula pencil can be sharpened using the Naginata technique, which shaves some wood off the sides. It’s actually pretty good, although you’d have to go back to the counter to get it resharpened (for free) when it goes blunt.
I have also been a proud owner of the Shu Uemura tweezers and straight brow scissors for many years (that is until I used it a few times to cut paper…big mistake. They now won’t cut through anything. Look after your £40 brow scissors, people).
My point is…Shu Uemura do KNOW brows, perhaps better than most.
The Tokyo Brow Station is a service exclusive to Selfridges stores (that have Shu Uemura counters, of course), which offers a ‘eyebrow styling’ service which takes 15 minutes and costs £15.
The service offers trimming, tweezing, shaping and styling of the brow.
So when I arrived for my treatment, I was all like…My brows are fineeeee, Cersei Lannister is my brow sister, don’t you know? What could they honestly do to my brows other than tidy them up a little?
Before – excuse tired eyes, teething baby, end of the day etc. etc. etc.
Step 1: Consultation
My brow stylist was Ginnie – armed with her selection of scissors and brushes, she began to talk me through my brows, what I wanted, and how we could work out what was the best shape.
The ideal shape is based on your own face and features. You have probably seen the diagram before which shows where the points of where your eyebrow should start (measure by the of your nostril upwards – dot 1), where your arch should begin (measure from your nostril through the centre of your pupil – dot 2), where your arch should end (measure from the nostril again past the end of your pupil – dot 3) and where your brow should end (from the nostril again past the corner of the eye).
My arch was naturally in the right spot so we weren’t going to get rid of it…we were going to work with it!
Also, a surprise benefit of this service; you learn quite a bit about brows as whoever does yours will talk you through it step by step.
Step 2: Trim
Shu Uemura believes in trimming excess fine brow hairs (the blondes) where possible, and trimming long hairs. This is quite a Japanese things (for one thing I see a lot of kits available which exclusively have trimming combs). Why trimming? Because this is a lot gentler on the skin around the eye. Not everyone will like this but I have genuinely had some traumatic experiences with waxing and threading, so I was all for it.
Using the straight scissors, Ginnie brushed my brows to reveal where the long Martin Scorsese hairs were and cut these down. No need to tweeze them out, after all.
The fine hairs around the brow (the fair ones) are removed with CURVED scissors. Ginnie held my skin very taut and began to trim – I was a bit scared at first that she’d catch my skin, but it was extremely gentle and actually really relaxing as she very skilfully trimmed away any fuzzy bits.
Step 3: Tweezing
Next up, the dark hairs, the strays and the bits between my brows were tweezed away. This was actually a super relaxing experience – it was strange actually because I do experience some discomfort when tweezing at home but this was so quick and relaxed it made me feel almost sleepy.
She then moved on to the shaping – I had pointed out that I find the tip of my arch too severe and made me look like I was raising a brow when I wasn’t so Ginnie decided to take some off underneath it to soften the look. Tweezing these hurt a little – nothing too bad, just the usual tweezing ping!
Step 4: Styling
Once the tweezing was done and the hairs brushed away, it become clear that one brow was fuller than the other and both needed filling in towards the ends. Ginnie used a brow pencil on my and very softly added some colour. She also penciled in the ends which gave more of a finished but severe look – I prefer them softer so she simply used a brow brush to blend it away into a natural finish.
I love my new brows. I never wanted to take too much off the bottom under the arch as I didn’t want to look too archy – but in did soften the peak of the arch and made my brows look better. They are like my brows but better (MBBB!).
When I was having this treatment done, I realised that with everyone going crazy for brow threading, that it’s really hard to find someone that just does a really good tweeze job. People say they go to get their brows waxed or threaded all the time don’t they? And yet it makes sense to get them done the Shu Uemura way – I found it less painful than waxing and threading and the redness was minimal. I didn’t experience the small white spots that I usually get after hair removal on my face either.
This service takes longer, that’s for sure – I was there for around 25 minutes, but it was really nice because I didn’t feel rushed at any point and it just felt like a really personal service. The brow station area is also quite private – it faces in unlike some counters where the make over areas aren’t very private and you get kids gawping at you as they walk past….
I think £15 is very reasonable price to get your brows done too.
I am converted.
The Shu Uemura Tokyo Brow Station is exclusive to Selfridges.
I visited the one in Selfridges Trafford Centre and was seen by Ginnie. The contact number to make an appointment (I also got a goody bag with sachet samples and a generous 30ml cleansing oil) is 0161-629-1218. I highly recommend it for those who are scared of getting their brows done, or want something more gentle, tailored and personal than threading or waxing.