Kira Thompson knows eyebrows, and she is determined that each and every client who she treats, will leave her salon feeling wonderful. With a skilled hand, and a few snips and tweezes, Ms Thompson says she can transform a client’s look in just 20 minutes. I went to see for myself, hoping for a little transformation of my own.
Scollard Street is a beautiful, quaint and quiet street in Bloor-Yorkville. Just walking on the street past the galleries and salons eases my nerves, as I have never been one to pay that much attention to my eyebrows, and for some reason, I felt that I might be judged for that. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Entering The Brow House feels similar to visiting one of the galleries, which have made Scollard Street so popular. The décor is bright with beautiful red accents. There are two beauticians working their magic on clients and the receptionist greets me like I’m an old friend.
I am now seated in a comfortable chair, as Ms Thompson prepares me for my treatment, she explains that she will assess my needs for eyebrows and lashes. Although lashes are not the main focus of her business, she does have tinting and lash curling treatments. As I’m assessed, she tells me that she opened The Brow House 12 years ago in Leslieville, and opened the Bloor-Yorkville location four years ago. Ms Thompson herself, has been in the beauty business for over 30 years, getting her start as a make-up artist.
Branching into the world of eyebrows was seamless for Ms Thompson, even before the trend of brow shaping became popular, she was one of the first to have a salon dedicated to brows. She knows her brows, and it shows at her salon. A brow service is booked every 20 minutes, and clients are flocking in and out throughout the day. “Where else can you go on a lunch hour, and have a relaxing treatment, where you walk out feeling better about yourself?” she quips. “You don’t have a lot of time, I can’t get a facial, I can’t workout, I can’t get a massage in that time, but I can get my brows done.”
For my treatment, Ms Thompson advises that my brows need both tinting and shaping. I prepare myself for hot wax, and I’m shocked that wax is rarely used at The Brow House, although it is a service offered, upon request only. Threading is also frowned upon, at her salon. “Threading is the least effective procedure for brow shaping, as too many hairs can be threaded out, and sometimes a stylist will take out hairs row by row, but there could be hairs that shouldn’t be taken out.” I laugh that this sounds serious, but I am now unsure about what procedure will be used to shape my eyebrows. “We will tweeze them, of course!” I’m suddenly having a memory of watching my mother with her face inches away from a mirror, hastily plucking for what seemed like hours. It almost seems too personal. But tweezing can last longer, Ms Thompson assures me, and it is individual hairs being removed making it that much more precise, making for a more effective end result.
Within minutes she is done. Quick and painless. I am pleased with the process. I relax in the chair, as I prepare to sit still for the tinting. She’s decided on a darker colour that will work well with my almost natural red hair.
Brow salons have become more popular in recent years, Ms Thompson tells me, and because of this, she worries about the service which clients receive at the pop-up shops. “I’ve been doing it for so long that I realized that I needed a concept to interpret of what I see after being in the beauty business for over 30 years for the learning of younger women in the industry.”
Recently, Ms Thompson has added Microblading to her services. “Microblading is a service which can be compared to tattooing, because with tattooing, you are using a blade, as you do with Microblading. The blade is dipped into the pigment and scratched along the brow, mimicking hair strokes making the brow look fuller.” Ms Thompson added that this service is great for those who have sparse brows, or have difficulty growing back their brow. She has also provided this treatment to clients, who have experienced hair loss due to having a condition called Alopecia Areata or for those who have undergone chemotherapy. It is semi-permanent, unlike tattooing, which lasts 10-15 years. Microblading lasts up to 2 years and its flexibility is that it will grow out naturally.”
As the TIFF season has just ended, I wonder aloud if she has many famous clients. She smiles, but says she’ll never tell. I’m shown my results in a mirror and conclude that I might not be a celebrity, but The Brow House certainly made me feel like one.
The Brow House will be taking part in Beautylicious again this year. Check out their offerings by going to www.bloor-yorkville.com/beautylicious.