This morning I had a rather interesting experience… my first visit to a brow bar. I’ve been intrigued by the ancient Indian technique, threading, ever since my friend Gabby told me about it years ago before it was hip to do it, but I’d never taken the plunge myself. Luckily I had the Beauty Editor of Harper’s Bazaar pushing me to go and review the Benito bar in Debenhams, so there was no way of opting out.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, threading is a method of hair removal. Therapists use a pure thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over unwanted hair, plucking them out at the follicle level. The beauty of it? Instead of removing the hair one by one like tweezers, it can remove a whole row in a single sweep. That all sounds swell, doesn’t it? But for someone who’s eyes water if a makeup artists applies my mascara, it sounds daunting! On top of that, the weather in London has been completely miserable, so walking in the rain from the Harper’s HQ to Debenhams was absolute torture.
It wasn’t easy to find, but after walking through the mayhem, that is the beauty department at Debenhams, I found the Benito Brow brow bar nestled at the back of the store in the left hand corner. On my way, I had passed the Benefit brow bar that was smack bang in the centre of the store and considering I’m not much of an exhibitionist, I was happy to be in a more discreet location.
The bar itself simply consists of several leather reclining chairs and a modesty room for those who aren’t willing to get their eyebrows done in front of gawking eyes. My therapist, Gupreet, warmly gretted me and led me to my chair to lean back and relax while she worked her magic. Firstly, we both had a look in the hand mirror at my eyebrows to assess the situation. Surprisingly she told me I had already given myself a great shape by personally tweezing them for the past 4 years and said if I was happy she would do a simple tidy up. I closed my eyes and Gupreet went to work on the top of my brow. The intial pull shocked me, causing me to jump and laugh nervously but that didn’t seem to deter Gupreet in any way. She’s probably used to it. Surely enough my eyes watered like crazy, but the pain was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely more painful than plucking and because it takes more time, it’s a longer pain than waxing, but after the stories I had heard, I was pleasantly surprised.
The next move was to tidy my arch. I was asked to place a hand on my eye socket and a hand on my forehead and pull the skin taught. I could feel myself going blind from the pressure of my hand and when Gupreet asked me to have a look at her handy work, all I could see was black. After a few seconds, my sight returned to normal (thankfully) and although mascara trails were flowing down my cheeks, I knew I had converted. My eyebrow had never looked so damn good!
Unfortunately there are two of these little suckers, so back down I went to do the other side (and yes… a few in the middle). The whole session took no longer than 15 minutes and I managed to score a complimentary face and hand massage. I did leave looking a little red, cursing myself for not bringing oversized sunglasses, but by lunch time the redness was gone and immaculate eyebrows were all that remained.