GET BROWS THAT WOW!

Brows are hav­ing a real mo­ment and Ire­land’s Brow Boss – the only per­son in the coun­try to have trained un­der Kar­dashian-plucker Kel­ley Baker – re­veals all you need to know about rais­ing your game

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - SPECIAL RAPPORT - SEE Brow Boss on Face­book for book­ing op­tions or email the­brow­bossof­fi­cial@gmail.com. See also @suzythe­brow­boss on In­sta­gram

Tak­ing a selfie in a salon chair wear­ing a wet-look black top and with her hair in a bun, in­ter­net-breaker Kim Kar­dashian cer­tainly looks sat­is­fied with her just­tended eye­brows. And, of course, her Cal­i­for­nian brow artist Kel­ley Baker is thrilled to have such a su­per­star client. Baker, who calls her­self Brow Queen, is the go-to girl for all of Kim’s sib­lings too. But you don’t have to go to LA-LA land to be fore­head-fab­u­lous, dahlings. Dubliner Suzy O’Con­nor, 33, has be­come the first Kel­ley Bak­er­trained brow guru in Ire­land and Bri­tain, re­cently open­ing her busi­ness Brow Boss be­low Grafton Bar­bers on Drury Street. She’s also the only out­let in both coun­tries sell­ing Kel­ley’s prod­ucts.

Who bet­ter to re­veal the top trends for au­tumn/win­ter, the do’s and don’ts of brow main­te­nance and to of­fer ad­vice for re­vers­ing the dam­age of 1990s over­pluck­ing?

‘There was a lady who was tag­ging all the Kar­dashi­ans say­ing, “brows by me”. I was think­ing, who is this chick? And it was Kel­ley Baker,’ she says of the Brow Queen. ‘I thought, I have to go and meet her. Not that I don’t like the way peo­ple do brows here,’ she says, care­fully. ‘But there was no­body I as­pired to. And when I saw the way Kel­ley Baker does them, her tech­nique, I knew I had to meet her.’

Eye­brows have al­ways had the power to make some sort of state­ment – from Mar­lene Di­et­rich’s sar­donic arches to Brooke Shields’s bushy in­ten­sity – but re­cently they have been hav­ing what feels like an un­prece­dented mo­ment. A mo­ment that canny Suzy, who has been in the beauty busi­ness for ten years, was in­tent on cap­tur­ing. ‘I mailed Kel­ley on In­sta­gram – she has 600,000 fol­low­ers so I wasn’t sure if she was go­ing to get back to me, but she did. I said, “I’ve just seen your page, I’m rag­ing I hadn’t seen it be­fore. I’d love you to train me.” She said, “No prob­lem, get on to my PA and we’ll or­gan­ise this.”’

It wasn’t the first time Suzy got ahead of the eye­brow curve, par­don the pun. When she worked in the beauty par­lour of the Grand Ho­tel Bondi in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, in 2010, her ears pricked when a client said she was go­ing to a brow ex­pert.

‘I didn’t know what this was. I had never heard of it be­fore. I didn’t know it was some­thing you could have an ex­per­tise in. I was al­ready ob­sessed with them. So when I came home from Aus­tralia I fig­ured out that Ben­e­fit had brow ex­perts and I was like, I want to be one of them.’

The Amer­i­can cos­met­ics com­pany sent Suzy on train­ing pro­grammes, she started as a ‘part­time brow ex­pert’ and worked her way up to full­time. ‘I ended up man­ag­ing the ac­count for three­and-a-half years. I was a glam­bas­sador for Ben­e­fit Cos­met­ics, sent over to San Fran­cisco and stuff like that. I still love the brand.’ She left to man­age Salon Rouge in her na­tive Inchicore, where she in­tro­duced a brow bar. But Suzy wanted her own busi­ness. ‘I was about to take a step out on my own and I knew train­ing with Kel­ley Baker was the thing that would give me that lit­tle boost.

‘Watch­ing some­one who has her own brand, her own prod­ucts, who has two sa­lons, all brows, was amaz­ing. And she has elite clients like ac­tress Zen­daya and Lucy Hale from Pretty Lit­tle Liars.’

So Suzy flew to LA to meet Baker for an in­ten­sive, week­end course. ‘It was one-on-one pri­vate train­ing, she gave me her full at­ten­tion. It was in­tense and it cost me a lit­tle bit but I knew what I had to do. I mean, cour­ses over here can be up to €3,000 for a one-day course,’ she says, of the Ir­ish beauty in­dus­try.

‘I got good value for it and I got some­thing

dif­fer­ent. Be­ing Kel­ley Baker-trained was some­thing that would make me stand out. I just loved what she did. It was dif­fer­ent, it was fresh. Her salon is in Venice Beach and it’s ex­actly like her – it’s funky and girly.

‘Kel­ley just turned 40, she has a son who is 14. She’s a sin­gle mother and she’s rock­ing it. She’s re­ally down to earth. She’s into her pas­sion, it’s a re­ally fam­ily-run busi­ness, her best friend is her PA, her team around her is re­ally close-knit. I think that’s what I took from her. She said she has a lit­tle bit of Ir­ish in her too,’ smiles Suzy, who didn’t catch a glimpse of any stars while she was there, as the brow guru fo­cused on teach­ing. But Baker did give some tid­bits of what life is like tend­ing the brows of the rich and fa­mous.

‘She would say some­times that there’s so much go­ing on around them – they might be play­ing with their kids or on the phone – and she’ll want to say, “Just let me do your eye­brows and leave!”’

Hap­pily, Baker is not into what Suzy calls In­sta­gram brows. Of the young women sport­ing th­ese alarm­ingly blunt, over­sized ver­sions, Suzy says: ‘They just see brows on peo­ple who have full make-up and think those brows would be suit­able on them ev­ery day. But a more tex­tured, lighter brow that’s just show­ing off your own brow would be more suit­able,’ she adds.

‘Peo­ple don’t re­alise when they’re us­ing th­ese harsh lines and over­drawn eye­brows, you’re hid­ing your brows. You have to do it very soft. Kel­ley Baker is more about pro­mot­ing and pre­serv­ing the nat­u­ral brow. So we’re talk­ing tex­ture, we’re talk­ing fluffy, feath­ery and not an overuse of prod­uct. You’re not mask­ing the brow, you’re show­ing it off a bit more,’ she says. ‘The buzz word for au­tumn/win­ter is tex­ture.’

In case you’re won­der­ing what such brow know-how will cost you, Suzy charges €35 for the first ap­point­ment and €30 af­ter that. She wants to see you ev­ery five weeks – and she strongly ad­vises you to de­com­mis­sion your tweez­ers.

‘Rather than go to your tweez­ers when you’re go­ing out on Satur­day night and you couldn’t get an ap­point­ment, sit on your hands,’ she ad­vises. ‘Call the taxi, put the tweez­ers down, cover the area with con­cealer and go on Mon­day. The amount of times I’ve heard, “I was go­ing out, I couldn’t get into you”, and we’ve gone back three months. I’ve had clients take a lit­tle line of hairs from un­der­neath the arch and I say, “I want my eye­brows back that you just took! They weren’t yours any more, they were mine!”’ she laughs.

Suzy with Kel­ley Baker and, top, Kel­ley’s most fa­mous client, Kim Kar­dashian

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