issue three : fear thy neighbour
It's been twelve years since my last threading experience. In short, it was a total disaster. My eyebrow sisters looked more like distant pimply cousins. I swore that I would never trust another person with my eyebrows again. I am older and wiser now, which means I have learnt that I need to trust people...a little. But their reputation is everything.
If you're going to do something, do it right!
I had the opportunity to visit Vaishaly's clinic in Marylebone for an eyebrow threading treatment.
Word on the street, web and magazine pages, hail Vaishaly as the original QUEEN of eyebrows and founder of the art of threading in Great old Britain. She has been perfecting her craft for 20 years! Not to mention having just won Best Facial of 2017 in the Attracta Awards. The two treatments often go hand-in-hand. A skin, mood and age defying facial with a side of perfect brow. Yes please...I'll have two!
While myself and Vaishaly weren't able to align our schedules (obviously what I mean by that is; the woman is one of the most sort after facialist's in the world, so a small-fry like myself doesn't quite make the cut for her calendar)so my threading treatment was skilfully performed by one of her personally trained therapists, Emma.
I did, however, have the chance interview Vaishaly about her culture and how it played a part in her beauty practices.
What is threading?
Threading is the ancient art of removing hair from the roots using cotton thread.
Much like the concept of waxing, sugaring and epilating, by extracting the hair from the root follicle, rather than cutting it (a.k.a shaving); re-growth is slower and finer, leaving the skin clean and smooth, with lasting results.
My prior experience aside, I was apprehensive about what the result would be. The thought of Instagram brows terrified me. If my brows were that perfect means that my hair would have to always be immaculately styled... and my nails would have to be shaped and polished. My anxiety levels soared at the very thought it!
I don't have the fullest brows in the world. They are a bit gappy and scraggly. It can be months between the need to pluck away stray hairs. Instead, I use the stragglers as a "comb over". They fill in the gaps in my brows. Nah...it's mostly because I am lazy when it comes to my own beauty routine.
The treatment began with Emma asking me about my preference in shape and assessing what could be done with the limitations she had to work with (my words, not hers). What she really did, was talk me through what she felt would best suit me. When she said that she felt a less arched, more natural shaped brow was preferable, my anxiety began to subside.
The brow was area is sterilised and the treatment began.
The only way I can describe the sensation is the same way I would describe getting a good massage. It's a little painful (I cannot find a more suitable adjective to describe the actual sensation in the English language. One that reflects a different kind of pain for different experiences? In Albanian, for instance, there are about twenty-seven highly specific adjectives to add to the word "eyebrow" that acutely describe what they eyebrow is doing! If you're interested in find out what they are, I highly recommend the book "The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extrodianry Words From Around The World" by Adam Jacot de Boinod.) but the "good" kind of painful.
She began by cleaning up all the super fine hairs around and between my brows. Then, a rough shaping, at which time she handed me the mirror to ensure me she was on the right track. I was asked to assist the therapist, by pulling my skin taught, using both hands in opposite directions. As both her hands (and mouth) were tied up with the thread. This allowed to her to expertly shape the brows and not get the skin caught between the tread.
There really wasn't a huge amount that could be done with my eyebrow shape if I am honest. But the end result left them looking a little fuller, rather than over stylised. Any final stray hairs were removed with a tweezer to finish off the look. The brow area is wiped down with witch hazel to calm and sterilise the skin at the end of the treatment.
I still recognised the face I have grown to know and love. Phew! The entire process took just under 15 minutes.
After the treatment, you are left with some self-explanatory redness around the brow area, particularly if you have fair, sensitive skin.
You are advised not to touch the threaded area for several hours and not to use any heavy creams for at least twenty-four hours as this could cause a breakout.
To book your treatment, click here.