Over the past few years there has been a resurgence of big bold brows. 2020, with its endless lockdowns and inability to go for beauty treatments brought back the au natural brow – overgrown and bare. Soap brows were everywhere due to the minimal equipment needed (soap and a spoolie) and the fact that it works best in overgrown brows. While soap brows are not going anywhere, brow lamination is an emerging trend set to grow.
Unaiza Suliman, brow queen and owner of Uniq Brows explains brow lamination:
“It’s a trend that highlights the natural brow beautifully. Your brows hairs are gently coaxed into an upward direction, with a slicked-up appearance, resulting in a fluffier, yet more defined look. This provides the illusion of beautiful fullness while maintaining an “unstructured,” look. Essentially, this trend mimics a brow “lift,” without the pigment of microblading.”
You can think of it as the more defined and sleeker version of the soap brow. Brows make a huge difference to your face. Aside for their physiological role in preventing sweat and oil getting into your eyes, they show expression. And as anyone who has had a good brow shaping will tell you, it instantly makes you look done up. As someone who prefers the au natural look, the idea of brow lamination, which would give me a natural but done up brow look every day without requiring a stitch of makeup, was right up my ally.
That’s how I found myself in Uniq Brows flagship Sandton City store getting schooled on brows by Unaiza while Pauline, who’s been doing brows at Uniq for six years worked her magic on my overgrown brows. I had mapping, threading, brow lamination and a tint done.
The first thing Uniq brows does, regardless of what brow treatment you go for, is a basic brow mapping. Using the Fibonacci tool based on the golden ratio of two thirds and the mask of symmetry they get the angles right so that both brows are symmetrical.
Just by looking at my brows, Unaiza was immediately able to tell what side I sleep on – the growth is thinner and lower there. “You can tell someone’s fortune by looking at their brows” she told me.
They also look at your brow bone and the structure of your face to determine what eyebrows suit your face. Eyebrows can either make your face look incredibly old or very young. Each face is different, and they don’t do cookie cutter eyebrows.
Once my eyebrows were mapped and marked using a combination of thread and an eye pencil, Pauline went to work threading them. Threading is a method of removing hair using a thin thread that is pulled back and forth between hair. I’ve been getting my eyebrows threaded for years now so am used to the feeling which isn’t in any way comfortable, but over fast enough. Due to Covid, they’ve devised a Covid friendly method of threading whereby they don’t tie the thread in their mouth but instead hook it around their neck. They purposefully leave stray hairs that fall within the shape they map out so they can train and groom them, a process Unaiza says takes 4-6 months depending on the root cause of why the hair is sparse or is not growing.
I’ve had threading done at a few places and this was by far the best shaping and experience.
With freshly shaped brows next was brow lamination – the process of coaxing hairs into an upward direction, with a slicked-up appearance to give a fluffier and more defined look. Pauline first used a lifting cream to lift the hairs in the direction she wanted it to set and then a setting gel which is left on for 8 minutes.
The adhesive used for the lamination is water soluble and is made using contact lenses solution. It washes off with water and is completely safe on the skin, hair and eyelid. Another benefit of lamination is that it encourages hair growth.
The brow lamination comprises 3 steps: A lifting gel, setting gel and finishing cream. It’s a completely painless process and will last 6-8 weeks.
While I have full eyebrows, they are sparse in some areas. Eyebrow tinting darkens light patches, enhance the brows and gives you the appearance of fuller eyebrows. Uniq Brows offer both regular tinting and henna tinting. Regular tinting uses peroxide to activate the tint and stains the hair whereas henna tinting uses water – it’s a natural, vegan product and stains the skin. Thus henna tint lasts longer.
I did a regular tint, whilst later on Feige tried their Henna tint. We were both really happy with the results and it’s a matter of preference.
All of the above was about an hours worth of brow work and I was thrilled with the results – my eyebrows looked bolder and sleeker yet still had a very natural look to them. As Unaiza said once I was done, it’s not just a shaping, it’s an experience. I would go on about the results but pictures say a thousand words, so all you have to do is look at the before and after. It’s now been a week, the tint has faded ever so slightly but they still have a finished and full look. Getting your brows laminated is the easiest beauty treatment that immediately makes you look done up, and seeing as face masks are not going anywhere, it’s the perfect time to make the one part of your face not covered up look bolder and brighter. If you want to get it done for an event, I’d suggest going a day or two before.
Hygiene has always been incredibly important to Unaiza and something she’s been strict about in all Uniq Brow locations. Sanitising was a regular occurrence long before Covid. Since Covid and the reopening of their locations they have implemented further protocols to ensure the safety of staff and customers. At the entrance you will be given hand sanitiser and your temperature is recorded. There is also a form to fill out, and the pen used is sanitised between every use. Masks are mandatory and everything used is sanitised.
About Uniq Brows
Uniq brows was founded by Unaiza Suliman, a lash and beauty expert with over a decades worth of experience. They specialise in brows and use a patented formula that uniquely measures your brow shape for your face shape. You can visit one of their walk-in stores for a brow treatment, shop their range of beauty products online or take a Masterclass with Unaiza to learn how to create the perfect brows.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.