Ok, I'll admit it. If there's one thing I've ever been hugely sceptical about in my time within the beauty industry, it was HD Brows.
I had been for years. This is what I knew: a treatment involving waxing, tinting, threading and tweezing. Ok - well I did all those things already. So why did I need to go on a course and learn a set order in which to do them?
And then there was the price - probably the most expensive training I have come across for a treatment that involves no big machinery - just a few small products, and a wax pot.
In a nutshell, I didn't get it.
"Do you do HD Brows?"
"Are you going to offer HD Brows?"
"Where can I get HD Brows?"
This was what I was hearing from clients - regular and new. For years I had been asked this question, and it got me thinking. Whether I offered these treatments separately or not, it was not the HD Brow treatment. And clearly, that was what my clients wanted.
So I set about learning a little more about it - I spoke to other therapists who were offering the service, and went along to the Excel Trade Show to speak to the brand themselves.
And before I knew it, I was handing over my debit card and booking a date. This was it. I was finally going to become an HD Brow Stylist.
I'm not going to lie - I was still just as sceptical as ever. Driving over to Milton Keynes for the first of my 2 day training course (2 days?!), I couldn't quite believe I had given in. Intrigued, excited, nervous...I was going through the motions.
The training centre, DermaSpa, is amazing. I was wowed as soon as I arrived. The people are lovely, extremely friendly...and there was cake. Bonus!
So I signed in, took my place next to the friendliest looking student I could see, and listened.
And then I realised - I was the only beauty therapist on the course. The only one. No other students had any background in beauty at all - and neither did a lot of the trainers, it seemed. My heart did a little nervous flip - my brows were going to waxed, tweezed, threaded....all by someone who has never shaped an eyebrow before (except on their own brows, perhaps). This makes me nervous - no one has touched my eyebrows in about 7 years. I've always done my own. What was I going to look like at the end of the day?!
I try not to think about it as the lady speaks:
"So we're going to teach you waxing today.." Oh god. Waxing? I've been waxing for 12 years...
"And don't be scared about the threading - it's easy!" I know. I've been threading for years, too. This is going to be tedious, a really long 2 days of learning everything I've known for years. And I'd spent a fortune on this too.
After a little chatter and some pretty impressive before and after shots, we head downstairs to the lash and brow bar to watch a demonstration.
She starts with the tint. Wait...she's applied no barrier cream. And she's wiped it off with a dry cotton pad?! Ok, so the tint's a little different to normal...
Now she's going to wax. Hang on...she's pulled out an orange stick. An orange stick?!! There's no spatula in sight. She applies the tiniest amount of wax I have ever seen in a quick, perfect motion and produces a beautiful shape. Right...so maybe I am going to learn something, after all.
Well at least I can thread. That can't be any different.
And then she does it. She ties a knot in the thread to form a big loop and begins to twist and wrap the thread around her fingers in some sort of art form. There's no thread anywhere near her mouth. She's holding it in a completely alien way to me and she's super-fast. And I begin to realise I'm not so much the know-it-all I thought I was this morning. I am a novice, like everyone else in this room.
Of course, everyone else picks it up straight away. After a few goes, they're threading in the same way as the lady did this morning - ok, not as quick, but they get it.
And me? Not a chance. I've been threading my way for 4 years, and this I cannot get. My hand is facing the wrong way, the thread is going in the wrong direction and my thumb is slicing open from the thread so much, I need to wrap it up to keep it covered and prevent myself from bleeding all over the poor client. Thank GOD they tell me that I can go back to my way of threading when I get back to the salon. My thumb is saved.
But to put it simply, it was as if I've never seen a brow in my life - and I've picked up a few bad habits along my 13 year career that simply won't do on this course.
To my relief, my first set of HD Brows go well - she loves them, I Iove them and thankfully, so does the trainer. Phew. I can do this.
And luckily the founder herself - Nilam Patel - has popped in randomly and is personally giving me tips! This is pretty cool. Who better to give me advice than the lady herself? She even shows me some before shots of the beautiful models they recently used for their marketing campaign. And trust me...it is amazing what a bit of make-up and photo-shopping can do. There is hope, after all.
So that's it - over the next 2 days I do a few sets of HD Brows and I've finally got it. And I'm going to say it....I am hooked. I'm converted. I get it. HD Brows are amazing - they are different, beautiful, and completely bespoke. I have officially eaten my hat.
And I don't mind admitting it because to be honest, I love this treatment. I had heard someone say previously that they always thought they were good at shaping brows until they did the HD Brow course - and I totally agree.
I'm so much better than I ever was, and we have a huge list of clients coming in for the treatment now.
What is the saying? The customer is always right!