I hasten to admit that the last time took a trip to the beauty salon was at least six months ago. Since then, my brows, nails and eyelashes have been left to their own devices and although this isn’t necessarily a crime, I was starting to feel unlike my usual self. With stresses of work, uni and health getting on top of me, sometimes you need to help yourself on the outside to feel better on the inside. This isn’t always my motto, as I do truly believe it’s on the inside that counts – but everyone is entitled to a bit of pampering and when you’re feeling pretty rubbish, sometimes it’s the pick me up you need.
Usually, when it comes to pampering and beauty treatments – Central London is my main port of call. Although I live 20 miles outside of London (just a short train journey away), somehow I always gravitate back there rather than opting for anywhere more local, as I know that the few salons I’ve tried have a great reputation and I’m a lover of habit.
However, when I discovered that Jigna Soni, brow artist to the stars (in particular, brow queen – Miss Emma Watson) had set up another salon in my local town, I made an easy exception. Having found her on Twitter several years ago, Jigna has been on my list of brow experts to visit for a long while. With fabulous before’s and afters and one of the only HD Brow Masters in the UK, she really knows her stuff. Whatever state your brows are in (mine were pretty bad – one was higher than the other due to overzealous plucking), she is your sure fire way to getting the perfect ‘frames’ for your face.
Situated at the rear of Gatsby & Miller in Harpenden, Emerald Brows is everything you’d expect from a London salon, just that little bit closer to home. A little like a tardis, you step into the main salon and walk through a hallway before reaching the opening to the Emerald Brows section – decorated luxuriously with beautiful ornate mirrors and white furnishings.
I was booked in for the full works – HD Brows, LVL Lashes and a Shellac French Manicure. 3 and a half hours of lovely pampering!
Jigna arrived and set about analysing my face for the perfect brow shape. She explained, in detail, exactly what she was taking off, what shape she was giving me and what she was going to be doing. Usually, it’s a little daunting putting the future of your brows into someone else’s hands but I felt completely at ease with Jigna and was excited, rather than anxious to see the results.
HD Brows consists of everything you could possibly do to your eyebrows, all in one treatment. After the ‘plan’ was prepared, my brows were tinted – gradually, so that I could tell when they were dark enough – without going a step too far. Then, the frame started to take shape with a few strips of wax and threading session to polish off the arch. Once this was complete, Jigna filled in and elongated the shape with a pencil – resulting in the most perfect brows I’ve ever owned!
Next up was the LVL Lashes treatment, something I hadn’t tried before but had previously heard rave reviews about. Although I’d had the eyelash extensions previously – and had become slightly addicted at one point – constantly having falsies weighing down each individual lash does really take its toll – and after several months, my lashes were in a terrible condition. I’ve never had long, luscious eyelashes – so I was gutted that the extensions had made them even shorter and stubbier than usual – and so resigned myself to never have them done again.
The LVL – which stands for length, volume and lift – is actually a treatment that does them the world of good, moisturising them with nourishing serum and providing a natural looking curl to even the straightest and most stubborn of lashes. With tint included within the process, essentially you are left with lashes that look like they’ve been curled to perfection and topped up with mascara – however of course – no mascara is needed, fantastic for someone like me who hates wearing eye make-up, but still wants an ‘awake’ look!
A curler shape is applied to your lid and then your lashes are stuck onto the mould using an eye friendly glue. In ten minute intervals, serum is applied and they slowly start to take shape. I’ll be honest and say that I only really know what happens at the start and end of this treatment, as it was so relaxing – I fell asleep. Rather than walking off and leaving the serum to work it’s magic, Jigna filled each interval with a relaxing head, shoulder and neck massage – which sent me into a relaxing haven for the best part of 40 minutes. Before I knew it, I was being tapped on the shoulder and shown my new luscious lashes.
As you can see from the pictures (you’ll have to excuse the lack of actual make-up), there is a really subtle difference. My lashes look far more curled, prepped and ready for business – rather than my usual, natural look which make me look a bit tired! The result is very natural and wearable – but it makes me far more confident to leave the house without a scrap of make-up, knowing I still look vaguely alive!
The results last for 6-8 weeks which is amazing for such an affordable treatment. I think it’s fantastic to have in the summer months, when wearing mascara is a bit of a pain anyway – especially on holiday where it’s much more comfortable to go fresh faced.
Kindly, Jigna also booked me into have a shellac manicure – topping off my complete pampering session for the day and leaving me feeling far more relaxed than I had entered.
If you are looking for a brow re-shape, regardless of what state they are in (you only have to look back through my Instagram to know how shapeless and uneven mine were) I would recommend Jigna in a heartbeat. There’s no worry about her taking too much off as she listens to your brow suggestions, makes her own and outlines the exact shape before any threading or waxing starts. Emerald Brows also has a salon in Chelsea if that’s closer to you, but I love the friendliness of the Harpenden branch and prices are very reasonable for the area!