Meet Amanda Lao: Our Secret Weapon to Perfect Brows
If the eyes are the window to the soul, certified microblading technician Amanda Lao believes the eyebrows are the frame. She also happens to be HOLLY Eyewear’s on-site brow specialist!
We sat down to chat about her philosophy on brows and her other obsession...popcorn.
Hey Amanda! You’ve been known as the brow expert for years now - I’d love to know, when did your interest in brows begin?
My eyebrow obsession began over 10 years ago. Back then, I was using eyeshadow on my eyebrows - brow makeup wasn’t really a thing! I've been doing brows for over six years, but professionally have been microblading for about two years.
What does it take to become a microblading brow technician?
I’m certified through Lashforever Canada, one of the largest speciality schools in Canada. In fact, their microblading training and grading standards are the most extensive in the industry.
For example, one of the requirements for completing the certification is providing eight case studies, including before and after photos, of clients’ you’ve worked with outside of the training environment. To receive certification, you need to achieve 90% or higher on every case submitted.
Wow! So the training is pretty intense.
Definitely. Working with a technician who’s certified by a reputable school is so important. It ensures you're safe, that you'll be in a clean and sanitary environment, and that your technician is skilled enough to be able to complete the procedure.
Also, because every technician has a different style, I recommend reviewing their portfolio. You can check mine out on instagram, @browsbylao
That’s really interesting - that every technician has their own style. How do you design brows for your clients?
I consider a number of things: the current thickness of your brows, the style you want to achieve, the composition of your facial features like the depth of your forehead, the distance between your eyes, the proportion of your existing brows...
A good portion of your first appointment is about mapping out the brows on the face and getting the client’s approval.
There have been some pretty extreme changes in brow style - from Brooke Shields bushy to Gwen Stefani’s skinny look, back to Cara Delevigne’s thick brows… What are the most requested brows right now?
Many people come in with the super thin brows because thin was in, in the 90's or early 2000's. They don’t want that anymore - but they won’t grow back!
Now we’re seeing two dominant trends: a very natural, fluffy brow or a brow that’s very sharp and dense. For either style, fullness of the brow is key.
Microblading has shifted the concept of permanent makeup. How different is it from the eyebrow tattooing of the past?
OMG it’s completely different! Microblading is so much better because:
Just like hair dye, I blend a number of colours to customize the perfect shade for each person.
Also, since the procedure is semi-permanent, the colour fades out naturally, and you can adjust the shape and colour over time. You’ll never be left with a blue shadow or permanent placement.
What should people know about the process of getting your brows done? Is there downtime or special care?
After the first appointment, which takes about two hours, there’s a required touch up 6 weeks later to reach the final result. Touch ups usually take about an hour.
Microbladed brows last between 1-3 years and how you care for them and your skin type, will affect the lifespan.
Maintenance is a simple touch up every 6-11 months. There’s no downtime and it's considered a minimally painful procedure.
I go through aftercare in depth for the first part of a client appointment, but in short - keep your new brows clean and apply coconut oil once a day. It seems small, but it’s super important for your aftercare!
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, and eyebrows are the frames, then how does wearing glasses affect brow styling?
In most eyewear styles, your brows sit right above the frame so your brows are even more pronounced. It’s extra important that your brows are on point!
Is that why you decided to join forces with HOLLY Eyewear?
People who come to HOLLY Eyewear, come for a beautiful accessory, not just a necessity.
People who care about their appearance, their face and their eyes, care more about their brows too. Holly and I realized we had a unique opportunity to provide a more complete style experience together. I mean, how convenient is it that you can take care of so much of your look in one friendly space?
So true! Are there any other services you provide to beautify your clients’ eyes?
Yes! Brows are just the beginning. I also provide facial waxing services on site, and I’m thrilled to announce that - as of November - I will also provide eyelash extensions!
Before we go, Amanda, what’s this I hear about your other obsessions? I heard through the grapevine…
What? Oh! My crazy popcorn obsession!? It’s so real it's scary. I have absolutely no sweet tooth whatsoever. I love salty and buttery... You know how, when people come over they’ll bring a bottle of wine, or chocolates etc.? Well 95% of my friends show up with a bag of Smartfood for me. When I've had a bad day, my boyfriend goes to the movie theatre to surprise me with a large bag of popcorn rather than flowers. Popcorn is the way to my heart.
We’re looking forward to seeing you for our brows and lashes, Amanda! And don’t worry we’ll bring you some popcorn too.
As a gift to our readers, Amanda is offering all HOLLY Eyewear clients $100 off microblading.
Please email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: HOLLY Eyewear.
Offer Valid until November 30, 2018.
Follow Amanda on Instagram at: @browsbylao