After training with L.A.-based brands Anastasia Beverly Hills and Kelley Baker Brows, Brittni Alexandra is bringing her brow and lash services back across the Canadian border. Her studio, B.Beautiful, opened earlier this year in Toronto.
“People get so scared, but the truth is if you do it right, there is no harm in [these services],” says Alexandra. “I have had everything you can think of happen to me, that’s why I get it.”
Here, she shares common waxing, lash and microblading mishaps and how to avoid them.
An experience with too-hot wax during an eyebrow wax as a teen left Alexandra with half of her brow missing, and red, raw skin. Shoddy microblading errors can be event worse. “I had a girl yesterday who came in and her brows were bright red,” says Alexandra. “She told me she got microblading two years ago and it hadn’t gone away. I looked closer and saw that it was a red tattoo [a cheap pigment].”
Only see licensed brow technicians. “Make sure they have a license and not just a certificate. People can get certified over the weekend.”
“Microblading always looks good when you just do it; it’s about seeing what it looks like a year later,” she adds. “Do they still look that good? Or are they red/blue?” Ask to see pictures of brows that have been healed for at least a year.
And if you’re reading this article a little too late, don’t panic. Microblading ink can last up to three years, but if you don’t like the outcome there are ways to speed up the removal process. Within the first 24 hours it can be removed with a solution. After that, you’ll need to use lasers, which can be pricey.
Alexandra uses another technique: “I [gently] scratch the surface of the skin and apply a glycolic acid to help push out the ink. It’s not an instant fix. It takes a couple of weeks to finish the process, but it is a lot less painful.”
“I had a bad reaction the first time I let someone else do my lash extensions,” says Alexandra, who researched online and found someone with a strong Instagram presence. “When I went home, my eyes felt really funny. I woke up in the middle of the night and I could hardly open them. I went to my doctor and he said, ‘I’m either cutting your eyelashes off or you need to go home and remove the extensions right now.’ The glue burnt through the cornea of my eye.’”
Make sure you see a licensed lash technician.”You can’t get high-quality, approved products if you are not licensed,” she explains. In Canada, look for certifications from Xtreme Lashes Canada, JBLash or Lash Box LA.
“I know it sounds crazy, but smell the lash glue before you get your lashes done,” advises Alexandra. “Good lash glue shouldn’t be completely scent free, but if it smells like nail glue, it is nail glue. If [someone pays] less than $100 for lash glue, it is probably full of fumes. I once asked [someone doing my eyelashes] what brand she used and she said LashBoxLA, which is one of the best brands. She had all their lashes and tools, but because she wasn’t certified by them she couldn’t get their glue. So she got a glue off Amazon.”
Lastly, avoid services performed out of individual homes. These types of establishments are not supported by Health Canada, says Alexandra and may not be following the same sanitation and protocols, which is particularly important when dealing with the delicate eye area.