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Time to lighten up

Colour is crucial ... Amy-Jean Linnehan recommends lightening brows by two shades.

Colour is crucial ... Amy-Jean Linnehan recommends lightening brows by two shades.

Hamish Blake surprised some of us by winning the Gold Logie. Asher Keddie surprised us by not. But a beautiful surprise at Australian television's ''night of nights'' was an off-screen, behind-scenes talent who managed to raise a few eyebrows without planning to. Amy-Jean Linnehan was quietly readying her ''pop-up'' salon for her first day of business in Melbourne on Sunday when she was interrupted by what became a steady stream of celebrities. Her reputation as a brow specialist had arrived with her at the South Yarra clinic she will be visiting monthly. Dannii Minogue had spread the word and Logie-goers in the know filed straight from their jet peel medi-facial for an instant face lift with old-fashioned tweezers. And lightening solution.

Amy-Jean is no stranger to celebrity. Her clients include Samantha Harris, Erin McNaught and various socialite/jet-setting types who visit her salons at the Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast and at the Bambini Trust building in her native Sydney. ''But I was taken aback by the response in Melbourne,'' she says. ''I hadn't planned it this way but it worked out perfectly with the Logies... It was constant. Luckily I love what I do.'' What Amy-Jean does is make elegant, tailored curves from the scantiest or the bushiest of brows, waxing, tweezing and tinting them to add lift and symmetry. ''As soon as I look at someone I know what needs to be done,'' she says.

Dannii Minogue had spread the word and Logie-goers in the know filed straight from their jet peel medi-facial for an instant face lift with old-fashioned tweezers. 

The most crucial component is colour and often the best way to achieve the right colour, she says, is by lightening. Amy-Jean says her celebrity and beauty industry clients have fallen in love with the polished look that it creates. The technique was used by Pat McGrath, one of the world's leading makeup artists, in the big runway shows this season.

Amy-Jean says lightening softens the overall look and enhances eye colour. ''It's a little like adding gorgeous highlights to your hair - a shade or two lighter than your natural colour makes a dramatically positive difference to your skintone. It is an incredibly illusory trick. Thin dark brows zap the life out of your complexion. It's thick, lustrous brows, like those reminiscent of the black-and-white glamour years of Hollywood, that are the most desirable.'' Think Jennifer Hawkins, Beyonce and J-Lo who have all mastered this screen siren look. (Amy-Jean would not reveal which of our homegrown television stars might have had a little lightening done before the big night on Sunday - discretion is all - but later said of her walk-in customers: ''Some of the faces I admit I didn't recognise - there were a lot of Underbelly people apparently.'')

If the celebrities are queuing to do it, will you be trying brow lightening? Amy-Jean stresses that ''it's lightening, not bleaching which can make brows go ginger'' but the concept will sound scary to anyone who can recall the Kevyn Aucoin albino bleached brows that were so on-trend in the Nineties. Almost all brows benefit from a little colour - but how do you feel about a little anti-colour? Do you have your brows tinted? What shade do you go for?

14 comments so far

  • I use Karin Herzog products which whilst great for the condition of my skin, gradually bleaches any hair it touches! Consequently my eyebrows are always llightly lighter than they should be naturally. Personally I like it to begin with then I find when I get them dyed again I remember how much more definition my eyes have with a darker brow to frame them. I think I'd pick darker over lighter as a rule.
    As for a facelift, I don't think the lighter colour helps, but I do use The Eyelift Kit as well and that really does do the job!

    Date and time
    April 17, 2012, 11:14AM
    • I've just taken a step in the opposite direction - I'm using a much draker eyebrow pencil. I also 'square' off the thick part of the brow to create a retro look. I think this is much more glamour years of holiday rather than lightening them.
      You also need to take into consideration that many of the stars have highlights through their hair which would set off the lighter eyebrow. This would look terrible on dark brunettes or black haired ladies.
      Not for everyone. I'd still love to visit Amy-Jean!

      Date and time
      April 17, 2012, 11:28AM
      • I agree with Kd.

        Dark, arched and prominent eyebrows looks more old Hollywood than light eyebrows. It looks classic, sophisticated and sexy.

        I don't understand why today's crop of Hollywood women want to look average. I am sick of hair that looks like nothing has been done to it, ''natural makeup'' and boring dresses.

        We need more Angelina Jolie's, Marilyn Monroe's, bridgit Bardot's.

        expert on everything
        Date and time
        April 17, 2012, 1:14PM
    • Yes, the advice makes sense, but why include a photo in the article of an airbrushed "princess" with bleached blonde hair and DARK eyebrows? Did she originally have BLACK eyebrows that have been lightened??? In her case, she should have NO eyebrows!

      Love your articles, but sometimes they make no sense...

      How about a brunette, with slightly lighter eyebrows to illustrate the point???

      behind you
      Date and time
      April 17, 2012, 11:38AM
      • Gosh you people are so critical!!!! That is actually Amy herself - not a model to illustrate the point! She is clearly talking about a trend in eye brows - it doesn't mean it's for everyone and I can assure you, going from experience visiting her salons for the past five years, she will sculpt the brow to your individual face and only colour if necessary and you as the client would like it. Lighten up!!!!

        Date and time
        April 17, 2012, 1:59PM
    • So why is the article illustrated with a picture of a model with dark eyebrows?

      Box Hill
      Date and time
      April 17, 2012, 11:54AM
      • I love the lip colour she is wearing!

        I am blonde naturally - my eyebrows, well, I don't have many. Toward the centre they are brownish but as they get closer to the temples, they go blonde. I have them tinted to match the brownish colour in the centre.

        I disagree that the lighter brows look better, for me, the lighter brows on the outside make me look completely washed out - when I have them tinted, it seems to make my eyes look larger and makes the blue of my eyes really stand out.

        Everyone is different.

        Date and time
        April 17, 2012, 12:13PM
        • The picture is of Amy-Jean - and I think you can notice her brows have been lightened. Rather then being dark brown/black there is a definate lightness to them.

          Date and time
          April 17, 2012, 2:16PM
          • I love her brows in that photo but gosh that photo has been very photoshopped, or she is wearing a lot of makeup!

            Date and time
            April 17, 2012, 3:00PM
            • I find Amy's eyebrows too perfectly manicured in that photo. The trend at the moment (and for some time now) is for fuller, more natural brows. I love darker brows too.

              Wish I had bigger brows
              Date and time
              April 17, 2012, 4:21PM

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