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.
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?