If you catch sight of an excellent set of eyebrows on the streets of Dublin, they can generally be sourced back to Kim O’Sullivan or one of her team at The Dublin Makeup Academy on Fitzwilliam Street. O’Sullivan is a master of her craft. Her clients include celebrities and notable names (Vogue Williams and US Glamour editor-in-chief Samantha Barry among them), and her waiting list is as oversubscribed as a Chanel sample sale.
When I visited O’Sullivan to try brow lamination and a tint last year, it did more to revive and structure my tired face than any beauty treatment I’ve ever tried. It really was transformative – O’Sullivan has built her reputation on the power of good brows. Once you’re familiar with her particular hallmark (which she’ll always adapt to flatter the face she’s working on) of full, fluffy but natural-looking brows, you’ll start noticing them around you. When I ask Irish women who appear to have god-gifted brows what their routine is, O’Sullivan’s name usually comes up. She seems to be able to conjure hair and volume where previously there were none.
Now, O’Sullivan has launched her own brand of brow products – Brow Aid. It’s a smart move, following in the footsteps of other Irish brands which are making a name in the increasingly saturated but still lucrative beauty market. Ireland boasts one of Europe’s most vibrant, as well as informed and enthusiastic consumers – beauty is big business here. This brand allows customers to recreate O’Sullivan’s coveted aesthetic at home.
The S.O.S (€33 at thedublinmakeupacademy.com/browaid, and at Brown Thomas from June).
A brow mask will nourish hair and support growth. If you regularly engage in professional chemical brow treatments, it’s especially useful. You’ll see a difference in the fullness and quality of your hair quite quickly. Without a brow care product like this, chemically treated brows will often develop a kinked and dull appearance, refusing to lie flat or hold your desired brow shape. I use this thick, protein-rich oil-meets-serum three or four nights a week and have seen a visible improvement in the quality and biddability of my eyebrows.
The Definer (€28)
The perfect brow pencil is like the perfect mascara – relative to preference. Personally, I favour a pencil or crayon with a fine tip and a firm texture like this one because it allows you to fill in any gaps by simulating natural hairs by creating fine lines.
Brow Aid The Definer (€28 at thedublinmakeupacademy.com/brow aid, and at Brown Thomas from June).
It comes in three shades and is dual-ended with a highlighter at one end. This allows you to line the orbital area under the brow and blend out the line – a signature technique of O’Sullivan’s which gives the effect of a lifted brow and brightens the eye area.
The Hero (€29)
If you use only one brow make-up product, a tinted brow mascara like this is your best bet. It adds bulk and texture to the hairs, catches all the fine, unpigmented hairs that are invisible to the naked eye – instantly giving you more brow – and holds the whole situation in place all day. It’s a no-skill product to apply and makes a visible difference in seconds.
Brow Aid The Hero at thedublinmakeupacademy.com/brow aid, and at Brown Thomas from June).
Big brow enthusiasts can get all three products together in the Brow Aid Bundle (€98.50).