Eye Love Brow and Beauty Bar
Eye Love Brow and Beauty Bar shares a light-filled, loft space with Lebel and Crowe on West Queen West, and is located up the same slender staircase, and announced by similarly modest signage. As you'd expect from the name, the focus is almost exclusively on brows, and capitulates nicely on the idea of eyebrows anchoring a face--and the time-honoured truth that most people are dunces on the subject.
Mary Dang started out as a make-up artist 10 or so years ago, and was mainly freelancing. She discovered her passion for brows early on, and wanted to explore it further. "I found out it was my niche," Dang tells me. She previously worked at The Brow House, and she's developed a dedicated following due in large part to her personal touch.
The people who seek her out are in need of "eyebrow help," and are not content with, nor will they receive, a quick eyebrow tune-up. Rather, Dang takes her time, and prides herself on careful assessment--both at the level of the brows themselves, and the face as a whole.
Dang takes something of an unusual approach to brows. While waxing is an option (and hear me out), Dang primarily uses tweezers. I can already hear the naysayers--"I can tweeze at home," they cry--but how many of us tweeze half-heartedly and then, defeated, turn to a salon for help in the end.
"Waxing is a clean-up method," Dang says, and is used only to remove stray hairs. Why tweezing? Dang believes it allows for more intricacy and detail-work. "If you know what you're doing, it's hard to over-tweeze," she says, and I immediately ruffle up my fringe to hide my own uneven brows.
While you might expect this to yield a limited menu of services, Eye Love actually offers a variety. The most intensive of these is the brow consultation and shaping ($30 and highly recommended for first-time visitors), which involves a discussion of concerns and goals, after which Dang proposes solutions, and if all's well, she goes ahead and begins shaping.
The process takes around 30 minutes, and finishes off with an in-depth lesson on how to fill in the brows so as to emphasize them (read: not look prehistoric). Following this, maintenance sessions are $25 for 20 minutes. And of course, men are also offered these services--dubbed 'manscaping,' in open defiance to the term's more risque common usage.
You can also take advantage of Dang's extensive background in make-up, through tutorials on either eyes ($40 for around 30 minutes) or the full face ($90 for 1 hour). You're offered the option of bringing in your own make-up--at the risk of learning that you're using the wrong tools--or conduct your tutorial using Dang's.
For those looking to break-up with their lash curlers, consider lash perms ($65), which promise to give you doe eyes, 2 months at a time. Particularly popular in Asia and Europe, the process involves applying a mild perming solution to your lashes. Sound barbaric? "You're practically napping the whole time," Dang assures me.
She also offers add-ons such as lip waxing and chin waxing ($10), and eyelash and eyebrow tinting ($25). As for the make-up on offer, you'll find Dang's personal, and extensive collection, including M.A.C., Stila, and Nars.
Dang also offers the Brow Rescue Package in either brow shaping or lash/brow tinting, at discounts for greater volume--if you're, you know, aiming to make a long-term commitment to your brows.