When my mum told me she wanted brush stroke eyebrow tattoos for her birthday, I panicked. Then I did some research, and found the best cosmetic tattooist in the business.
Mum had almost zero brows after over plucking – a habit she began when she was just 12 years-old. But I had visions of awful bluey green tattooed eyebrows. Granted, her daily drawn on brows probably didn’t look much better. So I made some enquiries to my bag full of beauty editor friends. They all said the same thing – ‘see Svetlana Burkhardt, she is the best in the field’. So I did. Svetlana Burckhardt has more than 15 years’ experience as a qualified Beauty Therapist, Make-up Artist and Cosmetic Tattooist. As the owner of EyebrowExperts, based in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay, Svetlana specialises in cosmetic tattooing, eyebrow styling and runs international Brow Masterclass workshops for beauty therapists. When I first met Svetlana, I was in (good) shock! Svetlana doesn’t wear any traditional make-up. Instead, she has very natural, subtle but defined tattoo feathered eyebrows, tattooed eyeliner and tattooed lips. Really! My brain started racing – wondering what I could get done for myself! But back to mum… After asking Svetlana some pivotal questions prior to mum’s consultation, I was convinced she was the person for the job, and took my mum along for her life-changing brush stroke eyebrow work. But before you see the step-by-step process, these are the questions you need to ask your cosmetic eyebrow tattooist before you book in…
1. What are your qualifications and experience?
It might seem obvious, but anyone can have a ‘beauty certificate’ – you need to know how much experience they have as a cosmetic tattooist and see examples of their work. “Check your tattoo artist’s credentials carefully,” advises Svetlana. “Using an experienced professional tattooist will help ensure you are happy with the end result. I recommend visiting a Senior Cosmetic Tattooist with at least two to three years’ experience. After all, semi-permanent eyebrows can last for up to three years. You don’t want to end up with a brow nightmare, so the cheapest tattooist is not necessarily the best.”
Sventlana also recommends speaking with former clients to see if they are happy with the results and how long the pigment lasted for. “If pigment is not applied correctly it can fade quickly, be far too dark or look like square blocks,” Svetlana warns. Another tip: “Check their ‘before and after’ client photographs to ensure you like the style of eyebrow that the Cosmetic Tattooist creates, and research their website and social media pages to ensure their clients are satisfied.”
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2. What materials do you use and what’s your health and safety standards policy?
Sventlana uses only approved pigments, disposable single use applications and follows strict health and safety regulations. She says in order to avoid infections and ensure professional results, it’s important to work with a licensed aesthetician, ideally one recommended by a cosmetic surgeon. “Make sure the aesthetician uses sterile gloves and sterilized equipment,” advises Svetlana.
3. Am I suitable for brush stroke eyebrow tattooing?
“Most people are suitable for cosmetic tattooing, from the young to the elderly,” says Svetlana. “Brush stroke tattoo, when applied by an expert, leaves natural hair like lines. While people with fairer complexions can be quickly colour matched, darker skin tones should be careful. Even if you have no hair, thin or patchy eyebrows, gaps or a scar you’d like to hide, brush stroke leaves you with sophisticated groomed brows that look completely natural. Some of my clients have undergone cancer treatments or suffer from Alopecia and brush stroke tattoo can often give ladies back their confidence after losing their hair.”
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4. What colour and style eyebrow suits me?
Do you want the Cara Delevingne thick brow or the Linda Evangelista thin look? And what shade will suit your skin tone and face shape? “Eyebrow tattooing is suitable for all skin tones,” explains Svetlana. “Brush stroke tattooing is customised to suit the client’s skin tone, hair colour and preferred eyebrow style and shape – choosing a colour that adds warmth to the face to enhance their skin tone, hair colour and natural features. There are a range of pigment colours available to suit our client’s hair, skin tone and personal preference from understated or as dramatic as you like. I usually suggest a colour slightly darker that the client’s hair colour, as this really frames the face and draws attention to the eye area.”
And thickness? “Choosing the best thickness is done in the consultation and this depends on the client’s face shape, skin tone, hair colour and personal preferences,” explains Svetlana. “Many of my clients ask for their eyebrows to be slightly darker than their hair colour and opt for full sophisticated brows, which is very popular, while others prefer a more subtle, understated look.”
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5. How will it enhance my look?
Svetlana says having full, sophisticated and groomed brows can make a huge difference to the face, enhancing the natural features. “Over plucked brows or sparse brows are very ageing and can add years to your look,” explains Svetlana. “Gwen Steffani looks years younger with full, sophisticated brows. You’ll look good 24 hours a day without the need to re-apply make-up.” Svetlana says the fuller brow has become very popular recently, thanks to celebrities sporting the look. “Many of my clients ask for a particular model or celebrity brow shape, including Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson and Gwen Stefani.”
6. How long will it last?
Cosmetic tattooing is also referred to as permanent make-up because you’ll look made-up 24 hours a day. “The treatments will last two to five years, at which time retreatment will be required,” explains Svetlana. “And cosmetic tattooing is not only reserved for brows. It’s most commonly used for eyebrow, eyeliner, lips and beauty spots. While a skilled paramedical tattooist also performs areola regimentation and scar camouflage.”
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7. What are the benefits of cosmetic tattooing?
Well, there are many, according to Svetlana. It…
- “Cuts down on the need to apply make-up daily.
- Doesn’t come off with sweat or swimming.
- Creates brows where conditions such as alopecia or eyebrow loss have occurred from over plucking or waxing.
- Gives definition for people who have pale brows, lashes or poorly defined lips.
- Can be used by women who are allergic to cosmetics.
- Is useful for women who have arthritis, poor vision or contact lenses who find make-up application difficult.
- Can fill or create an even appearance on scarred eyebrows.
- Is great for people with unsteady hands.
- Saves time if you want to look good but have a busy life style.”
8. How much will it cost?
Cheaper is not always better. It is experience, eye brow style, happy previous clients and a hygienic salon you want. Svetlana charges $990, which includes a consultation, one styling session with one touch-up and an after care cream.
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My Mum’s Wow Brow Brush Stroke Tattoo Makeover
Step 1. The consultation was in-depth, requiring medical history and skin analysis to determine the best pigment. Svetlana says that while there are a few contraindications that may arise during the consultation and medical history check, most people are suitable.
Step 2. Svetlana, the cosmetic tattooist, draws the outline shape which she uses as a template to apply the tattoo brush stroke within. This involved precise measurements to create symmetrical shapes that suited mum’s face shape.
Step 3. Svetlana then ‘tweaked’ the brow shape measurements, taking into account gravity, arch, length, and ensuring the inner brows are perfectly aligned. “I always show the final drawing, colour and style, and ask for permission to proceed before tattooing commences,” advise Svetlana. “It gives both the client and myself the confidence to go ahead.”
Finale: Wow brows! The final work of art! While initially dark, the pigment fades over the following weeks by 20-40% depending on your skin tone and type. A strict after-care regime requires applying an after care cream every four hours for 7-10 days, depending on the person’s healing capacity. And no water should touch the brows during this period. Most people peel, which is completely normal, but my mum did not peel. The end result? Mum is thrilled with her new brows!
ABOUT SVETLANA: Svetlana Burckhardt has more than 15 years’ experience as a qualified Beauty Therapist, Make-up Artist and Cosmetic Tattooist, with specialist expertise in Facials, Eyebrow Styling, Laser Hair Removal, Fillers & Anti-Ageing injections and Waxing. As the owner of EyebrowExperts, based in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay, Svetlana specialises in cosmetic tattooing, eyebrow styling and revolutionised waxing with her 7minsBrazilianWax. Svetlana is also a published author of the book Confessions of a Brazilian Waxing Queen, has been featured in Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Grazia, SMH and Women’s Weekly, runs international Brow Masterclass training programs and has been an educator at the Beauty & Spa Expo. Svetlana is also typical working mother with two small kids under four.
Thinking of getting your eyebrows tattooed? Which celeb’s brows do you love?