Between working, exercise, side hustles, seeing friends, dating and everything else life throws at us, it's fair to say we're hard pressed for time, but the beauty industry has recognised our struggle. Enter: the one-stop salon – an exciting new beauty destination that houses an array of treatments and specialists offering everything from facials to manicures and beyond, all under one roof.
WAH Nails has been serving up on-point nail art alongside Bam Brows for some time now, while Hershesons saw the biggest beauty hub launch to date with its Berners Street salon, which doubles up as a workspace. And now, Suman Jalaf, the woman behind the best microbladed brows in the city, has opened her first atelier, featuring a handpicked beauty collective offering a plethora of treatments – and we were sold the minute we stepped inside.
"I could see how boring it was for a client waiting for their appointment to start, or while the numbing cream on their brows was drying," Jalaf, who began threading brows in the school playground aged 13, explains. "I wanted them to be able to have their nails done, or a mini facial while they waited – we're all so busy."
SumanBrows, Jalaf's atelier, is based on west London's Brompton Road in the building in which she once held residency alongside the stylists behind Harry's hair salon. The neon-lit and plant-filled space is now all hers, and she's created a relaxing (and totally Instagrammable) environment where you can watch Netflix on a big screen TV, drink a glass of wine and have your treatments done.
We caught up with Jalaf ahead of the launch to talk all things eyebrows.
You began threading brows at a really young age. Tell me how you went from then to now...
I started working at Nails inc in Topshop while I was at beauty college. I realised I didn't want to pursue nails, waxing or facials, but I'd been threading since school. I started introducing it to all my clients when I worked at Errol Douglas in Mayfair – they all loved it, and still come to me today. It was all word of mouth as I didn't have a website – I was so lazy, oh my gosh!
Errol is the one who booted me out the door saying, "I believe in you, you can do more than have a threading chair in my salon," which is how I am where I am today. I then wanted to help people with cancer or going through chemotherapy, so I looked into permanent makeup. I didn't really like the look of tattooed brows, but then I found a microblading course called Slide and Tap in Moscow, which I brought back to Belgravia, London. Now it's really kicked off and people trust me to do it, but I can only do one appointment a day, so I needed this team for threading and tinting, too.
You don't use wax on brows, why is that?
I can't get the same precision as I do with the thread – it's that control. I believe threading exfoliates the skin, too, and makes the hair come back stronger. Waxing isn't good for the eye area as it sags the skin. You can get white spots, too.
Bushy brows have reigned supreme for years now – do you think that's about to change?
I still get people asking for big and bushy brows, but more often people just want what will suit their face – people are more switched on to the fact that brows should frame your face.
What should we know before coming in for microblading?
Shower the night before as you can't get your brows wet for 24 hours. The same goes for exercise. Also, know that your eyebrows will be darker immediately after the treatment, before fading to their true colour. They'll flake and peel for a few days, so if you have a big event, do it a week before!