As soon as brow tattooing started to go mainstream, so too did a steady stream of horror stories about inking gone wrong.
From mums left with lifelong facial scarring, to women sporting dark, unnatural Angry Birds-style brows, it's been enough to give anyone nightmares.
Let's be real, the last place you can afford to have a bad tatt is on your actual face.
So, because we both want perfect brows and are terrified of ending up a beauty-school statistic, Be turned to Australia's brow queen, Sharon Lee, to ask for her advice.
Tending to the brows of the A-list is Sharon's bread and butter – she's the woman behind such illustrious brows as Michelle Obama's (Sharon regularly flies out to meet her and do a quick touch-up) – so she really knows her stuff.
“There are plenty of things that can go wrong," Sharon says, "from creating uneven and sometimes visibly wonky shape, incorrect colours being used (some cheap pigments to fade to a pinkish hue), to clumsy strokes that appear as thick heavy lines... it breaks my heart to see these kinds of results, as it can be terribly traumatising for the recipient."
To combat the horror-brow epidemic, Sharon Lee has developed her own signature method of brow tattooing: her "Triple Layer Strokes" method combines a mix of the best techniques.
Using a combination of three hand-held blades, a combination of at least three different colours, and servicing clients in three sessions (as opposed to the usual two offered by other brow artists) results in exceptionally natural, realistic and three-dimensional brows.
How to choose a brow artist and what to look for:
Your eyebrow shape should be fully customised, designed especially for you by your brow artist. There is no excuse for a shape that is anything other than flawless! Shapes, angles and arches should be completely symmetrical, and the tattooed strokes should create smooth, flawless lines above and below the brow.
Again, colour should be fully customised to each client according to their skin tone and hair colour. A range of colours is often used to achieve a more natural and three-dimensional result.
Avoid "Picket Fences"
Sadly, this is common amongst even the most well-known brow artists. Strokes should not appear as long, spaced-out individual lines that resemble picket fences. Your hair does not grow like this naturally, so there's no reason to create brows that look like this. They will also fade quickly and give a "flat", artificial look. A great brow artist should leave you with brows that can barely be told apart from natural hair.
“Brow artists should take the utmost care in their craft – not only as the slightest change in a brow can affect the entire face, but particularly when performing a treatment with such long-lasting results,” Sharon Lee said. “Your brow artist should not only have years of experience, but be properly trained as a beauty or dermal therapist, with sound knowledge of skin, hair and anatomy.”