Eyebrow Expert Svetlana Burckhardt has made it her mission to empower women by giving them great eyebrows along with training up passionate talents in the beauty industry. In this exclusive interview with Fashion Weekly, she gives us an insight into how she turned her struggle of finding a job into building a legacy and finding happiness and success.
Tell us about the light bulb moment that pushed you to start Eyebrow Experts and follow your dreams to becoming a leading Sydney eyebrow boutique?
SB: When I arrived in Australia, 16 years ago, I arrived as a make up artist and beauty therapist, so I sent out 43 resumes but I only had 1 interview. No one wanted to hire me. I was extremely upset, I was very depressed about that and I was really shocked. It was a really low point in my life because I couldn't understand why it was happening to me. I decided okay, well I'm not sure what's happening but I really want to get my foot in the industry. So I went to knock on salon doors in my area and I found a nice salon and talked to the owner and he agreed to give me one week trial with no pay. After that week, I negotiated quite a low wage, and yes! I started working, my wage increased and a year later I was managing that salon.
While I was working there I saw how many women had no clue about their eyebrows. And everyone was coming in with very thin, line eyebrows that were short. It was a disaster!
That’s where my interest and love for eyebrows started because I always think one of the best things you can do for yourself as a woman is to have a beautiful, polished, natural eyebrows. But it takes maintenance.
You offer training to beauty therapists so they can launch their own business and improve their skills. What encouraged you to pass on your wisdom to others?
SB: I basically love doing trainings, and I love helping other people. That's one of my missions in life. I would like to spread the love and keep that knowledge. Am I going to take it to the grave with me? It just doesn't make sense. I train therapists, makeup artists, nail technicians, waxing technicians, and anyone who wants to do amazing eyebrows.
I have students all over the world, I have students who have sent me emails on how the course changed their lives and their careers. It's not only about the eyebrows, it's a full package that I give to empower women because I'm a motivational coach.
The more you give, the more the universe is going to give you. It's just karma, that's how it is.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
SB: The biggest highlight of my career this far probably would be couple of things. I would say I had a few clients who had burnt eyebrows and no eyebrows at all due to a car accident, and I was able to actually restore their eyebrows by creating a good shape for them, very natural and doing the (feathering) brushstroke imitation tattoo for them, so that has given me a lot of satifcation. I would say, my heart is singing because of the result.
Another thing is to be creating a legacy to create really good eyebrows for anyone who comes through the doors, trainings and appearing on the TV, radio interviews, radio in America, that kind of thing.
Also the books, two books which are Confessions of Brazilian Waxing Queen and The Ultimate Eyebrow Guide. Just basically creating a legacy.
That's been incredible for me, I'm extremely blessed and I'm thanking everyone who is part of it, and yes I'm really blessed.
You’ve been in the business for 16 years, what’s the biggest mistake you see women make with their brows?
SB: We have amazing women who come through the doors, and some of them are so beautiful, but the eyebrows are not good, so when our eyebrows are fixed, the whole face will be transformed, it's just incredible. It is really, truly powerful eyebrows. So basically number one of the three mistakes is to make eyebrows either too long or too short. Then number two, bringing the eyebrows too close, or way too far apart. Then third one will be very common as well, it's making the brows super freakin' dark. My rule number one is even if you have a black eyebrows please don't use black eye shadow or black pencil. It’s a Big NO for the brows because it does not look nice at all. Use dark charcoal, define your eyebrows but please don't use black.
You offer a range of services from lash lifts, brow shaping, feather-stroke tattooing and the 7 minute Brazilian. What’s your most popular service and why?
SB: I'm going to put them in order. So number one will be most popular. So number 1 will be Brows Styling which you call Brows Shaping. Number 2 will be probably Lash Lifts, number 3 would be Feather Strokes and Number 4 is 7 Minute Brazilian.
Before, it used to be Brows Style and 7 Minute Brazilian together, that used to be a very common package but what happened is that with the laser, the drop of 7 minutes Brazilian decreased because there is no really point for some women to come for waxing if they can do laser or IPL now.
That's why I have an amazing machine which is IPL Allegro, which can remove black hair, it also can remove grey hair and white hair down there. It's a special technique and that's the reason why I bought that machine. It's freakin' expensive but I bought it for a reason because I was suffering with great white hair and I thought surely there are many people like me.
What’s your ultimate tip to getting amazing brows?
SB: Firstly, I would say always going for a “natural beauty” look when you have natural eyebrows. No over plucking, sometimes it's okay, but it's better to have a little bit bushy brows because you can always pluck one or two of your hairs but when your brows are over-plucked they look too thin and it's not exactly a good look. I would say raw eyebrows, natural eyebrows are always in fashion.
Secondly, you always need to think twice about an eyebrow trend and ask the question of will it be suitable for you? If it is, sometimes it's fine to tweak it if it's not, probably don’t do it.
Lastly, never use black for your eyebrows. I prefer not to bleach eyebrows just because when you bleach it's just not a good look. When they're growing out they grow out with two different colours and then they turn orange and it’s just a whole lot of mess.
So that's probably my top dos and don’ts but ultimately, I always advise to consult with an expert.
What’s next for you and Eyeybrow Experts?
SB: Personally, I always have about 20 projects going on. So I always have lots of gigs happening. For the Eyebrow Experts I would say, to keep creating amazing eyebrows. I love my experts I really would like to train more and more.