Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Review: HD Brows at Empower Studio

They say that eyebrows are the windows to the soul – okay, maybe they don’t, but they’re a mighty good place to start

Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 07:30


Make up by Aisling Powell

Ten years ago, I knew South William Street for three things: Spy, the bar / club that’s now called Lost Society; the Metro Café, which used to serve this sandwich called the Eastern Tandoori with chicken in curry sauce (so amazing); and Miss Fantasia, where I got my first tattoo done.

Now, it has undergone a serious cool revival and there is no limit to the amount of great eateries, bars and shops on the street. Start at the bottom with a pancake – sweet or savoury – from the original Dublin creperie, Lemon; pick up some seriously slick and individual homewares from Article; have a drink in Grogan’s, the old man pub to beat all old man pubs; get your nails done in Dublin’s newest and coolest nail bar, Tropical Popical. Or drop into Empower Studio, the make-up and beauty studio owned by make-up artist Aisling Powell – where I recently made a visit to get my HD Brows.

Situated above Project 51 (at, conveniently, number 51 South William St) and beside Brown Sugar, Empower is a small space with room for two makeup artists and a HD Brows person, as well as office space.

HD Brows are a bit like the marmite of the beauty world: you either love them, and think that this seven-stop process can give you the best eyebrows of your life; or you hate them, and think that they are merely a fancy way of giving women the “Scouse Brow” that rose to fame in one of Channel 4’s best documentaries, Desperate Scousewives.

The fact of the matter is – bad eyebrows happen. They happen a lot, and to good people, and though this is quite possibly not the world’s most important issue, if your eyebrows matter to you, it is well worth investing the time (and, let’s face it, the money) in finding someone you trust to do your eyebrows for you on a regular basis.

Check out my brows (from top) before, with powder; before, with nothing; and after.

I can now safely say I’ve found this person. Okay, there were a few bits I was iffy about – Aisling threaded the downy hairs around my hairline, and my eyebrows do feel a bit thin, I won’t lie – but the results really speak for themselves. My brows have never looked this groomed, and in the past 24 hours I have been complimented on my eyebrows a record three times (men, if you’re reading this far, congratulations – also, yes, women really do pay attention to these things) by people who did not know I’d had my eyebrows done.

The super-groomed brow look won’t be for everyone (and honestly, if I could have the messy, natural and huge brows of Sarah Morrissey, I would) but I honestly believe they make me look more groomed from the get-go.

From €35 at Empower Studio. I was a guest of Empower Studio.