Jazz Pampling Talks Brows

Brow artist, Jazz Pampling has gained a respected reputation for her flawless, contemporary brow designs and amassed a loyal celebrity following and cutting-edge catwalk portfolio. At Salon Melbourne this year, her brow workshops were a sell out. Professional Beauty caught up with her.

Jazz at work
Jazz’s passion for brows was ignited during makeup artist Rae Morris’ master class. Having worked as a freelance makeup artist for a few years, she had the basics under her belt but realised during Rae’s class just how important brows were to the overall look. “During those ten days of the master class, listening to Rae speak about brows, brows, and brows, I knew I needed to learn everything I could about the eyebrow!”

She completed a certificate in waxing and then worked with a company shaping brows. “At first I thought I would get bored shaping brows every day, but the opposite was true and now I cannot watch TV or open a magazine without assessing brow shape. Soon after becoming a freelance brow artist, I noticed most brow establishments offer a groomed, stylised eyebrow whereas as I prefer a more natural finish. I decided to work for myself and create a brow that compliments each individual.”

Jazz found it difficult to break into the fashion industry initially because of the reputation commonly associated with brow artists: that they over-wax and over-tweeze. “I had to show people I wouldn’t do that – I was not that girl! I started by shaping brows for top makeup artists’ assistants, who then went on to talk about my work to the people they knew and it snow-balled from there. Eventually I had done the brows of all the assistants who knew Rae Morris and fortunately, Rae asked me about my work one day and the rest is history!”

Jazz believes the key to success is the ability to listen to your client and assess and work accordingly to their face shape. “One must compliment the frame and highlight the features, rather than go over the top with a design or strip them practically bare! I don’t use a particular technique; it’s no different to any other artist, however my approach to the brow is simple: less is more!”

Jazz teaching at Salon Melbourne
Each week brings something new and exciting for Jazz. “I have had so many highlights. First it was going to L’Oreal Fashion Week to assist Rae Morris; then bleaching brows at a David Jones season launch; then shaping brows for the television series: Underbelly Razor; and most recently teaching at Salon Melbourne” Jazz also looks after leading Australian model, Samantha Harris’s eyebrows, Natarsha Belling from Channel 10 and has also shaped actress, Naomi Watts’ brows.

Although she feels incredibly lucky to have had the opportunities and experiences she has, one thing constantly disappoints the brow artist. “The low point, for me, is seeing the damage done to a client’s brow through irresponsible waxing when it’s likely the hair won’t grow back. That person is then left with one alternative, which is to fill in the brow with makeup.”

Brow shape has changed every decade since the 20s say Jazz, and although big, natural brows are on-trend these days (particularly in the fashion industry) we’ve seen a number of trends along the way. “I don’t know how we went from the amazing shape seen on Audrey Hepburn to the over-waxed brows of the 90s! There is definitely greater awareness within the brow industry today on the importance of a more natural look. However, not everyone can wear a big brow, so it’s about finding what suits you best. There’s a noticeable difference in the brow trends between cultures and countries. I find Mediterranean women love their brows super-groomed with a high arch (think Kim Kardashian). However Australian women are 50/50 on groomed vs. natural brows. The fashion industry also loves beautiful natural brows.

“Currently, I think women are adopting the strong brow look, because it’s a bold, confident, sexy look. Wearing a strong brow is like wearing a bold red lip, you have to own it and wear it with confidence. It’s a statement because it becomes a key feature on your face and can subtly suggest to those around you that you are a confident, strong individual. Hence the need to own it, because it says more about you than you realise.”

Hannah Saul following Jazz's magic touch
Jazz’s aim is to create brow shape that compliments the face shape rather than contains the features. “Depending on the shape of one’s face, the brow should work as a counter-balance. For example, if someone has a round or square face, I don’t want to highlight that with a flat brow, I want to give them a brow with more lift, to help create length in their features. With an oval face I like to drop the arch, to create more width. Once again, this may not be the case for everyone. I truly believe you need to design a brow on an individual basis.” Jazz cites the example of models Miranda Kerr and Samantha Harris who both have similar round face shapes, “Sam needs more of an arch, while Miranda Kerr can wear a flatter brow. It is the same with the alignment of a brow; there is a general theory, however it changes in practice.”

Her advice to up-and-coming brow artists is to firstly never stop assessing brows. “I do it out of habit. Analyse the brows you see in the media and the people around you. Do you like what you see? Great! Why do you like what you see? If you don’t, then how would you change it for that person? Secondly never cheat a perfect brow with pencil. Let your client see their brow without make up, and then with. The number of clients I have spoken with who have seen an artist, gone home, taken their makeup off and realised they have a hundred holes in their brow! Help your client understand every aspect of their brow. People aren’t silly; they will know when you have put a gap in their brow.”

Her love of the beauty industry makes her perfectly suited to her role and suggests her future in this sector will be a very bright one. “What I love about the beauty industry is that one-on-one care for the individual. You develop a relationship with your clients and you take care of them. Sometimes women and men come to see me and it is the first chance they have had to sit and chill out all day!”

Jazz will be holding a workshop at Sydney Spa & Beauty Expo visit www.jazzpampling.com for further information.