New in Town is a behind-the-scenes look at businesses and clubs in Bradford West Gwillimbury from the perspective of a person getting to know the community. Want to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The technique of filling in your eyebrows is a lot like the colouring you did as a kid.
Run a pencil crayon darker around the edges and fill it in lightly.
That elementary-school lesson is one that people can still apply to their eyebrows and makeup, said Sumayya Khan, owner of in-home aesthetics business Sumayya & Co. in Bradford West Gwillimbury.
“(You go) back and forth like a pencil crayon (in a) colouring book,” she said.
But if you have a tendency to colour outside the lines, you may need some more practice.
Khan recently invited me to her home studio to learn more about what she does.
The mother is a certified makeup artist and aesthetician, who offers a range of services, including all types of makeup artistry, hair styling, waxing, facials, scalp massages, threading, microblading, and more.
What people most often ask her about, she said, is how to properly fill in their eyebrows.
And as someone who grew up as a bit of a tomboy and came late to makeup, I could use a lesson in how to do that without looking like I took a Sharpie to my face.
What would take me 20 minutes, she did in two.
Turning a bright light on my face in her white and modern studio space, she coloured onto my eyebrows in short motions, expertly darkening them with a brown filler and using a spoolie brush to soften out the look.
“You’re going to keep staring at them,” she told me.
She was right. It was hard not to stare at my perfectly shaped eyebrows anytime I passed a mirror for the rest of the day.
Just a few minutes’ work seemed to make a big difference for my face, making it sleeker and more defined.
“It’s always about having a satisfied customer,” Khan said. “To see someone walk out with a perfect face of makeup and they’re excited — that’s what brings me joy.”
Khan offers one-on-one makeup lessons and would like to teach seminars one day.
For now, she is purposely limiting the services she offers to what she enjoys — and she keeps busy.
Beyond her regular clientele, she also recently did all the hair and makeup for women of all ages the Bradford Mammas’ first-ever vendor and fashion show.
“I work with a lot of young moms, and my style is to look more natural and to look like yourself,” Khan said.
Real people have crow’s feet and wrinkles, and she said she wants to enhance their beauty instead of making their makeup look cakey.
“The trend of makeup is changing. The type of makeup you’re seeing on Instagram is very dramatic,” she said.
“We don't have perfect symmetry like we see on social media. We don't have perfect skin. We don't all have the same features. I like to enhance the beauty we do have and the perfection in our imperfection.”
Khan said she got into microblading to help women who did not have much eyebrow hair to work with.
So instead of having to apply makeup every day, they can get semi-permanent tattooing that can last up to three years and looks natural, she said, adding most people get it touched up annually.
“It’s a world of difference for someone to walk out of the house and not put on makeup,” she said. “You still want to look like yourself.”
Khan started out in aesthetics just for fun, doing hair and makeup for her friends and family.
She has a sociology degree and thought about teaching before she realized that path was not as exciting to her as her real passion.
So she took an aesthetics course in 2008 and “I just went full force.”
Khan said she enjoys the freedom of working out of her home because she is able to take her kids to school and pick them up every day, and schedule clients’ appointments even into the evenings based on their availabilities.
“I love it because I’m home with my kids. I can’t really turn (the work) off. That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make,” she said.
In the future, Khan said she wants to do more teaching, elevate her business branding, and possibly open her own storefront.
“I definitely have goals. I’m always working toward bigger goals,” she said.
“I do it with my whole heart. That’s what’s bringing me success — I give 100 per cent; it’s genuine.”