Alia Abdel Wahab, one of the very first microblading brow artists in Egypt, is shaping the way for women’s eyebrows. A graduate of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, the famous brow artist double majored in marketing and financial management, a far cry from what she is now famous for with Brows & Co., her own brow and microblading studio. eniGma’s Sara Azab caught up with Abdel Wahab to learn about her fascinating journey as a brow artist, and what lies ahead for her in the future.
Now a famous brow artist, Alia Abdel Wahab’s first job in marketing at a pharmaceutical company couldn’t have been further from that. “That job was a bit of challenge for me because, at the time, pharmaceutical companies were only hiring doctors and pharmacists,” she recalls. “But, my boss at that company was very open minded. He hired me as marketer and taught me the American way of doing the job. I was only one of nine such marketers in Egypt and the only female among them,” she adds. Because of the busy schedule it entailed, however, she eventually decided to quit to find a more stable job.
Recalling how she ended up starting the brow business she is famous for, Abdel Wahab says, “I always loved painting. I was quite like my father in that sense. But I found my own special calling when I realised that many of my friends, who were around 25 years old, were looking older than their age because they were keeping their eyebrows very thin, which was the fashion at the time. It struck me that the reason that they looked much older was because, at their age, they were actually supposed to have full brows. I started fixing my friends’ eyebrows for free and eventually found myself having a full schedule of just doing people’s eyebrows.”
To start off her career right, Abdel Wahab first took a tattooing course, then followed that with a course in microblading at PHI Academy, one of the most important beauty academies in the world. “I was actually the first in Egypt to do microblading. There was only one other student from Egypt there and we both got certified by PHI brows,” she recalls.
Starting her business was not so simple, however, and it came with a few challenges. One such challenge was the need to teach people the difference between microblading and brow tattooing, as many people still mistakenly think they are the same.
“Another challenge I still face is when someone doesn’t want to change her looks, because she thinks it’s not natural. Or when people come to me with a tattoo they chose and they insist that I do what they want, instead of what I think is right. In such cases, I have to turn them down,” she explains.
For people who are not familiar with microblading, she explains the process as follows,” Microblading involves drawing strokes that mimic the natural hair of your eyebrows to make them look the way they were before being over plucked, or before they thinned due to aging or as a result of chemotherapy etc. The shape is first drawn by properly following measurements. We draw on the second layer of the skin, while tattoos are done on the third layer of the skin using a machine. In microblading, we use a manual tool to draw strokes that mimic natural hair strokes. That makes your eyebrows look thicker.”
Abdel Wahab is passionate about her work, and is especially satisfied when she sees the positive effect of having full looking eyebrows on her clients’ self-esteem. “They make a big difference. First of all, eyebrows frame the eyes, which are the most important feature on our face. Second, they have the instant effect of fixing some eye defects. If you have droopy eyes, you can lift them. If you have very round eyes, you can make them look sharper. If you have very sharp eyes, you can make them look softer. Just imagine waking up with perfectly shaped eyebrows without having to do any touch ups. It’s kind of a dream come true!” she exclaims.
Looking ahead, Abdel Wahab is looking forward to continuously improving her skills and helping women achieve their natural beauty. “My goal is to achieve natural beauty effortlessly. I think what I want, and many other women want, is to look effortlessly pretty. So, I will keep chasing this goal of helping clients look pretty without making any effort, and without looking fake of course!”