In honour of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($20), we’re kicking off an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honour of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the beauty industry.
First things first: Lien Davies is not your regular successful business owner. She doesn't have an assistant, or a team of employees to manage. Instead, Davies is a one-woman, self-made career woman (and mother of two) at the helm of Brow Confidence—her boutique brow salon that was once one of Sydney's best-kept secrets. But, thanks to Davies' knack for precision and amazing ability to transform eyebrows, everyone is lining up to experience the magic (Zoë Foster Blake, Eleanor Pendleton, and our very own Alison Rice are fans).
Part of Davies' allure is her uncanny capability to precisely measure exactly where all major points of your brow should hit (think: start, arch, and finish). What's more, Davies always shares this wisdom with her clients, meaning at-home touch-ups are 100 percent feasible. Her finished looks are always full, fluffy, and basically the next best thing to a face lift. It's pretty inspiring that Davies only quit her old life to pursue brow artistry after a friend told her she had an "eye" for it over lunch.
We asked Davies to share all her secrets, from her workday lunch of choice, why she chooses to work alone, and the piece of advice that changed both her personal and professional life.
Keep reading for all the intel.
"I'm a brow artist with an unnatural obsession for precision and symmetry. My passion is to help women look their best by transforming their undesirable brows into their ultimate beauty asset."
"What I do is quite systematic, like a recipe or an equation. I have created steps and brow systems for consistent results. Anyone can master it with practice and patience. What surprises people is that I actually teach my measuring and shaping system to all of my clients so they can recreate their desired brows at home. All my Brow Confidence clients can keep their shape well beyond appointments."
"A black Cue suit. The interview was for a graduate position at an insurance company. I looked confident that day but due to my lack of interest, I got rejected. I'm grateful that didn't work out."
"I would love to hang out with Elizabeth Gilbert. I want to personally thank her for writing Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear ($13). Every word deeply resonated with me."
"In my early 20s, I read somewhere that regret is a useless emotion. From that moment, I decided to live my life, both personally and professionally, without regrets."
"In order to guarantee the best care and consistent results, I am the only person who has looked after my clients over the last decade. A one-woman business is a juggling act, but I wouldn't have it any other way. If I was hiring, I would want to make sure the person is great with time management and willing to teach the client. Also, someone who is a perfectionist, precise, and has integrity and passion. Not asking too much, right?"
"I feel powerful when my brows are on point and I'm dressed comfortably in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, or a beautiful maxi dress. I need something that gives me the freedom to move around while I work."
"If I did have an assistant, I'd hope she or he would describe me as passionate, and a sharer of knowledge."
"I look to other creatives such as ceramists, nutritionists, or writers for bursts of inspiration. I’m always curious to learn about other people’s paths to success—what their daily routines look like and their life lessons."
"Have an open and honest chat with your boss to see if changes can be made. Sometimes, you might need to quit gracefully and start your own business. That was what I did back in 2003."
"For comfort and taste, I can't resist beef pho for lunch. But of course, no restaurants can compete with my mum's homemade version."
"I'm yet to find out!"
"@zotheysay, because who doesn't; @alisonlarsenrice, because she's a charming boss lady with awesome beauty Insta Stories; @all_the_wild_roses, as she's my best friend and I love seeing what she's up to; @eleanorpendleton, is my idea of eye candy with great, practical beauty tips; @harperandharley, for her effortless and chic style.
"Early morning, around 5:30 a.m., is my favourite part of the day. My morning ritual usually involves listing three things I'm grateful for, indulging in a Korean sheet mask, replying to emails, reviewing my to-do list, and browsing my favourite websites. To wind down for the night, I enjoy a cup of herbal tea with my family and take a moment to reflect on the day (most Sundays I work 12 hours straight). On the odd nights when I have trouble sleeping, I use some sleep balm and I tune into rain music—that always does the trick."
"To always believe in myself. My mum's advice has encouraged me to do things my own way and approach my industry differently to others."
"I have a few exciting things coming up in 2018. I’m based in Sydney, but visit Melbourne every second month. I'm toying with the idea of visiting more states if there is interest there. In the future, I'd love to design my own brow brushes. After using so many different brushes over the years, I think there's still plenty of room for improvement."