With women and men investing in the power of confidence that comes from looking beautiful, Keighty Wong of Strokes Eye Beauty Studio shares how the art of microblading brows is here to stay.
Semi-permanent makeup has come a long way from its first scary introduction of needles and commitment. With Strokes Eye Beauty Studio responsible for making top-quality cosmetic procedures accessible here in the Philippines, they are pioneering a beauty movement despite the pandemic. Co-owner, and Senior Microblading Expert Keighty Wong tells us how the art of beautiful brows continue to empower women and men.
Scheduled for my own appointment at their Greenbelt branch, I was able to meet the Keighty Wong herself despite her full schedule of microblading clients. Even after a full day’s work, Wong was still full of energy chatting and making jokes comfortably with her staff. As a spectator looking in, the studio was filled with energy and despite Wong being the boss, she clearly also prioritizes making the Strokes team feel like a family.
Keighty Wong and Momoi Supe are the co-founders responsible for the success of the Strokes brand. The two first met at makeup school which later on caused them to be glam team partners with wedding clients and from there on, they were inseparable. “Nagkaroon kami ng team after that nagtuloy-tuloy na. We joined wedding expos and did editorials even for MEGA Magazine for exposure.”
When I asked how the idea of starting their own brand came about, Wong shares that she was having eyebrow problems of her own. “In 2013, I started having problems with my eyebrows, tamad na tamad ako magmakeup, alam ko magmakeup, but if you look at my old photos, they were barely shaped which is why our mentor in makeup fixed it for me,” Wong says. This was their first introduction to eyebrow embroidery but even then, she was not satisfied. Her sister who also tried out it out in another clinic, came back with “sharpie” eyebrows which ultimately pushed Supe to tell Wong that it’s time to open their business, “Kaya natin ‘toh. We’re very precise when it comes to eyebrows and we know the shape is very important,” Supe says. From there, they flew to Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia, and many more to learn the very best of microblading and bring it back here to the country.
They each play their roles for their brands Wong says, “Artistic si Momoi, more siya on the exposure. Mas ako sa business. I prefer to work behind-the-scenes,” which she attributes to her shy demeanor. But when it comes to a day at work, Wong easily talks to the clients making them feel secure and comfortable. Like talking to your best friend, her charismatic personality makes you trust her enough to ask all your questions – which is very important when it comes to getting a semi-permanent procedure.
IT’S A DATE
Over a cup of coffee, Wong also fondly shares how her loyal clients include both men and women, many of which are married couples. “Marami rin bumabalik. Ginawagawa na nila yearly, instead of doing their makeup every day. Minsan nga yung husband na rin yung nagremind,” Wong quips.
Pre-pandemic, they would allow waiting lines at their studio where women would bring their partners to keep them company and eventually the partners started to be interested as well. “Wala kasi sila kilay sa picture so kawawa rin. They want it natural as possible. They have a harder time in shaping and they’re more scared of the procedure and scabbing but in the end, they’re happy and nagiiba rin yung aura nila,” Wong says proudly.
If there’s one thing that Wong will never do, it’s suffering quality for quantity. “Ayaw namin yung nagsusufer yung quality para lang makapagbenta,” Wong says. With the beauty world coming up with several trends each month, Wong states they always put the client’s safety first. An example is the current trend of BB Glow treatment where a pigmented foundation-like serum is microneedled in for better-looking skin which they passed up on because it’s not yet been safely approved. “Mas gusto namin maganda pero happy yung client. Di kami bumaba sa mga level ng competitors na mura kasi marami regrets.” They even reject some clients who come in with brows that are beautiful just the way it is. “We reject clients kapag wala na ikakaganda and we say talaga na brow fixer na lang. That’s why came up with D.I.Y Strokes products. Para good quality na presyong working women and men could purchase,” she says.
Talking about the Strokes Beauty Lab – their brand’s makeup line that they launched during the pandemic, Wong shares that they’ve been planning it for 2 years already and reveals that they plan to complete the whole face soon.
Some of Wong’s favorite clients include our frontliners who work day in and day out fighting the virus for us. Giving them a chance to feel beautiful and confident is the least they could do she says, “Our clients here in Makati and our Mother Ignacia branch are mostly doctors and nurses. They take power naps and pag-gising nila wala na silang kilay. So malaking advantage talaga na wash and wear ang microbladed brows. Kahit way back 2016, nakamask na sila and scrubs, yung mata lang kita ever since.”
Instead of spending 30 mins a day to prepare, Wong says that all her clients are simply happier because they already feel ready to face the day from the moment they wake up. Especially in a time of a pandemic, where the eyes are the main focus, everyone feels confidently beautiful despite the mask because of semi-permanent makeup. “Kahit walang makeup, nakamask ka pa, bukay ka na!”
Book your appointment with Co-owner and Senior Microblading Artist Keighty Wong at strokes.ph.