Press and Publicity
What’s Brows got to do got to do with it…Okay so it sound’s like the start of a Tina Turner song, but this a love story with a happy ending.Eyebrows frame you face and can determine how you present yourself to the world. They come in all different shapes and sizes and with each fashion trend and decade take on a life of their own. I for one, can remember seeing Denise Richards for the first time as a James Bond girl and thought, WOW, she has the best eyebrows I have ever seen. I wanted eyebrows like that but there was one problem, I didn’t have the genetics. Unless I wanted to glue carpet to my forehead it wasn’t going to happen, so I did without. But make no mistake every time I saw someone with a full set of brows I would make a point of telling him or her how awesome they were. Six years ago was the first time that I heard about permanent makeup, also know as cosmetic tattooing. I looked into certified technicians but was living overseas and the selection left little to be desired. I found a lady on the Internet and groomed through her credentials and elaborate photo gallery. I was impressed with her work and decided it was time to treat myself to a set of brows I had always envisioned for myself. That excitement and “Oh my goodness, its like Christmas” feeling didn’t last long once I was in the technician’s chair. I have tattoos so it’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting myself into but this was excruciating. I could feel rattling in my jaw and my face felt like it was on fire, the only thing I could think of was “when is this torture going to be over?” After sweating through one t-shirt and a sweater it was over, I could finally go home, pour myself a scotch and commend myself on being brave enough to get a set of beautiful eyebrows, WRONG! I looked into the mirror and wanted to scream, “What did you do to me?” My eyebrows did not resembled the beautiful photo’s that were proudly displayed across her website, nor was it the colour or brushstroke style that we had discussed in the consultation. I was mortified but what could I do, tattoos are permanent. For the next 6 years I learned to endure my bad eyebrows with the use of makeup and no sunscreen. I managed to fade the black McDonald arches to a medium brown blending the bad scribble in with my natural brows. I planned to have them redone but was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer. I underwent extensive chemotherapy and hair was dropping like rain in Vancouver, I was too sick to worry about grabbing the brow pencil and learned to live with botched eyebrows for the next four years. I had bigger problems then to worry about a bad tattoo job but it still weighed on my confidence and I told myself that it was going to be the first thing I had fixed when I was deemed physically stable by my doctor. Well, I am proud to say that that day happened yesterday and I am relieved to tell you that my experience was 180 degrees different. First of all I went to Beauty Ink®, this beautiful office is located in Vancouver and comes with a stunning view of the mountains. My technician Shauna who also happens to be the owner and creator of Beauty Ink® welcomed me with open arms and exuded confidence and professionalism. There was no hesitation during the consultation process and Shauna knew the exact colours that were needed to correct the previous catastrophic handy work as well as camouflage for the scar tissue that had built up due to a heavy hand, a technique that defines an inexperienced technician. I knew that I had picked the right place, but was extremely nervous for the torture that was about to ensue. Shauna picked up on my anxiety and immediately put me at ease with genuine conversation, we had a fun banter going and before you knew it, it was go time. I was ready for the pain but it never came, I didn’t feel a thing, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I laid back and relaxed as Shauna explained her enjoyment for what she does and the effort she goes to in order to ensure that her work place is inviting, professional and most of all hygienically safe. She does not cut any corners when it comes to cleanliness and made a point of showing me the equipment (pre-packaged) that she would use on me that day. I was absolutely blow away with the final results. I knew my brows were bad and would be very difficult to correct but could not be happier with Shauna’s work. The previous tattoos were now a memory and I was left with even, natural, brushstroke eyebrows that I had envisioned for myself from the very beginning. My experience at Beauty Ink® was the type of experience that one should have the first time around. It wasn’t until I left that I realized the extent of what I had previously endured 6 years earlier, it was a really bad experience and I am shocked that places like that are allowed to operate. It is so important to pick the right place and the right technician. I would recommend Beauty Ink® to anyone and I myself will be a repeat customer. For more information on Cosmetic Tattooing, visit the Beauty Ink® website to find out their list of services. I want to thank Shauna for giving me the confidence that had been taken away by a previous experience, and for going above and beyond in making me feel 100% comfortable. Summer is just around the corner and I can now focus on having fun in the sun instead of worrying about my fading brow liner.
XO, Violet Cameron
Written by Jacqueline Ryan
“Shauna Magrath tattoos my eyebrows and eyeliner with permanent cosmetics, talks Beauty Ink® and shares her story of how she overcame an abusive childhood and triumphed in the business of beauty!”
Having my eyebrows and eyeliner permanently tattooed onto my face by Shauna Magrath, was a prospect that made my heart flutter with both excitement and trepidation! Permanent Cosmetics means that what happens at The Beauty Ink® Gallery will last longer than any of my romantic relationships thus far! I dreaded coming out looking like Chuckles the Clown, Groucho Marx, or worse, Mrs. Measure – my draconian grade 9 homeroom teacher who drew on her eyebrows precisely, a good inch above their original location. Consequently, walking through the door into The Beauty Ink® Gallery for a permanent set of supercillium had the potential to be a hair-raising experience!
I have always been reluctant to needle ink into my body – pain is not my thing – but even after 25 years had passed, I could still hear my former Mexican boyfriend, Juan, laughingly tease, “Tu no tienas, cejas!” Translation: “You have NO eyebrows!” I was well aware that based on my Norwegian heritage I was no Brooke Shields, but I carried on every morning: dutifully pencilling in and transforming my lackluster wannabes into a perfectly symmetrical, fawn beige, eye-framing set; followed by the mandatory eyeliner – religiously darkening the lash line to unleash my inner Bridget Bardot. Now at the steady hand of my friend Shauna, this was happening for keeps! This is a serious commitment!
So who exactly is this woman tapping pigment into my visage? Magrath is a woman with a past. We all have one, of course, but most of us don’t have one like hers, and her journey from there to here is nothing short of miraculous. I was truly humbled by her willingness to share her deeply personal story. Here then, is an intimate look into this passionate woman’s life, and why I believe I can trust her with my face.
Magrath is both a warm embrace and a powerful entity. She is an intelligent, true-blue gal who is the epitome of professionalism and a stickler for the impeccably clean environment in which she practices her art. The day I walked into The Beauty Ink® Gallery for my procedure, ambient jazz was playing softly and I felt surprisingly relaxed. Trust is everything, and I knew that with Magrath’s laser-like attention to detail, artistic eye, and acute attention to hygiene and sterilization, I was in good hands. As I stepped deeper into her airy, white and gold wonderland, I felt even more at ease, and the sparkling chandeliers and miles of soft tulle further softened my mood. She does not take her responsibility lightly, and as far as I’m concerned, her perfectionism is a welcomed trait. Creating this oasis did not come easily for her, however, and her success speaks to her sheer faith and determination.
Magrath was the product of a painfully abusive childhood, and she talks about it candidly because it was not her fault – she knows that now. At the tender age of seven, little Shauna witnessed, at the hands of her mom’s boyfriend, the strangulation and near death of her mother. Magrath recalls there was a knife in a drawer on the other side of her mother, but she could not reach it and felt helpless to stop this man from choking the life out of her. Shauna shook her purple, lifeless body until she finally came to – she remembers it like it was yesterday. Besides a young life filled with other unspeakable acts of violence inflicted upon her, at fifteen she was repeatedly sexually exploited: often times by a close family member who took her to clubs and introduced her to older men in their thirties, who would then take her to other locations and have their way with her. She never knew what was going to happen to her, or why…
Understandably, her early life path took a natural course of self-destruction and dangerous decisions – which she has now overcome in spades – using her experiences to shape the amazing woman she has transformed into today.
Shauna: “I had come from a place where I was already being exploited. Unfortunately, I wasn’t well guided in my life in those (early) years, and people took advantage of that. Back then, I thought it was cool hanging out in nightclubs with adults. I think the insecurity and the abuse that I had suffered from men in the past aided in that whole dysfunction and why it all happened. At nineteen, I ended up severing my achilles tendon, I didn’t have a job, and I needed money because I was three hundred dollars short on my rent. A stripper girlfriend of mine was staying with me and suggested I go with her to enter a wet t-shirt contest.”
Magrath easily won the contest, and since it gave her enough money to cover the rent, she was naturally convinced to travel east with her friend and dance her way back across Canada – pocketing a cool $1000.00 a week. But after two years on the road, making stops through small towns and dealing with the type of discrimination that goes with the territory – namely refusal of service in myriad establishments, and the obvious hatred by the wives and girlfriends of the men she was stripping for – she was ready to change her life.
Shauna: “We stayed in places like flophouses with bedbugs and junkies… it was bad. A girl had been killed in the room I was staying in, and there were blood stains on the ceiling. When I was on stage one night, a lecherous man grabbed me, and I kicked him in the head with my stiletto heel. I got off the stage and I was so broken up because I have always been such a sensitive person. I went up to my room and got on my hands and knees and started to cry because this was not what I saw with my life; It wasn’t where I wanted to be; I was so broken, and I had no dignity or self respect.” Keeping the lights on all night because the cockroaches were so bad, she began to pray, “Please Lord, I want something better for my life!”
“And that’s when I felt like a hand literally came down onto my right shoulder, and I heard in my head: “Follow your heart, you will never go wrong. It’s not until you jump off the cliff will you learn how to fly, and I will be there to guide you all the way.” “That was such a profound moment. I knew I had to do what I love, and I always loved doing makeup. It was a way for me to escape my childhood.”
In fact, Magrath graduated with honors and was awarded a two-year scholarship to The Emily Carr University of Art and Design, yet never attended as she was not encouraged to explore her gift. In spite of that, art is what kept her in high school. “I was always told that my art was a useless waste of time, and it would never get me anywhere.” “You’re just going to waste your life.” “I was never encouraged to follow my artistic passion, so I never went. It’s one of my life regrets… but then again, I think it would have changed the raw talent that I do have.”
Looking into ways she could apply her sculpting, drawing and painting skills, she discovered the Stage Craft Program at Douglas College. It started out wonderfully for Magrath, but while walking across the campus plaza just two weeks after she began her schooling, a guy yelled out at her, “Show us your tits, you stripper slut!” Devastated, she cried all the way home, chopped off her long blonde hair, dyed it dark auburn, and went back to school the next day looking like a different person. After a year there, she saw a television show about Sci-fi makeup, and decided right then to take the advanced program on special effects makeup. She knew that was exactly what she had to do – to change someone else’s appearance by sculpting and moulding it with rubber! “Back then there were only six people in town that did Special F/X. I decided, ‘That’s what I’m going to do! I’ve got the talent, I’m going to pursue it.’”
Magrath went off to further specialize her skills at a prestigious Special F/X academy in Toronto, stripping her way through school, and ultimately ending her exotic dancing career in order to put her painful past behind her and cultivate her dreams. “You don’t have to live by a label… you can be anything you want to be.”
Shauna: “The one thing that dancing did give me, though, was confidence. I never had confidence in my life – I was so insecure about my appearance – I was such an insecure little girl, and by dancing and learning that I had power over men, it gave me a control that I had never known. So, it’s really funny because without dancing I would never be where I am today; I would have never obtained that power and confidence to follow my heart.”
She began working in Vancouver on independent films, and became involved in the theatre program, designing masks and teaching students at UBC. That’s when she started getting calls on a new, little-known TV Series called the X-Files.
“I was ‘Little shop Shauna.’ Working on that show for three years was one of the best periods of my life. I was so elated and happy all the time. I lit up because I knew where I had just come from and where I was going, and I completely metamorphisized.” For twenty years (and with fifty major motion picture credits to her name) Magrath was at the top of her game, working on some of the biggest shows in film and television – even winning an Emmy Honor for her highly regarded contributions.
Sadly, because at that time the rogue warriors of Special F/X didn’t think too much about ventilation or wearing respirators, her moulding materials took their toxic toll on Magrath, for which she is now paying a heavy-hearted price.
Shauna: “The urethane and the cyanide gas goes into your body and it attacks soft tissue, and because of that, I am not able to have children. I wanted to have a house full of them and when I found out I couldn’t do that, I thought, “I’m just gonna do this. I’m going to open a business (Beauty Ink®) sink my life into that, and that’ll be my baby. That was almost five years ago.” At that, Magrath decided to shift her focus away from the film industry, and set her course in a new direction.
Jacqueline: “Where did your idea for The Beauty Ink® Gallery come from?”
Shauna: “I had just lost my grandfather. I was holding him when he passed over and his spirit literally moved through me. That day changed my life forever. I realized I could die tomorrow and I hadn’t done any good in the world except for dementing the minds of young children with F/X Makeup.”
Jacqueline: “And they loved every minute of it.”
Shauna: *laughs* “Yeah… I started praying because I believe that God guides me, so I just kept putting it out there. I was having a nice leisurely bath with my eyes closed, and it just came down and hit me like a bolt of lightening… *Poof!* This vision came to me of opening this boutique – all white and gold; I would do all makeup, but I would specialize in permanent makeup because that could really help people. I got trained (in cosmetic tattooing) in Toronto, and then took a course on how to write a business plan. I wrote it, walked it into my bank along with my portfolio of work, they gave me a small line of credit, and I started looking around for spaces. I opened the gallery, and within six months: my grandma died, my home was destroyed in a fire, my uncle and my aunt died, and then I found out that a woman from Australia had completely ripped-off my business image and concept… so yeah, it was a lot.”
Having recently moved into an elegant new space next to luxurious South Granville Street, she feels she is working on a whole different level, and as she puts it, “You sink or swim, right?”
Magrath now lives to make a difference, and philanthropy has become foremost in her life. “I completely feel that everything I do is divinely directed.” It is paramount for her to give back and leave a positive mark on the world. She knows all too well what it’s like to be in need of a way out of the darkness, so she donates generously to multiple charities, including ‘The Save the Women Organization’ – a refuge for girls who need recovery from the sex trade, whether human trafficking, kidnapping, street kids – you name it. They provide food, clothing, counseling, and a nurturing sanctuary from which to turn their lives around, including learning to trust again, and how to love themselves.
Shauna: “I want to get to a place where I can do some keynote speaking because with the experiences that I’ve been through. I can really share them and inspire a lot of people – especially girls I know that have been sexually abused. That’s why it’s so important to me to follow The Save The Women organization, and help in any way that can for these girls that are being exploited. They’re so broken that they don’t know how to get out of it, and honestly, without the hand of God I wouldn’t be where I am today because… *eyes well up with tears* … it saved my life. I would probably be one of those Hastings Street statistics.”
So one human being at a time, she changes lives, and feels a tremendous sense of purpose and satisfaction in getting women and men one step closer to where they want to be. Magrath is recognized for being one of the very best in the permanent cosmetic industry, and her clients travel from around the world to access her services. She works with only the highest quality pigments, uses top-of-the-line equipment, and the successful entrepreneur is often invited to speak and train at seminars and conventions, thus sharing her expertise with others in her field. Her appearance on OWN has brought her even more recognition as a woman of distinction.
We all want to feel beautiful, but many simply want to feel normal, and while the tip of a needle delivering permanent makeup can enhance your beauty, many of these procedures benefit those having undergone reconstructive breast surgery, chemotherapy and other health concerns like alopecia; restoring features while lifting their spirits and self-esteem. The Beauty Ink® Gallery services include eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, scalp stippling and areola tattooing, and Magrath frequently finds herself correcting the flawed work of others, whose unhappy clients come desperately looking to her to try and fix their unfortunate results.
As for me, I am grateful for what I do have, and on this day, it was my turn to feel just a little bit more beautiful. I was excited to improve upon my look and feeling ready to express myself with my shapely new eyebrows. I took a deep breath, rested my head back for the numbing cream to take effect, and comfortably relaxed into ‘shavasana’ until she was ready to begin her exacting technique on my eyes.
During the intricate process, Magrath took great care to ensure my level of comfort and well-being, assuring me that her expression of concern for her clients and meticulous attention to detail was the rule, and that I was no exception. After a few hours of firmly and carefully pressing the custom blended pigments into my skin, Magrath completed her masterful work on my brows and upper lash line, and I was on my way to a new me. With diligent aftercare, recovery was honestly a breeze. For a few hours immediately afterwards, my eyebrows stung as though they’d been sunburned, but after that I felt only tenderness. The following day, my eyes looked slightly puffy – like I’d had a little cry – but nothing that my oversized sunglasses couldn’t conceal.
Top: Au Natural Centre: After 1 Session of Beauty Ink® Custom Cosmetic Tattooing Bottom: Healed-in first session of Beauty Ink® custom brows and liner
The results were immediate and amazing, and four weeks later, I am utterly thrilled with my new appearance! Perfectly aligned and symmetrical, my brows are coloured in with a shade expertly matched to my skin tone – with a shapely, gentle arch that with a pencil would take a painstakingly long time to achieve! I look completely natural, and by correcting the issues I once had to fuss over, I am free to enjoy my summer without the hassle of pencils, powders and brushes! My deepest brown-black upper lash line is precise and even – delicate enough to look pretty without makeup, and with the subtlest flare in the outer corner to brighten up my eyes! It is a dream to have them applied perfectly and without any effort – every single day!
I can only imagine how emotionally uplifting it is for someone who may genuinely need this process just to feel better about themselves, and to live their lives without additional worries during difficult times! With defined, natural-looking eyebrows that won’t rub off on my pillow, and eyeliner that gives me that deep and sultry lash line I crave, I feel completely liberated! My eyebrows, eyeliner, and Shauna Magrath herself, are permanently beautiful!
For a complete list of services and for more information, contact The Beauty Ink® Gallery
The BC Beauty Council, The American Academy of Micropigmentation, The Canadian Legion and a Member and The Canadian Federation for Independent Business
Blood borne Pathogen Certificate, Beauty Safe Certificates
Jacqueline Ryan: Photo of Shauna with Flowers, Photo on the Beach, Photo of Hand with Heart
Candice Albach: Photo of Eyeliner Tattooing at Beauty Ink® Gallery, Photo of Shauna with Client in Mirror
Shauna Magrath: Photos of Special F/X Makeup and Shauna with Jessica Biel
Vince Hemingson: Photo of Jacqueline Ryan