As I settled into the spacious and bright Monaco Spa, Sirine Sweiss bounced around the room preparing for her next Microblading patient – who graciously agreed to have me observe her procedure before going under the ‘microblade’ myself. Sirine’s bubbly and energetic personality immediately put us both at ease – and her obvious expertise and easy laugh made for a fun and informative afternoon.
From Beirut to Edmonton, Sirine’s early years were marked with change – perhaps why she has such a natural inclination towards entrepreneurship.
“I had my first job when I was ten – I would sew together hair scrunchies then go around selling them door-to-door. I was making $500 a month!”
Unsure of her next step after school, Sirine found herself working at a bank. But a visit to a family friend in Toronto (and an unexpected connection) changed her plans entirely.
“He wasn’t even on my radar until that trip, and for him, I went from the annoying younger sister’s friend to someone super easy to talk to.”
A whirlwind romance saw her married and moving to Toronto shortly after. But another change was on the horizon.
“I hadn’t been in Toronto for more than a month when my husband received a job offer in Vancouver. So we packed up and ended up spending 13 years on the West Coast. All my kids were born there!”
Sirine’s three kids, now 7, 10, and 14, spent their early days soaking up Vancouver’s incredible city life conveniences and sprawling outdoor playgrounds. After her first was born, Sirine quickly realized her shared dissatisfaction with clothing options for kids – so she put her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit back to work – sorting through second-hand stores for kids clothing that she would then alter and customize before selling on Ebay and Etsy.
After child #2, Sirine switched gears and started focusing on women’s clothing – this time turning to vintage clothing stores. With an eye for what would sell, Sirine’s online stores really took off – she even purchased a piece from then up-and-coming Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal.
“I sold a beautiful vintage Diane Von Furstenberg jumpsuit for $500 that I had bought for only $10! Then the lady emails me and says ‘just so you know, I would have bought it for $1,000’. She ended up being a curator for an art museum in Arizona, and they were having a show on jumpsuits from different eras.”
Her find was featured in the 2009 show, and it ended up being great for business.
“I’d have famous DJ’s and stylists buying stuff from me all the time – it was so much fun.”
With the arrival of baby #3, Sirine closed up shop. But after taking some time with her growing family, Sirine felt the pull back to work – and started browsing Craigslist for odd-jobs in the fashion industry, eventually connecting with a photographer in need of a wardrobe stylist.
“As time went on, he started needing someone for makeup and hair – so I learned! You just don’t know what can happen when you put yourself out there.”
But with 12 hour shoot days becoming the norm, three busy kids, and a husband who travelled for work, her time was in increasingly short supply.
“My kids have always been my priority. So I knew I needed to find something that would give me more reasonable hours but still allow me to be creative.”
Now back in Ontario, Sirine and her family have made a home in Burlington, where Sirine works at Monaco Medical Aesthetics as a medical and beauty esthetician. When she found microblading, she knew immediately it was a perfect fit.
“Each client has unique requirements, from shape to style to pigment colour. Every appointment is a new challenge!”
Sirine’s microblading appointments admittedly run a bit longer than the two-hour norm, but precision is crucial – over half of the appointment is spent measuring, balancing, and mixing for the perfect colour pigment.
When picking someone to do your brows, Sirine suggests ensuring they are certified and established – but choosing an artist comes down to style.
“Each artist has their own individual method. Look at their portfolio and see if it matches your style and expectations.” From there, take a look at reviews to make sure they’re the real deal.
Sirine is skeptical about claims your brows will last up to 3 years:
“I’d say a year, year and half max. It really depends on your lifestyle and skin type: if you workout all the time, spend a lot of time in the sun, or have skin more on the oily side, you’re definitely going to have to have them touched up more often – about every 6 to 8 months.”
My afternoon spent with Sirine left me feeling pampered and relaxed (even though half the time was spent literally under the knife!). Sirine’s motto is perfect both for life and for microblading:
“I would only ever do to others what I would want done to me!”
Connect with Sirine on Instagram! @beautybysirine