I Tried It, and I Like It: Eyebrow Microblading
Bye-bye, brow pencil! The semipermanent tattooing technique gave me full, natural-looking arches and shaved minutes off my morning routine.
Not all of us were born with a coveted facial characteristic that makes a big style impact — full, even, nicely arched eyebrows! Over time, brows have taken on a variety of shapes and enhancements: They have been caterpillar-thick, ultrathin and, currently, ombré. Brows truly shape the face and give it dimension.
In my own journey, I’d used a variety of brow gels and pencils to attempt the perfect brow. However, due to my lack of coordination, my brows frequently looked more like cousins than sisters. This caused me a lot of stress and made even the simplest makeup routine take much longer. My eyebrows were always the aspect of my day- and night-face looks that I dreaded having to do, because the result would either be a complete hit or a complete miss.
I’d used a variety of brow gels and pencils to attempt the perfect brow. However, due to my lack of coordination, my brows frequently looked more like cousins than sisters.
One day, while browsing TikTok, I noticed videos of a woman performing microblading. She would play a trick on her clients by giving them awfully dark, thick brows that looked finished, but before they could drag her, she would reveal perfectly even brows. (To pull off the prank, she’d leave the ink thick and full, without clients knowing that the next process was to wipe off the excess and reveal their true and final brows.) The actual results? Wow. What is this masterpiece of aesthetics? I asked myself. That is, until I saw other videos revealing bad results. Social media left me in limbo about whether I wanted to take that leap. I was also wondering, How much does it cost? I wanted beautiful brows badly!
More about microblading
According to medicalnewstoday.com, microblading is a semipermanent tattooing technique that, unlike permanent tattooing, will last for a few years and then fade. How long it lasts may depend on skin type. On oily skin, results may fade a little faster. An aesthetician uses a hand tool that is equipped with small needles to apply semipermanent pigment. The desired result is full, feathery arches that align and pull the overall look together.
Anyone considering microblading would be wise to ensure that they are booking a state-licensed professional.... We don’t want to be messing with somebody’s kitchen beautician!
Happily, after I’d tweeted about my desire, a girlfriend from college DMed me and told me she had gotten her brows done in the D.C. area. And although I had been living outside the country for years, I was excited, because I travel back home quite often. I was concerned about finding someone skilled and experienced enough to do the procedure safely and with results I’d be pleased with. When my friend sent me her own before and after pictures, I immediately visited her aesthetician’s social media and website and was soon convinced I could book my appointment.
Here are important points I learned before that session and during ongoing research as I look forward to touch-up appointments.
- Professional licensing matters. Anyone considering microblading would be wise to ensure that they are booking a state-licensed professional, according to allure.com. We don’t want to be messing with somebody’s kitchen beautician! Certification by an established industry organization such as the American Academy of Micropigmentation or the Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals is also desirable. The procedure is not FDA regulated, notes allure.com. And complications such as infection or allergic reaction can occur, according to fda.gov.
- Folks with health issues should involve their doctor in decision-making. Many conditions, including a tendency to form keloids, bring added risk. Certain medications such as blood thinners can also be a concern.
- Great brows start with a portfolio browse. It’s smart to look through a brow artist’s work to ensure they’re not someone who’s drawing the same brows on everyone’s face. Ideally, the brows should complement the face shape, features and skin tone of the individual client. Getting referrals may also boost the odds of finding a skilled pro who can deliver a happy result. Nobody wants to walk out of the studio looking like they have Tetris blocks on their face! I’m glad I booked with the aesthetician my college friend recommended.
- A preservice consultation lays out what to expect. During my consultation, my aesthetician, Tracee Wines of Sculpt Ink Beauty Studio in Alexandria, Virginia, gave me a rundown of the entire process, which included weeks of aftercare at home. I had my questions answered, and I didn’t feel rushed.
- Brow mapping is a big deal. To begin, the aesthetician maps the client’s face to help determine the best shape, length and width of the brows. Often using string, the beauty pro creates lines that show the best positioning and spacing for the brows. Wines carefully determined the best color for my brows based on my skin tone to be sure that they weren’t too dark, too red or too gray. After the aesthetician has filled in the shape with a pencil, this is the time to speak up if you don’t like what you see! The client should be 100 percent comfortable with the look, because the final product will be applied in semipermanent ink.
I was truly in awe of how my face looked after my initial appointment and after my brows healed. It has not only cut a lot of time from my makeup routine, but there are many days when I don’t feel the need to put any makeup on at all.
One of the last things Wines advised was that there would be a moment in my healing process where the brows would crust up a bit, and it would look like there was hardly any ink underneath. She assured me not to panic. The microblading has this patchy or “ghosting” stage, but it’s temporary. After this happened, my amazingly beautiful and naturally colored brows emerged. I was truly in awe of how my face looked after my initial appointment and after my brows healed. It has not only cut a lot of time from my makeup routine, but there are many days when I don’t feel the need to put any makeup on at all, because the brows give a very “get up and go” vibe.
Toward the end of my appointment, I was instructed on how to gently clean the treated area and on the steps to healing. My aesthetician provided a cute aftercare home kit that included cotton swabs, healing ointment and a travel-size cleanser. She also gave me an instruction sheet that spelled out how long to maintain the routine.
After four to eight weeks, you may require a second appointment for touching up, according to medicalnewstoday.com. I paid $385 for my microblading services, which included my follow-up appointment costs. Typical sessions can run between $400 and $1,400 according to allure.com Clients will want to check up front whether the quoted fee includes both the initial and the follow-up sessions.
Trust and believe: This is the best cosmetic expenditure I have ever made!