Maybe, like me—you too, have caught notice of a beautifully manicured pair of brows, only to learn that they were the product of one of the newest trends in brow beauty: microblading. Don’t go reading up on it after you’ve jumped the gun and done the procedure, trust me. You’ll want to know what to expect. I’ll walk you through the questions I naturally had throughout the process and the answers that I came to discover.
What Is Microblading?
While similar to tattooing, microblading is not quite a tattoo, and it’s not permanent. Permanent makeup can have a sort of unnatural, faded, inky look to it after some time. Microblading seems to hold up better. Instead of stenciling ink over hair to fill in gaps, microblading is the process of making tiny, hair-like incisions into the skin where you’d naturally pencil in your brows.
In other words, it’s one of the most natural brows looks you can wear. Depending on your skin type, it can last anywhere from 12-18 months, possibly even longer. If it seems too good to be true, it isn’t! It really works. However, there are some very important, and I mean you must pay attention—details to consider.
Should You Really Get It Done?
Beauty trends arrive and exit through an ever-revolving door of advancements, innovations, and an increasing demand to achieve “natural” results that actually last. After the boom of the big, bodacious, brow trend, the general consensus in the beauty industry seems to be that the best brow is the one that fits your face and features.
Makeup techniques can get pretty sophisticated, and with that—time-consuming, and expensive. If you’re someone who spends a ton of money on eyebrow makeup or tools, microblading might be a literal investment.
Putting a Price Tag on It
Microblading can cost anywhere from $150-$800 for the initial session. Why? Technically speaking, microblading can be done by anyone who knows how, and has the tools. However, it is absolutely not advisable to go to just anyone.
You’ll want to go to a licensed professional, but be wary that choosing a luxurious location or trendy med spa might result in a substantial mark-up of the price.
The other thing to be aware of before your procedure, is the cost of touch-ups. It’s unlike tattooing, where you may or may not need a touch-up. In most microblading cases, a touch-up is necessary to achieve the final look. They may also vary in price, but is usually a fraction of the initial fee.
Some things to consider when weighing whether it’s worth it are:
- How often you do your eyebrows.
- How much time you spend on them.
- How much it costs you to currently maintain them. (Keep in mind you may still need to clean up hairs around them, etc).
- What it’s worth to you to have them already done every day.
- If you’d like to optimize your shape to enhance your look. (It’s possible to have a completely different shape put on).
If You’ve Decided You’re Doing It
If you’ve decided that you’re all in on the microblading train, welcome! It can be a really awesome experience as long as you’re informed, and make safe and solid choices.
Before Getting It Done
Aside from making the overall decision, choosing somewhere you feel comfortable with is key. Something to look for is cleanliness, obviously. You would never want anyone touching your face without the utmost hygiene, let alone making incisions in your skin.
Don’t Settle with Shape
Your technician will likely pencil on a general shape, and ask you to approve it. Never allow them to jump into it without approving the shape first. If you’re clueless as to what you want, a general rule of thumb for symmetrical brows is having a similar measurement in three points on the brow.
Keep in mind that the shape drawn on will probably look a bit thicker than they will actually be once they heal.
When It’s Actually Going Down
Alright, so when you’re laying down trying not to freak out (is it just me?), know that the procedure is temporary. If for any reason you’re unhappy with your result, it will not last forever, and there are some things that can be done if this is the case.
It May Hurt
The other thing to remember is that although it’s different from a tattoo—it still kind of feels like one. I say “kind of” because, in most cases numbing cream or some other numbing agent is used. However, depending on skin sensitivity and all kinds of complicated pain-tolerance variations in humans, it might still hurt.
The objective is not to move, no matter what. An experienced technician will be able to work with a little movement, but why take the risk? Avoid taking any blood thinners the day before, and to be safe, hop-off any creams or lotions outside of what is needed to cleanse your skin.
When the Deed Is Done
Outside of adequate research and planning, what happens after the procedure is arguably the most critical part. If you’ve googled what to do and what to expect, you might feel the same way I did: confused. Considering just how popular microblading is, there is a ton of conflicting information about aftercare out there.
Take Aftercare Seriously, but with a Grain of Salt
Some say that you should avoid cleaning it all together, others say you can apply a healing cream like Vaseline lightly. Whatever aftercare instructions your tech gives you, keep this in mind: You’re going to have tiny little scabs on your brows the size of hair strokes. These little scabs carry the color deposit that will sit slightly deeper than the surface of your skin.
If these scabs are disrupted before they are ready to fall off, the color deposit may fall off with them. This is the reason they tell you to avoid wetting your brows or sweating. However, there is a case for the brow scabs becoming infected. If you’re someone who’s going to wear makeup around them despite being advised not to, you may want to gently clean around them best you can. This will help to avoid minor breakouts as well. This is also something to consider if you absolutely cannot avoid sweat from the weather.
The reason that aftercare instruction should be followed with caution is because everyone is different, everyone’s skin is different, with different preferences, and different environmental factors. This is why it kind of makes sense that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all aftercare guidebook.
Final Tips for Your Microblading Experience
Generally speaking, you’ll want to understand that you’ve got to allow the babies to heal, and that you cannot force it. I struggled with this myself. I was insistent on going to the gym and spending time in the sun before I was supposed to. I do not recommend this. I leave you with these final tidbits I can offer about my personal experience.
- Don’t get experimental during the healing process, wait it out. Enough said.
- Make sure you can go the 10-14 days following the procedure without sweating or getting wet, and out of the sun. It sounds like a short amount of time, it feels longer.
- You might hate them throughout the entire healing process. At first, they’re going to be way too dark and crusty. They will then fall off in patches that won’t be very easy to sport if you’re not cool with it. Again, just wait it out. They will be a lighter color once the scabs are gone, but the pigment will begin to darken slightly as they finish healing.
- Never, ever, peel the scabs.
- The touch-up requires similar (slightly shorter) healing time.
- Take baths if you can to avoid wetting your brows in the shower. Even facing away from the stream still leaves them at risk for getting wet. Plus, if you shower with scorching hot water as I do—they will still dampen, softening the scabs, and possibly prolonging and disrupting healing.
There you have it. Now go get those killer brows—beautiful!