As someone who stupidly over tweezed her brows once upon a time and regretted it immensely later on… brow microblading was the answer to my “this sucks filling in my brows every day and equally sucks not having good natural brows” problem. Want to know what it’s all about? Keep reading!
WHAT IS MICROBLADING?
Microblading is a brow technique that creates thin, hair like strokes on the skin, leaving you with “I woke up like this” brows! (It is NOT brow tattooing, which uses a tattoo gun, goes deeper into the skin, and gives solid block color to your brows. Just say no to that.) Your brows will look more like “hair” than brows filled in with makeup.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Each person will have a different result based on their skin type, but brows can last from 1-3 years. Average time is 18 months. The pigment will fade, leaving the skin and your natural brows how they were before.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
About 2 hours. The majority of which will be the numbing process and sketching out the brow shape. Be cautious of anywhere that claims to complete the process in 1 hour. It is not a rushed procedure!
HOW DO THEY DECIDE ON THE SHAPE AND PIGMENT COLOR?
Your brow artist may ask you to come with your brows filled in, if you normally do, so they can see the shape you prefer. They will then sketch the brow outline and it will be a discussion together to make sure the shape is exactly what you like, give input! They’ll put a few pigment color samples on your forehead area to see which pigment you like best from what they recommend. Color will be determined by your natural brows so that they blend properly and look more natural.
HOW DO THEY NUMB YOUR SKIN?
A topical numbing cream (mine was a medical grade lidocaine patch) is applied to the brow area, followed by a liquid/gel anesthetic. That process takes up to 45 minutes, depending on how quickly your skin numbs.
WHAT IS THE FULL PROCESS?
The first part of the appointment is drawing the shape in with removable pencil. This is customized for every client, be wary of an artist who puts the same brow shape on everyone, our faces are all different! (Go with personal referrals and be sure to ask for photos of their work.)
Once the shape is determined, they’ll numb you. If you’re worried that the process is painful, be prepared that some may feel discomfort, but it’s relatively painless. Personally, the noise of the tool on my forehead was so weird, but I felt no pain. It’s like scratching yourself with sharp fingernails.
Next, the microblading happens and the artist uses a special microblading tool to draw individual strokes on. The tool looks like a little exacto knife or scalpel, but it isn’t a blade at all. It’s made up of tiny thin needles which make small incisions in the skin, depending on the thickness and depth of hair strokes they want to achieve for you. The artist dips the tool into the pigment on each hair stroke and also applies pigment over the entire area once finished etching, to allow it to fully sink into the strokes. When they wipe the pigment off, BOOM you’ve got brows on fleek!!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
This depends on your location and the artist’s expertise. The procedure can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,500+. Here in Wichita, Kansas my brows were $400. But I know in Kansas City, Dallas, Chicago, etc. it can be $1,000+. Do your research, cheap is NOT GOOD!!!!! Don’t save money on your face. I did the math, and my favorite brow pencil is $21. I use about 1 per month. So if my brows last 18 months, it’s a wash. PLUS I don’t have to fill in my brows every day! Time is money people.
WHAT IS THE TOUCH UP APPOINTMENT FOR?
As your brows heal, they’ll fade to a lighter and more final color (they look dark when you walk out of the procedure). In that process too, you may scratch/rub an area and they could fade unevenly. Don’t freak out! That’s what the touch up is for. It’s also a good time to tweak any areas if you want.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR THEM DURING THE HEALING PROCESS?
See the big ol’ after care section below.
IS THERE ANY MAINTENANCE INVOLVED?
Nope! That’s the beauty of it. Once healed, they’re good to go! You can apply makeup, rub them, etc. etc. etc.
BEFORE THE PROCEDURE:
Do not drink alcohol, coffee or energy drinks the day of the procedure.
Do not take any pain killers or vitamins which could thin your blood within 24+ hours of the procedure.
Do not tan 3 days prior to the procedure.
Do not wax the brow area for at least 3 days prior to the procedure.
Do not have any facials/esthetics procedures for 2-3 weeks prior to the procedure.
No facial cleansers, makeup, creams, exfoliators or any other products on the brow area for 10 days. If you must apply makeup near the area, use brand new products and thoroughly clean applicators/brushes. (I just went for a natural, minimal makeup look, great excuse! Having your brows done adds a TON to your face already, you’ll see!)
Every 30 minutes after the procedure, blot the brow area with a cool cotton round, dampened with distilled water. Do not rub.
The evening after your procedure, after blotting with damp cotton round, allow brows to fully dry and then apply a very thin layer of Aquaphor before bed. Continue this for the first 4-7 days. If dryness occurs after these days, you can apply a thin layer of grape seed oil to the area, once in the morning and once before bed. Again, keeping brows clean when necessary with a cool damp cotton round. Do not apply Aquaphor or oil over damp brows, aka don’t seal in moisture.
Do NOT pick, scratch or rub the area at all during the healing process. If you do, you risk the color lifting from your skin.
Avoid direct sunlight, tanning or heavy exercise (or any other activity which would heat the skin, or make you sweat) for 10 days after the procedure.
Avoid facials or esthetics procedures for 4 weeks after the procedure. If you have a procedure scheduled, inform your esthetician that you cannot have anything near your brows. (For example, I had a dermaplane the day of my brows, but my esthetician knew and avoided the area, no problem!)
The full healing process can take 6-10 weeks, each person heals differently and at their own pace, be patient!! You may need a touch-up procedure, anywhere from 4-10 weeks after your initial procedure. Touch up sessions should not be done earlier than 4 weeks as the pigment needs time to fully settle into the skin and for the tissue to completely heal. I personally am waiting until 10 weeks after my initial appointment, partially due to my travel schedule, but also to fully heal just in case. I’ll update you all after that touch-up!
If you have any further questions, feel free to leave me a comment or contact me!