Let’s chat about eyebrows! You know, those big, bushy, face-framing things we all have or want! I am a child of the 90’s, which means I basically over-plucked my eyebrows regularly. Now the fashion pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and big eyebrows are IN. So, what’s a girl to do?
I tried just about every brow gel, cream, serum, and potion out there. Anything that even remotely promised to help my sparse brows grow, and I was sold! This went on for years!
Now, I am a pretty patient person. However, after diligent application and countless products (not to mention wasted money), I came to the conclusion that areas of my eyebrows would never fill in or grow back.
Naturally, I started searching for more eyebrow growth ideas. Enter the YouTube tutorials and multiple trips to Sephora. I could never get the ‘look’ just right. Eventually, I ran into information and photos about microblading! I promptly fell into a deep internet hole because I was so intrigued and the pictures looked that good!
If you wanna see the pics, but you don’t wanna read all the details, just scroll to the bottom! 🙂
What is microblading?
Microblading is a process somewhat similar to tattooing. Using a small handheld instrument with multiple tiny needles in it, semi-permanent ink is added to the skin. The tool creates tiny cuts in the skin which mimic hair strokes and the ink is added into the new ‘strokes’. This process is done by hand.
Is microblading right for you?
Microblading your eyebrows is a great option if you wish to create, enhance, or reshape your natural eyebrow appearance. It can help change the shape and also the color of your brows. It is considered semi-permanent so it will fade over time. This is because the application process deposits color into the upper levels of the skin (called the dermis) which overtime will slough-off and get replaced as your skin cells regenerate.
I’m interested! Where do I start?
First things first! Do your research. Thank goodness for visual search platforms like IG and Pinterest. You’ll need to be focusing on a few different things when you start your research. For starters, look at a variety of eyebrow shapes and colors. Get a general idea of what you like and what you think would look good with your face shape and your current eyebrow situation.
Not only do you want to find ‘new’ eyebrows that you really like but you also want to find an esthetician that does microblading.
You’ll want to find someone that has a style cohesive with the look you are going for. Often, a salon or spa website has loads of before and after images.
This is a good place to get an idea of both the artists style as well as the scope of work or correction that can be performed.
For example, I had really sparse areas I wanted filled in. So I started focusing on before photos that showed patches and spots that needed more volume. If you just want depth and color, try to find before photos that are similar to the changes you want to make. The afters can give you more of an idea of how much correction can be done.
Where I went.
If you are in the Boston area, and looking for a great esthetician to fulfill your eyebrow dreams, I highly recommend Elicia from Prettyology on Newbury Street. She handled everything with my eyebrows from the initial consultation to the final look!
You can check out her work on Insta @Elicia_Marie_Beauty
If you are interested in getting your brows done at Prettyology on Newbury Street in Boston, or to find out if they offer services in your area, check it out here.
Ok, so you’ve found your goal brows and your dream esthetician whose before and after’s most closely resemble the results you want. Now it’s time to schedule a consultation.
It’s super important to go for a consultation and meet the person who’s going to be your eyebrow guru.
Be sure to bring in the eyebrow products (pencils, gels, wax, etc) you normally use when you do your brows at home. This can help give the esthetician an idea of your normal eyebrow look as well as what you’re interested in accomplishing with microblading.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Most websites have a lot of information regarding microblading, but be sure to write down any questions you may have in the days before your consultation. Write it down, otherwise you will forget!
By the end of your consultation, you and your esthetician will have decided on a shape and basic plan for any special needs your eyebrows may have. Things like, filling bare spots, or plumping the overall volume, or even restructuring your arch.
Your esthetician may also take pictures at your consultation to reference on your actual appointment day. Feel free to take pictures as well, so you can review the look in the days prior to your procedure. Write down any thoughts you have or changes you may want and bring it with you to your next appointment.
Hopefully you and your esthetician have hit it off, and you are both on the same page with an eyebrow wish list that matches both their artistic style and your brow goals. You want something that meets both parties expectations. Take it more serious than a Bumble date. You are getting semi-permanent ink on your face, after all!
Now it’s time to make your microblading appointment! Microblading is generally a two-step process. You will have an initial microblading appointment and then in 6-8 weeks you will go back again. This second visit assesses how the brows have healed and how the pigment has settled and involves more microblading.
Your final result is not truly ‘final’ until after the healing is completes from your second microblading appointment.
Making your appointment.
Fun fact: there may be a waiting list to get your eyebrows microbladed. If you have a popular esthetician, be prepared for a bit of a wait as schedules fill up quickly. It’s definitely worth the wait!
Most spas and salons require a pre-treatment deposit of roughly half the total amount of the procedure. This secures your appointment.
While you wait.
In the time between your consultation and your actual appointment, spend some time looking up various eyebrows strokes and hair stroke designs. There are lots and a quick internet search can show you just how many!
Your esthetician may have a particular design or hair-stroke they prefer to use when microblading. It doesn’t hurt to have some ideas of what you like, or as in my case, a few that I absolutely did NOT like.
Follow those pre-procedure directions! Seriously. There are specific guidelines to follow to prep your face for a great outcome. Things like avoiding the use of retinol creams or vitamin a on your face in the days leading up to your appointment. Most places also discourage facials or peels prior to your appointment. It’s also recommended to avoid alcohol for 24 to 48 hours prior to your procedure. Save the mimosas for after!
Each salon has their own recommendations regarding preparations for microblading as well as after care guidelines. Talk to your eyebrow esthetician to see what they recommend. Thankfully there is usually a printed handout or email that contains all the details from preparation for your appointment to healing.
Today’s the day!!!
The morning of your appointment, show up a few minutes early. There will likely be paperwork to fill out and you’ll want to be able to run to the restroom before you get settled into the chair. Also, be sure to bring your eyebrow products with you. These products can provide a starting place for color selection.
What happens in the treatment room.
The esthetician will draw your eyebrows on with a brow pencil. Measuring and marking to make sure the shape and arches are exactly right. You’ll have some opportunities to provide feedback and adjust the outline of your eyebrow before things really get started. This is the time to speak up!
Pigment and brow dye color selection also happens during this time. Depending on your brow goals, a color that is similar to your natural shade or a color you normally use to color your brows will be a helpful starting point.
You can see in the pictures below, I have ‘trial’ colors on my forehead. This is a great way to see what matches both your skin tone and existing eyebrow color.
Once you’re happy with the shape, arch, and color it’s time to start microblading! Yay!
Now, this is the most important thing I didn’t realize about microblading.
Are you ready for it?
The skeleton shape of your brows is microbladed on without any numbing cream. Say what?!
If you think about it, it kinda makes sense. Your ‘ideal brows’ are perfectly drawn on. The numbing medication and creams can be heavy or thick and actually wipe off the eyebrow outline. You don’t want your dream eyebrow to be wiped off before it gets microbladed on! So, a skeleton outline is microbladed first and then your brows can be numbed.
Don’t worry! It’s not that bad!
When they start to microblade the outer eyebrow shape, it feels like a scratching or tiny ripping sensation. Imagine someone taking the pointy end of a safety pin and lightly dragging it across your skin. It’s not painful, but it’s just a little irritating. You can definitely feel something being slowly scratched across your skin. It sounds a little loud but that’s thanks to the way our face bones and sinuses are structured. Ahhh…the acoustics of the head.
Oh, and there may be sneezing! Personally speaking, anytime I pluck my eyebrows (especially towards the middle) I end up sneezing so I knew this may be an issue. During my microblading appointment, things were no different. When Elicia was working on the outline of my eyebrows, I sneezed repeatedly. One stroke of the blade followed immediately by one sneeze. From what I’ve read it seems to be something that happens kinda frequently.
So after the skeleton/outline of your brows is drawn, then you get topical numbing medication. This sits on your eyebrows for several minutes. After the numbing sets in, the next step is drawing on your individual eyebrow hairs. I am happy to report that I no longer sneezed after the numbing medication took effect.
How long does it take.
The entire process took about 2 hours. This included the time it took from the initial drawing of the eyebrows, to picking color, the microblading, and the after care cream they apply at the end.
Throughout the procedure your esthetician will stop and reassess. Numbing cream will be reapplied as needed. Towards the end my esthetician thought my brows would look better with a little shading in addition to the microblading. So we added a little shading to my eyebrows.
Finally, your freshly microbladed eyebrows will get sprayed with a little adhesive bandage. You are sent on your way with some after microblading care cream. This is similar to the after-inked brand of tattoo care cream.
Your eyebrows will initially seem quite intense. They will likely appear a little warm (orange colored) than you might want. Be prepared for this! It’s only temporary and will start to lighten over the next couple of days. If they are still a little too warm, rest assured it’s easy to add more ashy colors at your follow up appointment to balance the color.
Trust the process and follow the aftercare instructions closely! There are strict instructions to avoid sweating, saunas, steam rooms, or getting your eyebrows wet!
It’s also worth noting that immediately after, your eyebrows may have a ‘white rim’ around them. This is from the numbing medication, which typically has a little bit of Epinepherine mixed into it, to minimize bleeding during the process. The white rim will calm down as the day wears on. Mine was gone before I even got home.
I’ve attached some images of my eyebrows at various points during the process. They are makeup free selfies, so enjoy! 🙂
I will do a second microblading post after my follow up in 6-8 weeks, so be on the lookout for that! In the meantime, if you have microblading questions, let me know below! I’d love to hear from you!