In my youth I fell prey to that super thin brow trend, and spent many hours plucking my life away with my trusty Tweezerman. Now full, dramatic “instagram brows” are all the rage, and I found myself seriously lacking in the brow department. In search of better solutions than makeup, I began looking into microblading
Microblading is a form of semi-permanent brow makeup that lasts between 1-3 years. Using thin and short strokes and cosmetic pigment with a unique blade, the aim is to simulate the look of eyebrow hair to fill in gaps and provide a fuller, more defined look to the brows.
In truth, I was extremely nervous about the idea of microblading. It’s a semi-permanent tattoo on your FACE; you can’t hide it if it doesn’t turn out. But after seeing several women I knew with beautiful results, I too craved that effortlessly put together look that you can only get when your brows are on fleek. I was done filling in my brows on the daily. So I took the microblading plunge with Browstyling.
There are tons of people out there peddling their microblading businesses, making it a challenge to find the right match for you . So I’ve put together this handy list to help guide you through your own future microblading experience.
Step 1: DO YOUR RESEARCH/Phone a friend
When it comes to all things beauty recommendation related, word of mouth is best, and that definitely applies to microblading. I sought out women in that had it done to see their results in person and hear about their experience first-hand. It was my dear friend Gail McInnes (Stylist Box, The Pull, Magnet Creative) who connected me with Annie, founder of Browstyling. I trusted her taste, knew she had done her research and her results were perfection. I then went to Annie’s Instagram page, and saw that her work was consistent and beautiful from client to client. She’d worked with a variety of skintones, brow shapes, sizes and hair colors. When I went in for my appoinmet, she made sure to inform me that she was trained and certified, and had complied with all health and safety regulations before we began. Remember, this is a semi-permanent tattoo which will break the skin, so you can’t be too careful when it comes to your personal well-being. With that trust established, we started my brow beautifying process.
Step 2: Mapping your brows
Mapping the brows means what it sounds like it means; it’s the road map to your future microbladed brows. Annie cautioned that the microblading process would take up to 3 hours from start to finish, with the mapping accounting for a fair amount of that time. After asking me to show her some examples of my dream brow look, Annie painstakingly designed the shape and look of my brows, ensuring that the placement of each stroke was perfectly planned. Once she had drawn out my brows with a medical marker, Annie walked me through her thought process, pointing out where she would be adding strokes, showing me that they matched, but weren’t exactly the same (remember, brows are sisters not twins!) and confirming that I liked the shape she had created. I did of course, and with that we were ready for the next step.
Step 3: NUMB
So I went into the microblading process thinking I could be a hero and forgo any sort of pain medication. I mean my tattoo collection is in the double digits and I did those sans painkillers, so what was a little tattoo style beauty treatment. But after chatting with Annie, I learned that not only is the application of numbing cream an integral part of her process, but it actually is highly recommended for microblading. While of course it’s more comfortable for the client, it actually is a huge help to the microblader to be working on a calm, painfree and most of all STILL subject. This is painstaking, detailed work, and if the client is squirming due to discomfort, the results could be affected. Any microblader that skips the numbing is likely doing so to cut cost at the expense of their clients comfort, and is a huge red flag when choosing who to give your money to when you’re doing your research.
Step 4: custom color mix
While some microbladers stick with the colors they can purchase from suppliers, Annie goes the extra mile and blends a custom color for every client and records the formula for all future touch ups. This way she is able to achieve a more natural look, and ensure that look remains natural throughout the life of the microbladed brows. Colors fade at different rates, and some skin types may pull different tones from different color mixtures. This way Annie can not only control the initial look, but the future as well. Just another way that Browstyling takes brows to the next level.
Step 5: the first few lines
After allowing the numbing gel to do it’s work, it’s time to take the first few passes with the microblading needle to get the process underway. These first couple of strokes serve to set the stage for the process, but also open up the skin to allow for a secondary type of numbing gel to be applied. It’s at this stage that you’ll feel the most, if any pain, in the entire process, and it’s only for a few moments.
Step 6: NUMB SOME MORE
You read that right, MORE NUMBING GEL! As I mentioned, the first few passes of the needle are the most pain you’ll feel throughout your session, because Annie applies a different type of numbing gel to the skin, one that is effective after the skin’s first few layers have been penetrated by the needle. After a few minutes marinating under this gel, I didn’t feel a thing, and for that I was extremely grateful.
Step 7: Get dem brows done
Once the skin has been adequately numbed, Annie goes to town with her needle and ink, and soon brows have been created from whence there was none! As we worked Annie made sure to check in with me to make sure I was still feeling no pain. As I wasn’t, she was free to work unencumbered, focusing solely on creating those fine, perfect hair like strokes. Once every stroke has been recorded, Annie slathered the skin with pigment for maximum color absorption. The time passed quickly as the pigment set, and then it’s time for the big reveal.
The Stages of Healing
When it comes to microblading the healing process, much like the initial process, also comes in stages. I could sit and enumerate them for you, but this meme courtesy of Annie’s @browstyling instagram is so accurate that I’m going to just leave it here.
If you’ve ever had a tattoo, the process is remarkably similar; your brows will start out super stark and bright against your skin. Then they’ll scab a little, then you’ll develop a milky white coating that eventually falls off. Your brows will seem a little faded but look far more natural than on that first day. Being a tattoo veteran this was all a no brainer for me, but for you virgin skinned folks, trust the meme. Save it, refer back to it, it will be your healing bible.
Wait a month, get a touch up!
When you microblade with Browstyling, you receive a touch up as part of your service. It’s after that second session that Annie is able to tell how your skin handled the pigment, how it healed from the needlestrokes, and what areas need to be worked on to achieve the desired final look. I went in for my touch up about a month after my first appointment. Annie and I checked in on my healing process, and on how I wanted my brows to look when we were finished. I elected for a more dramatic look, so Annie darkened up my custom color and went to work getting that glam look I wanted.
The post touch up healing process is exactly the same, except this time I knew what I was in for. The two weeks flew by, and I am absolutely in love with my final results! Take a look below.
And the best part? My brows will look this good for a YEAR or more! Annie recommends annual follow-ups to ensure your brows stay looking their best. But until then, here’s to 365 days of saving time on my beauty routine, and feeling happier and more confident with beautiful, bold brows.
If you’ve been considering microblading and you like what you see, then reach out to Annie at Browstyling today! I hear that Annie is giving a little discount to Addicted readers as well, but if that’s not enough, enter our contest over here and try to win your chance at better brows! Good luck, and thanks Annie for giving me the brows of my dreams. I’m addicted!