What is eyebrow microblading? Image by: Getty Images
Here's what you need to know about this new semi-permanent eyebrow trend.
In case you haven’t noticed, brows are having a serious beauty moment. In fact, the moment has lasted longer than most beauty trends (clown strobing, anyone?). And we’ve covered everything from brow shapes to brow products to the best celebrity eyebrows. But it's time we touch on microblading. What is it? And who is it for?
But first, let's talk brows. The reason why women of all ages are interested in maintaining their brows is simple—they can completely change your look. We’re not talking about an “is that you?” transformation. Brows that are groomed and suit your face can do everything from making you look more awake, to drawing attention to your eyes, to making you look younger (seriously). But taking the time to fill in your brows every day isn’t for all women. And some of us would like to opt for something that will last a little longer. Enter microblading.
We spoke owner Leeanne Colley and aesthetician Emma Giono of Tips Nail Bar in Toronto to get all the information on microblading you’ll need to make a decision.
What is microblading?
In the simplest terms, microblading is the process of tattooing brows onto your skin. But before you say “no, thanks,” hear us out. Tattooing has come a long way, and there’s no need to fear a thick, solid line in a blue-ish tone. Eyebrow tattooing isn't completely new, but the first permanent eyebrows from the ’70s were much less natural-looking than the eyebrow microblading and embroidery we see today, which is semi-permanent. Aesthetician and cosmetics artists are now hand-drawing thin hair strokes using thinner needles with a lighter touch while mixing inks that don't fade to unnatural shades.
How does it work?
After deciding on the shape and hue that you want, a professional uses a surgical knife to create little cuts in the area that mimics the way brows naturally grow. Ink is then deposited into the skin, and as the cuts heal, the ink is locked in. “Microblading doesn’t affect any of the hair you naturally have,” says Giono, so you don’t have to worry about stunting any hair growth or messing with what you have.
What should I anticipate post-procedure?
There’s no way around it—there will be scabbing. As the cuts heal, they lock in the pigment, but in order to heal, they need to scab over—just like any other tattoo process. As they heal, it’s important to keep the area as dry as possible. It can sometimes take up to 10 days to fully heal, so make sure to keep everything as protected from water and sweat as possible during that period. The other thing to know post-procedure is that for a couple of days after you get them done, the colour will appear much darker than you anticipated. “I’m going to be honest with you,” says Colley, “your brows will get really dark for two days after the session, then they start to lighten up.” In about 4-6 weeks after your initial appointment, you’ll likely come in for a follow-up appointment where any areas that didn’t fill can be re-touched.
Why microblade over other options?
Microblading is much less of a time commitment than other cosmetic options that require you to fill in your brows every day with products like brow pencils, brow mascaras or brow powders. You go in for your appointment, which at the most lasts a couple hours, and then you head home with new brows. Also, depending on how much you spend on beauty products to fill in your brows, the investment in microblading could save you money. It’s important to note that microblading can be used in conjunction with brow serums or cosmetics, depending on the look you are trying to accomplish.
Who is the best candidate for microblading?
Anyone who wants a semi-permanent solution for thin or light brows is a great candidate for microblading. Colley even talked about a customer in her sixties who initially was going to have eye surgery to have her eyelids lifted, but after getting her brows done, decided against it. She liked the way she looked so much, that she opted out of invasive and costly surgery. Those who should avoid the procedure? Pregnant or breastfeeding women should check with their doctors.
What’s it going to cost me and how long does it last?
Both cost and time frame are going to range from person to person and often depends on the colour you choose and how dense or sparse you go. Darker colours are going to take longer to fade than lighter colours, so the treatment will last longer. And prices will range depending on the location, city and the artist’s expertise. For the most part, microblading lasts about one to three years. And it will gradually fade—you won’t wake up and just have no eyebrows one day. Prices start at around $300 for the procedure but can climb up to $1,000 or more depending on the spot you choose. Seeing as how this is a topical procedure that requires an individual to cut into the skin, we recommend picking a place with a good reputation, and that will do a consultation with you before you make your appointment to actually get your eyebrows done.
Other things to keep in mind
Just like other tattoo artists, microblading artists and aestheticians have their own styles and techniques. Make sure to do your research, look at the past work of your aesthetician and decide whether their style is a fit for you and what you're looking for.
Microblading can help disguise hair loss as you get older.
IMAGE:Tips Nail Bar
The technique can help fill in patchy areas, or make your brows appear more naturally full.
IMAGE: Tips Nail Bar
Microblading can fill out eyebrows that are sparse due to overplucking.
IMAGE: Tips Nail Bar