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What is Eyebrow Microblading?
Microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment that is a form of cosmetic tattooing. It’s a technique used to create the illusion of more enhanced eyebrows in terms of shape and color. It’s considered a form of permanent makeup or cosmetic tattoos, kind of like eyebrow embroidery.
However, unlike tattooing done on our body parts, microblading doesn’t use a tattoo gun for the procedure. Instead, individual hair strokes are drawn using a handheld tool with a row of tiny, almost feathery needles depositing pigment into the skin, creating hair-like strokes along your eyebrows.
So, whether you’re here because you’ve grown tired of having to use a brow pencil and a brow powder every day just to craft the perfect Instagram brows, or just simply out of sheer curiosity–you’ve come to the right place.
Won’t microblading tiny hair strokes feel painful?
As the name suggests, tiny blades will be repeatedly stroking your skin during the nearly 2-hour microblading procedure, making tiny cuts on your brow area — so naturally, yes, it will hurt. And no, it does not hurt in the same way as getting a tattoo, like the same content we see in tattoo parlors.
Practiced estheticians will use a numbing cream for microblading around the skin of your eyebrows beforehand and let it settle for about 30 minutes. That way, instead of feeling the pain directly from the blade, you will only feel a certain degree of pressure from the microblading tool on your face depending on your pain tolerance. Some more layers of numbing cream will be applied by your practitioner to ensure your comfort throughout the extensive process.
Preparation for the microblading appointment
You should expect the area on your brows to feel bruised or extra tender after the procedure. But if you want to be extra cautious and lessen the sensitivity and irritation experienced during the microblading procedure, make sure to avoid doing these things prior to your appointment (up to one month before):
- Drinking caffeine or alcohol
- Plucking or waxing your eyebrows
- Laser or any other facial treatments
- Tanning or sunbathing
- Using Vitamin A
- Using fish oil, Vitamin E, or any other natural blood thinners
How many sessions are recommended for a finished set of microbladed brows?
If you want to achieve an even, very natural look for your eyebrows, then having two appointments is necessary. Microblading is a very delicate form of art that takes about two visits to your salon to get your brows microbladed completely.
The second appointment, called a complementary touch-up, takes place 6 to 8 weeks after the first microblading appointment. This is to ensure that the strokes on your new brows are evenly saturated with pigment.
The downside of microblading
Just like any cosmetic procedure, there will be a downside to microblading, too. Apart from it being an expensive method even at just the initial treatment, one of the concerns raised by clients is how brow trends may change over the course of time. The thick, sharp, dark brows we used to love back then didn’t last that long now that softer, lighter, and bushy hair strokes have come into style over the past few years.
If you really want to consider microblading but worry about keeping up in style, we suggest you take into consideration the kind of brow you really want to have — maybe opt for something that looks more timeless and versatile according to the style you prefer.
Weigh the tiny details carefully (brow shape, color, the fullness of hair strokes, etc.) to get your desired look. It is also recommended that you select a pigment that complements your skin tone, or is similar to that of your natural hair color and existing brows for natural-looking results.
Does microblading ruin your eyebrows?
As long as your cosmetic studio practices proper protocols and etiquette, then no, microblading will not ruin your brows. However, Dr. Tracy Evans, a board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco, notes that an allergic reaction to the dye used for the microblading treatment can happen, although this is a very rare encounter.
The good news is that microblading might actually make eyebrow hair grow, since the “little micro-trauma to the brows brings fresh blood to the area and stimulates lymphatic fluid, which can encourage the hair follicle to potentially help support some hair growth,” according to Alixandria Caparelli, brow specialist.
How long does microblading last?
Semi-permanent microbladed brows last depending on the aftercare instructions you follow and your skin type. Generally speaking, the results are designed to last 18 to 30 months, so in about three years since the initial appointment, the pigment on your brows would already be gone.
That is why most people invest in periodic microblading touch-ups or color boost every 12-18 months to fill in sparse brows (areas where the pigment has faded out) to replenish the natural-looking appearance.
Still, the outcome of your eyebrows still heavily depends on how you care for them in the long run (for example too much sun exposure can increase the chances of losing the pigment on your microbladed brows).
Is microblading suitable for all skin types from oily skin to normal skin?
Anyone is a good candidate for a microblading session. However, there are just a few things to bear in mind.
Piret Aava, who is a renowned eyebrow specialist, makeup artist, and certified esthetician, says that the pigment tends to fade the fastest on oily skin. This is because of the oils constantly coming through your skin, causing the brow color from the microblading pigment to be diluted.
Still, if you pick a licensed esthetician who has had experience working with clients who have oily skin type, then they should be able to provide you with the right guidelines before and during your microblading appointment (as well as the touch-up) to guarantee satisfying results.
Burning sensations, redness, or itching will most likely happen during the first 25 to 30 days of the healing process. But worry not — regardless of your skin type, there are general aftercare instructions that we should follow.
Follow these dos and don’ts to avoid any risks of damaging the results of your microbladed eyebrows and achieve your perfect brow look over the next few months.
- Avoid picking on or itching your eyebrows while they are still healing.
- Avoid sweating heavily. Try to keep away from any activities that might get your eyebrows wet, like sitting in direct sunlight.
- Gently wash your eyebrows daily and nightly with antibacterial soap and water, patting them dry with a tissue afterward (pro tip: avoid cleansers containing acids or exfoliants).
- This one is optional, but if you have a bottle of coconut or rosehip oil lying around, it could come into use by applying a very small amount to each brow after your routine.
How much does microblading cost?
The expenses of microblading depend on the clinic and the professional artists doing the job. Some artists charge around PHP20,000 to PHP25,000, while some clinics charge up to PHP80,000 for the treatment. It usually depends on how you want your eyebrows to look.
It may be an expensive investment, but at least after getting your appointments done, you would get a break from trying out various eyebrow makeup just to perfect your desired brow shape — and you would never have to manually draw hair strokes every morning again.
If you do the right amount of research by checking out other peer-reviewed studies on the art of microblading, as well as taking beauty advice seriously from that one beauty editor you follow who writes about the same content, then trust that your investments will be worth it.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.