What is Microblading? / How to Pick a Microblading Artist / Preparing for Your Microblading Appointment / The Procedure: Does Microblading Hurt? / Microblading Aftercare / Microblading Healing Process / Microblading Before & After Pictures / Microblading: Final Thoughts
What is Microblading?
Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo procedure that enhances the look of eyebrows. Microblading uses very fine needles to create the appearance of hair strokes. This makeup-alternative treatment is great for individuals with sparse or over-plucked brows who are tired of filling in their brows with makeup. Depending on your skin type, microblading is said to last anywhere from a year to three years. Those with oily skin may experience fading faster than those with dry skin.
As someone with sparse brows who had been filling them in with makeup (almost) every day since high school, getting my eyebrows microbladed became an obsession. I had to have them done! In January 2019, I finally took the plunge. Here is my experience along with insider information I wish I knew before I had them done. Hopefully, my experience can you help you with your decision or soothe any anxieties you may have about microblading!
How to Pick a Microblading Artist
Once I decided that I HAD to have eyebrows microbladed, the next step was to find a microblading artist I trusted to do the procedure. I researched artists in my city (Toronto) and reviewed their portfolios carefully. I knew, going into my research, that the cost of microblading would set me back anywhere from $300-$800 CAD. I went into my research fully prepared to pay for the best. My personal belief is that cost should never be prioritized over quality or safety when it boils down to beauty procedures such as this.
With this mentality in mind, I searched vigorously to find the crème de la crème. My findings led me to Yael Malkin from Brows by Yael. What impressed me the most about her craftsmanship was her ability to work with her client’s natural brow shape. You see, what sets a GREAT microblading artist apart from a good microblading artist is the artist’s ability to work with their client’s natural brow shape while taking into consideration the client’s face shape. Personally, I didn’t want to have brows that looked like x or y celebrity. I wanted brows that suited my face, and I knew Yael would deliver. In fact, during my appointment, I asked her if she thought I should go thicker. She quickly refuted and told me that any thicker and my brows would overwhelm my small face. I trusted her expertise, and I’m so glad I did!
If you don’t trust the artist either due to an inconsistent portfolio, un-impressing online reviews or a feeling in your gut, my suggestion is to wait until you find someone you do trust. Getting someone to semi-permanently tattoo your eyebrows is a big deal, so take your time in finding someone you feel comfortable with!
Preparing for Your Microblading Appointment
The Month Before: In preparation for my appointment, I stopped tweezing for three month to let my natural shape grow out. While I may have played it on the extreme side, I suggest letting your brows grow out for at least a month prior to your appointment.
Two Weeks Before: Discontinue use of retinoids in the weeks leading up to your appointment. I continued using retinoid (my ace would erupt in acne in mere days if I stopped using it), making sure to avoid the areas near and around my eyebrows.
The Week Before: In the week leading up the appointment, I was instructed to discontinue the use of multivitamins as vitamin E, magnesium, tumeric, ginger and omega-3 thins the blood. Those who tan are informed to stop tanning.
The Day Before: No alcohol and anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, ibuprofen and aspirin on the day before and the day of the appointment.
The Day Of: No caffeine (coffee, sodas, chocolate, etc.) on the day of the appointment. I learned this the hard way at my touch up appointment and was apparently “bleeding a lot.” Earlier that day, I forgot about this rule and had half a cup of coffee during brunch. Luckily, it was just a touch up, but I strongly suggest ditching the brew completely and scheduling your appointment in the morning if you’re a caffeine-addict.
The Procedure: Does Microblading Pain Hurt?
Yael, my microblading artist, tweezed my eyebrows for strays then took an eyebrow pencil to outline the shape and style of my brows. She hovered between standing super close to my face and standing a few feet away to ensure that my eyebrows were even and that the shape suited my face. When she was happy with her outline, she grabbed a mirror for me to see. She let me know that she would only be working in the area inside the outline and to not be alarmed if it looked “too thick,” a comment she often gets from her clients.
Once I gave her the green light, I laid back down, and she began the microblading procedure.
As far as pain goes, my experience was a little unique. Having had friends who had the procedure done (and done by Yael), I went into the appointment expecting it to feel like “light cat scratches”. I can tell you this: it felt less like light cat scratches and a lot more like a ferocious tiger ripping me alive and devouring me whole. As someone who considers themselves to have a high pain tolerance, I was shocked that I was in so much pain. At one point, I honestly felt as though I was going to pass out!
Noticing my discomfort, the artist asked me if I was about to get my period. I was, in fact, due to get my period the next day. When I relayed this to her, she explained to me that a women’s sensitivity to pain increases in the days leading up to Aunt Flo’s visit. I mean, I knew was emotionally sensitive in the days leading up to my time of the month, but I didn’t know that sensitivity was also physical!
Luckily, after the first pass, she put numbing cream on for the duration of the procedure. Once the numbing cream kicked it, the pain became very bearable (like light cat scratches).
The entire microblading procedure lasted approximately two hours.
Microblading Aftercare Steps
The First Day: After my microblading procedure, I was given a set of instructions on how to care for my new brows. For every hour after my appointment, until I went to bed that night, I was to wipe my brows with what I can only assume were anti-septic-soaked pads to reduce the risk of infection. I gave each brow 7 wipes from left to right every hour (the exact times were written down for me). Warning: it is going to sting!
The Second Day: In the morning, afternoon and evening, I was instructed to wipe my brows with the anti-septic-soaked pad.
The First Week: No water or sweat should touch your brows for a week. That means no working out and uncomfortable showers for an entire week. Not washing my hair or face for a week was out of the question, so I took careful showers and washed my face using cotton-soaked pads. As someone works out several times a week, this week was super difficult to abide by. Of course, I followed this aftercare process closely but it did disrupt my normal routine.
The First Two Weeks: No facials. I had no issues with this as I never get facials anyways.
The First Month: No direct sunlight. I had no issues with this as working 9-5 in the dead of winter in Canada means I don’t see much sunlight anyway.
Microblading Healing Process
1-3 Days Post Procedure: My eyebrows were really dark. Almost scarily dark. (See the before and after image below).
4-7 Days Post Procedure: My eyebrows started to appear flakey from not being able to wash it. It’s important at this stage not to pick! After day 6, I starting applying a balm to my brows provided to me from my microblading artist.
8-12 Days Post Procedure: My eyebrows began to fade. Luckily, my brows were not super patchy looking at this time, which is apparently common.
12 Days until my Touch Up: My brows looked great! They looked so much like real hair. There were some areas where it obvious that the pigment did not stick but it was nothing the touch up wouldn’t fix.
Microblading Before and After Pictures
I tried my best to document the journey by taking photos, but sometimes life gets in the way. Here is a collage of the process I did manage to capture:
Microblading: Final Thoughts
Overall, I am SUPER pleased with how my brows turned out. If you any questions regarding the process (or anything at all), follow me on Instagram @iamjessicahuynh and shoot me a message!
I would also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Would you get your eyebrows microbladed - why or why not? For those who have I had it done, was your experience similar to mine?