What is Microblading?
Here’s what happened when one Microblading.Team writer tried it with her eyebrows…
According to reports Madonna is a fan of Microblading. Celebrity artist Laura Choate, owner of Santa Monica Microblading in Los Angeles, told Mail Online: “Through both age and over-plucking in the past, Madonna would have lost some natural hair. She has used micro-blading to fill in these gaps, and create a whole new shape, and they look great.”
Madge’s rep declined to comment, but one celebrity who has raised her hand is Lena Dunham.
Lena Dunham recently told Vogue that microblading saved her eyebrows – and that she’s a fan of the semi-permanent eyebrow procedure that’s sweeping the New York right now.
When did we all become so obsessed with getting the perfect eyebrows? Girls – myself included – are desperate to have the perfect arch, and do you know who I blame? Cara Delevingne of course. Cara has the perfect set, and no matter how much I tried to allow mine to grow, it just wouldn’t happen.
Lena equates a decent brow with power, telling Vogue: “I have always equated eyebrows with power—with women who know what they want and get it. Like a good perfume or a giant latte in a pure white cup, a great set of eyebrows is an immediate introduction to a person’s city-wise strength, letting your adversaries know you mean business.”
I want to look like I’ve got my shit together, too. So when I was asked whether I would like to try Microblading; a new (ish) technique which can build up your brows and give Cara a run for her money, I was like “hell yes!”
Walking to my first appointment, I felt a little bit nervous, and I’ll reveal how I got on below, but first, I had a whole host of questions for semi-permanent makeup artist and Microblading specialist Sian Dellar, the woman who I was scheduled to meet for my brow-over…
Q. Hi Sian, ok first of all, what are the main differences between Microblading and traditional tattooing?
A. Eyebrow trends have changed so much over the years and so have the techniques used to create these looks.
Traditional tattooing methods are generally carried out using a machine and often results in a more ‘block’ like effect, similar to what we achieve by using brow powders.
However, Microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment that is carried out using a specialised manual hand tool.
No machines! No needles! By using a ‘by hand’ approach we are able to achieve a much more natural look. By specialising in this method I am able to offer every client a bespoke brow experience. By using my hands and manually creating each brow look, I am able to break through the limits set by traditional machines.
Q. I don’t have the *worst* brows ever, but who is the perfect candidate for the treatment? Do some people experience better results than others and is there anyone who shouldn’t have it done?
A. At my clinic in Harley Street I see so many different people; from the stressed bride to-be, to the suffering cancer patient who has not only lost all of her hair but her eyelashes and brows too. I believe that every person is treatable, not matter how big the challenge – where there is a will there will be eyebrows and thats why I love my job so much. Perfect eyebrows have the power to transform how you look and feel!
Q. What does the process actually involve and how long does it usually take?
A. The entire process takes 1 hr and 30mins. We begin by going through a full consultation where I cover what the treatment will entail and what the client will likely experience throughout the procedure.
Before any treatment is carried out, I have a clear conversation with my clients as to what their ‘Dream Brows’ would like look. I then begin to draw on the brows using a pencil so that the client can visualise the end result before the Microblading treatment takes place. Once our client is completely happy with the proposed brows, we numb the area and begin with the procedure.
Q. Right, here’s the big question. Does it hurt? Do you advise taking painkillers beforehand?
A. Everyone experiences pain differently, generally speaking it feels as though you’ve caught your skin with the pluckers. Painkillers aren’t necessary as we using numbing cream throughout the treatment.
Q. What aftercare is required?
A. We provide in-depth aftercare information at our consultation, and send the same information to clients after their treatment.
The first 10 days of the healing process are vital to the entire treatment. During this time clients are advised to stay away from makeup around the brow area and keep their treated area water free! But trust me, its all worth it for those brows you’ve always dreamed of.
Q. Is there an ideal time of year to undergo the treatment?
A. Any time of the year is a great time to upgrade your makeup game. The only time I don’t recommend is just before going on holiday – it’s best to have the treatment done a few weeks before or on your return.
Q. How long will the results last and how much maintenance does it require?
A. The results vary from person to person, we advise all clients to see us after two to four months of their initial treatment for a ‘Colour Refresh’ to maintain their desired look but to maintain the perfect look it’s best to come to see us at 12 months.
Q. What can you do to ensure your brows last as long as possible?
A. Stick to the post-care advice as much as possible! Wearing a moisturiser with an SPF of at least 30 will help protect your brows from direct sun exposure.
Q. Can you still fill in your brows with additional products or is it best to leave them alone once they’ve been Microbladed?A. Once your brows are done at my clinic, you won’t need to use an additional product!
Q. Who is it most popular with? Girls who want their brows built up or girl who have hardly any brows and want them created?
A. A combination of both to be honest. Brows have become such a huge fashion trend so of course a lot of our lovely clients are ladies who just want to upgrade their existing brows and add definition. But for some of my clients this process is more personal and goes beyond trying to stay on-trend.
I began my journey into semi-permanent makeup, specifically brows, because I saw that it could really make a difference to someone’s life. Semi-permanent make up goes beyond just trying to make someone more ‘aesthetically pleasing’, it’s about giving that cancer patient their confidence back or letting that alopecia client know that we can match her brow colour to her favourite wig.
When I started off in this industry there weren’t many clinics out there who were confident in dealing with ethnic skin tones, and alopecia and cancer patients, so I made sure that I would learn every skill required to treat these clients. When you get that email from that client who tells you that she’s now able to look in the mirror and almost forget how ill she is because her brows are now back… well, it’s those moments I do this all for.
My first appointment
Like I said before, I was nervous but I wasn’t scared. I arrived at Sian’s Harley Street clinic and immediately felt at ease, mainly because she was so chatty. We discussed my eyebrows and what I wanted to achieve. My aim was to build up what I had, and add some to the start of the brow – which I had over-plucked in my younger days.
Sian spends a good while drawing on my brows (she’s like an artist at work during this point, and even uses a fancy ruler). I can tell this is the most crucial part of the appointment as it’s her guide. Once she’d finished, they were pretty much my dream set. With one tiny tweak, we were ready for action. Let’s get to work!
The numbing cream goes on and you wait for it to kick in and once it does, she gets to work with Microblading your brows. I think I’m quite a wuss when it comes to pain but this didn’t hurt in the slightest. I would say it felt like a scratch, but I didn’t even wince. I just closed my eyes and thought about what I was going to have for my dinner.
Roughly 20 minutes later we were done. Sian had explained the importance of aftercare so I left armed with a pot of coconut oil, thrilled with my new mega brows. That night I was very conscious about not getting them wet in the shower or sleeping on my front (which I sometimes do), so my night’s sleep wasn’t the best. I also started to feel a tingly sensation to my brows, and suffered a minor headache.
The next day
Because the dye is prominent, I did a feel a bit like, “whoa, look at my eyebrows” and accused people of staring at them. They weren’t, btw, but I did feel like my brow-over was intense. No one really noticed, except for the people who knew I was having it done. Those people heaped praise, asking for Sian’s details so they could book in.
A week later
I tried to apply coconut oil religiously but it’s hard to remember (top tip: set a reminder on your phone) and my brows were pretty flaky. I was told this would be the case, but I still felt a bit gross. This is probably the worst phase as I was self-conscious while the flakes disappeared. I was also desperate to wash my face properly.
10 days later
I was so happy when the flakes went as I could start washing my face again – gently. My brows weren’t as full-on on day 10 as they were on day two and I did miss the dramatic effect. I knew my second appointment was looming and was excited to get a touch up.
My second appointment
There were zero nerves for this one as I thought I knew what to expect. Except I forgot one thing – my brows were now ‘scar tissue’ so going over them again would, well, hurt. It wasn’t eye-wateringly bad but it did make me wince a little bit. But no pain, no gain, hey? This appointment is super fast, and I was in and out in no time.
Similar to the first time around but the healing process seemed to be faster. Again, it’s all about applying that coconut oil religiously.
A month later
I’m so pleased with my new brows. I no longer have to spend ages putting pencil on them, and pretending like I have bigger brows than I do. I do still apply Benefit’s Gimme Brow daily, mainly because I like the colour to be bolder, but ultimately, the shape is perfect, and I would totally do it again. The price for Microblading is a little steep (£495 for the Microblading package) but I would definitely suggest it for people for have minimal brows or no brows whatsoever. I get so many compliments, and I really feel like it’s made a difference.
Six months later
My eyebrows still look great, less noticeable than before and I’m definitely tempted to go for it again. My addictive personality makes me think I should never get a tattoo, or botox. The good thing though is that where my brows have been ‘done’, hair is now starting to grow because I’m less prone to pluck.