This article was originally posted in 2017 when I had my eyebrows microbladed for the first time – I have updated it to reflect my microblading experience after 4 years!
Everything You Need to Know About Microblading
I am so excited to share the details about my microblading experience! Perhaps you’ve heard the term before and are intrigued, as I was. Maybe you’ve been researching the topic, but don’t know how to find a trustworthy technician or you’re lacking the nerve to go through with it. Let me tell you, I absolutely love my results and wish I had done it a long time ago! I’m going to share everything you need to know about Microblading.
What I Include in This Post
I have tried to include a lot of pictures in this post. There are lots of side-by-sides to help you see the difference and I’ve tried to include as much info as I can think to write. I connected with a local microblading technician that gave me a great price in exchange for writing this review, but all opinions are completely unbiased and totally my own.
Before and After
As you can see from the pictures above, my brows were in pretty bad shape. I’ve always had rather thin eyebrows, and they have always been different shapes from each other. I have over-plucked them for years, always attempting to make them match somehow. A little from here, a little from there. You know the story.
I don’t need to tell you how important eyebrows are, but just in case you’re on the fence, here are some pictures of celebrities WITHOUT eyebrows. You’re welcome.
Q. What is Microblading?
A. Microblading is a form of semi-permanent cosmetic tattooing, specifically done to enhance the eyebrows. It is done by manually depositing pigment into the first layer of the skin (the epidermis). The artist will use a fine tool with a specific sized blade and pigment color to create tiny, hair-like strokes in between your natural hair.
Q. How Long Does it Last?
A. Microblading is considered semi-permanent makeup. Unlike tattooed eyebrows that are actually permanent, microblading will fade over time (which is great because, hello! Styles change!). How long it lasts depends on skin type, activity level and lifestyle. A professional swimmer that is in chlorine on a regular basis may have shorter retention, for example. Oily skin will have shorter retention as well. On average, microblading can last anywhere from 1 to 3 years before significant fading happens. A touch-up appointment can be made after a year or so, which will generally be quicker and less expensive than the original appointment.
INSIDER TIP: You can lengthen your microblading results by taking care of your brows. Use sunscreen when in the sun. Do not use harsh exfoliating or wrinkle removing creams with ingredients like Salicylic Acid or Hyaluronic Acid directly on your brows.
Q. How Much Does it Cost?
A. Microblading will range based on location and the skill of the technician, and can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,200.
Q. How do I Find the Right Technician?
A. I highly recommend you go to a reputable salon that has been in business for a while. Ask to see pictures of previous clients. Read reviews. Ask about licensing and certification. Ask about the tools used and if they are new and sealed in their original packages. Do they include a follow-up appointment in the price? What kind of training has the technician had and how long have they been performing microblading? Someone who is new to the industry with no brow shaping experience, reviews or pictures of happy clients should send up a red flag.
Who I Recommend
I had a WONDERFUL experience with Mary at Charisma Salon and Day Spa in Livonia. Charisma has been open since 1972 and Mary has been working there for 20 years. Because she started as a makeup artist and has been waxing and shaping eyebrows for so long, I 100% trusted her with the shape and color of my brows. I shared some of my fears and concerns, but ultimately left her to make the decision on the shape of the arch and color to use.
Microblading is a relatively new industry in general, which is why it is so important to go with someone who has experience with brow shaping and waxing. Mary is very meticulous and clean. She does an awesome job of explaining the process and preparing you for your microblading session. She talks you through everything and sends you away with all the instructions for your follow-up care. She takes pride in her attention to detail every step of the way, including how close she follows safety procedures and proper technique.
Q. What is the Healing Process Like?
A. There are several stages of healing that you go through after having microblading done. I was very fearful that I would be embarrassed to go out in public afterwards, but I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously, everyone will react and heal differently.
For me, my brows started out very dark with just a little redness. We left for a camping trip immediately after my appointment so I figured it would be easy to hide and not shower. I applied a protective ointment in the morning and at night for the first couple weeks. After a few days of not showering, I was careful to shower without getting my face wet. I carefully washed my face with a washcloth, working around my eyebrows.
UPDATE: Mary is always careful to stay up to date on the latest Microblading techniques and tips. Experts now recommend gently but firmly wiping your brows with gauze 3-4 times the day of your Microblading appointment. They no longer stress the importance of keeping your brows dry for the first several days, and that a little bit of water will not hurt them as long as you don’t get them drenched. I followed this new step when I returned for a ONE YEAR TOUCH-UP and had little to no scabbing during the healing phase!
What Else to Expect
Some people have reported feeling itchy and tight afterward, but mine felt good. I didn’t start to feel tightness until about 2 weeks in. Around the 2 week mark I could feel my brows scabbing up and starting to flake off. Even during this part, it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t go out in public. UPDATE: Because experts now recommend wiping the brows throughout the day after your microblading appointment, scabbing is much less likely to happen. Though I did have some tightness and scabbing after my first time, when I have gone back in for touch-ups, I did not.
As your brows heal, the color will fade slightly and then darken again, but never as dark as they were the first few days. The lines will be very crisp and pronounced at the beginning, and will soften with time. You may also notice that your brows will appear extra wide at first, but as they heal, they will tighten and shrink just a tad.
Between 4 to 6 weeks after the initial microblading, Mary schedules a touch-up appointment. I went back to fine tune little details. After my brows had fully healed the first time, there were a few little spots that I wanted filled. I was nervous to go too dark at first, which is normal. You can always go darker, but you cannot go lighter!
Q. Who Shouldn’t Have Microblading Done?
A. There are a few situations which may rule out microblading for you. For example, if you have a bleeding disorder or easily bleed, microblading may not be as successful for you. If you have extremely oily skin, microblading will not have good, long-term results.
Q. Does it Hurt?
A. Mary used a numbing ointment on my brows before starting the microblading. I didn’t feel anything at first. As the numbing ointment faded, I started feeling a strange, scratching sensation. When it got a little uncomfortable, she reapplied the ointment. Again, this will be different for everyone depending on your pain tolerance!
Q. Does it Scar?
A. No, microblading does not cause scaring. What will cause scaring is picking or messing with your scabs as they heal.
Before Your Appointment
Your technician will explain what to do before coming in for your appointment. I scheduled an eyebrow wax a week before getting microblading done. At that appointment, Mary cleaned up my brows and filled in the shape. I had never had a professional wax done and let me tell you, it was a game changer! I never thought I needed a wax job because my brows are so thin. Mary pointed out that by removing all the little unnecessary hairs, it makes the rest stand out and appear fuller.
Mary instructed me not to drink caffeine the day of, not to take any Aspirin or Motrin 48 hours before hand or drink alcohol 48 hours before hand. These are all things that can thin your blood and make you bleed easier. Too much blood makes it hard for the technician to see what she is doing.
Talk with your technician about your ideal shape and color. Share your fears and expectations. Mary used the smallest size blade on me because I wanted a soft shape and was afraid of it looking too heavy. She also used one of the smallest templates to base the size on. She used a mixture of two different colors to create the perfect shade that wasn’t too dark. If you are wanting a heavier looking brow, you may be interested in having some permanent shading done on top of the microblading. Ask Mary about shading, which creates more of a solid, powdered brow look.
Different Styles and Options with Microblading
Over the years, microblading has grown and become very popular. Experts in the field are always learning and adapting to new research and experience. When I originally had my brows done, there weren’t as many options as there are now. You may choose just microblading, microblading plus shading (known as “combo brows”) or just shading (known as “powder brows”). If you like the shape of your brow and just want a slightly fuller, powdery look, you may want to just have some shading done. When I went back for my last touch-up appointment, I had shading added to create the “combo brow” look.
The Touch-Up Appointment
After my initial microblading was done 4 years ago, I have gone back several times for a touch-up. Was a touch-up necessary every time? Maybe not, but I love how crisp and full my brows look after the touch-up. I have gone in for a touch-up roughly every year to a year and a half. The touch-up appointment is usually quicker and less expensive than the first visit. It can be done in one session instead of two. For my last touch-up, I had shading added and color correction done to warm up the areas that had faded to an ashy color. Because microblading is not permanent, it will slowly soften and fade. When it has been almost a year since my last touch-up appointment, I usually start having to fill in my brows with a little bit of powder. This gives me a fuller look but honestly is not necessary and most days I go without doing it. Because my brows were almost non-existent to begin with, the areas where there is no hair fades faster than the other areas. Overall I’m just so happy to have eyebrows! It was such an improvement for me, it gives me confidence to go out with minimal makeup.
Makeup and Microblading by Mary
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