Microblading: My experience and need-to-knows
I am a 90’s kid, through and through. I just so happened to be a very stubborn 90’s kid (some things are hard to shake, right?) and with that stubbornness and need to fit into the norm came over plucked eyebrows and many a sun burn. We’re talking laying outside for HOURS with no sun block on and no after sun care despite my mom telling me I’d regret it later. Well, I do. She also told me things like eyebrows and eyelashes don’t grow back - I took that with a grain of salt and was soon introduced to tweezers and there went my full set of naturally shaped brows. I know I am not the only one that let teenage stubbornness dictate my decisions, but the older I got the more I’ve regretted those decisions as seen by skin damage, sparse brows and age spots. Getting older sucks, doesn’t it? Teenage Allison, you should have listened to your mom.
Over the course of my twenties I’ve invested in skin care regimens to help with the sun damage and prevent further damage from happening. But when it came to my brows, no matter how long I tried to grow them out and what serum I used, I could not get my brows to grow back. It was clear that over-plucking in my teenage years significantly damaged my brow hair follicles. I spent the last two years researching solutions to thicker, healthier brows and I was led to microblading. When I first heard about microblading I was extremely skeptical and ruled it out immediately. The words semi-permanent really freaked me out. Rightfully so. As a natural blonde with dyed brunette hair, my eye brows are naturally lighter and also rather sparse (given years of over-plucking). As a result, I’d get eye brow tints monthly and my morning beauty routine had at least 20 minutes dedicated to filling in my brows with pencil or powder - the time and products were investments and never really hit the mark to making my brows look natural and full. And so, I started diving deeper into researching microblading.
Find the right artist for you
A few of my friends had done microblading and raved about their results but also reinforced the importance of finding a brow artist who is licensed, experienced (we’re talking a beefy portfolio of work) and approachable. The brows you get are the brows you pay for. So do your research. NO GROUPONS OR NAIL SALONS!
I researched a few microblading artists within the greater Seattle area and landed on Whitney Thompson of Browhemian. Not only is she a legally licensed, she is also heavily experienced and educated, she also trains other artists that do microblading. I followed her portfolio work on social media and researched the salon in which she is based: Sola Salons and felt confident in reaching out to her with questions and concerns I had regarding microblading and what I hoped to achieve for my brows. Her brow work was natural, catered to her client’s wants and needs and overall bone structure. Not to mention, her personality is infectious to be around! I was dying to wrk with her to achieve my #BROWGOALS
Ask the right questions
Despite weeks of microblading research (the good, the bad, the ugly) I still had so many questions. The fact this procedure is semi-permanent made me so paranoid. I felt insane bombarding Whitney with questions over Instagram about the process, the results and the upkeep but she reassured me “it’s your face, you are supposed to ask questions!” And she was right. It is your face and it is your money to spend on the procedure. My biggest advice to those considering microblading is to do your research and feel confident when you ask your artist questions and don’t settle on an artist that won’t be up front with you about the process and results. Also be aware of pricing — microblading isn’t cheap but if you find the right artist, it’s worth the price. Whitney includes her touch up appointment as part of your payment, which is a nice bonus and gives clients incentive to come in for their touch-up rather than paying for a touch-up.
Questions I had regarding microblading:
*Does the appointment include a consult?
Most artists have you commit to an appointment that will include your consult rather than a separate consult appointment. Ask your artist what their policy is for consults.
*What is the price?
Remember, you get what you pay for. Brows are not something you want to score a deal with on Groupon. Do your research about artist pricing and determine what makes sense for you based on the artist’s work and your budget.
*What does the appointment entail?:
You can do all the research you want, but each artist is different for how the consult, procedure and touch-up appointment will go. Get clarity from your artist about their specific process, how long your appointment will be and how far out your touch up appointment should be.
At my appointment, I spent the first 20-30 minutes with Whitney going over my face shape, natural brows and my brow goals (what I was hoping to achieve with microblading). She proceeded to measure my face - going over bone structure as this significantly impacts microblading and the overall shape of getting new brows.
After landing on the brow shape and color I wanted, she began numbing each brow. I can honestly say the procedure did not hurt - I was happily surprised. There was only slight discomfort in one brow that required more strokes and that pain quickly went away as she continued to numb throughout the process. Because my brows were rather thin to begin with, the process took 1.5 hours and Whitney ended up doing 400 strokes on my brows to achieve a brow lift/arch and a full, natural set of brows!
Look at the difference! My original filled in brows are on the left, natural brows are in the center and post-appointment brows are on the right.
I’m so in love with my new brows! They are everything I could want and more - thicker, natural and a color that suits me whether I’m brunette or blonde. I couldn’t be happier. My touch-up is in a few weeks and that will be a time for Whitney to do any last minute fill-in before I’m set for a year!
The amount of confidence I have gained from thicker, natural brows is unbelievable. I leave the house makeup-free all too often now and the amount of time it has saved me getting ready in the morning is incredible. I have literally shaved off 20 minutes of my makeup routine that was dedicated to brows. My current brow routine is upkeep - tweezing away any stray hairs and applying some Glossier Boy Brow in the morning, and that’s it!
Before your appointment + after care:
Before: Ask your artist for before tips and after-care tips. My biggest advice before your appointment: DO NOT have any coffee, caffeine or alcohol 24 hours before or after your appointment. Caffeine significantly effects the numbing cream and can also effect swelling and healing. Avoid it at all costs until 24 hours after your appointment. Also, if noise like the sound of scraping bothers you, I’d recommend ear plugs or headphones to play music during your procedure. Whitney plays music as she does the procedure so you’re not sitting in silence fixating on the noise, but for those that don’t want to hear it, I’d recommend ear buds.
After: Be sure to take Ibuprofen after your appointment to avoid pain. I took Ibuprofen for 2 days straight after my appointment. Also be sure to tell your artist if you have any allergies or health conditions that they need to be aware of. Lastly, make sure you follow your artist’s instructions regarding after care cream. I used my after care cream 2-3 times a day for a week applying on my brows in the morning, in the afternoon and at night before bed using a Q-tip.
-Do not get your brows wet at all for the first week. To avoid this, I limited my showers for the first week and took really quick showers when I had to - avoiding any water contact with my face and any steam in the shower itself. It’s challenging, but you don’t want to get your brows wet as it effects the healing and the pigment settling. Invest in good face wipes and dry shampoo to prevent them from getting wet the first week.
-Also, as your brows heal they will scab over and it’s imperative you DO NOT pick any of the scabs off. Some days I’d use an eyebrow brush to lightly dust away any small scabs but for the most part you need to be hands-off. As you scab, you’ll notice spotting in your brows - this can be solved by filling in areas with powder or a light pencil to fill out your brows until the spotting stops (usually after two weeks). Another option to hide the spotting, is wearing a hat! I did this for two of the days my brows were the itchiest and flakiest.
-Your brows will look significantly darker and fuller within the first few days of your appointment but they will NOT stay this dark and will shrink after the swelling dies down. I fell in love with my dark brows but now two weeks out they have faded significantly. The shape is great, but the color will need to get darkened at my follow-up appointment. Just know, shrinking and color fade is standard after your first microblading appointment.
-Microblading does not go deep enough to damage hair follicles so you will not lose any of your current eye brow hairs (for some reason, I was super paranoid about this!) The key to microblading is preserving as much natural hair as possible and adding in strokes to fill out and create a full set of brows that look natural.
-Microblading lasts up to a year/year and a half before it begins to fade, so touch-ups after that are key to keep your brows looking fresh. Just know, the pigment will never be 100% gone but it will fade to almost nothing if you never decided to get them touched up.
Overall, I’d highly recommend microblading and my microblading artist Whitney for her time, dedication and skill set. She achieved the brows I have dreamed of since I was the stubborn teenager with a pair of tweezers and has given me a whole new appreciation for the confidence that comes with a set of improved brows. As I mentioned, don’t dive into microblading head first without doing your research and finding an artist that is the right fit for you. For any more questions you have about the process, feel free to leave me a comment below!