Microblading: The Secret to Bold, Beautiful Brows


When you hear the phrases ‘permanent makeup’ or ‘cosmetic tattoos,’ subtle is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Before you completely rule it out, though, imagine waking up every morning with full, perfectly groomed brows. No powders, pencils or pomades necessary. Microblading, a scary name for a not-at-all-scary procedure, can make that dream a reality. Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure that will give you natural-looking, beautiful eyebrows. For all the details, keep reading!

What is microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent way to get bold, lush brows almost instantly. Many people with illnesses such as cancer and alopecia, that result in hair loss, undergo the treatment. It’s also ideal if you have with thin, sparse or over-plucked brows, yet don’t want to spend time every morning filling them in. Nadia Afanaseva, of leading mircroblading salon Eye Design New York, said. “those who just want to add a slight arch are also great candidates.” Beauty lovers are well aware that ‘brows’ can often be the most time consuming part of your routine, and sometimes you just don’t have the patience for it. The small needle used in microblading mimics hair strokes, just like a brow pencil, so you are left with brows that look extremely natural. The proof is in the pictures:

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What is the procedure like?

Microblading is a relatively new procedure in the world of permanent makeup. It’s a manual process: the technician uses a tool, which looks like a silver pen, to deposit ink into the top layer of your skin. The tip of the pen is ultra-fine, which makes it easy to create those natural-looking brushstrokes that sets microblading apart from other procedures. When you arrive at the salon, you will go over your ‘dream brows’ with the technician – they will pencil on an outline of your new brows and make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for. After that, a numbing product is applied to make the procedure virtually painless. It’s important to note that you will feel a minor sensation, almost like scratching, but the numbing cream alleviates any actual pain. The pigment is then deposited onto your brows using very fine strokes. The meticulous, detailed process will take about two hours to complete.

What’s the recovery time like?

You can go about your normal activities that same day, but you should avoid getting your new brows wet for one week. When you shower and wash your face, use a washcloth to avoid getting any water on your eyebrows. If your brows are looking a bit too dark for your liking, don’t worry – they will lighten over the following two weeks. Unlike eyebrow extensions, after your mircroblade brows have completely healed, you can enjoy activities like swimming – there are no specific precautions to take.

Where can I get the procedure done?

This is where research skills come in handy. It’s important to go to a trusted salon when getting the procedure done. Yelp is your friend – look into reviews from real people, and see what they thought of the salons. Call and go in for a consultation before committing to anything. Have all of your questions and concerns ready – this is not a procedure to be taken lightly. Going to someone who is inexperienced can potentially result in serious damage. Afanaseva warns against going to places that claim to complete the process in one hour. “It’s not a rushed procedure, it cannot be done in an hour.”

How much does it cost?

Every salon is different, and prices can vary considerably. It can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,200. My word of advice: this procedure will last you a year. It will be the framework and focus of your face. This is not the time to grab the best “deal.” Do your research, and get the treatment done at a reliable, respected salon with someone you can trust. If that means splurging a little bit, so be it. Silly as it may sound, your brows are not something to gamble with.


Is it safe?

It’s worth mentioning again: research is key. Microblading, along with other forms of tattooing, is not regulated by the FDA. Tattooing is an issue that is handled state-by-state. There are some states that have specific training requirements for permanent cosmetics – research if you live in one of those states. The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals gives out certifications, so if your aesthetician has one, they’re considered ‘board certified.’ Generally speaking, it’s a typically safe, minimally invasive procedure with little to no side effects.

How long will it last?

Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure. Depending on different factors, the results can last anywhere from eleven to eighteen months. Most places will recommend coming in for a follow-up one month after your procedure to see how you’ve healed. It’s also advised that you get touchups around the one-year mark. This will allow you to retain the shape and look of your brows. Many salons offer discounted prices for touch-up treatments, so look into this when making your initial appointment.

What’s the difference between microblading, cosmetic tattooing and eyebrow extensions?

Compared to typical cosmetic tattooing, microblading uses thinner, finer strokes and doesn’t penetrate skin as deeply. As a result, your new brows aren’t as permanent, but they do look more natural. Brow extensions involve glueing individual (synthetic or natural) hairs onto your brows, one-by-one. The process is painless (no needles!), but it will not last last long. Touch-ups are recommended every other week, and prices can be anywhere from $100-300. To learn more about brow extensions, check out THIS blog post.

Who shouldn’t try the procedure?

If you’re currently pregnant or breastfeeding, don’t try microblading right now. If you’ve recently had Botox or other injections (3 weeks ago or less), wait before getting the procedure done. It’s also not a good idea to get it done while on your period. While you’re consulting with your esthetician, it’s a smart idea to let them know what medications you’re currently taking. As with any procedure, consult with your doctor before getting it done to find out if it’s safe for you.

Images via InStyle and @Nadia_Afanaseva 

Would you consider microblading or any other type of permanent makeup? Let us know in the comments below!

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