What is Microblading?
Should I get it done?
What does it feel like?
If you're asking these questions, here is everything you need to know!
This post is to give you information about Microblading, as well as an account of the whole Microblading process based on my experience- from the moment I arrived at The Skin Care Studio in Calgary, through 5 weeks of healing, to the Colour Boost (or Touch-Up) appointment, and another week of healing time.
My eyebrows weren't thin or sparse, but they were gnarly- I'd have random hairs that would grow out of my face at a 90 degree angle, and if I tweezed one hair I would end up with a bald spot in a whole different place, they were completely different shapes, and the growth pattern mimicked that of a Cheetah. About a year ago I picked up a brow pencil for the first time and was quite happy with the effect, but I couldn't ever get it quite right, and because of that, I spent a lot of time each morning trying to get my brows looking right (or as "right" as I could).
I became both bored and annoyed at the eyebrow-pencil game each morning, and decided to send a message to Christina at The Skin Care Studio to see about getting Microblading done. After chatting about what I wanted to achieve (not a whole new brow shape, but filling in some bald spots, as well as giving a good base and shape), and ensuring that my skin type and current routine would make me a good candidate, we scheduled the appointment.
What is Microblading?
Microblading (also called Semi-Permanent Makeup, 3D Embroidery, Hair Simulation Effect, or Hair-Stroke Eyebrows) involves a small handheld tool to etch ink into the skin to create a natural looking brow. The tool allows the Esthetician to create individual hair strokes to mimic your own natural hair to create a feathering, or 3D, effect.
Microblading doesn't deposit ink as deep as a permanent tattoo, and because of this, the ink will fade within 1-5 years (time is based on skin type, age, skincare routine, sun exposure, etc). While this may not seem so desirable, the benefit to having Semi-Permanent Makeup as opposed to Permanent Makeup, is that as the trends change, and as you age and your face shape changes, you can alter your brows accordingly. That said, there are some situations where permanent makeup might be the right choice. If you have an experienced and educated Esthetician, they can suggest which is best for you, or combine techniques to create the most natural look with the most desired result. In my case, I am in my early-30's, have a fairly solid eyebrow shape, but they needed some sprucing up, and I wanted the flexibility to change the shape as I age. So I headed to The Skin Care Studio in Calgary to see my old friend Christina to get some brow-help.
Getting Microblading Done
First things first- the numbing cream! A thick, gooey-feeling cream that was spread across my brow bone and had to sit for 30min to take effect. During this time, I read through my 5 pages of procedure info (Christina is VERY thorough!), some chatting, and then through a process or measurements with different types of tools (including a mini level), my face, eye and natural brow shape were considered as Christina sketched out what she thought was the optimal brow shape. We looked in the mirror and scrutinized the area, and together we agreed on the final shape.
Then we picked the colour.
Going into this, I expected to lay down and hear the constant buzz of a tattoo parlour. Instead, I heard the tranquil spa music softly playing as Christina and I chatted away while she worked her magic. The Microblading tool she uses reminded me of a scalpel- the handle was similar in width to a narrow pencil and at the end is a "blade" the consists of 12 needles, all in varying sizes (some are longer, some are very rigid, while others are quite flexible).
The feeling of the Microblading was similar to a cat scratch- not painful, but not enjoyable either. Christina worked at different angles to ensure she got each stroke in the perfect, natural-looking place. To create a hair look, she would do a stroke to create a very natural looking strand. But what I didn't know, is that there's also shading. Now this part, it wasn't fun, and it shocked me at first because it was a series of many little pokes to create a natural shade. These pokes felt worse than the strokes, and could sometimes feel like stabs. But, it didn't last long and was definitely bearable.
Once she had completed both sides, I sat up and once again, we both scrutinized the shape. I pointed out things I saw that I might want to change, or add, and we went back and made sure we were both happy before I left. (And yes, if there was something that I didn't like, it could have been easily removed right then with a saline solution.)
The whole process took about 2-2.5 hours (plus some additional time for talking!) and I was so happy with the result. Obviously with it being a tattoo (or form of), I knew I would see immediate results, but it was just so cool to see how natural it looked and I was surprised by how happy I was with it right away.
The Next Day
When I looked in the mirror I saw two things:
1- I didn't look so "un-done". My new filled in brows made me look like some little fairies had happily woken up before me and started my morning routine as I slept.
2- The ink seemed to be darker than it was the night before! I could have sworn Christina and I agreed on a dark brown, but these puppies looked almost black (maybe not quite black, but definitely darker...although it could also be attributed to the fact that I didn't get home till 9pm and couldn't really tell what colour they were). When my husband saw me he stopped in his tracks and just looked at my brows, and with hesitation he said "So...what do you...think...?" And I laughed and told him that within a couple weeks the ink will fade approximately 50%, and that made us both feel better. I mean, the fact that he said I looked like the angry baby from The Simpsons... I am happy that there's some fading to come!
There isn't any swelling or pain, and the only redness I can see is slight traces around each new "hair".
I am LOVING my eye brows! The color has already faded substantially, and I am am thrilled with the low maintenance, ready-to-go-at-all-times, brows that Christina created for me. I think that being able to wash my face made a big difference in the colour!
For the first 3 days after the Mircoblading procedure, I had to allow for a Dry Healing time. After the 3 days I could get my eyebrows wet, but not do any scrubbing and I had to try to keep soap and face wash away from the area. After each wash, I was to apply a very small amount of Recovery Balm to each brow to help with healing.
I always thought that Microblading was just for women who didn't have brows at all, and thought it was silly to get this procedure done just to help with some bald patches and shaping, but I am so happy I decided to do it!
So far I haven't had any peeling or scabbing, and there is still some very slight redness (more of a pink) around some of the new "hairs".
The number of compliments I have had on my brows or "makeup" (or what they think is just makeup) is amazing. Don't get me wrong, I don't have random strangers come up to me every day telling me how much they love my eyebrows. But I've had a number of compliments from family and friends who knew I had my brows done, and also from a couple people who had no idea.
The fading seems to have slowed down and I can see that the colour of the ink is pretty bang on to what my natural brow colour is.
Still no peeling, flaking or scabbing and the redness is completely gone.
It's nice to know that my love for my "new" eyebrows is still going strong and was worth every penny and every minute. I highly recommend Microblading to anyone who isn't completely happy with their natural brows, or to those who want to save time getting ready in the morning.
Colour Boost/Touch-Up Appointment : 5 Weeks
A second appointment (called the Colour Boost) is important because this is where you can touch-up the areas where the ink has faded more than you wanted, and it also gives you the opportunity to perfect the final shape.
When I arrived at The Skin Care Studio, Christina applied the same numbing ointment and we let it sit for 30min. At this time we looked at my brows and talked about what I wanted to do, Christina made her suggestions (which included changing up the pigment colour just slightly to create a more natural, 3D effect), and when the 30min timer went off, away we went.
The pain level during the "etching" was once again very minimal and bearable. At one point it started to hurt a bit more, so Christina topped me up with some more numbing cream. This Colour Boost appointment was much faster and I was out the door after about an hour. My skin was slightly red, but nothing close to what it would look like after a brow wax, and I felt totally comfortable going to mall right after.
For the next 24 hours my brows were slightly tingley and itchy, but it was very manageable and just a little annoying. Again I allowed for 3 days of Dry Healing time, and did my best to keep the brow area dry and clean (which meant using a damp face cloth to gently clean my face to try to keep water and cleanser off my brows). After the three days, I could wash my face as I normally did (but no scrubbing or rubbing around my brows) and again applied the Recovery Balm to the area twice a day. There was one day where I noticed a tiny bit of peeling in one spot, but that's it.
If one could love a brow, then consider me in love! When friends and family ask, I 100% recommend Microblading, and I definitely recommend Christina at the Skin Care Studio for anyone in the Calgary area.
This isn't what is known as a "sponsored post" (ie. Christina didn't pay me to do this), but when I am thrilled with not only the "product", but also the service, I truly believe in passing along referrals and positive word-of-mouth. Christina is an experienced Esthetician (which includes being an Instructor at one of Calgary's largest Esthetic Institutes), she is educated, and takes her career, and her art, very seriously! If Christina couldn't have, or wouldn't have, done Microblading for me, I wouldn't have looked anywhere else.
To contact Christina, and to learn more about The Skin Care Studio, visit her website : http://www.theskincarestudio.ca/
What I Wish I knew Before:
- As I mentioned, for the first 3 days after the Microblading procedure, the area needs to "Dry Heal". This means, keep it dry. No water and no sweating. If you aren't an everyday showerer like I am, I suggest showering that day so that you don't need to worry about keeping your face dry in the shower. Also, if you like to exercise, do this right before your procedure because excessive sweating before your skin has healed can affect the outcome of your brows (and I also learned that sweat stings- I thought it was a great idea to tackle turkey and mashed potatoes the night after my Colour Boost, and lets just say I got a bit of sweat on my brow and it didn't tickle. However, I patted the area dry with a tissue and had my husband do the rest of the cooking, and all was well!)
- Everyone is different and the way your body responds to Microblading, and the ink, can vary. Some women start swelling before they even leave the studio, some have to manage a lot of peeling, while some women don't have any after effects at all. It really depends on each individual and the amount of work that is done.
If you are considering getting Mircoblading done, make sure you look into the facility and the Esthetician that you are booking with. I have heard some bad stories about dirty facilities or inexperienced Estheticians. Do your research, ask questions, and look for reviews and referrals.