Eyebrow Microblading: Natural-Looking Permanent Makeup
What Is Permanent Makeup?
Nothing is forever, and neither is "permanent" makeup; "long-lasting" makeup is a more apt description. To achieve long-lasting makeup, the skin is tattooed using various techniques, most often by hand. Tattoo guns are not recommended and are generally not utilized. "Permanent" makeup can last anywhere from a year to five or six, depending on many factors. Skin type (oily, normal, or dry), skin care, and sun exposure all affect the longevity of your makeup.
Commonly tattooed areas include:
- Nipples (particularly for women who have had mastectomies)
What is Microblading?
Microblading is the process of making minute incisions in the skin. The desired color is then deposited into the cuts. The incisions only penetrate the topmost layer of the skin, which is why the tattoo is not permanent like that applied with a tattoo gun. Microblading is the preferred technique for permanent eyebrows since the incisions are formed to mimic strands of hair. It indeed produces the most natural-looking brows.
Does Microblading Hurt?
Yes. While the artist will apply lidocaine to your brows, the most effective pain relief comes from injected lidocaine. While the procedure isn't as painful as it would have been without the lidocaine, you should be prepared for at least minor discomfort. Do NOT take aspirin before your procedure as that will result in increased bleeding. Similarly, do NOT consume alcohol the night before or the day of your procedure.
- Review and complete release form.
- The technician will then use a makeup pencil to fill in your eyebrows to determine the shape.
- Once the agreed upon shape is drawn, the artist SHOULD measure to make sure your new eyebrows start at the inner corner of your eye, and end at the outside corner.
- Topical lidocaine will be rubbed into your eyebrows and allowed to absorb for 10-15 minutes.
- The artist will begin making the first set of minute cuts to each eyebrow. You may not feel the first few incisions thanks to the lidocaine, but eventually, you may feel some discomfort.
- The agreed upon color (likely dark brown) will be applied to the incisions, as well as more lidocaine.
- After the second application (of lidocaine), the artist will likely go over each eyebrow again with the blade.
- Eyebrows will be cleaned, and you'll have a chance to look them over before completion.
- The technician will apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment (think Neosporin) and go over the care instructions again. You will likely also schedule a follow-up/touch-up appointment for a few months later.
This ointment is often given to the newly tattooed to keep the tattoo moist. It's a skin protectant also used to treat diaper rash, dry skin, and minor cuts or burns.
These instructions are specific to microblading, but can apply to other cosmetic tattoos. I followed them nearly to the letter and now have natural-looking eyebrows:
- Don't wash your eyebrows or get them wet for five days.
- If you are provided antibiotic ointment, apply a thin layer of it to eyebrows every morning for three days. Before bed, apply a thin layer of A&D ointment to eyebrows.
- On the fourth day, discontinue the antibiotic ointment. Instead, apply the A&D ointment to your eyebrows in the morning and before bed.
- After day five, you may wash your eyebrows. Continue applying the A&D ointment for two more days (or a total of seven days).
Be prepared for REALLY DARK (and probably greasy-looking) eyebrows for the first few days. The scabs will eventually come off (end of week one), revealing ashy or silvery-looking brows. The true color and vibrance of your eyebrows will come out week two or three.
While your eyebrows are healing, you should NOT:
- Swim, use a jacuzzi or sauna, or expose your eyebrows to excessive steam or heat, such as in the shower.
- Rub, pick, or scratch the scabs. They will undoubtedly itch, but removing the scab by rubbing or scratching will result in color loss.
- Exercise or otherwise get sweaty. This was the most difficult for me to follow, but it was ultimately worth it.
Before and After Microblading
Does microblading hurt?
Yes. As described above, the procedure is uncomfortable. Topical anesthesia can help dull some of the pain, but you will likely feel at least a small amount of pain/irritation.
Are the eyebrows sore after microblading?
My eyebrows weren't actually sore or swollen after, but some people do experience discomfort, swelling, and redness after the procedure. Take it easy on yourself and your body afterwards.
How much does microblading cost?
Cost depends on the technician, but expect to pay at least $400 for the procedure and follow-up appointment.