The evolution of the brow has been fascinating to witness. The craze for thin arches – I’m looking at you 90’s- are long gone, and full, fluffy brows are now in high demand. In this case, bigger is better; these bold brows are coveted. Not to mention, do a stand-up job at helping frame the face, providing structure and ample definition. But if you’re someone who hasn’t been blessed with thick brows, or maybe you went on a plucking spree in your teenage years, and the hairs never grew back, fear not. Plenty of brow-filling options exist; case in point: microblading.
Perhaps you’ve never heard of this treatment or need a quick walk-through of what to expect. Well, you’re in luck. I turned to Cosmetic Tattoo Artist Liz Koss, who delivered in-depth answers to all your burning questions. Consider this your all-in-one introductory guide to microblading. Now, let’s dive in.
So, What Exactly is Microblading?
According to Liz, it’s a form of “manual cosmetic tattoo.” The process involves using a tiny row of needles (forming a blade), scratching the top layers of the skin, and inserting pigment – mimicking the look of natural hair.
What Are the Benefits of Microblading?
It Acts as A Time-Saver
When you only have 5 minutes to get ready in the morning, the last thing you want to do is complete an extra step in your routine. Having perfectly groomed brows, 24/7 acts as a much-needed time-saver when you’re in a hurry.
Helps to Boost Confidence
“So many of my clients tell me what a huge confidence boost microblading has given them,” says Liz. And this just further proves that a solid set of brows can make a world of difference in how we feel about ourselves, supporting self-esteem and encouraging you to go makeup-free more often.
How Should I Prepare for My Microblading Session?
Preparation is broken down into three segments: months, weeks, and days leading up to the treatment. Since this is an investment in your brow routine, it’s essential to listen to instructions carefully and follow the rules set out by your brow artist. The outline not only supports your health and safety but can also impact the result of your microblading session. Moral of the story: listen to the experts for the most favorable outcome.
1. Skip the injectables, like Botox, 4-6 weeks before your microblading session. Why? “You want the Botox to settle correctly,” says Liz. Failing to do this could lead to an uneven shape and height of the brows.
1. In the weeks leading up to your appointment, the best practice is to eliminate blood thinners – ingredients such as those found in health and skincare products, like vitamin E, St. John’s Wort, and fish oil- as these will only decrease the likelihood of clotting. Because microblading involves several micro-incisions, excessive bleeding can prevent the pigment from being correctly deposited into the skin, therefore altering the final result.
Note: For anyone concerned, you can breathe a sigh of relief to know that bleeding is generally very minimal. It is part of a Brow Artist’s job to inform you of what to expect, including the preparation steps.
2. “Retinol and BHA’s/AHA’s can also put you at risk by “thinning” your skin,” says Liz. These effects make your skin more susceptible to tearing during the procedure – an outcome that’s best avoided.
3. And finally, tanning is a big, firm no. Prolonged sun exposure can increase your skin irritation risk and may cause the pigment to fade quicker than usual.
1. Remove aspirin, ibuprofen, alcohol, and caffeine from your diet 48 hours in advance of your appointment – these act as blood thinners, which we already know can negatively influence your brows’ final result.
2. Stop any form of brow grooming (i.e., tweezing or waxing) 3 days before your session.
3. On the day of the appointment, wash your hair beforehand to prevent the risk of water coming into contact with your new brows.
4. “Avoid working out the day of your procedure (and ten days after),” Liz informs. Sweat can disturb the healing process, so it’s best to skip any form of exercise, even if it’s a light workout – just to be safe.
What’s the Procedure Like?
The appointment (approximately 3 hours) typically starts with a consultation. Here, the cosmetic tattoo artist will discuss your brow goals, the shape you prefer, and any areas you want to alter.
Next comes the design process, where the artist will pre-draw strokes of hair onto your brows. In Liz’s case, she mentions this particular step is highly collaborative as she wants to ensure her client is 100% satisfied with the shape before moving on to microblading.
A numbing solution is then applied, and the tattooing process begins.
Tip: Before you schedule your brow session, ask if a touch-up treatment is included in payment. It might be worth considering if you want bolder brows or are looking to fine-tune areas that may have faded during the healing process.
What Colour Can I Expect My Final Brows to Look Like?
You can initially expect your brows to look very dark and bold -this may be a “very intense look” for some people, says Liz, and this will last for the first few days during the healing process. Once new skin heals over the incisions and your brows begin to flake, you’ll notice the color beginning to fade – this is entirely normal and expected.
Once the flaking stops, the colour will return lighter than the original version, providing a more natural appearance on the face.
Aftercare + Healing Process
You want to “treat this as a wound care,” mentions Liz, which involves gentle maintenance to help keep your brows healing on the right track. As soon as a client goes home, she requests them to wash their brows with warm water, using a mild cleanser like Cetaphil, and pat dry with a soft tissue. Aftercare ointment is then applied to the brows, and this process is repeated for a few days.
Around the 2-5-day mark, you might notice your brows beginning to flake/scab – this is nothing to be concerned about; rather, it’s a sign they are healing. But during this phase, you want to stop cleansing the brows as this could draw pigment out from the skin.
Days 10-14 are what Liz refers to as the “itching period,” a sign your brows are nearing or at the end of the healing finishing line. However, keep in mind that the pace of recovery varies from person to person, and it may take you less or more time for your brows to fully heal.
Tip: During the healing phase, avoid sleeping on your stomach as this can irritate the brows, drawing out the pigment from the skin.
Now who’s ready to rock a pair of bold brows?
The content in this article is for informational purposes only. Please note that every brow artist has their own set of rules and guidelines that clients need to adhere to, and advice may vary.