It seems like every few years there’s a beauty trend that everyone jumps on. Some make totally sense and some just seem like a waste of money. I’m a 90’s baby, which means I have pretty much no eyebrows. We thought it was a good idea to pluck every eyebrow hair, until we were pretty much bald. I’m now (or was) left with non-existent brows because of it. If you’re a millennial, you probably know what I’m talking about.
How long do you spend in front of the mirror each day filling in your brows? I was spending a minimum of 10 minutes a day, at least 350 days a year, for a grand total of 60 hours a year just “trying” to fix my brows…yes, I did the math. I kept hearing about the benefits of microblading, but I honestly just thought it was another trend that would come and go. The thought of someone tattooing my eyebrows on, kinda made me nervous. It’s not like you can hide them if you end up hating them or they turn out wrong (besides bangs). With a ton of misinformation and hefty amounts of misconceptions about what microblading really was, I was left to do my own research.
The first step in considering if microblading is right for you, is to do your own research. You need to find the right person to microblade your brows, and with this, comes a ton of investigating. You don’t want to get your eyebrows done by just anyone, the key is finding someone who’s talented and someone you trust. If you’re living in a major city, you’re lucky. Chances are you have several top-notch salons to choose from, but for those living in tinier towns, you may have to travel.
Although London has many professionals, claiming to be the best in their fields, I couldn’t find any that were showing “real” before and after photos, so I started looking outside of my city. Social media platforms are an excellent way to see the artist’s work, along with reviews and a detailed description of the microblading procedures offered. The detailed work from Amanda, from Brows By Lao on Instagram, instantly caught my eye. Even though she’s from Toronto, after looking at her work and getting to know her level of expertise, I knew it would be worth it. Amanda not only does microblading, she specializes in brows. “I’ve been brow obsessed for as long as I can remember. I’d always been the one friends and family would turn to for help. Whether that be waxing to correcting shapes, or teaching them how to pencil them in, I was their go-to”. As you can see, I knew I was going to be in good hands with Amanda. Remember, you don’t want someone who can do it all. It’s better to be an expert in one thing, like Amanda is, rather than mediocre in a handful. You don’t want someone who does waxing, facials, nails, lashes, hair, etc. doing your brows, you want someone who’s main focus is brows.
This leads me to my next tip, don’t just look for the cheapest option. Microblading isn’t cheap, so I’d be leering of the ones offering to do it for a few hundred dollars. It takes hundreds of hours of experience to be able to deliver flawless results like Amanda, and for that, you’re going to pay for it. Amanda got certified in microblading over a year ago, and because she already had a pretty good reputation with brows, she picked up the techniques quickly. Although it’s a lot of money to drop on one procedure, it’s a skill that requires training, patience, practise and a mass amount of talent. If you’re going to get a semi-permanent tattoo on your face, this isn’t the time to be frugal.
After months of stalking Amanda’s page and chatting over Instagram, I was ready to book my consultation. This is a step you don’t want to skip, for many reasons. First off, this is the time you will talk with your brow specialist about your wants and needs. You’ll discuss your ideal brow shape and what you want your eyebrows to look like in the end. Amanda will voice her options, but also takes your ideas into consideration when creating that perfect brow shape. Amanda was able to fill in my brows with tiny pencil strokes to get an idea of what the end results were going to look like. She spent the first 30 minutes mapping out my brows. The goal was to find symmetry and fill in areas that were over plucked in the past.
After my first appointment
Microblading is only semi-permanent, in the sense it’s not a tattoo. Unlike tattoos that are created with ink and penetrates deep into the skin, microblading is done with a special pigment that doesn’t penetrate as deeply, meaning it lasts upwards of 3+ years. This is perfect as you can make changes as you see fit throughout the years, or as your hair colour or style changes. Amanda mixed both warm dark brown and a maroon colour to ensure my brows healed to a nice rich, warm shade.
It takes about 2 hours, from start to finish. This will also depend on how sparse your brows are and how thick and full you want them to be. As far as pain, although not completely painless, it’s less invasive and less annoying than a tattoo. The blade itself if so incredibly tiny that it feels more like a scrapping feeling than pain. I found it incredibly tolerable and would rank it about a 2 out of 10 for uncomfortableness.
If you’ve had a tattoo in the past, the aftercare is just as crucial as the procedure itself. If you want your brows to heal properly and without premature fading, taking the necessary steps to ensure your brows heal completely is highly important. Amanda went over everything with me, but the two main things are, don’t get them wet or sweaty or expose them to too much direct sunlight for a minimum of 2 weeks. Around the one-week mark, your brows will start to peel, revealing the true colour underneath. This will be about 50% lighter and look more natural. It should look about the same colour at your natural brows and create the effect of penciled in brows.
I’ve heard horror stories about how dark and intense your brows look afterwards, which is why some people want to pick or hurry along the healing process, but it’s important not to pick. Let it flake off naturally. I actually loved how bold mine looked for the following weeks, enough so, that when I go back for my yearly touch-ups, I might ask Amanda to go even darker. What can I say, I love a strong brow. Amanda will have you back at the 6 to 8-week mark, just for minor touch-ups and to see how everything is healing. This is where she will adjust or re-shape your brow as needed. With proper care, your semi-permanent brows can last upwards of 3 years, but yearly touch-ups can help prolong the results and keep your brows looing as fresh as the day you got them microbladed.
The end results