One trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon: strong eyebrows. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve heard the term “brows on fleek,” but even without the catchphrase dominating Instagram captions and funny YouTube videos, lush and well-groomed brows are still coveted by women of all generations.
Enter microblading. Microblading is a semi-permanent makeup procedure (like a tattoo but with a little less commitment) that creates the illusion of bolder brows. Instead of using a full-blown tattoo gun, microblading artists use a small, hand-held tool that allows them to deposit super-fine and precise lines of pigment into the skin. Somewhat mind-blowingly, these lines really do look like natural hair strokes and when done well, give the appearance of healthy, thick eyebrows.
“I think it’s a popular trend right now because over-plucked brows from the ’90s are coming back to haunt us all,” says Kate Shaughnessy, owner and master certified lash and microblading artist at Lash & Brow Design Co. in Carmel. She’s right—over-plucking your eyebrows can actually cause permanent hair loss. Plus, for those of us who’ve spent decades tweezing our brows into submission, getting the look of healthy, natural brows can take a time-consuming combination of products and patience.
“Everyone can use an extra 15 minutes!” Shaugnessy says. “When you have microblading done, that’s one less thing to think about in the morning.”
If you’re already Googling microblading in Indianapolis, you’re certainly not alone. However, there are a few things you might want to consider before going under the blade. From helping you find qualified professional to explaining how the heck it actually works, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about this game-changing treatment.
“…over-plucked brows from the ’90s are coming back to haunt us all.”
The Artist: How to find someone who actually knows what they’re doing
In the world of microblading, training and experience are everything. While there are lots of reputable, qualified artists out there, it’s wise to be wary of those who may have jumped on the bandwagon with minimal certification and experience. Shaughnessy suggests finding an artist who has thorough training and education in proper bloodborne pathogen procedures, color theory, and eyebrow mapping.
The cost of your microblading procedure might reflect that level of expertise. At Lash & Brow Design Co., for example, microblading with a Master-level artist is $900 versus $400 with an apprentice. It’s more expensive than your everyday wax job, for sure, but depending on how often you see your esthetician, you might actually save money on brow upkeep in the long run.
Many salons offer complimentary consultations before you book a full microblading procedure. Take advantage of that time with the artist to ask questions about their continuing education and look closely at their portfolio. “When looking at the healed work, the hair strokes should not be blurred together and the hair color should be as close to the natural eyebrow hair as possible,” Shaugnessy explains.
The Procedure: What to expect at your appointment
The first step in a typical microblading appointment is working with your artist to find the right shape for your eyebrows. “We encourage clients to keep a naturally-shaped brow that fits their bone structure and facial shape,” says Shaughnessy. You’ll also choose a color that works with your skin tone and natural hair color.
Once you have the perfect brow shape and color, it’s time to numb up your eyebrow area with a topical cream. I know what you’re thinking … how bad does it hurt? Honestly, it’s hard to say. Everyone’s tolerance for physical discomfort is a little different, but generally speaking, the numbing cream should eliminate most of the pain. Shaughnessy assured us that most of her clients don’t bleed and if bleeding does occur, it means the artist has gone too deep.
It takes about 30 minutes for the numbing cream to kick in and once it does, it’s time for the actual microblading to begin. The total length of your appointment and the procedure itself will vary depending on your salon and the experience of your artist, but Shaughnessy recommends budgeting about two to four hours.
The Results: How to not screw up your brand-new brows
It takes about 10 days for your brows to fully heal after microblading. If your brows look a little bit sharper and darker than you intended immediately following the procedure, don’t worry––it takes some time for the pigment to settle into your skin. As the healing process beings, you’ll also likely experience some dandruff or dry skin around your eyebrow area, which sheds that darker, superficial color from your skin.
During the healing process, it’s usually recommended to avoid swimming, sun exposure, and anything that might cause excessive sweating—so skip hot yoga for a week or two. Your artist should give you detailed aftercare instructions and depending on your salon, you might come back for a follow-up appointment to make sure you’re satisfied with the final product anywhere from four to six weeks later.
How long your new microbladed eyebrows last depends on a number of factors, including your skin and the specific look you’re going for. You might want a touch-up as soon as six months after your initial appointment or as far out as three years. To keep your brows looking fresh for as long as possible, always wear sunscreen and steer clear of exfoliating that area of your face.
In today’s beauty landscape, there is no shortage of methods and products to explore if you’re seeking thicker, more luscious brows. If you’re not afraid of a little short-term discomfort, willing to invest the cost, and are sick and tired of layering on gels, powders, and pencils … well, then microblading might be exactly the solution you’ve been searching for.
Afterward, your only regret might be that you wish you’d done it sooner.
Microblading images via Lash and Brow Design Co.
Ally Denton is a freelance writer who just recently attained VIB Rouge status at Sephora. She’s both proud and somewhat horrified at her commitment to expensive beauty products.