If you haven’t been sucked into a blackhole of microblading eyebrows before and after Insta stalking by now, then frankly, we applaud you. Rachael Bebe runs a Cosmetic tattoo salon in Mornington
Because, if, like us, your eyebrows suffered at the hands of the noughties and Christina Aguilera-Esque tadpoles (check out the eyebrow mistakes to avoid here), then an obsession with microblading is inevitable.
The semi-permanent secret to faking fuller eyebrows that look natural, microblading might just be the hassle-free solution to spending hours pencilling in your eyebrows only to get the shape so completely wrong.
Some people celebrate anniversaries with a husband or wife. I, on the other hand, am marking one year with my eyebrows. That is to say, it’s been exactly 12 months since brow wizard Piret Aava microbladed my brows, giving me the arches I’d always wanted. We’ve been in the honeymoon-phase ever since.
What is microblading?
Microblading is the process of using a teeny-tiny blade to deposit pigment underneath the skin semi-permanently. The best pros use short strokes of varying lengths in order most closely mimic actual hairs. I know what you’re thinking: Yikes! Doesn’t that hurt? For me, not really, each stroke felt only like a scratch on dehydrated skin. (Plus, you’re numbed ahead of time.)
The result is meant to be incredibly natural-looking—as if you just so happened to be born with full, shapely brows, no pomade or pencil required.
Microblading is a type of eyebrow architecture. It is all about creating the best shape for each face – a bespoke approach for each client.
The process is exact thanks to the tool that is used, which is effectively like a pen with the nib being a sloped blade with 10-12 little needles at the end – needles that don’t penetrate the skin but just delicately scratch the surface, much like a paper cut.
The needle very finely implants featherweight strokes with a medical grade pigment on the epidermis layer for the skin, creating elegant, realistic and natural hair strokes.
Microblading, also known as Eyebrow Embroidery, is a procedure categorized under permanent makeup, but unlike traditional cosmetic Eyeliner tattoos , it is less invasive and is considered semi-permanent. Microblading typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on skin type and skincare routine. The procedure is done by using a hand tool with ultra-fine needles, and each ‘hair’ is gently etched into the skin, giving an incredibly natural and realistic look. Microblading can dramatically correct or fully reconstruct lost eyebrow and is excellent for those wanting to enhance their brows or who have little to no eyebrows, thinning brows from age or over-tweezed brows. Pigments used are chosen to match the natural or desired brow colour, and skin tone will also be taken into consideration.
For the first Microblading session, the entire procedure should take about 2.5-3 hours. During this session, the brow technician will shape and style the client’s brows for client approval. We then follow with pigment colour selection. Once the client is satisfied with the choices, we begin the procedure.
The client is to come in for a follow-up visit to have any minor necessary touch-ups. The second Microblading session takes place after 4-6 weeks after the initial session. This session will take approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete.
The next thing you need to remember is not to get your eyebrows wet for up to 10 days after the procedure. That includes sweat from working out as well as everyday things like showering. You will also need to keep any makeup away from the brow area and avoid other cosmetic treatments such as facials for around four to six weeks.
Following the procedure, you will be given a list of things to follow to keep your brows looking in tip-top condition. A little redness and minor swelling are perfectly normal, so don’t panic when you wake up the next morning. The day after having microblading, you will need to apply a cream that you will have been given in the clinic. This is usually used every few hours and will continue onto the second-day post-microblading. From day three until day eight, you can reduce the cream application just to morning and night.
It is recommended that you don’t have anything important to do for two weeks after your microblading appointment. This is because your eyebrows will go through a stake of flaking and peeling, something that you might not want to remember in your wedding pictures, for example. A little Vaseline can counteract any itching. But whatever you do, don’t pick at your brows.
A few other pointers to consider before booking your first appointment is what shape and colour you would like your new eyebrows to be. While experts can help you decide (and will show you your desired shape before going ahead with the microblading), there’s nothing wrong with doing a little pre-planning. It’s also a good idea to stay away from products that can thin your skin or blood for a week before the procedure, with Elle reporting that includes retinol-based skincare, aspirins, and alcohol should all be avoided.
Have A Look At Rach’s Eyebrow feathering services
How are microblading eyebrows different from having your brows tattooed?
Microblading, unlike tattooing, is not in the deep layer of skin, but more on the surface. This is also not permanent, and the colour fades within 18 months.
The hair strokes are far more natural and finer than any tattoo, as a handheld needle/blade is used – there is no electrical gadget that permeates deep in this technique. There is, therefore, more of a scratching noise, rather than a buzz of a tattoo gun that pierces the skin so deeply.
How long does microblading last?
Microblading lasts anything between 12-18 months, but the longevity of the pigment will depend on your skin type.
The effects of microblading last anywhere between 18 and 30 months. Once pigment from the procedure begins to fade noticeably, you’ll need to go back to your practitioner for a touch-up application. Touch-ups can be necessary every six months or every year, depending on your skin type and preferred look.
Microblading touch-ups are similar to getting root touch-ups for your hair. If you go when your microblading first starts fading, you can simply have the colour filled in. But if you wait longer than your practitioner recommends, you may have to have the whole microblading procedure done over again on both of your eyebrows. This is time-intensive and much more expensive than a touch-up application.
According to the professionals, microblading can last between 12 months and three years. If you look after your brows, it’ll last longer, but if you don’t, then you’ll be back to square one. “There are a lot of factors that contribute, including sun exposure and your skincare routine,” brow wizard Piret Aava told InStyle. To hold onto your beautiful brows for as long as possible, beauty experts advise staying out of the sun when you can and avoiding harsh exfoliants such as glycolic acid and retinol as this will literally take the top layer of skin (and therefore the colour) off.
It’s tough to make a blanket statement here. Most pros say your faux hairs will be visible for up to three years, but they’ll lose their “crispness” and thus require a touch-up anywhere between seven months to a year post-treatment. “There are a lot of factors that contribute, including sun exposure and your skincare routine,” says Piret. “If you’re a big exfoliator [which causes skin cells to turn over more quickly], that will make them fade faster, for example.”
I, for one, am a big exfoliator. That said, I only started to notice fading about ten months after the initial procedure. I plan to see Piret for a touch up every year or so.
Since microblading pigments are not implanted into the skin as deep as traditional Eyebrow tattoo services, the area will naturally fade over time. Microblading typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on skin type (normal, oily, dry), age (youthful/mature). Skincare routine will also affect the lasting effect of the pigment: patients who tan, uses products with AHA or Glycolic Acid with fade faster as your skin will resurface more quickly. Each individual’s colour retention within the skin will vary. To maintain the brows looking fresh, a touch up is suggested every 12-18 months. Clients can let the microbladed area fade over time, but please note a slight shadow may remain.
How long does microblading last on oily skin?
If you have oily skin, you’re still a candidate for microblading. But the results might not last as long as they would on other skin types. High amounts of sebum, or oil, being secreted from your skin can make it more difficult for the pigment to adhere and stay in your skin. Speak to your aesthetician about any concerns you have about your skin type and how long you can expect your results to last.
People with slightly more oily skin will tend to last around the 12-month mark before needing a top-up, but those with normal skin can last up to 18 months.
Your brows will eventually fade away if you don’t continue with top-ups every 18 months or so. There is no scaring or discolouration with the pigments used, so you wouldn’t know if you left them to fade out.
Is the touch-up session necessary?
Yes! A touch-up session after 4-6 weeks is necessary as everyone heals differently, and the outcome will vary. Certain areas may not pick up during the first session and will need to be refilled. Pigment colour may need to be adjusted, brow thickness and more strokes can be added. Individuals with oily skin often require a deeper shade during the touch-up session as the oils tend to lighten the pigment. Most importantly, your touch up session is when we refine your brows to ensure it looks perfect and retains the colour for the whole year!
After the procedure, at first, your brows will look way too dark. But rest assured that the colour will fade dramatically within two weeks. If you follow the instructions and take care of your brows, you could reap the benefits of microblading for years to come. Say bye-bye to brow pencils and hello to technology.
The top-up session happens after 6-8 weeks. This is the time where I can assess the first steps, and add in any further strokes and add a darker pigment if preferred. Touch up sessions should not be done earlier than four weeks after initial microblading session as pigment colour has not fully settled into the skin. Most importantly, this is to prevent scar damage as the tissue requires time to heal completely.
Can microbladed eyebrows be undone/removed?
Yes – the pigment used leaves no scarring or discolouration, and I can use a salt/saline solution to remove microbladed brows.
It is very important to know and understand that brows will be up to 40% darker in the shade for the first 7-10 days during the healing process where scabs can form and flake off.
Ladies can sometimes leave the studio, and two days later, be terrified that their brows are too dark, but please be patient – as this is normal! After 7-10 days, you will begin to see the final colouring. As with all cosmetic procedures, individuals should not make their choices lightly. We always recommend clients do their research, understand the procedure and compare different artists’ work and portfolio when making their decisions. Our brow technicians will do their utmost to shape and style the eyebrows to the client’s satisfaction before the procedure. Every effort will be made to achieve an even appearance, but please realize our faces are never perfectly symmetrical. Uneven appearance can be fixed during the touch-up session. Pigment discoloration and colour correction can also be set during the touch-up session. Microbladed brows will eventually fade away if no additional touch-ups are done.