The semi-permanent secret to faking fuller eyebrows that look totally natural, microblading might just be the hassle-free solution to spending hours pencilling in your eyebrows only to get the shape so completely wrong.
If I had to choose one makeup product that I couldn’t go without it would be my eyebrow kit. However, adding all that powder takes time, so one day I decided it was my moment to get some eyebrow tattoos. I went with a brow reformation by brow expert, Hibba, at her salon in Soho, New York City. For me, this was not something I had to think twice about. If I could get my eyebrows tattooed without looking like my eyebrows were tattooed, then I could only assume my life would change forever — and it did.
If you haven’t been sucked into a blackhole of microblading eyebrows before and after Insta stalking by now, then frankly we applaud you. 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.Looking for microblading salon? Look no further,Cosmetic Tattoo by Rach got you covered .
Not sure what we’re talking about? We sent Digital Beauty Editor George Driver to microblading expert and eyebrow miracle worker Suman Jalaf of SumanBrows Beauty Atelier to get the lowdown.
What is microblading?
‘Microblading is a type of eyebrow architecture. It is all about creating the best shape for each face – a bespoke approach for each client,’ explains Jalaf.
‘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 fine, realistic and natural hair strokes.’
First things first, let’s review what exactly eyebrow microblading is and how it works. Microblading — not to be confused with micro-needling — is a semi-permanent makeup technique to create the illusion of fuller, more defined brows. The technique involves using a cosmetic tattoo pen to make small incisions that deposit pigment into the skin.
Is Microblading Worth The Hype?
The semi-permanent makeup trend may be all the rage right now, but can the results replace your brow pencils and gels? The AEDITION spoke to three women who have tried the tattoo treatment to get their honest assessment.
When I first learned about microblading back in 2018, I thought it sounded too good to be true. The art of achieving perfect brows is a difficult one, and the thought of having them tattooed onto your face sounded, well, just plain weird! Wanting to dig deeper into the matter, I listened to three women’s experiences with the treatment to determine, once and for all, if microblading is really worth the hype.Know more about our microblading services.
Right now, cosmetic enhancements like full lips and full brows are all the rage. Check Instagram, and you’ll find thousands of photos of women who’ve undergone procedures to get eyeliner, eyebrows, or lip colour stained on. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Gwen Stefani are rumoured fans, but many top technicians stay mum about their A-list clientele. Of course, you can make your brows and lips pop with a little extra liner or brow powder-but some are going to more extreme lengths for the perfect pout or shaped eyebrow. (Taking the natural approach? Plump It Up! The Best Beauty Products for Full Lips, Eyelashes, and Skin.)
But what exactly is permanent makeup? According to Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, permanent makeup is the art of implanting dyes or pigments in the first dermis layer of the skin to enhance certain features-most commonly brows, the lash line, and lips. Some docs do this, but so do skilled technicians like Dominique Bossavy, to whom Engelman regularly refers her clients. Please think of the procedure like super-precision tattooing (involving local anesthetic, so it’s not painful).
“Permanent makeup can also be used on the body to conceal skin imperfections, such as stretch marks and surgical scars, or skin conditions like Vitiligo, cleft lip, Alopecia,” Engelman says.
We all like to look our best as often as we can, and if there is a shortcut to looking great all the time without the hassle of makeup application, surely it’s a no brainer – right? But when that short cut happens to involve a tattoo, suddenly it all sounds a bit drastic.
Whether you’ve got body tattoos or not, anyone with any sense will always approach tattooing with the mantra ‘think before you ink’. Tattoos are for life, and a regrettable inking could be around to haunt you for a very long time. It’s no wonder, therefore, that people are understandably afraid of applying makeup tattoos to their faces, in case they live to regret it later.
If you’re considering eyebrow tattooing and wondering if it’s worth it, here’s what you need to know about this semi-permanent makeup treatment.
How are permanent eyebrows applied?
Getting your eyebrows tattooed is a great way to add instant shape and an attractive frame to your face. The process involves using a technique called micropigmentation, also known as cosmetic tattooing or semi-permanent makeup, which is where a small amount of coloured pigment, similar to that used in traditional tattoos, is injected under the skin.See more of our microblading services.
Because of the techniques involved, an eyebrow tattoo does not need to look like a tattoo at all. Good practitioners will use a meticulous, painstaking process of applying each hair individually, to make your eyebrows look totally natural. You can also look into the 3D semi-permanent eyebrows treatment, which uses shading around and between the individual hairs to create a three-dimensional finish that’s the most realistic to date.
The end look is up to you. If you want a nice shape to your natural brows, you can opt for a softer, feathered approach to your tattoo. If you love a bit of drama and want your eyebrows to look made up all the time, talk to your practitioner about darker, more solid eyebrows. The tools and techniques are incredibly flexible, so whatever you want, the finished look to be, a professional permanent makeup artist will be able to help you achieve it.
How are they different from standard tattoos?
The main reason most people are nervous about eyebrow tattoos is that the word ‘tattoo’ is in there. Visions of ageing fishers with anchors on their arms are enough to make many people think twice about cosmetic tattoos, but actually, these two products couldn’t be more different.
- The pigment is different: Makeup tattoos pigments are designed to degrade over time. This means there is no danger of that nasty blue hue occurring that you get from old, black body tattoos.
- The tattoo is placed higher in the skin: A body tattoo is implanted into the lower layer of your skin, known as the dermis. Here, cells are much more stable, and the tattoo will remain in place for the rest of your life. Cosmetic tattoos are placed in the upper skin layer, known as the epidermis.
- The tattoos are not permanent: Because the tattoo is in a higher layer of your skin, as the cells turn over the makeup will start to fade. Most eyebrow tattoos will last around 3 – 5 years but may need touching up in that time. After five years, they will pretty much fade out forever.
- The pain level is lower: Getting a body tattoo, depending on the area to be treated, can be immensely painful. Eyebrow tattooing is not anything like as sore and is probably on a par with the discomfort you feel from plucking your eyebrows.
- Practitioners are trained differently: Tattoo artists go through completely different certification to cosmetic tattoo practitioners. We need to learn colour theory, facial structure, skin tone matching and a whole host of other key skills.
There are loads of other differences between signing up for a permanent body tattoo and going for semi-permanent makeup. Still, these give some insight into the main and most important differences to remember.Our exclusive range of microblading services will help you in eyebrow microblading, feathering or hair stroke eyebrow tattooing procedures.
Women usually get this procedure to save time. For instance, this past July, Cosmopolitan Australia editor Amelia Bowe decided to have permanent lipstick applied outside her lip line. Instead of constantly using a liner to create fuller lips, she got the appearance of a subtly enhanced pout without the daily hassle of wearing liner.
The results are meant to be subtle. Think of permanent makeup like a delicate tattoo. “The biggest difference with permanent makeup application is that we don’t want anyone to know what we did,” says anesthesiologist and permanent makeup technician Linda Dixon, M.D., president of the American Academy of Micropigmentation. “We want women to look like themselves, only better.”
Anne Klein of Aspen, CO, says she highly recommends the procedure. Not very skilled with cosmetics, Klein spent years attempting to apply eyeliner while she was working as a model. On her own, she says she’d wind up with a “circus clown” look. “Now, I love it,” she says. “I can shower and be out the door in the morning, or have the option to add more if I want.”
Engelman says permanent makeup also frequently helps those with allergies to makeup or people who have movement impairments that make it difficult for them to apply makeup, like those who are post-stroke or have a condition like Bell’s palsy, she explains. “Paired with fillers and Botox, the biggest payoff is the ability to regain years of lost youth without surgery and no downtime.”
That said, permanent makeup isn’t without issues. Lisa Cocuzza was living in Citrus County, FL when she decided to have the procedure done at a local spa where her sister-in-law was the manager.
She hoped that permanent eyeliner would solve the humidity-induced melting she had to deal with. “Instead, the numbing solution used to numb my eye area for the eyeliner application burned my cornea, and I had three months of discomfort,” Cocuzza says. “I never tried the procedure again and never will.”
Dixon says a skilled technician needs to be able to appropriately use a local anesthetic to numb the pain-especially working near delicate areas like the lips and eyes, where one false move can be costly. “The lips are probably the most common source of problems, as blisters can develop after the procedure,” Dixon says.
Engelman says that besides mild pain in the aftermath of the procedure, side effects are rare with a skilled technician or doctor overseeing care. The biggest risk is general dissatisfaction with the result-as this service is growing in popularity, so are technicians with little experience offering the treatment.
Dixon agrees. She says she’s often enlisted to help with previous mistakes or work with customers who didn’t get the look they wanted. “Permanent makeup can be a tremendous thing, but it’s important to meet with a technician beforehand, and keep looking until you find a match,” she says.
What happens when you get your eyebrows microbladed?
- ‘I shape the brow area by threading the hairs, cleaning up the area and preparing it for the treatment.’
- ‘Numbing – this takes 40mins using a topical ointment. While this is working its numbing magic, I’ll show the client colour swatches and discuss together the best shade for their desired look.’
Microblading Healing Process Day By Day
Day 1-3. Your brows will look big, dark, and dramatic and sting a little if you frown. They heal with a hard dark scab made from tattoo ink and blood. Nice right?
At this time your brows will probably look bigger and darker than you want them to. You might be worried you overdid it, but you didn’t! They will heal lighter and thinner than they look at this point.
You’ll be given a petroleum jelly to put on 1-3 times per day. The most important thing is that you don’t get your brows wet.
Day 4-14. From around Day 4 onward, the scab will dry out and start to flake off, sometimes in fairly big chunks. These chunks might leave pale gaps in your brows, making them look patchy.
When the scabs fall off, your brows underneath might look way too light. They may even look like there’s no colour at all. You’ll start to worry that you didn’t go dark enough!
You’re still supposed to apply the petroleum jelly and make sure not to get your brows wet. However, by Day 10 to 14, all the scabs will have fallen off, and you’ll be good to wash your face normally again.
Day 14-21. Your brows will darken until the full-colour takes effect. At this point, you’ll be able to know what they look like finished. You can see if you want anything fixed at your 6-week touch-up appointment.
Random sidenote: I have oily skin which makes it quick to heal but also less likely to hang on to the tattoo pigment. I found the hair strokes of my microbladed brows healed patchy and faded fast. However, the rest of the brow that was darker and more filled in held up nicely.
Thankfully, I knew the oily skin problem would be an issue going in. This is one of the reasons I went with the powdered ombré look in the first place. I love how hair strokes look, but I knew my skin wouldn’t take them well, and I was right!
The result? Yes, microblading is worth it.
My eyebrows are perfect 100% of the time. They are better than I’ve ever drawn them on me. I rarely bother to fill in my brows anymore. Honestly, the only time I do have to do anything to my brows is if I’m going out with a full-face of makeup and did not apply my foundation carefully enough so that it makes my brows look less sharp.
If You’re Considering It…
Since Dixon says, permanent makeup requires both “the hands of a surgeon and the eyes of an artist,” ask how many procedures the technician has done, as well as the exact colour and shape of the ink they’d be adding. The American Academy of Micropigmentation is also an accrediting body; you can check the website to see if the technician you’re considering has been certified, meaning they’ve passed the oral, written, and practical exam for permanent makeup application. This means they’re at least competent in all procedures and safety measures.Check out microblading page which has everything you might need near you.
Ultimately, Dixon says to go with your gut if the tech’s vision doesn’t feel like a fit. “Look for someone who is going to listen to what will make you happy,” Dixon says. “You have to feel that sense of trust.”
Getting your eyebrows tattooed in might sound like a radical step, but this is one of the fastest-growing treatments in the U.K. today. More and more people have started realising the benefits of semi-permanent brows, so if you think you’re ready to take the plunge and find out more, contact us for advice today.