If you had told me a year ago at this time that I would have not one but two tattoos, I would’ve laughed you out of the room. Much less on my face! But here I am, the proud owner of two bright shiny new tattoos also known as my microbladed eyebrows. Ok, so they’re not technically tattoos in the traditional sense but still a huge commitment…and ON MY FACE!
This was an impulse decision that I made shortly before Christmas. My brows have been getting thinner and sparser the past few years and although my brow pencil does an awesome job, I was ready for something a bit more permanent. GYPO business manager Lauren took the plunge first and I loved hers so much that I decided to dive right in.
As you can see in this before picture, although thick, my natural eyebrows were patchy and uneven. I let them grow out as much as possible before my microblading experience.
The Microblading Process
Rule #1 – Choose your provider carefully. Word of mouth referrals, reading reviews and browsing photos of past clients are all excellent ways to make a decision. After a little research and asking around, I found Amanda Peterson at Desired Glamour to create my brows. She has the cutest little salon in a historic building in old downtown Wylie, Texas.
Note: Although microblading isn’t cheap (generally around $400-$700 depending on where you live) this is something you don’t want to be a bargain hunter for or buy through Groupon. You get what you pay for! (BTW – I paid $500 for mine)
I was super nervous the day of my microblading but Amanda put me at ease immediately (plus gave me several opportunities to back out). 🙂
Step One: Numbing Cream
Shortly after I arrived, Amanda put numbing cream all around my brows and secured it with plastic wrap so it wouldn’t drip into my eyes. This also super activated the numbing cream so it worked better.
Step Two: Creating the Shape
Before my appointment I had to bring in three pictures of brows that I loved and explain to her what I liked most about each (i.e. shape, arch, color, etc.) to give her a better idea of what I was looking for. This part took almost as long as the microblading procedure itself. Amanda is a perfectionist, she tweaked and honed until we both agreed that they were just right.
Step Three: Microblading Time!
Once we agreed on the shape, it was time for microblading. She started by tracing the outline of my brows first with the microblading tool (this was the most painful part). After that, she applied another round of numbing cream which made the detail work a lot less intense. Although I don’t have any pictures of the actual process, here’s one while my dye was processing. We chose a warm brown color that matches my natural hair color. It took around 2.5 hours from start to finish.
Day 1 + After Care
I left floating on cloud nine! There was virtually no pain after the procedure. Every hour for the first four hours, I had to swipe my brows with antiseptic pads that Amanda gave me. This step keeps the clear fluid cleaned off and helps prevent scabbing. Every day for the next ten days, I applied grapeseed oil to my brows morning and night. Not allowing them to dry out is key to the healing process. Tip: Go to your appointment with clean hair because you cannot get them wet for ten full days after. I wore a shower shield but still couldn’t wash my hair in the shower. This is an excellent time to treat yo’ self to a blow out.
Days 2-5: The Gene Shalit Days
Ok, so the pics don’t do it justice but during this time my husband lovingly referred to me as Gene Shalit. Most of you over 40 will get this reference. My brows just kept getting darker and stuck out like a sore thumb. I was super self conscious everywhere we went. The best part? This time also coincided with just about every pre-Christmas activity we had planned.
Days 5-10 – Fading and Flaking
No pics during this time…you’re welcome! The fading and flaking days were probably the hardest. While the color did lighten up, they started to flake off which was kind of gross. I hid in my house as much as possible.
Days 10-15 – Disappearing Brows
When day ten arrived, I was MORE than ready to finally wash them in the shower. Bonus – washing them helped speed up the flaking off process. But guess what? When they flaked off I looked like I never had microblading done. If I hadn’t known what to expect during this time, I would’ve been mortified. The tattoo is still there, it’s just covered by a white film while healing which gives the illusion that it’s gone.
Days 15-30 – Back…But Not Perfect
My brows slowly came back to life during this time, although they weren’t as perfect as they were on day one. I scheduled my touch up session for 5 weeks after the first session.
Image Credit: Boulder Brows
Microblading Round Two
It’s recommended to wait 4-6 weeks before session two so I split the difference and went at week five. Amanda said my brows had healed very nicely from the first session. She threaded and cleaned them up before getting started.
Here I am a few hours post round two. This is pretty much my final result and honestly, I’m thrilled with it!
Things I Wish I Knew Before Microblading:
- It Takes Two Sessions – Two almost identical sessions. I thought touch up would be a less intense experience but it proved to be around the same amount of time and discomfort as the first session. Granted it didn’t take as long to get the shape right but the rest of it was pretty much the same as round one. You don’t get to see the final results until the healing of your second session happens. Update: Healing was quicker after session two! At the end of my ten days, they were pretty much complete and I got to see the final result.
- It Kind of Hurts (But The Sound is the Worst) – I have a pretty high pain tolerance but not gonna lie, this was kind of uncomfortable. Much like a cat’s claws on a chalk board, the sound of the microblading tool scraping my skin was the worst part. If I had worn ear buds and listened to music it may have helped.
- You Have to Get Touch Ups – Yes, you heard right. This isn’t a one and done thing. The dye is semi-permanent and you must, must, must take good care of them so they don’t fade quickly. This includes wearing SPF on them in the sun and not allowing anti-aging or skin lightening products to get on your brows. My aesthetician said most women get a touch up at around a year out. Her price for touch ups is $250.