Getting Your Brows Back. My Experience With Microblading.
Are you a victim of the thin eyebrow trend back in the day? Maybe you were an over plucker? Have a medical condition? Perhaps you’ve had a chemotherapy that caused your hair to fall out, and it came back thin. Or maybe it didn’t come back at all in some areas. Are you tired of feeling like Bob Ross every time you want to go out? It can be fun, but it also can be annoying, costly, and tiresome. Slip of the hand, and you’re sporting a whole new look, like it or not. Whatever your reason may be, microblading could be a simple way to get your brows back.
Microblading is a popular tattooing technique. It differs from standard eyebrow tattooing because each hair stroke is created by hand using a blade that creates fine slices in the skin, whereas eyebrow tattoos are performed with a machine and a single needle. The small, hand held tool is made of several tiny needles. This technique adds semi-permanent pigment to the skin. It deposits the pigment into the upper region of the dermis, so it tends to fade more rapidly than traditional tattooing techniques, which deposit the pigment deeper.
Like all tattoos, microblading can fade. This is dependant on many factors. Quality of the pigment used, UV exposure, elements found in many skin care products, medications, etc. Treatment can last from a year, to many years, dependent on the factors stated above, and your skin type. I had a standard touch up session 6 weeks after my initial appointment. I will say I am even happier with the results than I thought I would be.
After much researching into microblading, shading, and different microblading artists in the Lansing, Michigan area, I made my appointment with Linsi @blade.linsi at Blade and Feather Studio. She has a long line of happy clients, with beautiful, full brows. The studio was in a gentrified neighborhood, looking very industrial from the outside. But on the inside, the building is a literal work of art. Beautiful murals welcome you upstairs to the Blade and Feather Studio.
My artist consulted with me on exactly what I was looking for. My look and needs. She did numerous measurements before sketching out the placement of where my eyebrows once were, and what I wanted now. I just wanted my pre-chemo brow shape back.
There are different shades of brow color to choose from. A good artist will discuss this with their clients, and even draw on different colors to see exactly the best match. Measuring brow placement is a multi-step process that determines the center of the face and the set of the clients eyes. Before you start the process, the artist will sketch out what your finished brows will look like, and then sets the outline for the microblading.
The photo above is me getting my outline before the microblading process.
Manual smooth shading (microshading) can be added to go over thin areas, and between the natural hair strokes to visually give the dimensions of natural eyebrow thickness without any sharp contours or lines on the eyebrows.
Before starting the process, a numbing agent is smoothed over the brow area. This is allowed to sit for a few minutes to permeate, and help the microblading process be less painful. I won’t lie, microblading feels similar to getting tiny little paper cuts. Because that is essentially what it is. I have been asked about how invasive this is, and it really isn’t. I did not notice any bleeding at all. Much more uncomfortable than any tattoo for me, but the process doesn’t take long, and the intervals of pain you may feel are very short. The end result is so worth the small amount time you may be uncomfortable. I have always had issues with healing, but this was a piece of cake.
My appointment was scheduled for an hour, but I was out in less time. I had spotty eyebrows, and not any on the outside edges. They somewhat came back after I was finished with chemo. (They fell out twice.) Even with the small amount of inflammation, I was loving my new brows and they weren’t even finished yet. Keep in mind, every case is different, and some cases may take more, or less time. Some gals just want a little patch work in their brows, and others need their entire brows filled in. It is so important to stay out of direct sun, and to not use any type of facial scrubs in the eyebrow area while you’re healing. As instructed, I applied my “After Ink” cream to my newly bladed eyebrows, multiple times, daily. Assuring that they wouldn’t get too dry, especially during the healing process.
The photos above are my before and after shots of my initial microblading session.
By days 5-7, any inflammation was gone, and I was not using anything to fill in my brows. Tiny little hairs start filling in where my artist shaved some of my natural brow hair when she was doing my mapping and measurements. Personally, I enjoyed having full brows before chemo, so I let these hairs grow back in.
After 6 weeks, I had a routine, quick touch up appointment to fill in more of my upper arch, and a little more shading here and there. It took about 20 minutes, and wasn’t near as uncomfortable as the first sitting. There may be upkeep to maintain your look in the future, but touch ups are less expensive than the initial procedure.
Getting your eyebrows microbladed isn’t necessarily cheap, but it isn’t ridiculous either. It is an investment. It can cost about $400, give or take. (Some parts of the country charge up to $700). Mine was on the cheaper side, possibly due to still having brow hair, just not many of them. I have heard that some artists give discounts to cancer patients after losing their brows due to chemo, too. Not something promised, but definitely worth checking out.
There are some side effects that can occur. Working with an established artist that has had the right training can minimize your risk of these happening. Also, be sure that your artist has the required license or registration for microblading and shading. Always make sure proper techniques are used to minimize any blood born pathogenic organisms like HIV, and Hepatitis C. Rarely, some people have reactions to the pigment used. Misplacement of the pigment ink can occur. (Nobody wants a bumpy or angry brow.). Pigment migration. Hyperpigmentation. Although, these serious complications are uncommon.
The above photo was taken after my 6 week touch up appointment. I am still letting my brow hairs grow in for a nice full look.
I’m not saying anyone needs to be wearing makeup all of the time, especially when going through health ordeals. But I do recognize the power of feeling good about yourself. If it helps you during your healing, or pushes you along in your recovery, that is great. Do what makes you feel good on the outside, and inside. Personally, I am so happy that I made the choice to splurge on myself. No more buying brow pencils or powders. No more using shading tricks, or outlining my brows. I can wake up in the morning and not feel the need to wear any makeup. It was a choice for me to help feel my best. Not for anyone else. Microblading has given me back one more thing that damn cancer took away. Whatever your reason for wanting more information on microblading, know that it doesn’t take long, and if you currently do your own brows at home, it will save you money in the long run. Not to mention the time. Get a consultation, and see if a more permanent type of makeup might be right for you.
If you are looking to have a consultation, or are just ready to do it, download some photos, or get screen shots around of what your goals are. I also saved photos of what I definitely didn’t want. Pinterest is a great source for many types of before and after brow shots. If it suits you, go get your brow on. 😘
If you’re in the Lansing/Mid-Michigan area, give Linsi a call at Blade and Feather Studio. She is very professional, and a master of her craft.
I hope that sharing my experience can help other survivors, and anyone else that might find the information of value. My goal is to help others to never feel alone as they go through their life experiences. Sharing is caring.
Sending love and light to all.