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.
VIDEO: Watch an InStyle Editor Get Eyebrow Microblading
But, as in any relationship, I've learned a thing or two—both good and bad—about my microbladed brows during our time together. Ahead, the totally-honest answers to the microblading questions I'm asked most often, including how long microblading really lasts...
What is microblading?
Microblading is the process of using a teeny-tiny blade to semi-permanently deposit pigment underneath the skin. 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 very dry skin. (Plus, you're numbed ahead of time.)
The end 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.
How long does microblading last?
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.
What's the after care like for microblading?
I won't sugar-coat it: The day after I microbladed my eyebrows, things were a little rough. As expected, each individual "hair" scabbed over, which looked just as glamorous as it sounds. But just 72 hours later, it was business as usual. My skin care routine pretty much stayed the same, exfoliation and all—I just avoided directly coating my brows when possible.
Should I get my eyebrows microbladed, too?
If, like me before microblading, you spend more than ten minutes a day attempting to tint, shape, and otherwise groom your brows, it's totally worth it. (And I say that knowing the price tag for the initial procedure is usually around $1,200.) It doesn't get any better than waking up with pre-groomed brows.