Everything You Need to Know About Microblading Your Eyebrows
Whether tweezers hit you hard in the '90s and the brow grow-back never happened, or you just don't feel like filling in your eyebrows every morning, microblading can be an easy solution for full, perfectly groomed, natural-looking eyebrows.
But while the term "microblading" is fairly colloquial these days, the in-salon procedure (and what happens to your eyebrows after the fact) can still strike up a ton of confusion. So what is eyebrow microblading, exactly? Does eyebrow microblading last forever? Will you end up with Instagram brows? The questions are endless.
For years, I've been curious about microblading — does getting the procedure really mean I won't have to enhance my eyebrows each morning? I finally decided it was time to put an end to all my questions (and your questions), so, I took a trip to Arch Angels NYC, to experience microblading for myself — and it's the best decision I've made in a while!
What Is Eyebrow Microblading?
Unlike an eyebrow pencil that you wipe off at night before you go to sleep, eyebrow microblading is an advanced brow technique that uses a superfine row of needles to deposit pigments into the skin, to create thin, hair-like strokes, says Daly Beneche, owner and master artist at Arch Angels NYC.
Microblading is ideal for creating a very full and realistic looking brow and is becoming an increasingly popular method in permanent makeup. The procedure is similar to hair stroke cosmetic tattoos that use the machine method, however, the strokes are finer, and are not implanted as deeply into the skin. Therefore, brows created with microblading look better, but are not as permanent and usually last around two years.
Technicians make hair-like incisions using very small blades to implant pigment into the epidermis skin layer. The incisions are made to resemble hair strokes. These strokes are applied into the new shape, and the area is gradually made denser with additional strokes and pigment, depending on the clients desired result. "The Phibrows technique we practice gives our clients amazing results, as they are in the hands of a truly skilled artist," says Beneche. "This procedure is a two-step process, an initial session and a touch up."
Who Should Consider Microblading?
While there are thousands of eyebrow products on the market, those that tend to opt for microblading want fuller, natural-looking eyebrows but don't want the hassle of filling them in every single morning, or the worry that the pigment won't last all day. If you benefit from a brow pencil, then you will benefit from microblading. However, if you have oily skin, an old permanent makeup tattoo on your brows, or if you are pregnant or nursing, Beneche says you should not get a microblading procedure.
"This procedure is not suitable for people with oily skin as they will not retain the pigment as well," explains the artist. "The pigment fades quicker if you have oily skin, compared to those with dry to normal skin." If you have old permanent makeup tattoos, Beneche says an artist will not be able to create beautiful hair strokes, as the pigment must be removed prior to applying new strokes to the brows.
"Those who are pregnant, or nursing should always wait to get the procedure done, as there is a mild, local anesthetic used, as well as the application of pigment into the skin," says Beneche.
How Long Does Microblading Last?
Not forever, but way longer than your waterproof eyebrow gel, that's for sure! According to Beneche, microblading can last up to two years, depending on your skin type, lifestyle, sun exposure, and the products that you use. However, touch-ups are commonly needed about once a year, especially for those with oily skin, as the ink tends to fade and blur faster.
What Happens During a Microblading Appointment?
"First, we have a consultation with the client — we get to know what their desired result is, learn about their skin (including any sensitivity) and explain the procedure," says Beneche. "The consultation also includes a discussion about which colors will work best. Then, we begin mapping the brows." During mapping, the artist outlines the new shape and design of the brow. Clients are given the opportunity to review the new brow design and request any adjustments to better suit their desire.
Once the design is approved by the client, the brow area is numbed prior to beginning the procedure. Once numbing is complete, the artist begins creating the strokes in the brow and applying the pigment to the skin. "Throughout the procedure, the artist checks in on the client's comfort level and monitors for any swelling or adverse reactions to the pigment," says Beneche.
When the brow strokes are complete, the artist reveals the new brows to the client and explains the aftercare procedure. At this time, a touchup appointment is scheduled for 4-6 weeks after the initial appointment. "At Arch Angels NYC, we provide all of our clients with an aftercare kit prior to their departure from the studio," Beneche shares.
What's the After-Care Like When Microblading Your Eyebrows?
After getting your brows microbladed, you must follow the aftercare instructions closely in order to achieve the desired results, otherwise you will be throwing your money away. Aftercare includes dry healing for the first few days, followed by gentle cleansing and application of the cream provided.
"During the healing process the brows will scab," explains the artist. "Once the scabs have fallen off, the cream is no longer needed. No additional products may be used on the brows until healing is complete."
Right after the treatment is done, the brows will be darker and slightly red, but the redness and the pigment will fade as the brows heal. Regularly wearing sunscreen on your face helps to prevent the ink from fading due to the UV Rays, and it's also important to stay hydrated and take care of your skin
Do You Still Have to Use an Eyebrow Pencil After Microblading?
That's up to your personal preference. "If you like a bolder brow then we would recommend another service called Ombre Brows, which is more of a 'made-up' look," says Beneche. "Some clients just want the hair strokes to be applied during pigment and then they will apply makeup on top. Some clients prefer the natural look that microblading provides. We always discuss the desired outcome prior to the procedure to make sure clients receive the best possible service."
Who Can Perform Microblading?
Microblading is commonly offered at salons or specialty eyebrow boutiques, and microblading artists usually have to undergo some sort of training. There's not much regulation when it comes to microblading, so you truly have to use your best judgment, do very thorough research, read views, and check out photos of the salon and the artist's work. You'll also want to actually go into the salon to check out the facilities sanitation, to avoid chances of infection.
How Much Is Microblading Your Eyebrows?
Your geographical location, the artist's skill level, and how much microblading actually needs to be done to your eyebrows can all impact the final cost of your procedure.
"At Arch Angels NYC, microblading starts from $600," says Beneche. "We have three different artist skill levels and tier our pricing accordingly. Microblading with a senior artist who has one to three years of experience is $600. Microblading with a royal artist who has four to six years of experience is $700, and microblading with a master artist, who has over 10 years of experience, is $1000."