By Victoria Moorhouse
Updated Mar 14, 2019 @ 12:34 pm

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. What is eyebrow microblading, exactly? Does eyebrow microblading last forever? Will you end up with Instagram brows? The questions are endless. 

So, we reached out to microblading professional Piret Aava (otherwise known as “The Eyebrow Doctor” to find out everything you need to know about microbladed eyebrows, including what to expect during the treatment, the essential after-care, how much it costs, and more.

What Is Eyebrow Microblading?

Unlike an eyebrow pencil that you wipe off at night before you go to sleep, eyebrow microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo procedure where a special handheld microblading eyebrow pen is used to draw on strokes that mimic the appearance of real brow hairs, Aava explains. While it's a similar process to getting a tattoo, the ink that is used is far less concentrated than that of a regular tattoo and is specifically formulated for the microblading process. 

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," explains Aava. 

However, if you are pregnant or have any medical contraindications, Aava says you should not microblade your eyebrows. 

How Long Does Microblading Last?

Not forever, but way longer than your waterproof eyebrow gel, that's for sure! In fact, according to Aava, microblading can last anywhere from one to three 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. 

RELATED: The Do's and Don'ts of Microblading Your Eyebrows

What Happens During a Microblading Appointment? 

After the area is sanitized and numbed, Aava consults with the client on the eyebrow shape that will be drawn on. While you can bring in pictures like a haircut, Aava says that in order to create a true natural-looking brow, she likes to follow the direction of the natural brow hairs and takes into consideration the client's face symmetry and age. She also consults with the client on the pigment of the ink, which she explains is chosen based off of the natural color of the brow hairs and the skin's undertone. 

Then, she moves onto drawing the strokes in using the microblading pen, which can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes, depending on the eyebrow area. After the eyebrows are finished, she applies an aftercare ointment to help healing and a follow-up appointment is scheduled for four to six weeks later. At this appointment, she is able to tweak the final result if needed. 

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What's the After-Care Like When Microblading Your Eyebrows?

This isn't a suggestion to take lightly, as it can have a direct impact on the brow look you end up with. To prevent blurring or fading, Aava suggests keeping them dry from water and sweat for a week or longer, and to refrain from wiping. She also recommends applying her ointment once a day to speed up healing. 

Right after the treatment is done, the brows will be darker and slightly red, but the redness and the pigment will slightly fade in color as the brows heal. "Besides them being darker while healing there isn’t any major side effects," says Aava. "Infection is always possible if you don’t take care of them and don’t follow proper aftercare. All the instruments are disposable in our office, so chances of infection happening is slim to none. Just choose your artist wisely." 

There's also a chance that you'll deal with some discomfort, as one InStyle editor attests, and you might have to switch your go-to sleeping position. Another InStyle editor dealt with some scabbing, but was healed in about three days. 

Do You Still Have to Use an Eyebrow Pencil After?

That's up to your personal preference. "If you wish to add more to match more dramatic makeup, you are more than welcome to add more pencil," says Aava. However, you should wait the recommended one week (or longer) before applying product. 

RELATED: Here's What Microblading Healing Is Really Like

Who Can Perform Microblading?

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, as Aava says that's where the chances of infection can increase. 

It's commonly offered at salons or specialty eyebrow boutiques, and microblading artists usually have to undergo some sort of training. For example, Aava is a cosmetic tattoo specialist, and many other microblading experts are also estheticians. 

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. It can range anywhere from $250 to $1,500.