If you looked in the mirror recently and wondered "Where did my eyebrows go?" you're probably not alone. As we age, our eyebrows tend to get thin and sparse, making our faces appear tired and our features less defined. Filling in your eyebrows with a makeup pencil is one solution, but it can be a hassle and a time suck to get both brows to look similar. Wouldn't it be nice if permanent eyebrows were an option? Actually, they absolutely are, thanks to a process called microblading. Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of tattoo eyebrows.
What is microblading?
No, microblading is not ice skating on small blades, but it does require a blade of sorts. During microblading, a technician uses a small pen-like tool — basically, it's a bundle of small needles — to draw "hair" onto the skin to fill in your eyebrows. Something to keep in mind if you're considering microblading is that you'll be in the chair for quite awhile: The technician first needs to map out where he or she is going to draw your brows, and then the actual tattooing can begin. In total, the entire process can take up to two hours, Kira Tai, owner of Tai Brows, told HuffPost.
"The drawing is the most tedious part and the huge majority of the session," Tai said. "No one thinks about their eyebrows as much as they do when they are about to get them tattooed. It takes quite a while for me to figure out what my clients are looking for, draw that on their face, but most importantly, take into consideration their facial imbalances."
About four weeks later, you'll have to come back for a touch-up, too. “They have to come back four weeks later because, depending on their skin type, their skin may push out a bit of ink and in some places the hair strokes won’t be as saturated as we want them. You can tell if there [are] minor imperfections after the first session that need to be filled in," Tai explained.
How long does microblading last?
Because microblading is a semi-permanent option, your brows will fade. Fortunately, microblading lasts about one to three years depending on your skin type — which is far less frequent than the four to six weeks in between eyebrow waxes. That said, over time your microbladed brows will lose their "crispness." To keep them looking like you just walked out of the beauty salon, you will need to go back for touch-ups after about seven months to a year.
"There are a lot of factors that contribute [to how long microblading lasts], tattoo artist and "brow wizard Piret Aava told InStyle, "including sun exposure and your skincare routine. If you’re a big exfoliator [which causes skin cells to turn over more quickly], that will make them fade faster, for example."
The upside to this is that if you get your eyebrows microbladed and don't like them, the results won't last forever.
Microblading Healing Process
Because microblading is tattooing your face, there is a bit of a healing process. If you go to a good microblading artist, they will walk you through microblading aftercare and send you home with the proper creams and instructions. In most cases, you should be prepared for your "hairs" to scab the next day. They will itch, which is annoying because you shouldn avoid scratching. Showing and washing your face might be a bit difficult as well, because you need to avoid getting your eyebrows wet. Fortunately, after about a week, you'll have the thick, luscious brows of your dreams.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider is the cost of microblading. How much money are you going to have to spend to get perfect brows? Your microblading bill will depend on where you live, as microblading eyebrow costs vary state to state. You may end up spending anywhere between $350 to upwards of $1,000, and you may also need to factor in the money needed for the necessary follow-up appointments.
Microblading Before and After
Still not sure if microblading is something you want to try? While it's certainly a lot of money up front and then again when you have to go in for touch-ups, it's hard to argue with the results. Plus, dozens of celebrities have gushed about how much microblading has helped them feel better in their own skin.
Actress Helen Mirren opened up about her own experience with microblading, saying "I was fed up with my brows barely being there, and when one of my girlfriends got it done, I thought that they looked great. They’re very lightly and delicately done — but it means that when I get up in the morning and I have no makeup on, at least I have eyebrows. It’s made a huge difference."
Booking a consultation with a microblading technician is perhaps your best option if you're still on the fence. He or she will take you through the process step by step, answer all your questions, and ensure you are 100-percent enthusiastic about the procedue before you begin.