Eight weeks ago, I had my eyebrows microbladed and wanted to share my experience with you guys! Microblading has become much more popular in the last few years as an option to fill in sparse brows or to enhance the shape of already full brows. The process involves a very fine blade with color pigment to create hair like strokes and fill in brows. Apparently this phenomenon started in Asia about 25 years ago so I guess we’re kind of behind the times with this one haha!
Ok, so we’ll start with a brief overview of my eyebrow history and how I ended up on this microblading journey. About four years ago I was thinking about microblading because my eyebrows were pretty much non-existent. I am among the many women who had over plucked as a teenager (does anyone remember how at one time thin brows were in??). It can take quite a bit of patience to grow them back once the damage is done and patience is NOT my strong suit LOL. Around that time microblading was quite expensive and all I could think about was how obnoxious it could have potentially looked with as little hair as I actually had at that time.
At that point I decided to attempt to grow them in and my regrowth process was quite successful using castor oil on my brows at night. Castor oil is proven to encourage hair growth, though I do caution to use it sparingly in order to avoid stimulating hair growth in places you don’t want (hello, unibrow!!) and because it could potentially cause acne if the oil ends up on your forehead, or any other part of your face. During the awkward regrowth phase it is recommended that you just let them grow and avoid getting them threaded/waxed/plucked. This is super annoying because you kind of just have to let them become a bushy mess on your face and that's definitely not cute. Once mine had grown in to my satisfaction, I started having them threaded in order to create a structured shape. They were much better at this point than many years ago, until one overzealous threader blessed me with thinner eyebrows once again. Devastating!!! They weren’t TERRIBLE or anything like they had once been but they definitely weren’t where I wanted them to be. So, of course, I stopped getting threaded for a long while and just tried to maintain some shape with tweezers. However, I was still sick of filling them in with pencil every single day. Unfortunately, I had never truly achieved the fullness that I was looking for even through my regrowth phase and honestly I just don’t know if the fullness I want is actually in my DNA hahaha. I recently saw a funny meme on my microbladers Instagram that said “I miss drawing in my eyebrows - said no one ever”. Ain’t that the truth though!
Alright, with my ‘eyebrow history’ reviewed we’ll move on to a rundown of the process!
I had been set on getting mine done at a place in Connecticut until my friend Alicia said that she had booked her appointment with someone who was much closer to us. The bonus was that it was also a few hundred dollars cheaper, and saved me a forty-five minute drive out to Connecticut. Alicia said that she has had multiple friends drive from Boston to have theirs done by this same woman in Western Mass. The drive from Boston is almost two hours, so my thought was: clearly if she’s worth the drive then her work must be amazing! This microblader also has an Instagram page where she very actively shows off her work. Once Alicia shared her profile with me I was hooked on seeing the before and after photos. Alicia had her appointment before I had even booked mine, so I went along with her so that I could see the experience myself. Alicia had amazing eyebrows to begin with though, her’s are full for the entire length of her eyebrows and she has a great shape. Her reasoning for getting microbladed was to achieve a thicker look. By the time we left her appointment, she had definitely gotten what she was looking for! They’re a bit thicker now and still look super natural. It is amazing to me the difference that microblading can make on people who are already blessed with great eyebrows. Now the true question was, would it work for me to obtain the results I am looking for? We’ll get to that!
I ended up having my appointment one week after Alicia, and as I am writing this I am going into my 8th week post procedure. I’m sure many of you are wondering about the pain factor and I’ll preface with the fact that I am not personally scared of needles or razors. I also have seven small tattoos and call me weird but I actually kind of like the pain that some tattoos can cause (it all depends on location). Two of my tattoos were pretty painful, the one on my foot and the one on my inside wrist - so I figured if anything my eyebrows may be similar to that pain. I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t right. This is my face after all haha! When I first arrived my microblader mapped out the area that she was going to fill in using tools to measure facial structure and some sort of pencil marking the outline of where she’d work within, all the while making sure everything was as symmetrical as it could be. Then she applied numbing cream to my eyebrows and covered them with saran wrap. I sat with the numbing cream on for about twenty-minutes, during this time I filled out the paperwork and we went over any questions I had about the process or after care.
Next, my microblader explained that as she works on my eyebrows she will go over each one a total of three times. That doesn’t sound great but how bad could it really be? Well the first two times weren’t so bad, but by the third time I was completely over it. I was in a decent amount of pain by that time, and I could tell that my eyebrows were starting to swell. I swell pretty easily honestly. Depending on what type of look you are going for, some microbladers will do just the “strokes” which are the markings that appear to look like hair. These strokes are the bulk of what microblading is, and this is why microblading looks so much more natural than say tattooed eyebrows. Now for people who are more sparse like myself, “shading” was also an option with my microblading tech. Shading means they use kind of a stamping motion which can fill in areas more like a pencil would. She recommended this for me because in some areas I don’t have much hair to work with. I will also say that when I arrived I brought a picture of myself with my eyebrows done the way I like to do them with pencil, so that she could see how I would like them to look. She said that I could bring a picture showing her what look I am going for. In my opinion it only made sense for me to show her how I like MINE rather than showing her someone else's. Shading made them look more filled in rather than just having the faux hair strokes. She did the shading at the end of the session and by that time I was thinking get me the hell out of here!! She also explained that the shading would increase my pain level, so if I hadn’t gotten that I am sure it wouldn’t have been as bad but I also wouldn’t have gotten the same results! Funny thing my tech also told me that I should pass along is that for some reason people apparently always report that the left eyebrow hurts worse than the right. She couldn’t tell me why, and who knows but she was definitely right! So yes, the answer is that it definitely hurt but it was 100% worth it. I must note that they are sore for about a week after you get them done too but the swelling will go down within a few hours.
When she was done I was immediately VERY satisfied with the way they looked, and I tried to tell myself that they wouldn’t look this perfect forever (semi-permanent), and I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much. They will actually be quite dramatic right after, at least mine were because they were very dark. They will not stay like that forever, just during healing. For a little while after you get them done you can’t get them wet, I believe this was for maybe six hours or something? I can’t exactly remember. In order to take my makeup off that night I just used my micellar water and cotton squares around them. After twenty-four hours or so you can use A+D ointment which she provides you with a packet when you leave. It is encouraged to not use it unless you have to though because it can affect the color and healing process. I personally used it maybe once as a hack to try and speed up the flaking off process and keep them from looking so flaky. Walking around with scabby eyebrows is definitely awkward LOL.
During the first three days they were still very dark and were kind of hard like a scab. By the fourth day they started to dry up a bit more and by the fifth and sixth day the scab started to flake. I felt like the flaky scab stage lasted forever honestly, and I found that this process happens about two times. The first time it starts to flake is the most dramatic time, and after that initial big scab is off you have a second layer residual flaking stage. The second stage is less annoying to deal with and is kind of less noticeable. I would say by about two to three weeks you’ll be completely through both of these healing stages, and by three to four weeks the color should have reached your final result. It is interesting because she explained that even when the flaking it over it takes three to four weeks to reach your final color. I did notice that during this time they appeared kind of grayish, like the color was faded a bit. By the time I reached the final heal time the color was more normal and brown as she had intended for it to be. They looked great and I was so excited to go back for my five week touch-up appointment, I’ll call it the ‘perfecting’ appointment.
Five weeks flew by, and when I went back I only had a couple of spots that I wanted touched up. Mostly the area closest to the bridge of my nose and the ends. She gave me the option to go over them completely again, or just do the touch up areas. She explained if we went over them again completely they’d be darker, and I was honestly torn partly because I didn’t want to deal with the pain but I also wasn’t sure I wanted them darker than the color they already were. Ultimately I left it up to her, and she did end up going over them completely again. I must also note, the second appointment hurts way worse than the first appointment. She had warned me of this, and I feel like I wasn’t truly prepared for it even with that warning lol. It was crazy! My eyebrows were on fire!! That being said, this appointment was quicker than the first time. I’m now healed from that touch up appointment and they’re absolutely perfect. PERFECT! My mind is blown, and I wish I had done this sooner.
The biggest piece of advice I have for any of you who are considering microblading is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! I have seen microblading fails and things could go SO very wrong if you don’t hire the correct person. My microblading tech says that it can be very difficult to correct a bad job. The place that I had originally thought I was going to go to consistently has great work and so does my current microblading tech. I had never once seen a bad before and after with either place. This is hugely important to pay attention to. Also, money doesn’t always buy you a better result. I truly feel that even though I paid a bit less than the other place I had looked at, I obtained better results. My microblading tech listened to me when I explained what I was hoping for and she was able to give me exactly what I was looking for.
So as far as cost goes, microblading can be very expensive depending on where you live. Cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles are likely to run on the higher end of cost. Per Google, the procedure can range from $350-$800, though I have seen some of the celebrity microbladers charge $1000 or more in places like Los Angeles. When Alicia told me that her microblading session was going to cost $300, I was sold. She takes a $50 deposit when you book to assure you will return for your appointment. Deposits for these appointments are pretty standard to be sure you won’t skip out on your appointment. I believe in some circumstances with beauty you get what you pay for, but because microblading is only semi-permanent and can fade as quickly as six to eight months, $500 was about the maximum that I was personally willing to spend. The salon in CT was charging $500 but of course that is before tip and any follow up appointments. I believe anything $500 or under is reasonable. In total, I spent $300 on the initial appointment prior to tip and the touch up appointment at five weeks was $25 before tip. She said that the next touch up appointment will be needed at some point between 8-10 months or so and that will cost about $50. The longer you wait, the more they fade and the higher the cost so she encourages an appointment prior to one year.
So my overall goal with microblading was to not have to fill my eyebrows in, like ever. This expectation was very very high, I know! I am so so happy to say that my final result was just that! I cannot even explain how much time this truly saves me in the morning, and how put together I feel even without any makeup on. I take my makeup off at night and still feel like I’m kind of done up, hilarious feeling but oh so good. I remember how the weekends would always bring out my best brows - only because I had to time to sit and make sure they looked identical and perfect. Week days were sometimes a little sketchy hahaha. Now, my brows look the same - ALL. THE. TIME! Another thing, they are so much more even than they used to be, because of how she plans them out her goal is to make them as symmetrical as possible and she did a flawless job. Eyebrows make such a big difference with the look of your face and when they're on point, you just look stunning and put together. I absolutely recommend this beauty procedure for anyone who has been thinking about it, and hopefully this gives some of you who didn’t have full eyebrows hope like it did for me. If you are in Massachusetts and would like the name of my microblading tech feel free to message me (email or Instagram) and I’d be happy to give you her name.