This post is not so normal for my site, but I searched many places for personal experiences of brow microblading and I really appreciated the few personal posts about it.
Meet my face. And prepare to see many up close and personal shots ;). The picture on the left is right before my first appointment. Obviously the lighting is different between the two pictures and more flattering in the picture on the right. I didn’t have any brow makeup on in the left picture like I normally would on a typical day, but my makeup is the exact same in both pictures. The only difference is my brows. Crazy right? The picture on the right is after my second appointment (once healed). I do have some powder on them, which I will discuss later on.
WHAT IS MICROBLADING: “Microblading (or eyebrow embroidery) is a relatively new, manual method. It is considered to be semi-permanent, as compared to the traditional hairstroke technique. It is done using a very fine blade to deposit pigments into the epidermis.” (source). I was told mine would last 18-24 months. I wish it was more like 3 years. But I love that it’s semi-permanent. You never know what will change for brows, right?!
WHY WOULD I DO MICROBLADING? Um, I wanted to see how it was to have eyebrows? I don’t know. I kept seeing some pretty sweet brows on social media and decided I might like some as well. So I started doing some research, for a few months in fact, deciding if it was something I was interested in or not. When my friend Kim at Remedies Salon announced that she had started to do microblading, I jumped at the chance because I trust her (she has done permanent makeup for 20+ years).
COST OF MICROBLADING: I paid $250 for the first appointment and $50 for the second appointment, plus a tip both times. I got a killer deal because my friend was having a special when she announced she was starting microblading. She normally charges $350 for the first, which is still a better deal than many I see around. I’m not sure how much she charges for touch-ups at this point yet since she hasn’t had clients long enough to determine this.
BEFORE PICTURES: Alright, so you see the before up there, let’s do a couple more. I realize close-ups like this are not all that flattering but you get an idea how sparse and light my brows are. I normally fill them in to at least make an entire brow length over my eye, but even then I could never quite get it how I liked.
THE MICROBLADING APPOINTMENT: Here is a bit of the process before she started with the blading. She applied some numbing cream and then this plastic thing to help it soak in better.
Then we took quite some time while she drew on with a red pencil and white pencil just where she would be microblading. This process was time consuming but something you want to get right!
I don’t have any pictures of the microblading process this time, but I did get a couple during the process the second appointment. Just FYI, your brows are not completed until you have at least one follow-up appointment. There are reasons for this. There may be missed spots, there may be places your skin rejected the ink, there may be places you’ll want to even out, etc.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE? It hurts. There are a few people online who said it didn’t hurt much, but to me, it did hurt. Not unbearable pain, but it did make my eyes water. It seemed to get worse the longer we went. The tool used looks like a small exacto knife. It makes a little scraping sound with each cut. Closer towards the middle of my forehead didn’t hurt near as much as further out on my brow. But I definitely felt it and admit that while I was getting it done I wondered what the heck I had decided to do to myself!
These pictures are from immediately after. My skin is red and irritated and pores wide open. :)
Right after, in the car.
I was completely thrilled with them! I had brows! And they were the shape I always tried for but could never achieve!
RULES FOR TWO WEEKS: I was not to get them wet at all for two weeks (which meant relaxing baths for me!). I couldn’t be in the sun. You are not to pick at them at all, or rub or irritate them in any way. I was given some grapeseed oil to rub on them daily. No tanning, exercising, or makeup on the brow area. I used mascara and that was it for the top half of my face. I admit these rules were difficult with summer time and all the swimming and camping we were doing. I will be sure to avoid doing this in the summer next time!
HEALING PROCESS: If only the brows stayed looking great right after the salon ;).
Day of treatment: I got home and they still hurt. I didn’t want to move my face for risk of hurting my eyebrows, I had a headache, and basically just wanted to go to bed. Thankfully I had them done in the evening and so I did just that after getting kiddos to bed. I did wake up occasionally because they hurt. I should have taken an ibuprofen or something to help. I was paranoid that I would rub them in my sleep also but it was fine.
Day one after treatment: My brows felt tight, sore, and bruised. They were very, very dark to me, much darker than I ever colored them. They were kind of odd shaped from swelling with a reddish tint to them. I totally felt like Oscar the Grouch and just pretty ridiculous. They were way darker and larger than I thought they would have been and I was a little bit afraid that I’d made a very bad decision! I felt pretty silly in public also. You can bet I was texting and probably driving my friend who did them crazy with my questions. On the close-ups you can see a few strokes on my left eye that she used witch hazel on to get rid of them, above my brow line. These disappear as they heal.
It’s kind of funny because looking at them now, apart from the red tint, they don’t seem all that dark in the pictures. I was so completely used to blonde brows for so long that they seemed incredibly dark!
A hat was my go-to and would be for days. And sunglasses since they hid my brows well.
Day two after treatment: Pretty similar to the day before. They were not as thick which was comforting. They kind of just felt like they were sunburned and they started to itch that night. I was still second guessing at this point because they were so so dark to me. I did go and get a couple strokes rubbed with witch hazel (not very pleasant but better than a spot that is semi-permanent for the next 18-24 months!). I was just worried about them not matching. My friend was so patient with me and assured me that even if they weren’t even the first round we would even them out the second appointment.
Day three after treatment: My eyelids were a little swollen this day but nothing crazy noticeable. I was feeling a little more comfortable without a hat or sunglasses but they were still pretty dark. Though they were much thinner it seemed. I was worried about the tails and arch differences.
Day four after treatment: Pretty much the same as the day before. Little more itchy, still swollen. There were some hard spots that felt like scabs forming.
Day five after treatment: Woke up a little swollen again, kind of like I’d been crying. The hard spots I thought were scabs were worse and brows were just dry feeling. I skipped the grapeseed oil in the morning so I could go to church without shiny brows :).
Days six-eight after treatment: Brows still looked like they were scabs, or dirt looking spots. They were thinner though and I felt comfortable without a hat!
Day 6 (sorry for the leftover makeup from the day before)
Day nine after treatment: Brows were flaky and scabs falling off, but they actually turned out not to be scabs! They were flakes of skin that had dye on them, so they looked like scabs. It looked kind of gross. They seemed really patchy which I was a little worried about as I had read that some people don’t retain the dye.
Day ten after treatment: Basically just a flaky day. And a lazy day picture wise. I took these just out of the shower and didn’t even bother combing my hair. I lost some momentum apparently.
Day eleven after treatment: Brows were very flaky and patchy and gross looking. Thankfully some of them are lifted and just stuck in my brow hair, so I did get those out, even though they say it’s a huge no-no. Pretty much it looked like dirt and skin. Some strokes I could already tell were not there anymore, like my skin didn’t retain the ink some spots. But for the most part I was very pleased with how it was looking like it would end up. I was getting used to them being dark and so they seem really light to me now.
Brows healed by day fourteen: Looking good! Some missing strokes obviously, and maybe a bit lighter than I had planned on. But I really loved them. I do actually have some powder on my brows in these pics–it isn’t the same shade so you can tell where the strokes are and where the powder is.
Ok, let’s move onto the SECOND TREATMENT. It won’t be quite as detailed but I will tell you one key thing I did differently that seemed to help with pain and healing time. I had read on a few websites for microblading that they used aquaphor rather than the grapeseed oil I was given. I debated back and forth on this, and even asked my friend who did my brows. She said some people say it can pull the ink out. But I noticed the accounts I follow on instagram all seemed to heal much faster than the 2 weeks it took mine. My friend said she wouldn’t risk it, but I did. And guess what? I healed faster by 3-4 days, and I had much less pain the immediate days following my microblading. I’m not recommending it if your brow technician doesn’t, and I probably should have listened to mine, but seeing successful results swayed me to try it out.
Your second session is supposed to be 6 weeks out from your first, at least.
I thought the second session would be more of a touch up, but we basically took the same amount of time and she did most of my strokes darker the second time around. It hurt just as much ;). Dang it. So since the color fades and the brows shrink along the healing process, she made sure to do them larger this time and made everything a little darker. I felt like we were doing a first session again.
Just before second treatment, no makeup on anywhere:
Second microblading (and my beautiful friend!):
First day after treatment. Sore, but I honestly think the aquaphor soothed my skin a lot. You can see how they are larger the second day than immediately after treatment. Again, feeling quite ridiculous. We went on vacation so I didn’t know anyone which was actually a great thing:
Second day after treatment: Looking incredibly hot.
Third day after treatment:
Day seven after treatment. This is where I was at on day 10 and 11 the first time around. I was happy to not look like Oscar for as long this time.
And all healed:
You can see I probably should do another session for a quick retouch. The dye took better on the upper middle on my left and lower middle on my right, so they are a touch off. I use a Maybelline Brow pencil that has a pencil on one side and powder on the other. The powder is what I normally use, and I think it makes my brows look more natural and fills in the bare spots. The ink is a tad grayish in spots which is also easily fixed by the brow powder. It takes me like 20 seconds to fill in the spots and make them look like the picture below:
And there ya have it! That was a crap load of pictures of my mug.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll try and answer them!