Microblading has been around for some time, but it’s only been in the recent years that it’s become super trendy. Eyebrow-envy can be found by scrolling on Instagram and seeing all of the makeup posts with perfectly manicured brows. You know the ones I’m talking about… They leave you in complete awe, wondering why you don’t have the skills to do your brows like that. (Or is that just me?)
I first learned about microblading a few years ago and decided almost instantly that I wanted amazing brows too. While it took me a long time to muster up the courage to make an appointment, I did it on January 4, 2019 and I’m SO happy that I did! There are some things that I wish I knew before going into my microblading appointment and there are some things I learned that I want to share with anyone who is thinking about setting up a microblading appointment.
What is Microblading?
Microblading is a semipermanent technique for enhancing the appearance of the eyebrows, in which pigment is scratched into the skin in fine, short strokes resembling hair, using a hand tool with a blade formed of tiny needles (per dictionary.com). Basically it’s an eyebrow tattoo, but not with the traditional ink that is used in a tattoo and it can last anywhere from 6 months – 3 years, with the normal touchups. Microblading is ideal for anyone that has sparse lashes or for those that just want to have brows that look done without having to put on makeup.
Does Microblading hurt?
I’ll be the first to admit it; I’m such a baby when it comes to pain! After all, I’m the girl that got an epidural at 2cm during labor because I thought I was dying from the pain. Aside from wondering if microblading would completely alter the whole look of my face (if the person messed up), my next concern was if it would hurt while getting it done. After reading various reviews online, it seems that it’s based on your own individual pain tolerance AND if you are numbed correctly in the eyebrow area. I am so happy to say that the numbing worked for me and that I didn’t feel any pain. Well, not initially anyways.
First, the numbing process.
When I went into the salon, I was put in a chair and told that the numbing cream would be placed on my brows, covered in Saran Wrap, and that it would take 30-minutes for the numbing to work. It was quite a boring process to just sit there and once the time was up, the technician removed the wrap and started to draw better looking brows on my numbed brows. I asked a ton of questions about the shape and the color that they would be. I was so nervous! I’m going to be honest here, while I didn’t absolutely fall in love with the eyebrow shape that she drew on, she did reassure me that it wouldn’t be that drastic… and she was right. So if you’re worried, just be sure to speak up and ask questions. After all, you do not want to walk out of the salon hating what’s supposed to bring you ease and a newfound confidence!
After she drew the shape on my brows, it was time to move to the table where the microblading magic was going to happen. My nerves were all over the place! She showed me the sealed package where the needle was and opened it in front of me to show that it was brand new and had never been used. She asked if I was ready and I told her I was. She did what felt like a couple of strokes and asked me if I was okay (I was vocal about being nervous about the pain level). Y’all. I felt nothing. To my surprise, I felt absolutely nothing. No pain. I couldn’t even feel her in my brow area. The numbing cream worked perfectly and I lay there for about 40 minutes while she made my brows look better.
And then the shading started. As did the pain.
Whew. I don’t know if the shading process is more intense or if the numbing cream wore off, but I felt this. It wasn’t like the “just scraped my knee and I’m bleeding” kind of pain and it wasn’t like the dull pain you experience when you get a tattoo. It was different. It was more like a scratchy pain. I could definitely feel her working on my brows and doing a lot more than “strokes” there. It was a scratching feeling and it kept going over the same place on my brow. It only lasted for maybe 5 minutes and it wasn’t terrible, but I did feel this part.
Once she was done microblading and shading my eyebrows, she showed me a mirror and asked what I thought. Initially I wasn’t too sure. To be fair, I think I’m a tough judge when it comes to showing excitement right after something is done. I’m the same way when I get my hair or nails done; I just need some time to process the change and then decide. So, right off the bat, I wasn’t sure. They seemed completely similar and to look like more normal brows, so that made me happy.
I was told that it was completely okay to get my brows wet. This was something that didn’t seem to match all of my microblading research. I’ve read almost everywhere that you do not want to get your brows wet during the microblading healing process. Ironically enough the first sentence in my after care instructions is “It is important not to get the brows wet during the healing process (5-7 days).” I asked the technician since this was contrary to what she just said and she said that it would be fine to do. No makeup, no washing the brows, no ointments, but that I could get them wet, brush them even, and to just make sure that I used coconut oil on them twice per day, starting after 24-hours.
Um, okay. I mean, she’s been doing this for years so she clearly knows what she is talking about and I did read a handful of reviews that were pro-water after microblading…
So that’s what I did.
I didn’t wash my face or wear makeup for the first 1.5 weeks (crazy, I know!), but I did get them wet two times per day and I religiously used coconut oil on them after getting them wet.
Coconut Oil Tip: You do not need to coat your brows. A little coconut oil goes a LONG way. You want your brows to have a thin layer on them, but nothing more. Remember, your brows need to breathe in order to heal. Also, if you put on too much coconut oil, the oil will inevitably run down onto your lid and will annoy you, especially if you wear contacts. Yep, I know from personal experience on that one.
Once I got back home, I was in need of some Advil because my head was pounding! I did read in a few reviews that taking a pain-reliever before was advised, so maybe I should have done that. After a short amount of time (and taking off my contacts), my headache was gone.
Microblading Tip: Take a pain-reliever prior to your microblading appointment. Check to make sure that you are not taking a blood-thinner, as that is a big no-no to take before.
The Microblading Healing Process
Let me just say that there is no amount of reviews or even graphics that will prepare you for the healing process. To put it bluntly, it’s just not pretty. Not at all. You will go through all the emotions, so just know that and prepare yourself as best as possible.
Day 1 of the Microblading Healing Process:
My brows don’t look too bad. They are shaped so nicely and they match for the first time in my life. They are a bit darker than I’d like, but that’s okay, because I was told that the color would fade about 50%. I’m so glad that I did this!
Day 2-3 of the Microblading Healing Process:
Hello sadness, my old friend… I am so ugly and completely altered my whole face. I am not leaving the house because I look ridiculous. Why did I think microblading was a good idea? I feel like I’m in the castle in Beauty and The Beast. I want to cover up all of the mirrors in the house and never look at myself again. I feel ugly.
Day 4-6 of the Microblading Healing Process:
Now that I’ve stopped crying and can stand to look at myself in the mirror, who is the person staring back at me and why does she suddenly have a resting bitch face? I’ve always looked nice and welcoming so why do I look like I’m constantly angry right now? Oh dear God, what did I just do? I’m only leaving the house with a hat on.
What the hell did I do? My eyebrows were far from perfect before, but what have I done to them??
Day 7-11 of the Microblading Healing Process:
I hate my brother. He just (jokingly) called me Groucho Marx. Why would he kick. me when I’m down? My resting bitch face has been tamed (Thank you, God!), but they are so dark and so thick! How did they get this way? It’s like someone drew on my face with a permanent marker while I was sleeping. This is so drastic.
And the flaking. Oh my gosh, what is going on there? My brows are falling off in chunks and I can’t do anything about it. I can’t pick it off, I can’t try to blend it in, I am helpless. Why is it flaking off so much? I look like a freak. I’m not leaving the house. Again. Nope. Probably never again.
Why are my brows so patchy? It’s like some of the brow took the tattoo and the other didn’t. What in the world is going on?!
Yep, microblading was such a great idea, Kristin. You look like a crazy person.
Day 12-13 of the Microblading Healing Process:
Thankfully the flaking stopped, but I think I did something wrong because WHERE DID MY EYEBROWS GO??! It literally went from one extreme to the other. My brows were in full force and are now non-existent. Why did I pay for this? What did I pay for? My brows look identical to how they looked prior to getting them done. Oh, and I hate my brother more. He just asked me what happened to them because they disappeared. The color is gone. The thickness is gone. The shape is gone. Oh my goodness gracious.
Day 14+ of the Microblading Healing Process:
My brows came back! MY BROWS CAME BACK!! I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was divine intervention from all my complaining, but, just like magic, I have eyebrows again. I. Am. So. Happy. I see that my right brow looks amazing and, while my left one still needs a tad more help (hello, touchup time!), it looks a million times better! I am so happy!!!
Today is Day 31 for me so my eyebrows should be just about all healed. My touch up appointment is schedule for February 15, 2019 and I can’t wait. I’ve read that so many people are thrilled with their touch up results, so I can’t wait to see how my brows look after!
How to prepare for microblading? The Do’s & Don’ts:
Do your research! When finding the salon that will do your microblading, it’s important to shop around until you find the right place for you. Read reviews online , ask for referrals, and look at the before and after photos that the technician has already done. Make sure that you like his/her work before scheduling your appointment.
Follow the prep work! After schedule my appointment I was told not to pluck or wax my brows, not to take any medications with blood-thinners, and to not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours before my appointment.
Talk to your technician! You want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the technician. Ask all your questions and concerns until you feel reassured that this is the person for you.
Do follow the after care instructions! Your technician should give you a paper to go home with that has all of the after care instructions on it. Be sure to follow what it says for proper healing for your eyebrows.
My microblading after care instructions:
What is normal? Mild swelling, itching, light scabbing, light bruising, and dry tightness. Too dark and slightly uneven appearance. After 2-7 days the darkness will fade. Once any swelling dissipates, any unevenness usually disappears. If it is too dark or still a bit uneven after 6 weeks, we will make adjustments during the touchup appointment. As the procedure area heals, the color will lighten and sometimes seem to disappear in places. This can be addressed during the touch appointment, which is why touchup is necessary. The procedure area has to heal completely before we can address any concerns. Healing takes about six weeks.
Getting your brows wet. I was given the go ahead on letting water get on my brows. The majority of what I’ve heard/read has been opposite of this – It seems like many are told not to get their brows wet after microblading for the first 5-7 days (this is what my instruction paper actually says to do).
- Use coconut oil for 7 days. Apply oil with Q-tip morning and night or before a shower/workout. Be gentle and make sure you do not pull off the scabs prematurely. Your brows should remain dry all day and all night. Following this procedure will ensure the formation of thin scabs, thus more color retention. Keep out of the sun for seven days. After seven days, wear sunscreen to aid in the longevity of your tattoo.
- As instructed, apply the oil with freshly washed hands or a Q-tip. Never touch the procedure area without washing your hands immediately before. It is very important to keep the brows covered with ointment while in shower or during a strenuous workout to prevent moisture from penetrating.
- Do not scrub, rub, or pick at the epithelial crust that forms. Allow it to flake off by itself. If it is removed before it is ready the pigment underneath can be pulled out.
- Do not use any makeup on the brows for at least 5 days.
- After the procedure is completely healed, you may go back to your regular cleansing and makeup routine. Avoid scrubbing the area. Use sunblock after the procedure area is healed to protect from sun fading.
- Failure to follow after-care instructions may result in infections, pigment loss, or discoloration.
- Do not use any Retin-A or Glycolic Acids in the brow area during or after healing.
- Do not expose area to sun or tanning beds.
- Avoid swimming in pools for 14 days.
- Do not dye or tweeze eyebrows for one week after the procedure.
- If the skin around the eyebrows breaks out in a heat rash or small pimples, this is usually a reaction to the numbing solution and should go away by itself in a couple of weeks. Don’t pick at it.
- Use a fresh pillowcase while you sleep.
- Let any scabbing or dry skin naturally exfoliate away. Do not pick.
- No facials, botox, chemical treatments, or microdermabrasion for 4 weeks.
- Avoid direct sun exposure. Wear a hat when outside.
- Avoid long, hot showers for the first 10 days.
- Avoid sleeping on your face
My Final Thoughts on Microblading
Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, probably like you, I waxed and plucked my beautifully thick eyebrows and completely changed the shape of them. The thickness went away and I guess, back then, it wasn’t a big deal. Thinner brows were more in, so I was in line with that trend. Within the recent years however, I’ve never been a fan of my brows. They are uneven with my left one being much lower than my right (which, I learned, is quite normal), they are sparse, and the shape is nonexistent. While I do sell the best makeup products in the world (shameless plug here), I have never been happy with how I do my brows. I’ve watched many tutorials on it and I just never seem to have the same success with the final look.
When I went in for my first microblading consultation, I was immediately sold on getting my brows fixed. It’s a confidence thing for me and I just knew that I would feel a million times better after going through with microblading.
And I do feel that way.
Since having my brows microbladed, I feel more put together. I feel more confident. And I’m absolutely thrilled about going back for my touch up. This first bit was a great start, but I want the thicker and darker brows like up above. I would love to not have to do my brows. They do look better on their own now, but I eagerly await the day when they are shaped perfectly to stand on their own. One really fun thing now is that when I do put a little makeup on my brows I love how easy it is. Before, I couldn’t follow a shape as I didn’t have one. Now, however, I can follow the shape on the top and bottom and fill in slightly like a pro. The ease of it all is so fantastic!
I’m really excited for my touch up appointment in a couple of weeks! I know that they will look amazing after that appointment and I’ll be sure to follow up with pictures and my thoughts on that process.