It doesn't matter if you like them arched and feathered or straight and bold, eyebrows are arguably the most important facial feature. If you're not satisfied with the ones you have, there are so many ways to update them, including brow gel, pencils, and even tattooing. But now there's a very natural option that delivers semi-permanent results. Ladies, we'd like to introduce you to microblading. Unlike the sometimes Sharpie-esque effects of permanent make-up, microblading is more of an embroidery of trompe l'œil strokes that look just like real hairs. Just last week, actress Lena Dunham tried the technique on her sparse brows, with face-changing results.
Nadia Afanaseva, microblading expert and trainer at Eye Design New York in New York City gave us the lowdown on the unique service, and after our talk there's no surprise why Dunham—and so many women—love it. "Microblading is perfect for those who want to fully reconstruct, define, cover gaps, or fill-in over plucked brows," she explained. The professional lash and eyebrow expert also revealed that those who just want to add a slight arch are also great candidates, and the results are a natural, undetectable fringe.
If you're still not sure how the technique differs from tattooing, Afanaseva explained that "during the microblading process we use a special microblading pen to draw on individual strokes one by one." It's an extremely meticulous process that takes around two hours to complete. Since the results will last for up to three years before beginning to fade it's good to know that the technicians pay so much attention to detail. "The first hour we’re drawing the shape in with removable pencil. That’s the longest part and the most important step. During this time, the best customized shape for every client is chosen." The expert advises clients to be cautious of places that claim to complete the process in one hour. "It's not a rushed procedure, it cannot be done in an hour."
Before the microblading begins, a topical numbing cream is applied to the area to minimise discomfort, followed by a liquid anesthetic. If you're worried that the process is painful, Afanaseva assures, "some clients may feel a slight discomfort, but it's relatively painless."
The best part about the technique is that there is no down time. Your new set of brows will be ready for a selfie immediately after the process. She, however, does recommend a follow-up one month after your appointment. "The healing process is different for everyone, and it takes between 25 and 30 days. After a month we recommend a 40-minute touch-up to most customers."
"Unlike eyebrow extensions, which you have to be careful about maintaining, microblading is low maintenance. After healing, you can rub them and enjoy swimming. No special care is required, except for a brief touch-up once a year.” While the services aren’t cheap—it can cost upwards of $1,000—waking up every morning with perfect brows may totally be worth it.