If you're looking to up your eyebrow game (hello Instagram brows!), you might want to look into beauty's latest craze, microblading. But if you're anything like us, your first question will be: what is microblading?
The very natural looking treatment delivers semi-permanent results, unlike the sometimes Sharpie-esque effects of permanent makeup and cosmetic tattooing. Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing technique in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add pigment to the skin. The treatment is less invasive than traditional cosmetic tattooing and aims to give the look of real, fine hairs. The treatment is considered best for anyone who wants a natural brow look that lasts.
Nadia Afanaseva, microblading expert and trainer at Eye Design New York, told InStyle US why so many women are turning to microbladed brows. "Microblading is perfect for those who want to fully reconstruct, define, cover gaps or fill-in over plucked brows."
Here's everything you need to know.
What is microblading?
Microblading is a technique using a superfine tattoo pen, anywhere between 12 to 15 needles, to deposit pigment into the skin. The tip of the pen is so fine it can create hair strokes that look real. The needles only reach into the superficial layers of the skin, which is why the procedure is considered semi-permanent.
Afanaseva explains that during the microblading process a special microblading pen is used "to draw on individual strokes one by one."
Who is microblading most effective for?
Microblading is considered best for anyone who wants a natural brow look that lasts. The treatment is suitable for all hair and skin types.
How much does microblading cost?
When getting a cosmetic procedure such as microblading, it is always best to seek a professional salon that specialises in the treatment (remember, microblading is a form of tattooing). Although prices vary depending on location and an artists expertise, a quality job can run anywhere between $900-$1500.
How long does microblading take?
Just like a tattoo appointment can vary, microblading appointments can range from anywhere between two to three hours depending on the artist.
The treatment is an extremely meticulous process, Afanaseva explains, that takes on average around two hours to complete.
"The first hour we’re drawing the shape in with removable pencil," Afanaseva told InStyle. "That’s the longest part and the most important step. During this time, the best-customised shape for every client is chosen." The brow 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."
How long does microblading last?
Depending on skin and lifestyle, microblading can last up to three years, with touch-up appointments every six months.
There are a few ways you can prolong your brow look - including staying out of the sun and avoiding putting exfoliants near the area.
Does microblading hurt?
Microblading is a form of tattooing, so yes mild pain may occur during the appointment. However pain is relative to each client, and the artist will always employ measures to numb the area before.
What are the risks of microblading?
The risks of any form of tattooing are the same, including the risk of infection or allergic reaction, either of which can lead to permanent scarring or ongoing inflammation. However, if investing in a high-quality treatment, the risks are minimal.
Microblading also, as a semi-permanent treatment, cannot be easily removed or changed if the colour or shape is wrong.
How do I take care of my microbladed brows?
Aftercare is essential following your microblading appointments. "The healing process is different for everyone, and it takes between 25 and 30 days," Afanaseva explains. "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."
It's important to note following your first microblading appointment, brows will appear 40% darker in shade for the first 7-10. This means that protecting your freshly bladed brows from all moisture is essential, including sweaty workouts or washing your face with water.
What do microbladed brows look like?
Here are some examples of microbladed brows.
Microblading is a great treatment to get done if you are looking for a hassle-free brow look that is easily maintained. However, microblading is semi-permanent and not easily removed, so you should be absolutely sure they want the treatment done as well as fully trust the artist.