OMG Eyebrow Microblading Is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done
Mother Nature decided to bless me with almost-invisible eyebrows. Like, when I see pictures of models who’ve had their brows bleached for runway purposes, it gives me the shivers because that’s exactly what I look like without makeup (except for the fact that my bone structure’s nothing to write home about).
So when I first heard about microblading, I knew I had to investigate. What’s microblading, you might ask? It’s basically a way to semipermanently tattoo your eyebrows onto your face. And let me tell you, it is amazing.
Microblading first reached my radar when it popped up in before-and-after photos on Twitter and Instagram. I saw pics of women who’d been born with barely visible Tilda Swinton brows like mine, morphing into Cindy Crawford-browed hotties. I also had a sneaky suspicion that microblading was one of those tricks celebs use to look amazing without makeup on, so I’ve been coveting this treatment for months.
Sidenote: the photo above isn’t me, it’s someone else. My brows starting out were much more invisible the ones in the “before” pic above.
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It’s also known as 3D brow embroidery. The terms are interchangeable, but brow embroidery makes me think they’re going to be literally sewing new brows onto my face like some kind of 70s snuff film, so I will refer to it as microblading here.
Anyway, a few months ago, like magic, I was offered a chance to test out microblading with expert Kim Horgan, who works out of SoHo’s super chic Art + Autonomy salon. My response was, are you kidding? A chance to have eyebrows 24/7, whether or not I’m wearing makeup? Yes!!!
So I went for two treatments with Kim, who is one of the chillest people I’ve ever met. Honestly, she has the best bedside manner of any professional — doctor, facialist, waxer, whatever — who’s done painful things to my body for the sake of beauty or health. She will make you feel so comfy, you’ll forget someone’s carving dye into your face.
When I arrived for my first appointment, the heavily inked Kim asked if I’d ever gotten a tattoo. That’s a no. Well, if I had, she responded, she could compare the sensation of microblading to that. So if you’re thinking about microblading and you’ve had a tattoo before, there you have it.
Because here’s the thing about microblading: they’re not kidding when they say “blade.” When you get your brows microbladed, the specialist literally slices a line in your skin, then applies semipermanent pigment that gets embedded in your brow. The effect stays for one to three years, depending on how oily your skin is. Because I’m blessed with skin that’s oily af, my brows might only stay for a year or so. But it’s still worth it in my opinion.
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At my first session, the microblading didn’t even hurt because Kim placed numbing cream on my brows first. In fact, it felt kind of cool — like someone was sawing through my skin but it didn’t hurt. The stray hairs she plucked from my brows hurt worse than the actual microblading.
But at my second session, Kim explained there would be less numbing because she needed to make the lines more precise. The numbing cream makes it harder to see what you’re doing, apparently. So the second time around, it was slightly excruciating, but still totally worth it.
The most anxiety-inducing part, though, was when Kim mapped where she’d be drawing my brows on. She used a thick crayon-kind-of-thing to outline the area where my new brows would go. So even though she’d measured out the perfect proportions for where my brows should start and end based on my eye shape and bone structure, I felt like I looked like Groucho Marx. See the example on someone else below:
“Do you think maybe we should make them a little less close-together?” I asked her nervously, fearing that I’d look like I had a unibrow.
“Well, actually, that’s exactly where they should be based on your face shape,” Kim responded. “It just looks drastic because of the outline.”
Then, she said the magic words: “The closer your brows are, the smaller your nose will look.”
Say no more, fam.
I’m glad I trusted Kim on this, because she was totally right. My entire face just looks more proportional now.
After you get your microblading done, there’s a somewhat sketch recovery period — you’ve just low key had your face sliced, so you have to let it heal for a few days. That means no washing and no makeup. When you shower, you have to tilt your head back like a Pez dispenser to keep your brows from getting wet for the first few days.
It also means your brows will look a little more drastic and darker right after the treatment, but don’t worry, they’ll lighten up and get more natural after less than a week.
There’s also some scabbing, but it’s not noticeable and goes away quick.
Kim’s services usually run about $650. If you’re super insecure about how you look without your brows, that might be worth it to you.
Other people with blonde brows might say why not try brow tinting instead? It’s cheaper, after all, at $20 to $40 per treatment. But I’ve tried brow tinting and found it only really lasts for a week or so. It’s good if you’re going on a beach vacation and don’t want to worry about your brows being washed away with the tide, but it’s not a long-term solution. Microblading, on the other hand, is.
Now that I’ve had my brows for over a month, I can say that I will probably get the treatment again once these puppies wear off. Your eyebrows are the single most defining feature of your face, so for me, having invisible brows when I have no makeup on is really no fun — I look like a totally different person.
Now that I have semipermanent brows, though, the difference between my no-makeup face and my fully made up face is a lot smaller. I still put some pencil or brow definer on most days, though, but it’s more like a light touch-up instead of painstakingly creating eyebrows out of thin air.
So if your brows are a source of insecurity or frustration for you, I’d highly recommend saving up your pennies for microblading. It might be pricey, but you won’t regret it.