I have been watching beauty bloggers on YouTube since before I can even remember. And, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of my questionable makeup experiments in my early years were products of how-to videos gone awry. But one thing that my days of binging YouTube did teach me was how to not only tame but also, embrace the brow!
Now, let it be known that embracing your brows is no walk in the park, especially for a then-makeup inept 15-year-old. After all these years of tweezing and filling in, I can finally say I’ve got the hang of it. I’ve become accustomed to a dark, full brow and the time it takes to create that daily is worth it, in my opinion. But when it comes down to it, perfecting your eyebrows does take time and this is time in the morning I’d much rather spend cuddled in bed. Which is why when microblading came onto the market, I was enamoured. You’re telling me I can put down the brow pencils and gels and actually say “I woke up like this”?
The concept of permanent makeup sounds daunting to many, myself included. When I first heard about a tattooed eyebrow my mind immediately thought of sharpie-stamped brows. But, as you’ll soon find out, that is not the case with microblading. Before you can confidently vote yay or nay to the microblading trend, it’s important to understand what it actually is. And good news is, I’m here to help!
Guys, it is a tattoo
There’s a lot of debate on the internet as to whether or not microblading can be considered an actual tattoo. Let me break it down for you. Despite what anyone may tell you, microblading is a form of tattooing. However, it does differ slightly from your traditional tat. Microblading your eyebrows is a semipermanent tattoo and the flowy script you would get on – say, your ribcage – would be a permanent tattoo. The main difference between semipermanent and permanent is how deep the pigment is injected into the skin. When you’re getting a permanent tattoo, it’s expected to last forever so the ink is imbedded deep into your skin to make sure that is the case. With a semipermanent tattoo, such as microblading, it’s meant to fade over time. The tattoo artist will implant pigment under the skin with a manual, handheld tool rather than a traditional machine you’d find at a tattoo parlor. This manual tool injects the ink on a superficial level which gives it the ability to fade with time.
But wait, what is it?
During the process the artist will use the handheld tool, that looks like a small, slender knife (PSA: it isn’t a knife, don’t run for the hills) to etch individual strokes on your brows one by one. Much like a traditional tattoo, artists use tiny needles so they can make small incisions in the skin with the tool’s tip depending on the thickness and depth of hair strokes they want to achieve. While a small permanent tattoo may take an artist fifteen minutes at max, the microblading process is much more meticulous. It can often take around two hours to complete, so budget your time accordingly.
How much will this cost me?
Cost really depends on your location and how experienced the artist you choose is. A quick Google search tells me that microblading can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,200. (It costs a pretty penny to wake up with flawless brows.) But with anything beauty-related remember that often you get what you pay for. I mentioned this in my eyelash extensions post and I’ll say it again here. When it comes to your face, this is not the time to Groupon. Microblading has to be something you are prepared to invest in.
Is there anything else I should know?
Above all else, make sure you are familiar with and like the work of the artist you are seeing. Every microblading artist should have an extensive portfolio of before and afters, whether it be on their website or on an Instagram page. Don’t go to the first person you find on Google or the first person you hear about through a friend – research is key! Of course, with any tattoo there is no way to know how it will turn out or how your skin will retain the colour until you actually do it. But an extensive portfolio and expert consultation should leave you with a fairly good idea.
For an inside look at someone’s first hand experience with microblading, check out Nylon’s “I Tried Microblading” article here.
So what do you think? I for one am pretty tempted to take the plunge. Taking all eyebrow tips in the meantime in the comments down below, though…
Photo by Samantha Clarke