What’s the deal with microblading?

Illustration by Twylamae
Words by Rachel Krasky

The process explained. 

Microblading is one of the biggest beauty trends of the moment. I recently plunged into the world of brow perfection, and I don’t think I’ve ever had more questions about an experience or treatment. 

So with that in mind, I wanted to break down the process for the curious, the sceptical and the keen. With a growing number of brow stylists to select from it can be hard to separate the good from the bad. There’s also confusion about what the process actually involves. Does it involve tattooing? And if not, what the hell is it?

To answer all your burning questions, I’ve unpacked the process below.

What is microblading?

To help me answer some of the more in-depth questions, I’ve enlisted the assistance of the amazing Yasmin, who is the head brow guru at The Arch Stylist and has looked after me on my brow journey (check her Instagram to see her magical transformations).

Microblading is a technique that implants coloured pigment into the dermal layer of the skin with a small disposable needle. The idea of using the small, purpose-built needle is to create the appearance of natural hair strokes (rather than harsh lines that would make you look like a crazy person).

However, in saying that, microblading is not a permanent procedure. Yasmin explains: “Microblading usually lasts between six-24 months, depending on a couple of factors – skin type, what products you use (chemical breakdown) and natural factors such as UV all contribute to the longevity of your brows.”

So what does the process involve?

You could almost describe microblading as a fine art. Upon entering The Arch Stylist, I was seated on a fluffy pink couch and immediately had a numbing cream placed on my brows. So to answer the most common question I receive, no, microblading doesn’t hurt. You get numbed up straight away and are provided with as much numbing cream as you need throughout the process.

Before any microblading takes place, you spend time consulting on the look you want. Yasmin then maps out what you chatted about – there’s a lot of back and forth looking in a mirror to see how your finished brow look will turn out. This is all done using a pencil and a lot of time is spent at this step – no one wants to walk away with a brow they don’t want!

Once everything is mapped out, and you’re excited to become the new brow queen, your technician will get to work. I honestly find the process doesn’t hurt at all. You hear a grinding noise as the cuts are being made, but beyond that, you just lay there and let the magicians do their work.

What happens after the treatment?

After about two hours, you will have the best, freshest and most beautiful brows in town. Unfortunately, though, there’s still some work to be done to finish these beauties off.

The aftercare is super important, and the healing process does take some time. For the first two to seven days afterwards, your brows go SUPER dark, and you look kinda scary. You also can’t get your eyebrows wet at all – be that in the shower or at the gym, so there’s some fun experimentations to be done with your shower cap to keep them dry for that first week.

Once they finish being ultra-dark, they then start flaking off where you had the pigment placed. So you’ll look like you have no eyebrows for a bit – don’t stress though, it’s all part of the process. After disappearing, they’ll reappear at the 15 to 21-day mark, but just a bit uneven.

After six to eight weeks, all your problems are fixed, and you go back to being the brow queen. You will, however, need to pop back in for a perfection session for a touch-up wherever the healing has left you patchy.

So is it worth it?

It’s definitely not a cheap exercise, and you will have to put effort into maintaining your new look. Most people have to go back once every year or two to ensure the brow hasn’t faded away.

For me, the experience is a winner in terms of opening up my face and giving me the dream brows I have always wanted. Eyebrows are one of those things that may seem like a small change but can make SUCH a big difference. This was my second time ’round, and I would definitely go back and do it all again.

Here are some of Yasmin’s top tips for those thinking about the experience:

“Don’t be scared! We get so many clients come in who are nervous about the pain or the fact that it’s a ‘tattoo’, but it’s really nothing to be afraid of. We use the best numbing cream in the business, you won’t feel a thing. In terms of finding a trusted professional – apart from The Arch Stylist, obviously – we recommend doing your research. Check out a studio’s Instagram account to view their work and make sure you like what you see.” 

My final parting words of wisdom? Do your research, book your appointment and get ready for brow perfection.

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