Microblading is a trending, but not trendy, beauty procedure that I was lucky enough to recently try out at Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge, along with my sister-in-law, Jamie. Microblading is a technique where tiny cuts are made and inserted with pigment to mimic hairs within eyebrows; it is ideal to fill-in and improve the color and shape of brows. Almost anyone can have the procedure done, and after my experience, I know personally that it is so worth it. Whether you work from home like me, or work out of the house and want to speed up your morning routine, have alopecia, or have lost hair from being hypothyroid like Jamie, you’re gonna love it.
I don’t use makeup on my brows on a daily basis. In fact, I don’t even wear makeup every day, so I wasn’t sure if microblading was right for me. But after speaking with Jojo and seeing the beautiful brows she produced, I knew that it was absolutely something worth trying. I chose a lighter fill that wouldn’t look like I had heavy makeup on my eyebrows and so did Jamie. Microblading actually looks like real, tiny hairs. (I probably said, “I just can’t believe how real they look,” five hundred times when we were at Maeven. Everyone who has seen my brows comments on not being able to tell what is really a hair or not.) Whether you choose to have natural shaped brows or a defined angular brow, Jojo can make almost anything happen and I just can’t even tell you enough how simply amazing it is.
With a lot of nerves, I asked tons of questions and wanted to share a few tips, because microblading sounds scarier than it is!
Notes to know:
- Never wax or pluck within 7-10 days of your procedure, as it may leave the follicle open and could pick up color during a pigment push. (Waxing is not a requirement nor is it part of a microblading service, I will keep my brows cleaned up after I have healed, though.)
- If you plan to have Botox, complete both microblading appointments (initial and a touch up 3-4 weeks later) prior to your injections.
- You may want to cancel a few appointments: Family photos are ideal after both appointments and swimming or vacation to the beach/pool shouldn’t be too close to your appointment as you can’t submerge your brows for one week after the procedure.
- Hydration will help your brows last and heal well, and a healing balm is incredibly important.
- Gently cleanse your brows with a mild, foaming soap no sooner than three days after your procedure, and one to two times a day after. Remember that the color is always more bold in the first week or two, mine were much darker in the first week than the final product. (I’ll be sure to share more images as I heal from my touch-up!)
- No picking, scratching or scraping, as doing so may lift the pigment. Allow the skin to naturally slough off, we know, it is tempting!
And so, here it is! Our actual experience and the answer to the number one question, does it hurt? No, because numbing cream is used! You will hear a little scratching noise and the sensation I felt was just like tweezing my eyebrows. The majority of the procedure felt like a tug or pressure, but definitely not pain. My sister-in-law agreed that it didn’t hurt. She went many passes without feeling anything, to a few that felt like a stinging paper cut. I expected this to really hurt like my laser hair removal has, but this was not even close! Check out our videos on Instagram where you can witness our first few strokes of microblading.
Microblading in Ten Easy Steps
- Your microblading artist should be licensed in your state, ask ahead of time where they were trained and for proof of licensure. Going along with a license, you want to choose your artist based on their actual work, not just the reputation of the facility. This is truly an art form and you want to see the kind of brows your artist is capable of. (This is the only reason I said yes to microblading, Jojo produces the most beautiful brows I’ve ever seen — no solid chunky brows!)
- Gently exfoliate prior to your appointment, and rub in both directions on your eyebrows to get all of the dead skin off. (I made a sugar scrub at home and was super gentle since I have sensitive skin.)
- Your artist will use alcohol wipes on your eyebrows to fully sterilize the area prior to your treatment. They will also have sterile equipment, wear gloves, have a sharps disposal box along with a biohazards waste bin. Just an FYI, it does feel a touch medical-y in a beautiful spa.
- After you are exfoliated and sterilized, your eyebrows will be numbed with a cream. Some artists offer the cream. Simply place a generous amount of numbing cream around and through the entire brow. Apply against the hair and towards the center of your forehead to get on the skin. The artist will sterilize again.
- The artist plans out the color and shape of your eyebrows with you when you arrive. Jojo used a measuring tape and eyeliner to mark my face to produce as alike and centered brows and possible. We also kept the color the same as my natural brows, which is quite dark compared to my hair color. (No two brows are the same, nor should they be — so remember that!) We were surprised to see the difference in my sister-in-law’s brows, one side starts farther to one side, I still cannot believe how realistic the fill-in is!
- Pigment is placed through the brow in hair-like strokes using a blade made up of tiny pins. The tool used will depend on the thickness of your hair and how your body responds. (I started with a 12-pin blade but switched to a 9-pin. My sister-in-law has very small brows and the smaller blade was better suited to her.) Your artist will do multiple “passes,” and will start with one brow, go to the next, and work back and forth until they are both finished.
- While one brow is being worked on, you may have a pigment push, like I did. The pigment is pressed onto the fresh marks/cuts and sits there while the other eyebrow is worked on. This helps to keep the pigment in, if your body is trying to push it out like mine did. If you bleed, like I did, the pigment tries to push out. Bleeding is not bad, and much like a paper cut, it stops with pressure, so the pigment push helps!
- After the procedure, you will have healing balm brushed through your brows, and the big reveal!
- Check your brows! Brow color will be bolder immediately after the procedure and your skin may be pink, which makes them even more dramatically different. As the brows heal and skin heals, 30-50% of the overall color will lighten (be less bold). Mine looked darker than I had anticipated, in part because of the pigment pushes so my skin had some pigment left on it that we weren’t scraping off. It washed off in three days when I gently washed, and my browns lightened considerably.
- Follow all aftercare guidelines as given by your artist. Remember, no submerging in water, apply healing balm morning and night and do NOT pick or scratch! Let any sloughing skin come off naturally or you risk pulling your beautiful new brows off!
And that’s it! Really! Healing was easy. I itched a lot, and Jamie only had a little itching for no more than a week. When I was able to wash my face (day 3) my brows lightened considerably and the itching really started to be noticeable to me. I realized that my hair was getting caught in the healing balm, and so it wasn’t the healing that itched, but my own hair. Jamie and I have no complaints beyond the fact that the browns lightened. We can’t believe we want them darker! We go next week for our touch up, and I will update pictures after that for truly final images! Be sure to follow on Instagram as well to see if we choose darker this time or not!
Come meet Jojo tomorrow at our Best Face Forward event! She will be touching up eyes and make-up before headshots.
Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge is open Monday – Saturday, by appointment only.
Disclosure: Maeven Innovative Cosmetic Lounge is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of partnership with Little Lake County. The writers received an array of services from Maeven ICL in exchange for the coverage; no further compensation was received. If you’re interested in being featured in Locally Grown please contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com.