Roll out of bed with perfect eyebrows? It’s kind of the dream – and with microblading, it can become a reality (sort of).
Microblading is a trend that’s been around for a while now, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Once only accessible to the Kardashian-esque elite, it’s now something that’s probably readily available in your local area.
But don’t get too ahead of yourself just yet. Yes, microblading will make your brows look fab – but it also warrants some consideration, as the initial treatment can be a bit invasive for your skin.
Here, we talk you through everything you need to know about microblading, including how to prep and care for your brows before and after the procedure.
What is microblading?
To put it simply, microblading is a tattoo-like treatment in which a trained technician uses a small, scalpel-like tool to ‘draw on’ your brows, using teeny-tiny lines to create a natural look.
No, it’s not as scary as it sounds. But it is a semi-permanent procedure, and so it’s important to know that it’s quite a commitment.
The technician will use the blade (again, not as scary as it sounds) to create small incisions and implant your chosen brow color in and around your brows.
These fine lines create a texture that looks like eyebrow hair, for that natural ‘I-woke-up-like-this’ finish.
Before and After
How does microblading affect your skin?
As you can probably guess, the skin around your brows will be red and irritated after microblading treatment. It will typically be a little swollen for a few days afterwards, with mild scabbing and flaking (we know – nice, right?).
It’s also worth noting that the color that the technician puts on will appear a little darker at first, so don’t panic. Breathe. Things will calm down.
Depending on your skin type and the treatment you go for, it can take around 14 days for skin to heal and color to fade to its actual shade. Be sure to ask your technician about what to look out for, so you can have a realistic healing timeline that’s specific to you and your new brows.
Monitor the area closely – go to the doctor if the redness or swelling gets worse, if it continues scabbing for longer than 14 days, or if it begins to leak pus or fluid.
Skin before microblading
Before the big day, you’ll have a consultation with your technician where they’ll work with you to decide on a shape and color that you like the look of. This is also the time to ask for a list of dos and don’ts before your appointment. Expect them to tell you:
- Lay low: Don’t work out for a set period of time before your appointment.
- Beverage check: Avoid alcohol and caffeine prior to the big day.
- No sun: Keep your face out of the sun (that means no tanning) for a set period of time beforehand.
- Don’t take certain pills: You should avoid certain over-the-counter pills and supplements before microblading treatment – ask your technician about which ones apply to you.
- Take a break from exfoliating: Don’t use AHA exfoliants and other facials and peels for at least a few weeks beforehand.
- Leave them be: Don’t wax, tint, thread, or otherwise mess with your brows before your appointment.
Skin after microblading: Short-term care
As with any beauty treatment or procedure, everyone responds a little differently and so it’s important to get a detailed breakdown from your technician about what to do after your treatment – always ask them for their advice and follow the rules they give you.
That said, there are a few ground rules that you might want to take into consideration:
- Eyebrows, dry brows: You really shouldn’t get your eyebrows wet for about 10 days after microblading treatment – this includes washing your face, taking a bath or shower, and even walking in the rain (carry an umbrella!).
- Continue laying low: You shouldn’t use a sauna or swimming pool for a set period of time afterwards, and you must avoid excessive sweating (no heavy-duty workouts).
- Have a makeup-free week: The tint takes a while to settle in, and your skin will be healing, so avoid letting any foreign substances get into the area.
- Don’t touch: It will be tempting because it’s probably going to be a little itchy, scabby, or simply feel kind of weird, but avoid touching your brows.
- Pull your hair back: Keep your hair away from your brows to avoid irritating the area.
- Follow the tech’s advice: If you’ve been told to apply certain creams or balms, make sure you listen.
Skin after microblading: Long-term care
Microblading is semi-permanent (which means it won’t last forever).
To maintain your fresh new look, you’ll probably need to go for a shorter follow-up appointment a few weeks afterwards. From then on, it’s typically recommended to get your brows topped up every six months to a year. After two years, you’ll likely need a full application again.
In the meantime, regularly applying sunscreen on your face and brows will slow down color fade. Yes, microblading is yet another reason to take good care of your skin!
Answers to all your microblading FAQs
So we’ve told you about how to look after your skin before and after your microblading appointment – but how about the actual appointment itself? And what about that thing your friend told you about not drinking coffee?
Don’t worry – we’ve got answers for all your microblading questions.
What happens during the service?
Of course, this will be different depending on where you get your microblading done, but it typically goes like…
At your first appointment or consultation, you’ll talk to the technician about the color and shape you want your eyebrows to be, and work together to come up with a plan. This is when they should give you pre-treatment advice (see above for details).
On the actual day, you’ll settle in for a 2-3 hour stint in a comfy chair. The technician will use grid paper and a special pencil to meticulously draw your new brows on, consulting you to make sure you’re on board with the shape.
When it’s time, they’ll use a small blade to cut into the skin around your brows, drawing very fine lines. This is how they deposit your chosen color and create that natural look.
Does microblading hurt?
Yes, usually a little bit. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, but most people report that the actual procedure itself tends to be little bit painful and uncomfortable. Some technicians will use numbing cream to ease the sensation – make sure to talk to them beforehand about your pain-relief options.
Either way, you’ll likely experience a little bit of pain during the procedure. Once the appointment is over, your brows will probably sting a little bit – we’ve heard people compare it to the feeling of having a sunburn.
Are there side effects?
As with any beauty treatment of this caliber, there’s a slight risk of infection or allergic reaction. Microblading is also not recommended for pregnant people and people with certain health conditions. We always suggest checking with your doctor beforehand, to make sure it’s a safe option for you.
After your appointment, you can expect swelling, redness, and scabbing for a few days. If you feel severe pain, you should contact a doctor immediately.
Is microblading safe?
Microblading is generally safe, but you must take proper precautions beforehand. As it’s not consistently regulated from state to state, it’s up to you to do your homework.
Research your technician beforehand – look for accreditations and reviews, to make sure they’re a trustworthy option.
Bear in mind that microblading tools are one-time use only, and should be sanitized and handled carefully.
As it can be a bit invasive to your skin, it’s important to consult a doctor before you commit, to make sure it’s a good option for you.
Will my eyebrows look weird after?
Everyone reacts to microblading differently. Typically, you’ll experience at least a little bit of redness and swelling, but it’s not usually overly noticeable. Your skin will also usually scab or flake a little bit afterwards.
The color of your brows tends to be a bit darker immediately after the procedure, but it will fade as the pigment settles in.
Is microblading permanent?
Microblading is semi-permanent. Typically, it can last up to 2 years, but you might need touch ups here and there depending on how quickly your particular color fades.
How much does microblading cost?
Microblading treatment prices can vary from a few hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars (or more).
When shopping around, don’t just go for the cheapest option – do your research on the technician, check reviews, and ask questions to make sure they’re a good fit.
Can you undo microblading?
If you’re really unhappy with your microblading treatment, there are a few things you can do to reduce the affects. Retinol cream and exfoliation can soften the appearance and reduce the pigment.
However, because microblading is semi-permanent, it’s difficult to completely change the look without going in for laser treatment or removal.
If you’re not ready to commit, consider investing in a quality eyebrow makeup solution instead.
Do they shave your eyebrows before microblading?
No, there’s no need to shave your brows – in fact, you shouldn’t really do anything to them before your appointment.
The technician might wax, thread, trim, or tidy up your brows depending on your shape and desired outcome, but there’s no shaving involved.
Does microblading stop hair growth? Will I still need to pluck?
No, microblading shouldn’t have an effect on natural hair growth. Whether or not you continue to pluck or shape them after the procedure is up to you!
Can I drink coffee before microblading?
It’s recommended to avoid coffee and other forms of caffeine (including decaf, green tea, and alcohol) before microblading. These substances can cause your blood to thin, which increases chances of bruising and bleeding.
How long does microblading take?
It will depend on your brows and your technician, but usually your main microblading appointment will take between 2-3 hours.
Microblading can be a beauty treatment that transforms your routine, injecting confidence (and 15 more minutes of sleep) into your everyday. Be sure to talk to your doctor and technician about the risks involved, and take extra good care of your skin before and after.
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