If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I recently got Botox. I got Botox both to combat my wrinkles and to even out my eyebrows. For as long as I can remember, my left eyebrow has sat higher on my face than my right. I was always having to overcompensate the arch on the right side, but could never get it totally right. Sure, the Botox helped a bit, but not enough to make a real, lasting difference. That’s when I decided it was time to bite the bullet and try microblading.
For those who don’t know, microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo in the form of tiny hairlike strokes to help fill in your brows. Read that again. Semi-permanent tattoo. It doesn’t really come as a shock that I put it off for so long considering needles are the bane of my existence. That said, I made the appointment and paid 40% up front so I couldn’t back out.
The good news is once I convinced myself to go through with it, I knew exactly which brow artist I wanted to go to with little-to-no research (but please do your research— it is semi-permanent).
My friend Jocelyn is a wildly popular makeup (peep her IG here), and now brow, artist in Northern California. And rightfully so (she kills it, seriously). She did my makeup a couple of years ago for a glam murder mystery party and it’s the very best my eyebrows have ever looked. I knew if she could do it with a pencil, she could do it with a tattoo machine. I totally trusted her, and was way more nervous about the actual procedure than I was the outcome.
Truthfully, I have been so busy lately that I didn’t really have time to stop and think about the appointment after I booked it. And this was a good thing, because I didn’t have time to freak out. Of course I was nervous the day of—I was going to have tiny needles coming at my face for two hours straight—but I was doing it.
When I got there, Jocelyn looked at my brows and suggested I do shading instead of microblading. Plot twist. Shading is basically a more solid, powdery look (sans hairlike strokes) and was the best option to fix the symmetry of my brows. Again, totally trusted her. For the first hour she worked on grooming and mapping out my brows. She basically took more hair off of the top of my left brow to make it appear lower, and redefined the arch of both. Then she outlined the parameters of where the tattoo would fill in. After that, she numbed me with a topical anesthetic.
When it was time for the needles I started to panic a little, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect, but Jocelyn made me feel so comfortable answering all of my questions and concerns (I had a lot). You guys. It did not hurt at all (and I have a very low pain tolerance). There were parts when you couldn’t feel anything at all. My brows were sensitive from all of the rubbing, so when the numbing started to wear off, I could feel a little more uncomfortable pressure or the vibrations of the machine. But still, there was no actual pain. I had heard that some people tear up when the artist reapplies the numbing cream, because at that point it’s being applied to open wounds, so I was nervous for that. That part didn’t hurt either. I couldn’t believe how easy the whole thing was. Like, am I ready for a real tattoo now? (Not likely).
Afterwards, Jocelyn reminded me that we had to start with a warmer brown to achieve the desired taupe-y brown brow color (my olive skin tone would naturally cool down the color over time). Plus my skin was really red from the procedure. And I understood that my eyebrows were going to look especially dark before they started the healing process. Even though I knew what to expect, I was shocked. I loved the shape and symmetry, but it was hard to see past the red. And I’m talking Tai from Clueless red (before Cher gave her a makeover and rinsed out her cheap hair dye). I was truly worried about going to work the next day. I’m only telling you this because it’s normal, and fades.
I woke up to a message from Jocelyn with my before and after photos. I was shook. I knew my brows were crooked before, but never realized how bad they looked until I saw them next to my new brows. It totally changed the whole look of my face (for the better). As I write this, I’m nine days in, so my brows are still at the tail end of the healing process, but seeing the before and after photo made everything so worth it.
Mug shot(s) for proof:
If you don’t know, here’s a quick run-down on the healing process. Post-appointment, your brows start out really dark. After a few days, they start to peel, in which case they fade as you shed the top layer of skin. By day nine or ten, the peeling should subside, and your brows will look really light. However, over time the pigment from the tattoo will rise and they will darken again (slightly). By week four or five you should have your final shade.
During the healing process you have to keep the brow and forehead totally bare. You clean the brows with a cotton pad and purified water and then apply an ointment every 2-3 hours until they’ve healed (for 7-10 days).
The worst part about microblading or shading is that you can’t sweat while your brows are healing (because they’re technically considered an open wound). So that basically means for 7–10 days you can’t workout. You also can’t use a cleanser, apply serums or moisturizers, or wear makeup on your forehead during those 7-10 days. I’ve been going to work with CC cream on my face from my eyeballs down, which has been interesting.
All that to say, 7-10 days of looking weird and religiously cleaning my forehead is worth the 1-2 years of not having to fill in my brows. Yep, the finished brows should last 1-2 years. I’ll go back after eight weeks for a touch-up to fill in any holes or darken the brows (if I want them darker), but after that I won’t have to touch them for up to 730 days. It’s insane. I can’t believe I waited so long to do this, it’s a game changer.
Do you have more questions? I’m happy to answer them. Drop me a line or book a consultation with Jocelyn for more info.