Microblading or eyebrow tattooing – whatever you want to call it, the last few years have seen a huge surge in the professional semi-permanent, brow-filling treatment.
And while women are flocking to their nearest brow salons and handing over their hard-earned cash for cosmetic tattooing to transform their brows from thin and sparse to power brows Cara Delevingne would be jealous of, it must be known that it’s by no means a cure-all.
As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so we spoke to brow artist Jazz Pampling to find out the key things you should know before you take the eyebrow tattooing plunge.
#1/ It can be painful and will need time to heal
There’s no beating around the bush – microblading can be painful. Pampling recommends going to a chemist before a microblading appointment to get a topical anaesthetic to keep the area numb. “By law your artist cannot apply a topical anaesthetic that is not prescribed to you, so do yourself and your artist a favour and go to your chemist to buy it. You absolutely want this numbing cream applied before the process, otherwise it will be very painful.”
And once the work is done, it’s important to remember that the area treated is now essentially a wound.
“I always recommend clients treat the area like a wound, which it is,” says Pampling.
“If you had a large wound on your body, you wouldn’t scrub it with soaps or put makeup on it every day. Everything can affect the healing time, even down to excessive sweating during the first seven days. So talk to your artist to ensure you know how to let it heal for the best results.”
In addition to being aware that you’ll need to let your brows heal, Pampling also suggests talking to your brow artist before microblading to suss out how their previous clients have healed.
“Make sure to ask for photos showing healed results from your brow artist’s work. The before and after eyebrow tattoo images you see online are photos taken directly after the procedure has been done.”
#2/ There’s potential for scarring
As with any wound, there is a chance that once it heals, your skin can scar.
"Long-term brow tattooing can cause scarring to the skin. Your initial round of microblading will be fine, however two years later the touch-up work needs to be approached differently to ensure minimum impact on the skin," says Pampling.
"It’s really important you do your research when finding an eyebrow tattoo artist," she stresses.
#3/ It’s not a permanent fix for sparse brows
While eyebrow tattooing can certainly go a long way to improving how thick or dense your brows look, unfortunately cosmetic eyebrow tattooing isn't a permanent eyebrow solution.
Pampling says, “Don't be fooled into thinking it’s a long-term solution". She also notes that you will still need to use your brow pencil or powder brow products. "Don't let anyone convince you it's a quick fix to daily brow filling. Many of my clients who have had it done still fill their brows daily, especially as the brow tattoo starts to fade.”
When it comes to colour fade, Pampling thinks it’s also important you know that it may not always fade well. “Often the colour will fade to a red/orange/yellow over the course of a year or so, which means it will need [professional] colour correction.”
#4/ A trial consultation could be the best thing you do
The best way to know how your skin will react and what the colour of the eyebrow tattoo will look like? Trialling the tattoo procedure before you go the whole hog.
“I always do a consult with my clients before beginning an eyebrow tattoo. Each consult is an hour and includes a small application of brow tattoo lines to your brow. Hidden amongst the eyebrow hair you already have, this small application allows you to see how the brow tattoo will heal and if you like the results. You’ll also have a good understanding of the pain level, if any,” says Pampling.
Did you know that microblading isn't the same as eyebrow feathering or feather touch brows? Here's what you need to know about the difference between microblading and eyebrow feathering.
Looking for some brow filling alternatives to microblading? Here are a few other options for fuller, thicker, perfect brows.
Do you have a microblading experience? Have you tried any other forms of semi-permanent makeup? Please share with us in the comments section below.
Main image credit: Getty
Carli is BEAUTYcrew’s Editor and has been since the site launched in 2016. She is currently on a quest to find the perfect medium-coverage foundation for combination skin, is trying to narrow down her mascara collection to just three, and is embracing the power of AHAs. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.