What is microblading?
Microblading is similar to eyebrow tattoos. The biggest differences are that microblading inserts pigments under your skin rather than ink, and is semi-permanent rather than permanent. Microblading is also a newer form of semi-permanent makeup and it ends up looking more natural since artists use a hand-held tool that have fork tines-looking things to make hair-like strokes. On the other hand, tattoos use machines.
So that’s the gist of what the differences are. As for pricing, microblading varies between ~$250 to $1000, just depending on location and popularity of the place you go to. Price doesn’t really tell you how well your skin may react to fading though. If you have oily skin and a rigorous skin routine, then that may cause the pigments to fade quicker. I have neutral to dry skin, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that my eyebrows will turn out okay and it will last me quite a long time (2-3 years). Of course, all microbladed eyebrows will fade over time – it really just depends from person to person and you can’t compare someone else’s results to your own.
A bit of history and my brow struggles…
You can skip this section if you don’t care. I decided to take the risk and get my brows microbladed! I’ve always had sparse eyebrows and never started plucking them until about half a year ago (shout out to my roommate Kristine for doing them for me the first time!). My brows became slightly more defined after plucking, but the tail ends still remain almost non-existent. The individual hairs are too fine to even bear any color against my skin, and that always made me self-conscious. I actually didn’t start drawing in my brows every day until about 2 months ago when I started a new job and wanted to look more presentable lol. Since then, I’ve gotten used to how I look with filled-in brows and really dislike how my eyebrows look sans makeup. I did the math and if I go through one $22 Anastasia brow wiz pencil a month, I should think about other alternatives that would ultimately help me save time and money. I disliked feeling the need to bring along my brow pencil wherever I went just in case I had to touch up on my brows. Here are some before pictures:
And so I did a ton of research on the microblading process and found myself a couple artists in the Chino Hills area, since that’s where my parents live and things tend to be cheaper there than in LA. I decided to go with a woman named Soo, who owns her own business in Hacienda Heights doing microblading, permanent eyeliner, hairline tattoos, and the like. Her prices were much cheaper than her competitors, but her Yelp reviews were stellar! BUT, I couldn’t rely just on reviews that people wrote right after their procedures. I cared about what happened a couple months after or even a year down the line. I ended up messaging over 20 people, asking them what happened after a year or so of getting their brows microbladed. Most were positive and had minimal fading. One or two experienced more fading, but I contributed that to differing skin types rather than Soo’s work or quality of pigments.
And so on September 29, 2018, I went in to get my eyebrows microbladed!
Here’s what the process was like:
Soo sat me down right away and began mapping out what my brows would ultimately look like. She used a brow pencil to sketch an outline of my new brows and used a piece of string or floss to measure symmetry across my face. We discussed what shape would work best for my face, and even though she had suggested on a sharper and straighter top of the brows, I wanted them to be more curved (as that was what I was used to drawing). So we settled on a cross between the two.
Then Soo applied some numbing cream to the brows and covered them with plastic wrap. (Apologies for the horrible selfies.)
Once the numbing cream settled in (~15 minutes), Soo got to work! I appreciated that she wore gloves like a professional should and began “carving” my eyebrows. Other people have said it sounds like scraping against cement, and that’s pretty accurate. I didn’t feel too much pain, but on edges where the numbing cream didn’t really affect, it did sting a little. I’ve gotten body tattoos before so I’m not unfamiliar with pain, though Soo did tell me to let her know if it hurts too much. So the scraping continued, and she also applied this mud mask type of thing in intervals, plus more numbing cream.
Near the end, Soo sat me up from the bed table thing and we inspected her work to see if there were any spots she might have missed. After retouching those parts, I was done! It took under an hour since there were those intervals of applying numbing cream and letting them work its magic. The actual final result will not be until after the 1-2 month touchup. Since Soo essentially gouged off a layer of skin, my brows will scab over within the next week. Once the scab falls off naturally (definitely don’t pick them off) some of the pigments will also fall off with the scabbing. Therefore, Soo offers a free touchup within 2 months of the initial procedure to fill in any gaps and sharpen the look. Right now, my eyebrows might not look as “natural” as I would want, but it’s still not the finished product yet! Soo helped me take some before and after pictures:
I should note that my skincare routine typically goes with washing my face once or twice a day with Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub, which contains salicylic acid, which is bad for microbladed brows. My skin isn’t amazing so I could be doing more, but laziness comes at a cost 🙂 There are multiple methods of aftercare, but according to Soo, I’m to avoid water in the eyebrow region for 2 days, no skincare products for 3, and absolutely no sun exposure. I considered buying a visor.
I’m keeping track of what happens day to day for the aftercare process so stay tuned for a separate blog post later. If you want to follow along with my healing journey, check out my insta stories highlights @simplysam.co
Any questions or comments? Drop me a message and thanks for reading!
6 month update!
It’s been a hot second since I got my brows microbladed and I’m still in love with my results. The stuff Soo used to carve into my brows has actually promoted hair growth so where I lacked eyebrow hair before is now a-plenty! If I were to”wash away” the pigments, I think I’d still have decent structured brows because of that hair growth. Here’s a 6-month post-op portrait:
Sorry my hair is covering the end of my right brows but it’s pretty similar to the left. I love love love my brows and I’d happy recommend microblading!