I went through eyebrow microblading and here's how it's really like
I've always felt envious of friends who constantly look made up even if they literally just woke up, because they have beautiful brows. They say #kilayislife and it's true: groomed brows instantly frame the face and make it look like you made an effort to look pretty for the day. I don't know how to do use brow pencils to shape my eyebrows (let alone properly put on any kind of makeup on my face) but I've always been jealous of girls who have really nice eyebrows.
And so when I was making my 2018 vision board, I told myself I was going to achieve my #kilaygoals this year, even if it will be expensive, painful, and high maintenance. Legit #tiisganda. I was prepared for it. (Pak.)
And then suddenly the Universe sent me some good juju in the form of my fairy godmumshie, Nichole, professional makeup and eyebrow artist (she's done eyebrows and makeup for many celebrities!) and the girl boss behind MakeUp and RainBrows by Nichole, who offered to do microblading on my brows for FREE, because you don't let your girlfriends roll with bad kilay, right? ;) You can view her actual works here! Nichole and I met in 2015 for the #ResponsibleMedia campaign we had in Blogapalooza, in partnership with Project Headshot Clinic.
Anyway, first and foremost, let me tell you what Wikipedia's definition of microblading is and how the procedure is done.
Microblading, also known by a variety of names such as embroidery, microstroking, feather touch, and hair like strokes, is a form of semi-Permanent Makeup that provides a means to partially or fully camouflage missing eyebrow hair with the appearance of simulated hair using fine deposits of cosmetic tattoo pigments.
Microblading is performed by placing pigment or ink in the dermis with the use of a hand tool with attached needles fused together in a curvilinear grouping. The same look can be achieved using a traditional tattoo machine or digital machine using cartridges or traditional tattoo needles, though this technique is called Hairstroke, not microblading. Exactly the same as brow treatments using a machine, the microblading technique involves drawing individual, crisp hair strokes that can be very natural looking.
Simply put, microblading is the process of doing eyebrow tattoo of hair strokes that mimic the shape of natural eyebrow hairs, and hence they look extremely natural.
Anyway, we scheduled my first session last January 16 right after I got back from my Malaysia trip. I was super excited to go to her studio (even if it meant traveling from my house in QC to Paranaque!) to finally get my brows done; I trust her so much, I didn't even research about the procedure she was going to perform on my precious brows. I was confident it was going to turn out well.
Here's a #nofilter photo of how my brows looked like before the procedure:
Now, let me tell you about how the procedure is done and how it really feels like.
First, the eyebrow artist will assess your current brows and check how much space in your eyebrows need filling in. And then the artist will use an eyebrow ruler to make sure that both brows are in symmetry with your entire face. Here's how it's supposed to look like:
Pro tip: If you have a peg for your eyebrow, make sure to bring it with you during your session!
After this, the eyebrow artist will put on copious amounts of topical anesthesia on the eyebrow area and leave it on for around 45 minutes to penetrate the skin. After 45 minutes, your skin should be ready for the session!
The main event is basically like a sketching session for the eyebrow artist, except that the canvas is a real human face. It's actually just like drawing on skin, with the needle as the pen and the pigment as the ink. There is a needle that the artist uses to put and implant the pigment onto the skin in the brow area, much like how you use a pen to write on paper. The artist draws feather-like strokes that mimic how your natural brow hair grows. Depending on how many hair strands need to be drawn on your brows, the main event shouldn't take long, I'd say around 15 minutes tops!
When the final strokes are done, this is how the main event ends:
Sorry about the audio. :P
You'll be given an ointment to put on your brows for the next days until it heals, something that probably looks like this:
After our initial one-hour session, here are my new brows:
Plenty of my friends want to do this too, and so this part is dedicated to answering FAQs (questions that I also had before):
1. Is it painful?
The topical anesthesia should work its magic, so the process is virtually painless. You will feel the pierce of the needle cutting through your skin, but it shouldn't hurt at all. Try lightly scratching your left hand using your right index finger. That's how it should feel.
2. Do you need to take the day off when you get it done?
I think this highly depends on you, but around an hour after my session, I was back to work with two meetings. It would be a bit awkward because as the pigment settles in your skin, it's going to be extremely dark. Also post-session the ointment is there right, so your dark(er) brows are going to be highlighted in your face. But if you're like me who doesn't care too much, you should be able to proceed to business as usual.
3. How are the next days like? How long does it take to heal?
- The day I got it done (let's call it day 1), there was no strange feeling at all. Just felt a bit uneasy because people (especially those who know/have seen you pre-microblading) will stare awkwardly, but that should be it.
- During the 2nd and 3rd days, you'll feel a prickling sensation (this is not painful) every time you raise your brows, probably because this is the time when the wounds are healing and the dermis of your skin is "stitching back together." You'll also notice that on day 2 and day 3, the pigment is going to be a shade darker that how it was like the day you got it done. This is the most awkward phase of all! My brows were so dark, they were the first things that people notice in my face!
- Day 4 and 5 was when it felt itchy! Probably due to the wounds forming scabs. It's not the irritating kind of itchy; just the type that prompts your reflexes to scratch (say once every 3-4 hours), BUT you must resist scratching your brow area even if it's really, really tempting!
All in all, the healing process took me around 5 days before I was back to "normal life."
Here's a closer before and after look:
Top: Before; Bottom: After. Love the end result!
I'll have my touch up session in a few days (yup, you can do the first touch up after 14 days) and I'll probably tell you about that experience too! Nichole told me that after this touch up session, my brows should be OK for 1-2 years and we can do the next round of touch up after that.
For now, I bring forth GOOD NEWS!
MakeUp and RainBrows by Nichole currently has a 2-for-1 promo for eyebrow microblading! Bring a friend and together, you pay only PHP 12,000 for your microblading session and a touchup session after 2-4 weeks. This promo is until February 10, 2018 only, so book a session NOW to make sure you have beautiful brows come Valentine's Day! You can send a direct message to the MakeUp and RainBrows by Nichole Facebook account, or send a message to +63 998 568 1500.
#kilaygoals is real, fam!