My Experience with Microblading (aka permanent makeup)
Eyebrows are so in right now. Out of nowhere BOOM – eyebrow gel, eyebrow pencils, eyebrow mousse. I don’t know who exactly brought them back, but someone said, “What the hell is with all these skinny ass eyebrows, ew, gross, get out of here.” and then everyone started obsessing over them. I would say most of us, at least the adolescent-struggling types, went through many stages of eyebrows. Just look at this wonderful Buzzfeed article proving that even famous people, with lots of money and people to tell them what to do, struggled at one point with their brows.
For me, I started off blonde, bushy, and lost at how to shape them in my pre-teen years. So like any rebellious teenager, I plucked them all out. No unibrow…or any brow for me! And the years went by and the plucking continued. It was a real vicious cycle. Until one day I woke up and was like, how the f*ck do I get my eyebrows back!??! (It was actually someone over social media making fun of me that made me question my brow choices. F*CK THEM, but thank you at the same time). So I stopped plucking completely, started drawing them on and looked like clown until I got the hang of it. It was a real learning curve. And still is.
Today I want to tell you a little about microblading, what it is, the myths and exactly what I thought of the whole experience. I think most of us know very little about it since it’s come so far in the past years, so I want my experience to tell you what it’s really like. I think brows really shape a face and give dimension. The more I have become more interested in my own eyebrows, the more I notice how thicker brows really do make a difference! But sadly, not all of us are born with full brows or we pluck them or they are lost from an illness. And microblading gives us the opportunity to really shape our face and take control of our brows!
But first, let’s take a step back in time and look at the many stages of my ever changes eyebrows and face. Just FYI, I’m a natural blonde. I’ve been dyeing my hair since I was a sophomore in high school and never went back. That means my eyebrows are lighter in color naturally, as you’ll see in past photos.
I think this was 1st grade. I’m not sure what my bangs were doing, but they had the same idea as my eyebrows.
Second grade, maybe? Eyebrows are in their full light colored, unbrushed, unplucked beauty. Along with my sun kissed blonde locks…that were rarely brushed.
BOOM! Where’d they go?! Oh, the teenager in me got rid of them. And added in some gauged earrings. I was so cool.
Bye bye, blonde hair! More eyebrows have been plucked at this point. And half side bangs were very in. Along with preppy collared shirts from Abercrombie.
Oh sh*t, we’ve pretty much lost them. They’re gone.
Ok, we’ve finally taken a step in the right direction.
I had been thinking about getting permanent makeup for quite some time, probably for about 3 years now. But, of course, I had my doubts. First, I thought my eyebrows would turn out like permanent marker thin lines that you see women in jail with. Just google “bad tattooed eyebrows” and you’ll see what I mean. I also thought it was an actual tattoo and based on my experience with tattoo regret, I didn’t want that to happen with my face. Or to feel that same pain. I also thought it lasted forever, like a normal tattoo. I was wrong with all of these things. So let’s squash some of the rumors out there and get down to the fact.
First, what is microblading? Microblading is the technique of using a handheld tool to create hair-like strokes in the skin to deposit dye into the dermal layer. They numb your skin beforehand and then it feels like they are just scraping your skin a bit. After they create these individual hair strokes, they rub a dye into it to set into that dermal layer. If microblading is done by a person who knows what the hell they are doing, you don’t need to worry about those permanent marker eyebrows that we know so well.
How long does the process take? When you go in for your first appointment, it’s usually just to test the color and if you will have an allergic reaction, so just a few hair strokes are drawn on. A week later, you come back in, numbing cream is applied for about 30 minutes then she draws on the shape of the brows. The shape can take 5-20 minutes to draw on and really figure out what works for the face. After that, the hair strokes are drawn on which can take 30+ minutes. So plan on being there for about 2 hours or more. After that appointment, you apply ointment to your eyebrows for 7 days while they heal, just like a scab. Then you go back in after 4 weeks for a touch up since they can fade a good amount and that appointment for me took far less time and I didn’t even need to be numbed.
Does it hurt? I didn’t think so. Sure, it’s kind of annoying if the numbing cream wears off a bit, but it’s not bad. I had my profractional treatment just a week before my microblading and really nothing compares to that pain, so it felt like nothing in comparison.
Is it obvious right away? YES! It’s very dramatic after you get it done. You feel like a clown. But it fades a ton so you gotta be ready to not love how you look for a few days while you get use to a different shape and wait for it to fade a bit. That being said, don’t have any big plans or events to go to for a week after your appointment. And don’t freak out when you see it. It will absolutely fade.
Hong long does it last? I’m told it usually last 1-3 years, usually 1 if you live in a dry climate like Colorado. So no, it’s not completely permanent.
Is it expensive? Well obviously it depends where you go and what you think expensive is, but yes, I think it’s relatively expensive. But someone is cutting into your face and putting dye into it…so the person better know what the hell they are doing. I’ve heard prices from $300-$500 (and more) depending on the state.
Now let’s talk about my own experience! I recently found out about Lea Curry at Oxford Hotel Spa through my amazing esthetician Shawn. When you meet Lea, you’re pretty mesmerized by her own eyebrows, that aren’t microbladed at all. They are just perfection! She immediately makes you feel super comfortable and like you’re talking to a best friend. She applies a numbing cream to the eyebrows and places saran wrap on top and you hang out for about 30 minutes. Afterwards, she uses a eyebrow pencil to draw on your shape. For me, I was nervous because they looked so big compared to what I was use to, but I trusted her and I obviously didn’t know sh*t since I did this to my eyebrows in the first place! After she draws them on, she begins the miroblading process. With the first eyebrow, I didn’t even feel it because the numbing cream had worked so well. The second eyebrow, I felt a little more but it wasn’t ever painful, just annoying. Afterwards, she puts on some ointment and sends it home with you to apply throughout the day. You put nothing else on it for 7 days, just the ointment.
I absolutely loved my brows at first, then about 4 days in they began to fade and come off pretty quickly, which Lea told me would happen. I began to have pretty spotty brows as they healed and I couldn’t wait to go back for my 2nd appointment 4 weeks later. It’s pretty sad when you fall in love with how they look and then they fade, but that’s how it goes. Here is what it looked like at the first appointment. The top is my normal brow, no dye, no makeup. And the lower photo is right after the appointment.
At the second appointment 4 weeks later, she ended up tinting my brows and lashes since I keep my hair so dark and she used a darker ink, doing less strokes but with a darker dye. This photo below is a week after my appointment with no makeup on and then with makeup on. I still have to fill my brows in a bit but not nearly as much as I use to.
I had my second appointment a couple weeks ago and have a third appointment coming up in 2 more weeks for another touch up. Lea recently went to another training for a new digital device so I’m going to try that out! More than anything, Lea showed me what my shape SHOULD look like. When you’ve seen your face for so many years, it’s hard to know how else you should look. After the first appointment, I was able to see the shape she intended, even though it faded, and I was able to continue to draw on that shape because of seeing it for a few days. When I went in, I hoped that I wouldn’t ever have to pencil in my brows ever again, but I now know that won’t be the case (and Lea said that most people still pencil in some). I’ll still have to pencil them in a bit BUT when I have absolutely no makeup on, I don’t look like a different person now since my brows are darker and the spots that were missing were filled in. So when I’m at the lake, I’m not constantly thinking about how I look different without makeup on.
And that was really my end goal. When I used to have cystic acne, all I want to be able to do is be comfortable without makeup on and proud of my skin. Through the help of accutane and my amazing esthetician Shawn (Text Shawn for an appointment at Cherry Hills Facial Aesthetics 720-459-7960- she is not the same person as Lea), I’ve been able to get closer to that. But with the help of Lea, I feel even more comfortable in my skin and feel like I look like myself when I wake up! I’m excited to go in for one more appointment to really fill in any areas that didn’t take AND to talk to her about permanent makeup on my lips. I have pretty thin, light colored lips and it would be great to make them look a little bigger without doing filler or any of that jazz. But that will have to be for another post if I decide to go through with it!
In the end, I’m extremely happy with my experience with Lea and would absolutely recommend her to anyone in the Colorado area! You can contact Lea Curry at 720-252-3182. If you’re not in Colorado, just make sure to do your research and see if they have maybe an instagram page or other social media that show their past work! Just know what you’re getting into beforehand and trust the person. It’s your face, for gosh sakes!
If you have any questions, please leave them below and I’ll answer them as quickly as possible. I get back to comments on the blog much quicker than email so be sure to ask questions here! Excited to try more things out in the future and share it with you guys!
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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