Thanks to my Asian genetics, I have very sparse eyebrows and long hairs that make me look like a bald alien without any makeup on. I was looking into getting them tattooed before, but after witnessing some pretty questionable experiences from people I knew, I decided against it. Then when I heard about microblading, my interest in getting my brows done was piqued yet again.
What is Microblading?
Microblading is a form of tattooed makeup, but unlike regular permanent makeup, microblading is semi-permanent. This means the results can last anywhere between 1-3 years, depending on your skin type. After your eyebrows fade, you can get them microbladed again in a different brow style without having to get them removed.
The process is fairly similar to tattooing. A permanent makeup artist properly sanitizes the area and then uses a brand-new hand tool (or a “pen”) with several needles to create hair strokes. Just like with regular tattooing, the needles create openings in the skin where high-quality cosmetic-grade tattoo pigments are deposited into the skin.
My Microblading Experience
I recently got in contact with Lynn Nguyen, permanent makeup artist, owner and instructor of Luxury Beauty Studio in Tustin, California. I took a leap of faith and entrusted my brows to her! Below is a video of my entire procedure:
Before the Treatment
Prior to getting your brows done, you must make sure that you aren’t using any of the following for at least 72 hours beforehand:
- Aspirin, ibuprofen, alcoholic beverages
- Fish oil
- Vitamin E
It sounds silly, but vitamins like fish oil, niacin, and vitamin E can also cause your blood to thin. I’ve always known about avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen, and alcohol as these should be avoided when getting tattoos, but I never knew about the vitamins and supplements! I am assuming that the face is a very delicate area and bleeding may be caused by ingesting these vitamins.
You should also avoid sunbathing, waxing or threading, and any treatments that encourage faster exfoliation and skin cell production like microdermabrasion or chemical peels a few weeks before the procedure.
The Healing Process and After Care Instructions
The healing process is pretty much the same as taking care of a tattoo. After the procedure, Lynn provided me with a pamphlet of after care instructions along with a container of special ointment to apply daily so that my eyebrows would not get extremely dry. Just like with tattoos, it’s important to apply just a thin layer of A&D skin ointment or whatever ointment your artist sends you home with. The tattoo needs to breathe, so be careful to apply just a very thin layer to keep it from drying and cracking.
Sweating, swimming, and getting your brows wet should be avoided for at least 10 days after the treatment. Stick to brief showers and avoid the face. If you need to clean your face, use cotton pads and sterile water to wipe down your brow area and then apply ointment when dry. After 10 days you can switch to a gentle and oil-free cleanser to clean your face.
Direct sun exposure should be avoided for at least 30 days and threading or waxing should be avoided for at least 14 days. The skin is still very tender post-procedure as tattoos are basically a form of scarification, so you should let your skin heal accordingly.
My 4 Weeks of Healing
I took some care to document my brows throughout the 4 weeks of healing post-procedure. Excuse my terrible skin as during this time it was going through some insane allergic reaction from a facial cleanser I used and was getting really blotchy and acneic (eek!).
Is Microblading Good For You?
It’s true that microblading isn’t the most affordable procedure, so if you’re already got pretty thick and luscious brows, you might not need to get them done. However, microblading is suitable for:
- People who suffer from alopecia
- People who have faint or blonde brows
- People with sparse brows
- Lazy people (lol)
I highly recommend getting your eyebrows microbladed if you are any of the above, even more so if you suffer from conditions like alopecia, which leaves most people with little to no eyebrows. Below is one of Lynn’s amazing client transformations:
Microbladed Brows Are Low-Maintenance
Before hitting the United States, microblading was first popularized in Asian countries as a means to enhance natural eyebrows, not create high-arched or unnatural-looking ones. This allows your natural eyebrows to grow in without having to constantly tweeze, wax or thread your brows into a shape it doesn’t naturally have.
Although you can choose to have a different style of eyebrow arch other than the one you were born with, doing so defeats its original purpose: convenience. Prior to microblading, I drew my eyebrows on very straight like a lot of Koreans do; however, my brows do not naturally grow that way as they naturally have an arch. Tweezing my brows to fit my straight brow preference left me with bald spots towards the ends of my brows.
Lynn explained to me that if I decided to have my brows microbladed in a straight fashion, I would still have to do a lot of tweezing to maintain the shape. She recommended that I follow my natural brow shape, and after much contemplation, I decided to take her advice in the end. This was the best decision ever! I no longer have to tweeze my brows every other day like I used to – I now only tweeze once a month!
Bonus: Following my eyebrow’s natural arch also wound up flattering my face shape more than the flat brows.
You May Have to Still Apply Brow Makeup
Realistically, microblading is great if you’re like me, a person with naturally thin and sparse eyebrows. Running to the store without makeup on can make me feel incredibly insecure, as I barely look like I have any eyebrows!
Microblading definitely helps to fill in your sparse areas with extra hairs, but if you’re looking for opaque, perfect and sharply-defined eyebrows like the girls at the MAC counters, then you’ll still have to fill them in with brow powder or a pencil to achieve that look. One session of microblading won’t do that for you.
However, there are some microblading artists like Lynn who specialize in ombre shading that can achieve a more filled and voluminous look, which can be done during your touch-up session. I’ll actually be getting my eyebrows touched up next month, so I will definitely post an update of my filled brows!
Left photo: my eyebrows completely healed with just a bit of brow powder to fill. I love the shape compared to the straight shape I used to have!
Does it Hurt?
Although I can’t speak for other people’s experiences, Lynn definitely made my entire procedure very comfortable. Before she began microblading, she applied a numbing cream to both brows, which made the entire process extremely comfortable. There was a moment where the numbing cream began wearing off and I could feel a bit of stinging pain, but she reapplied the numbing cream and then I could no longer feel it. Aside from that very brief moment, the whole procedure was so calming that I almost fell asleep!
Men Can Get Microbladed Too
Contrary to popular belief, men are also suitable candidates for microblading! This doesn’t mean that you’ll have high arches like a woman’s – microblading is great for men who have bald spots or sparse areas on their brows. Just like how eyebrow waxing and threading is becoming a popular trend for male grooming, microblading is becoming extremely popular with males as well.
Cost Vs. Convenience
A lot of people wonder about the long-term worth of microblading when considering the price. It’s true that microblading isn’t as affordable as getting waxed or threaded, but it definitely offers long-term convenience for busy people as well as a semi-permanent solution for those with balding or severely sparse brows.
Microblading can cost anywhere between $300 – $800 depending on your area and whether or not you need touch-ups.
To make microblading more affordable for my fellow Southern California residents, Lynn of Luxury Beauty Studio has offered several deals for my readers!
All you have to do is mention my name Aileen or The Baller on a Budget and you can redeem:
- $50 off your microblading service
- $20 off microblading touch-ups
- $30 off a full set of lash extensions
- $20 off your next appointment if you refer a friend
To schedule your appointment, you can book online here.
What do you think about microblading? Will you be getting your brows done too? Let’s chat in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more beauty blogs!
This post was sponsored by Luxury Beauty Studio. Although sponsored, all opinions are my own.