What is it?
A form of semi-permanent makeup that allows you to create perfectly groomed, filled in brows that last for 12-18 months, using hand etched strokes designed to mimic real hairs. Less aggressive and ‘drawn on’ than the notion of permanent makeup might suggest, microblading is often referred to as ‘eyebrow embroidery’ so the effect is much more natural with more of a bespoke, feathered finish. We spoke to microblading expert technician Suman Jalaf (who, having studied fine art, graphic design and makeup artistry is better qualified than anyone we can think of for such a career), on how it works and what to expect…
Before any colour can go on your technician will take a picture of your natural brows to understand what’s best for your face. Next, your brows will be threaded to tidy up any stray hairs, before being marked up using a crayon. “I know what’s needed just by looking at a client’s brows,” says Suman. “I take a different artistic approach to all my clients and have to match the individual strokes I make, to the brows and the face I’m working on. So it really is a totally bespoke experience. Most people need filling in around the start of the brow and the tail, where thinning is most common, but I always look at the entire brow.” Once the shape is set it’s on with a topical numbing cream, which will stay on for around 45 minutes and should minimise the pain considerably. “I can’t work without numbing cream,” says Suman. “It would be too painful for the clients which means I wouldn’t be able to get the precision right.”
To choose the right shade of ink for you, you’ll probably have a few options swatched on the back of your hand. “If you’re not sure, go for lighter option,” she advises. “You can always go for the darker one when it comes to your top-up, around 8-9 weeks later.” If you’re a little taken aback by the strength of the colour straight after, don’t worry. “Expect around a 40% fade in intensity after about a week” says Suman. “It’s usually at the top-up appointment when brows get perfected because we can tweak everything accordingly.”
Applying the Ink
Finally it’s the microblading itself, which consists of lots of small cuts being made on the skin underneath the hairs using 12-14ml blades. Ink is then implanted inside and smoothed on top. Thanks to the numbing cream the procedure itself is mildly uncomfortable as opposed to painful, but watch out for the scratching noise, which can sound a little gruesome: “I usually advise clients to bring headphones and play music while they’re having it done, to block out the noise.” You might find you bleed during the procedure, that’s totally normal, and if you find your left side more painful than the right – there’s a reason: “The left side is where the heart is and where blood is pumped around body from. It can make it more uncomfortable for people and it can bleed more,” says Suman. Once the ink has been on for around five minutes, it’s wiped off and a silicone gel sealant is smoothed on over the top to stop any germs getting into your freshly filled-in brows.
- Don’t get brows wet for 24 hours afterwards
- For the next week use normal soapy water or a pH balanced cleanser to wash your face to get off any debris that collects. Don’t worry, it won’t get rid of the pigment
- To avoid irritation pat your brows dry, don’t drag them
- No tanning, swimming in chlorine or sweating in gym for a week afterwards
- Expect a little bit of flakiness or itchiness while your brows are healing. To soothe, apply pure coconut or rapeseed oil on to brows as many times as required
Not ready to take the plunge yet? Here’s the brow booty you need to fake your way to immaculate arches without going under the knife…