I started grooming my eyebrows when I was in the 5th grade and I have spent the last 15 years waxing, plucking, tweezing and threading them into submission. I have enhanced them with powders, pomades and waxes and have had them tinted (at the salon or at home with Just for Men). It only felt natural that, for the sake of beauty (and research), I try microblading. After lots of research, i.e., countless hours spent watching YouTube videos and stalking people’s Instagram pages, I reached out to Alexis Horton from Arched by Allie and set up an appointment.
What is microblading?
Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique used to create the illusion of fuller brows. Unlike traditional tattooing, microblading uses tiny, fine-point needles to deposit pigment into the skin to create delicate, realistic looking hair strokes. Because the needles only penetrate the superficial layers of your skin, the method is semi-permanent instead of permanent (like traditional cosmetic tattoos).
Who is microblading best for?
Microblading is a great option for anyone who is looking to enhance their brows in a natural way. Keep in mind that the results will differ for everyone. Allie told me that microblading tends to work best for people with drier skin, but if you have oily skin like I do, you can still have microblading done—you’ll likely just need to have yours touched up more often.
How long does microblading last?
I mentioned earlier that unlike traditional tattooing (cosmetic or otherwise) microblading is semi-permanent. About 6 weeks after your initial appointment, you’ll need to go back for a touch-up appointment. Depending on where you go, this may or may not be worked into the cost of the initial service. Then, microblading can last anywhere from 12 months to three years depending on a variety of factors, including your skin type and lifestyle. There are certain precautions you can take to extend the lifestyle of your news brows, including staying out of the sun (and if you are in the sun wearing sunscreen on your brows, or wearing a hat to protect those babies), and avoiding using skincare directly on your brows because the active ingredients will ruin the color.
Allie recommends having a touch up every year to keep your new brows looking fresh and fabulous. I know that this will be vital for me, since my face is like an oil slick and I’m so obsessed with my results that I don’t ever want to be without microbladed brows.
How much does it cost?
The price of microblading varies depending on where you live. I had mine done at Arched by Allie in Owosso, Michigan. Allie charges $300 for the initial session and $160 for follow up.
What’s the process like?
Step 1: Creating the shape
Before we ever got started, Allie and I talked extensively about what I wanted from microblading, how I currently fill my eyebrows in and the look I was hoping to achieve through microblading. Once we were ready to get started, Allie had me lay down in her chair and she used a number of different tools and gadgets to make sure that my eyebrows were going to frame my face perfectly. After she had mapped out the shape, she had me get up and check in the mirror to make sure that it was what I had in mind.
Step 2: Numbing the brows
After Allie mapped my brows out, she put a numbing agent on my brows to make sure that I was comfortable during the process. She put plastic wrap on the cream to help keep it place (and also because the heat from your body helps it work faster). She let the numbing cream sit on my brows for about 20 minutes and during that time I scrolled through Instagram and took a client call.
Step 4: Microblading the brows
For some reason I wasn’t worried about microblading hurting. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and am willing to tolerate a lot for the sake of beauty and spending less time getting ready in the morning. The process itself doesn’t hurt at all. I really can’t stress that enough. You can feel the needles dragging across your skin, but it doesn’t hurt. The strangest part for me was the fact that you can hear the needles scratching your skin, but after a while, I got used to it and didn’t notice it. Allie did two passes on both my brows, and kind of touched up a few placed with a third. After each round of strokes, she applied the pigment into the scratches, which is what you see in the photo above.
What’s aftercare like?
I have to admit that, aside from the fear of having my face tattooed, the aftercare process was the second largest deterrent to having my brows microbladed. I thought that the aftercare was going to be a gigantic pain in the ass. Turns out, it wasn’t! It was easy peasy lemon squeezy, even for someone a little lazy like myself.
Allie gave me everything that I needed to take care of my brows and was super accessible whenever I had any questions. I followed my aftercare for nearly two weeks after my microblading, even though you really only need to do it for a week. Every morning and night I would:
- Splash my eyebrows with cool water
- Apply the cleanser very gently in a dabbing motion, never any scrubbing.
- Splash them again with cool water to get the cleanser off
- Follow up with the tattoo ointment
I did have to alter my normal routine slightly during the healing process. For instance, I normally get in the shower every morning and let the water run on my face for a few minutes to help myself wake up. Since I couldn’t get my brows wet, I would wash my face at my sink before getting in the shower and then face away from the showerhead the entire time. It’s also super important that you don’t get any facewash/skincare/shampoo in your brows during the healing process (and even after if you want the best retention possible) so I always brought an extra washcloth in the shower with me to pat my brows dry and wipe away any shampoo that was getting suspiciously close.
What’s the healing process like?
Before we got started with the actual microblading process, Allie went over everything in very thorough detail with me, from the aftercare process to the healing process. She even had this really handy infographic that showed what I could expect in each phase of the healing process.
Stage 1: The first day your brows will look amazing, like everything you’ve ever dreamed out. You’ll want to take countless selfies and shout from the rooftops that you’ve made the best decision of your life by having your eyebrows microbladed.
Stage 2: The day after your appointment, you might notice that your eyebrows are getting darker. This continues for a few days (at least it did for me). I suppose if you’re really fair or not use to having dark, bold brows this might freak you out. I personally was super into it! I wouldn’t have been mad if they stayed that dark forever!
Stage 3: Within a few days of your initial appointment, typically between days 5-7, your eyebrows are going to start itching and flaking. This is entirely normal—it’s your body healing the scratches that were made from microblading. I would notice little brown flakes on my eyebrows and it was difficult, but I was SO proud of myself for leaving them alone. I did notice that some of the flakes would come off during my aftercare, but Allie said that was totally normal (because you know I asked, lol!).
Stage 4: After you’ve experienced the flaking, you’ll notice that your brows have kind of disappeared. Allie told me this would happen between days 8-10, but it actually wasn’t until probably 12-14 that I noticed it. I was just living my life, loving my brows and being pleasantly surprised that I was somehow immune to this phase when I woke up one morning and was like, WTF. My perfect brows are gone! Because Allie had explained to me in such great detail what I could expect, I knew it was normal but I was still so bummed. Because I was cleared to wear brow makeup again (you can’t the first 7 days), I went ahead and used a little brow pomade to bring those babies back to life.
Stage 5: After you’ve seen your amazing brows vanish before your eyes, rest assured that they DO come back. I noticed late last week that they are coming back and looking a little darker and I am so, so happy with them. They look natural and they frame my face perfectly. If I want to be a little bolder, I can fill them in slightly with a pencil or a pomade, but it takes two seconds and is definitely not necessary.
Stage 6: 4-6 weeks after your initial appointment, you’ll go back for a touch-up. During this appointment, Allie will go over the strokes she made at the first appointment, and you’ll leave with crisp, fresh brows. That’s the last appointment you’ll need for a year (or possibly longer). I have my follow up on Dec. 16 and I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.
I can’t say enough good things about Allie. She made me feel so comfortable, did such an excellent job of explaining things to me, and made me feel very included in the entire process. I cannot recommend her enough. If you’re in the Lansing area and interested in booking an appointment with her, you can reach out to her here or here.
If you’re interested in getting your eyebrows microbladed stop procrastinating and book an appointment with Allie ASAP!
Do you have any questions about microblading? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them! I also have a microblading highlight on my IG, if you’re interested.
Disclaimer: Allie microbladed my eyebrows free of charge. Everything included in my blog post is my own opinion and reflects my genuine experience.