Everything You Need To Know About Microblading

Remember the '90s when pencil-thin eyebrows were really in? Some of us are still recovering from the trauma of overplucking our brows. Now, the trend is fuller, thicker eyebrows, and we have Cara Delevingne to thank for that. In fact, they may also make you more desirable. A study conducted at Oakland University in Michigan revealed that women with thicker brows were considered more attractive by men (via The Sun U.K.). Dr. Lisa Welling, the senior author of the study, added that it could mean that fuller brows mean you pay attention to "more grooming." There are many benefits of properly groomed brows as they can make your eyes look bigger with a little arch and can totally frame your face.

While some people are born with full eyebrows, others depend on eyebrow products to give the illusion of thicker brows. Shaping and filling in your brows is an art form in its own way, and some people are amazing at it, while others can struggle a bit. Thankfully, if you don't want to spend time every morning doing your brows, you can try microblading. According to Medical News Today, microblading is incredibly popular and is when you literally use semi-permanent ink to draw tiny, natural-looking hair-like structures to make them look fuller. Microblading can save you all the time you would spend on your brows. They always look perfectly done, but before you consider getting it, there are some things you need to know.

What is microblading?

You will undoubtedly notice a difference between day and night when your eyebrows are microbladed, but it's vital to consider certain factors before going under the needle. In fact, microblading expert Suman Jalaf of SumanBrows Beauty Atelier told Elle, "Microblading is a type of eyebrow architecture. It is all about creating the best shape for each face — a totally bespoke approach for each client." It differs from tattooing your eyebrows because the ink stays on the skin's surface rather than going deep into it.

Cosmetic tattooing like permanent eyeliner and lip bushing are having a moment in the beauty world as they save you tons of time getting ready in the AM as you wake up looking perfect, and microblading is the most popular of them all. The eyebrow artist uses a fine needle to add pigments in the form of "natural looking eyebrow hairs" under the top layer of your skin to give the illusion of thicker brows per Allure. Brow artist and licensed esthetician Dana Pellegrino told the outlet, "The microblade tool has very fine needles. You would use this tool along with implanting the ink to create each hair stroke." Microblading is not the same as ombré brow shading or brow lamination, however.

Who should get microblading?

Microblading is a great way to get beautiful brows where the ink mimics natural and realistic-looking hairs, so it'll look like you were born with them. It's not just for those who don't have full brows, either. In fact, those with thicker brows can try it to shape and accentuate their natural brow shape. According to Cosmopolitan, you need to consider your skin type more than your brows before getting it done. Those with very sensitive or oily skin, are prone to acne and breakouts, or those with keratosis pilaris should probably avoid it.

 Using needles and ink on your skin will inevitably cause some inflammation, which might not be the best idea for those with reactive skin. "I try to warn patients against microblading if they have sensitive skin, or if they're prone to allergies with other types of topicals," dermatologist Tracy Evans, M.D., told Cosmopolitan, warning that they might get potential "itchy, scaly, cracked rash." Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid this procedure.

Ultimately, if having perfect eyebrows is essential to you and you spend time filling them in every morning, you might be the right candidate to invest in this procedure. Furthermore, Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban told Allure, "I think it is an ideal treatment for restoration of the eyebrows," recommending getting them done at your dermatologist's office as they can address any complications immediately.

How to get ready for microblading, and what to expect?

Microblading can be done on almost all skin types and tones and traditionally lasts between one and three years. Cosmetic tattoo specialist Piret Aava recommends going back for a touch-up four weeks after your initial appointment to check if you like it once it has had time to heal, per Cosmopolitan. Then, you can wait up to a year for another appointment. However, you must pay attention to a few things before your appointment. According to Chronic Ink, you should avoid shaping or tweezing your eyebrows for a week before your appointment and even refrain from drinking any alcohol or caffeine for the day before to avoid extra skin sensitivity. Chronic Ink also recommends not taking ibuprofen or other pain relievers because they thin your blood, which you don't want before a procedure.

On the day of your appointment, expect a little pain since needles are involved, but before you worry too much, they will use a numbing ointment around the eyebrows to alleviate the pain, though this may take about half an hour to kick in. About 30 minutes after the ointment has been applied, the artist will start creating the right brow shape after considering your face and symmetry. If it hurts too much, they can always apply a little extra numbing cream to make the process as painless and smooth as possible. The total time it takes to get it done can depend on the individual and their pain resistance.

Potential side effects and aftercare for microblading

Since you use a needle in the procedure, there are always risks involved with the possibility of infection if you do not follow proper aftercare. Read the reviews online, ask around, and only go to a certified microblading artist or a dermatologist. Board-certified dermatologist Adriana Lombardi told Allure, "Anytime the skin barrier is disrupted during a procedure there is a risk of bacteria entering and causing an infection." Therefore, only go to a "reputable office" that prioritizes cleanliness and uses single-use tools to keep yourself safe and protected from infections and complications.

According to Medical News Today, microblading causes small tears on your skin that can make you more susceptible to infectious diseases like bacterial skin infections or even HIV. It's essential only to use clean, disinfected, and sterilized needles. Once it's done, aftercare is equally important, and Medical News Today recommends not getting your eyebrows wet for seven to 10 days, using an antibacterial wash to gently and quickly wash the area, avoiding makeup and sunlight when it's healing, and not picking on it as it might become irritated. Once done, it's your responsibility to ensure the area heals properly, so don't neglect proper aftercare.

The cost of microblading

The price of perfect, natural-looking brows isn't cheap. Allure estimates the cost of microblading to be anywhere between $600 to $1,000. Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan offers a more comprehensive range between $500 to $2,000, but, as always, it can all depend on the experience and popularity of the artist, as well as your location. You'll have to do your research to find a good place within your budget.

According to PMUHub, the average cost of initial microblading appointments in the U.S. is $597. However, the outlet notes that it can range anywhere between $250 and $2,000 depending on many factors, including where your professional got trained. Generally, the touch-up is about $100 cheaper than the initial appointment, so you can rest a little easier knowing that the high cost for the initial appointment won't remain as high for subsequent visits.

Ultimately, microblading is fairly safe, and even though it can be expensive, it's a great solution for fuller brows for those who can afford it. With so many beauty scams around, it's simply good to know that microblading is legitimate.