Buckle up, this is going to be a long post. But, I have been thinking a lot about my experience and have waited a long time to share my thoughts. I wanted to make sure I could be thorough and objective on how I felt about my microblading journey. I want to also let you know that I will not be sharing any business names. I personally do not like posting negative reviews about businesses or specific people. I want to write about two very different experiences; one negative and one positive. Again, no business names will be mentioned in this post.
The Background of My Brows
My brow story starts in 2011. This was a time before makeup tutorials on you tube. There were not Instagram stars and we basically had to learn about makeup on our own. I always really enjoyed makeup but at this particular point in my life I had just finished graduate school and moved in with John in Virginia while he completed medical school. I simply did not have extra money to spend on makeup. I would get essentials like mascara at the drug store but was never able to go get high-end or trendy pieces at makeup stores. And, even if I had the money to buy makeup, I would have had absolutely no idea how to use it. Again, this was before online tutorials. But, I wasn’t alone. When I look at old pictures of my friends, we all had very sparse, non-filled in eyebrows. Which is actually pretty funny considering how brow obsessed we all are.
In 2012, John surprised me with a getaway to North Carolina. This was a fun, 2-hour trip that allowed us to get out of town, eat at some chain restaurants like PF Changs, and window shop. I loved this “big city” feel and was so excited to escape for a bit. While we were shopping I passed by the Benefit Brow Bar at Macys. I thought I would treat myself to my very first brow shaping. THIS CHANGED MY LIFE! The brow specialist used a cool formula to ensure I had the brow shape for my face. She also used a cool product that would help those any stray hairs stay in place. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she handed me the mirror. I looked great! I had never had a brow arch before and I loved it. Previously, me and my dad had twin eyebrows that resembled a straight line. My dad can pull it off, but not me. The brow tech at Benefit gave me step by step instructions so I could recreate this brow magic at home. I listened so incredibly carefully. I needed to know more and I could not wait to try. Although, I could never make it look quite as good as she did, it was still a vast improvement. Even my mom and sister asked about my brows. One time, we were going out to a concert and they let me do their makeup. I was so excited to get my hands on their brows. I showed them the new products from benefit and the three of us trekked to Benefit to buy some for them!
History and Hacks
So, this was 2012- the beginning of brow popularity. Since then, the science and formula of brow products has improved greatly. There are many more brow products on the market and they are produced much better. There has also been a shift on how people take care of brows. Previously, women seemed to over pluck. Now, most people know that tweezing too much can damage your brow growth. Just the other day, I posted a picture of myself from several years ago. No joke, many people wondered if I had plastic surgery on my nose. No, I promise, I did not! Also, many people noticed how much better my brows look now. They wondered if I microbladed. And, YES, I do and it has changed my life. Someone even asked if I had my brows lifted, and no, I haven’t but I understand what she meant. Microwblading has given my brows a great arch and allowed more room for eyeshadow. They do look lifted. PS I did some research into brow lifts and wow, it is sounds pretty serious. But, I also realized that I use many tips and tricks to give the illusion of a brow lift. That little space between by brows and lids is very important and I want to magnify it the best way I can. Anyway, I finally got rid of my super straight brow line and finally had the arch I had dreamed of since that experience at the Benefit Bar.
If you are not wanting to microblade, you can achieve the look of a brow lift by using a product to brighten the area under your brow. This and this are great products that I absolutely love. Benefit also makes a great product called Highlight and Lift Brow Pencil. Does this make sense? If you feel lost and need tutorials, let me know. I can add some in my Instagram stories. I totally understand how confusing this can sound in print. But, in real life, it is totally simple and easy to do. The bottom line is you want to use a type of contouring method to make certain areas darker and some areas lighter. This will give the illusion of a lifted brow and you will be so happy with the results.
About 5 years ago I discovered ABH. They have amazing products and tutorials that I have absolutely learned to love. In fact, I used to be obsessed with their brow stencils. These will help you clearly see where you should never pluck and where you need to encourage growth. It will help you also determine where to use product on your brows. If you are just learning about brows, this as a great cheat.
Why are Brows So Important?
I want you to know this is only my opinion. But, I have used my research and knowledge of brows to help many of my close friends and family members. And they are all shocked at how much their face changes when they have good brows. Also, you are probably interested in changing your brows if you are reading this post.
Brows are so important because they frame your face. Like I said earlier, we all probably went through a stage where we were too strong with the tweezers. And sometimes, those poor plucked hairs will never grow back. My mom never allowed me to pluck too much. I am eternally grateful to her for that. She knew I had the tendency to go a little bit crazy with the tweezers. There is actually a good formula that is used to find out where exactly your eyebrows should be on your face. Please see this post if you want step by step instruction on how to get the best shape for your face. A good set of brows has the ability to make your eyes look bigger and more dramatic. Brows can also make your face look more symmetrical. And of course, brows will make your whole look more striking and memorable. I love helping my mom and sister with their brows. They have naturally lighter brows and do not ever fill them in. When we were going out one night, I used my magic to enhance the arch and fill in the tail of the brow. They were shocked at what a difference made. And the best part is, this takes less than 20 seconds.
You want to make sure your eyebrows are not flat. A flat eyebrow can actually make the face appear shorter. This is usually not flattering for anyone. Only long faces can get away with a flatter eyebrow, and even then, it is difficult to pull off. By shaping your brows in the correct way, it can hide any imperfections you do not like on your face. For instance, if you do not love your nose, or whatever it is, a good brow will highlight the eyes and draw attention away from the part you are not happy with. Whenever I am lazy and don’t do my brows for a while, people always comment about how different I look. And when I do take the time to do my eyebrows, I am always amazed at how many questions and compliments I get. It is definitely worth the time.
My Experience with Microblading
So, I guess I never thought I needed microblading. After all, I have pretty thick brows and learned some great techniques to take care of them and enhance them. But, in 2015 microblading became hot in Los Angeles among celebrities. And I am not one to shy away from a trend. But, microblading was basically non-existent everywhere else. In fact, hardly anyone was even trained to perform the procedure. I became especially interested when my brow waxer told me to try botox in my forehead. She promised that the botox would create a better brow arch. I was terrified. I had heard so many horror stories about how botox ruined people’s faces. But, luckily mine turned out great. I loved the way the botox made my brows sit. I no longer had to draw on an arch. Unfortunately, this only lasted 6 weeks. Then, it was back to my regular brows. I was so mad! I had paid a bunch of money for the botox that only lasted a mere 6 weeks? I spoke to so many people to see if this had happened to them. The conclusion I came up with is that my body goes through botox too fast. Botox lasts 6 months on some people, but not for me. Apparently my body can metabolize botox at record speed. I decided I could not spend that kind of money on something so temporary. At the time, John and I were trying to get pregnant with our first and I knew I probably shouldn’t be using botox anyway. In fact, I knew that botox wouldn’t be good until I was done being pregnant and nursing. This lasted over 2 years of my life! I kind of forgot about it until I saw someone’s Instagram stories from LA. She had just done microblading and her before and afters were amazing. Her arch was enviable. I was intrigued by the idea of not having to work every day for perfect brows.
During the summer, I did a lot of research on microblading. I found a girl in Dallas who had been recommended time and time again due to her skills with brows. Just a reminder, this is the negative experience so I will not be disclosing her name. I was told that she did all the celebrities brows and that it would be basically impossible for me to get an appointment with her. I called the salon and was able to be put on the cancellation list. John and I lived very close and told them that if they had anything last minute, I could be there in not time. I felt so lucky because I got in within two weeks. John was sweet and took me there. I was so nervous! And the brow stylist didn’t help, she was not warm or comforting at all. I tried to act cool and explain what I wanted, she didn’t seem too interested and I wonder if she was even listening to me. Immediately she started the process by numbing my skin with a needle. I cannot remember the name of this process but I can tell you that it hurt. And, it was weird, I never got fully numb. Maybe she did it too fast? But, bottom line, I felt every single stroke. And it was incredibly painful. The brow stylist was done in record time and I could not wait to get out of there. It was so traumatic that I refused to go in for a touch up, one that I had already paid for. My brows looked fine. They just weren’t what I wanted. I was disappointed to say the least. Maybe she was having an off day, or maybe she and I just didn’t jive. Whatever the reason, it just was not the best experience. It’s funny, I still hear about how amazing she is and because of this I really do not want to put her name on this post.
The week after the procedure my brows seemed especially dark and scabby. This, I was told, is normal. I took great care to follow all instructions but my brows did not turn out the way I had hoped. I did not love the way they looked and I was totally disappointed. In fact, I am pretty sure the brow stylist used the complete wrong color on me. My new brows did not match my old ones. If you look at some of the pictures below you will see what I mean.
Naturally, I no longer believed in microblading. I had no interest in trying it a second time. Some of my friends had it done and I could not understand how they said it did not hurt too badly.
2 Years Later
So, I have a friend in Tulsa that was my hairstylist. She loves brows and told me she recently got her brows microbladed in Dallas. They were a showstopper. I loved them so much. She also was telling me about how she has recently been trained in microblading and began showing me some before and after photos. I could not believe how good she was. I was thrilled that someone who lived close had such an amazing talent. I confided in her about how awful my experience was. She told me to come on in and she would fix them. She did not understand what the previous girl had done to make it so painful. I decided to give her a chance and I am not kidding, it didn’t hurt at all. I was still nervous as she handed me the mirror. I could not believe my eyes, I finally had the brows I had always wanted. She was incredible. She told me how to maintain my brows and where I could tweeze. She used both shading and stokes to complete my look. While I could feel her do the shading, it wasn’t even comparable to my previous experience. So, the bottom line is you need to make sure you do your research. You need to find a brow stylist who you trust and who is willing to listen to you.
And, I never had to deal with scabby, red brows. They looked great from the first day and have maintained their color. She recommended I come back in for a 5-week touchup. And, I have been so happy with them since then. I will be posting some pictures at the end of the post that will show my brows before I microbladed, my brows with product on them, and my recent after microblading pictures. Make sure you look at these photos because if you do not want to do microblading due to the cost or the fact that it seems very permanent, you will see how good your brows can look by just using some good product like a nice brow pomade and a pencil.
This photo was taken in May of 2018. This is a great example of me just using product to fill in my brows. I explain this more fully in the beginning of this post. It is an easy option.
This photo was taken in June of 2018. This is prior to having my eyebrows microbladed. If you look closely, you can see some of the red streaks I mentioned earlier from that horrible experience I had in Dallas. I also allowed my brows to grow out and become crazy so they could be shaped better. This is a good tip if you are looking to microblade.
This photo shows my brows after they were microbladed in Tulsa. Don’t’ they look natural? I also think that my face looks lifted. This is because she was able to get rid of some hair under my arch that made my eyebrows feel lower. I also magically had room for eyeshadow under my brows!
This photo is after my 5-week touchup. My brow stylist did not have to do too much but she did try to make them a bit darker and definitely enhanced their shape. I made sure to use very dramatic lighting so you would be able to clearly see my brows in all of their glory.
This is a photo I took after my first brow appointment from this June. It shows what my brows look like with absolutely no product or makeup on. As you can see, on a normal day I really don’t need to do much to them.
I cannot say it enough, I love my eyebrows after they have been microbladed. I do still use a bit of product on them when I wear foundation or am looking for a more defined look. It is good to note that foundation can sometimes cover up the stroking and so filling them in may be necessary. I use this product. I also have lash extensions. Together, the last extensions and the microblading make it so I rarely wear any makeup. I do however, use makeup on days where I am photographed or have events. I want to make it clear that I still love makeup but, when I am at home, being a mom, I rarely need to.
As I have mentioned a few times, if you are too nervous to microblade, or the cost is too great, or if you are simply not interested, try filling in your brows. It will make loads of difference.