Alright fam, let's talk my new favorite thing in the entire world.
What is it? Only the best beauty service I've ever had done and would do over and over again.
It's a semi-permanent tattoo. Now before you freak out, no it's not like those women who got tattooed bros done in their 30's and they've now turned into weird, blue blobs. A tattoo goes to the 3rd layer of your skin, making it permanent, while microblading goes to the second layer. And it is literally a blade.
Now this is a fairly new trend - most salons won't perform it and to get really good results, you'll want to go to a bigger city rather than your small down med spa. After tons of research, I went with Ritual Toronto and booked an appointment with Ursula. And I won't lie, getting closer to the appointment I thought, "Am I overeacting? I mean, yes, I fill in my brows daily, but they're fine right? I don't really need this..." But man oh man was I wrong and so happy I went through with it. Take a look at my before and after below.
So let's break it down a little more, because there's a lot to consider when you want to do microblading. Like...
Your minimum cost for microblading should be no less than $500. If you find a salon offering it for cheaper, RUN! For the expertise and training of your technician, not to mention your own comfort, $500 is a good base line. I paid $650 (Canadian dollars, so USD it was $526 before tax) and honestly, the cost is what held me up. Because let's be real - that's rent for a lot of people, including myself. But the second Ursula showed me my brows, I was obsessed (and still am!) and I knew I would do this procedure 100x over. This was, without a doubt, beyond worth it for me.
Let's talk pain. Llike any tattoo, it depends on your tolerance. You should receive a numbing cream to sit for at least 20 minutes as well as a numbing gel on top of that in case of additional discomfort. I mean let's talk honestly: you are allowing a complete stranger to slice your skin open and apply dye to those cuts. It's not gonna be a picnic. Now according to my technician, some people feel nothing at all. In fact, she told me she's had people fall asleep before, but I asked her to apply more numbing gels and you can certainly ask to take breaks if it's truly that uncomfortable for you. It's more that you can feel what's happening, that you're aware of the pressure, and the further out/towards the tail of your brow, the more sensitive it will be. I was also told to take a couple Tylenol an hour prior to my appointment (not ibuprofen as it's a blood thinner!)
That being said, the microblading itself only takes about 20 minutes. Which is shorter than a BBG workout, so come on guys we can handle it. However, your technician will likely book you for a 2-3 hour time slot. Once you arrive, you'll fill out waivers/paperwork and while the initial numbing cream sets, your technician will explain the procedure, your aftercare, and answer all of your questions. After that, he/she will choose the dye color and then work with you to outline your brow shape. I didn't even realize how bad my brows were until I saw the lack of shape of my before pictures, y'all, and I'm so glad Ursula helped me pick a natural shape and color for my brows.
This is something that, for whatever reason, I didn't really think about. In retrospect, I'm happy I did my appointment 3 weeks before I left for Iceland, because honestly the healing process ain't pretty. I knew the color of my brows would darken over the first few days, but I didn't expect the flaking skin and, at one point, almost puss like scabs under my brows. But thinking about it, obviously this was bound to happen? I mean, I cut into my skin, of course it's going to scab over to heal. Duh. It wasn't very noticeable unless you were right in my face, but I obsessed in the mirror for almost 10 days hoping it would heal sooner than later and worrying that my new brows were going to fall off (which, of course, they didn't.)
5. After Care
Your aftercare may differ from someone else's - I was told to apply coconut oil 2-3x a day for the first week and to not wash my face (or to avoid above and around my brows) for the first three days. However, a week into the healing when my scabs looked almost infected, I switched from coconut oil to polysporin (an antibiotic cream) and the healing went much, much faster and smoother. To me, the coconut oil doesn't make much sense, because it's a sealant and doesn't absorb into your skin. Plus, it blocks your pores (note to all my coconut oil fanatics out there - do not put it on your face please.) So in after care, you'll probably find as many varying opinions as tattoo after care. Listen to your technician, but most importantly do what's best for your skin and express any concerns you may have before hand. And don't hesitate to call or go into your salon if you have any issues! And if you're about to go on a beach or sunny vacation, get your brows done after you get home, as sun exposure post microblading can cause your brows to fade faster or not heal properly.
Your touchup should be included in initial the price of your treatment, though I've seen where some salons charge separately so make sure you inquire about this prior to booking. The touch up should be schedule a minimum of 6 weeks and maximum of 12 weeks post microblading, any later than 12 weeks and my technician told be it would be basically like starting over on your brows. This appointment is to go back over any spots that might not have healed properly or need a little extra TLC, and because it's more of a spot treatment, your won't have the go through the same process of healing as before.
Brows 5 weeks post initial appointment
You can see in my arch where I need a touchup in a couple of weeks! Will update with photos once that happens
This is something that is entirely up to you and your body! Younger skin can expect about a year of results since your skin heals and regenerates faster. More mature skin can expect that maximum time, which is two years. That being said, it's important to take care of your brows. They are an investment and you get as much out of it as your put in, and for such an expensive cost, you better want to care for them. I asked my technician and she said it was perfectly okay to use LUSH's Elbow Grease on my brows after the 10 days they healing time. Elbow Grease is advertised to keep your faded tattoos bright and looking like new, and I have noticed that if used consistently, they bring more life to my brows (though of course mine haven't really faded much in the one month time since I've gotten them done.) Your aftercare if very important, and remember to keep your brows out of direct sunlight and follow your technician's instructions, and you truly will get the most out of your brows. It's also important that getting touchups throughout the year won't make your brows last longer - instead it will make your skin more prone to infection from constantly cutting into it. So steer away from any salons that recommend frequent touchups. Once a year is just long enough to save up for the next year!
8. Final thoughts
I've said it before and I will say it again (and again and again): I am obsessed with my brows and I couldn't be happier every time I look at them in the mirror! I am shocked looking at my before brows, like how did I even walk around like that? (I'll tell ya how - lots of brow pomade!)