Microblading can transform your eyebrows and your face, but it does come at a cost. Find out everything you need to know, including some clever little tips to make the healing process a little easier…
What is Microblading?
Similar to the process of tattoos but on a semi-permanent basis. Microblading, unlike tattooing, does not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Tiny needles delicately scratch the surface of your eyebrows before pigments are deposited, creating the look of fine, natural hair strokes. If treatment and aftercare is carried out correctly, the color should last between 12-18 months.
3D combination with microblading is the best option for those with sparse eyebrows. Think of microblading as the hair strokes – they will look like fine lines. 3D (or shading) will fill in the gaps by placing the ‘pricks’ of the needles in between the hair strokes to provide a fuller-looking brow – lots of tiny little dots.
All of the great transformational photos of microbladed eyebrows you see are likely to have 3D or ‘shading’ in them.
How Much Does Microblading Cost?
The cost of microblading your eyebrows varies greatly depending on several factors such as location, type of treatment, and experience of the technician. A good technician will charge between $350 – $700 for a consultation, patch test, initial treatment, and touch-up appointment 6 weeks later.
If you want 3D or shading included then expect an extra $200 on top of that price.
How to Find a Great Microblading Technician
Perhaps the most important part of the whole process. If you rule out those that charge less than a competitor you may be kicking yourself about saving that extra $100 when you’re left with caterpillars on your face!
Spend a good amount of time researching – decent technicians will be promoting their work. Complete a search, narrow down your results and then have a look at their social media pages – Instagram is usually a great place for this.
Have a look at the comments section of the photos and satisfy yourself that the posts are genuine work and not repetitions of the same photos. Regular, natural-looking and consistent results are what I would look for.
Once you have found a technician who has proven their work you will need to give them an element of artistic license. They know what they doing and what can be achieved. They should be confident enough to challenge you if you ask for something ridiculous.
TIP: A great technician will not want to be associated with bad work and none of them will agree to give you jet black eyebrows if you don’t have jet black hair – even if you think that’s what you need!
Microblading Consultation Process
This should be a thorough discussion about what your issues are and the realistic expectations of what can be achieved. If you naturally have very differently shaped eyebrows they are unlikely to be corrected and matched perfectly.
If you are assured by the technician that they will then alarm bells should be ringing. The microblading process should follow the natural shape of your eyebrows – this is what can happen if your technician doesn’t follow their rules.
The technician should be able to identify how well you will take to the pigment by assessing your skin and will use this to determine the best color for your eyebrows. A patch test should be carried out to confirm that you are not allergic to any pigment.
You should be given a handout with all the details of what you need to do before you prepare for your first appointment. You can read all about the best microblading preparation requirements here.
First Microblading Appointment
Your technician will clean your eyebrows and surrounding areas and explain the upcoming process. They will start to draw the shape of your new eyebrows on your face using an instrument specifically made for this purpose.
This involves around 20 minutes of mapping using measurements to determine the length, thickness, position, and space between the eyes. The treatment should not take place until they have finished ‘your natural’ eyebrow shape.
Once done they will show you the outline of your new eyebrow. Do not be alarmed! This may look far thicker than you would expect because the outline is drawn on with a thick (usually white) pencil.
This is only to illustrate the shape. Let them reassure you of this. You will discuss whether you are happy with this look before proceeding.
Trust them when it comes to choosing the color. When I had mine done I was convinced the color was far too light – only after week 4 did I see the true result.
Once happy they will then place a topical anesthetic on your eyebrows and leave to work for around 25 minutes.
Does Microblading Your Eyebrows Hurt?
This depends on several factors including your tolerance levels. It shouldn’t be unbearable at all – if it is then either the technician is doing something wrong or the anesthetic was not effective.
Your eyebrows should feel numb and hard, the sensation should be nothing more than scratching, you can hear this more than feeling it.
If they are going too deep it is going to hurt, if they are not going deep enough then the pigment will not last. At this point, you are at the mercy of your technician – hence why it is so important to see examples of their work.
What Can You Expect Afterwards?
There will likely be some swelling and redness around the area of your eyebrows, some of this will be due to the repetitive rubbing and removal of pigment which can get messy.
If some of the pigment remains on your skin you may want to bring your own remover and concealer/makeup to touch up the areas around the eyebrows (just be careful not to get any on them!) Particularly useful if getting public transport home!
Your eyebrows will look substantially darker and more defined than what they will be in 2 weeks’ time – do not worry. You should be provided with aftercare instructions by your technician – this varies throughout the industry and I would go with your technician’s advice.
Both I and my technician were very happy with my healing process and results – you can see a detailed aftercare process here.
In brief – I used wet healing where ointment was applied once in the morning and once before bedtime, making sure they were never allowed to go dry.
Results After First Microblading Session
For the next 7-10 days after the procedure, you need to really look after your eyebrows (this was the most painful part for me).
It’s crucial that your eyebrows do not come off onto your pillow (especially on the first night) and if you struggle to sleep on your back like me then this is pretty impossible. However, this little tip was a lifesaver.
Your eyebrows must have a thin layer of ointment on them at all times to reduce flaking, itching and promote the healing process. Applied once in the morning and once before bed is normally fine.
TIP: Make sure you wash your hair just before your first session to avoid having to do this in the coming days after getting your new brows…
Microblading Healing Process
This will differ between each person and how well your skin takes in pigment and heals, but generally after 7 days the scabbing should have passed and open wounds fully healed.
After the first day, the eyebrows will be much darker than the initial session. Over the coming days whilst healing and scabs start falling off, you will believe that the pigment is disappearing – this is completely normal. The pigment will slowly return over the weeks.
6 Weeks After First Session
By this time you should see the final result of your first microblading session. The pigmentation will have appeared and your new eyebrows are now fully formed! Make sure to use oil-free sunscreen to prevent them from fading or changing color (sometimes they can turn slightly grey).
To keep them looking their best you may want to have yearly touch-ups although most people are still happy with them 24 months later. Touch-ups normally range between $100-$200 if completed within a year of the first treatment.
After this period, be prepared to pay full price again as re-mapping may be required due to excess loss in pigment and shape of the eyebrows.
The Downside to Microblading Eyebrows
The number one issue for me was making sure that I had a clear week in my diary without any business meetings – trying to get people to take you seriously with a face full of wet scabby brows was a slight concern!
The next was having a shower. I wash my hair every 2 days, so the fact I had to leave it for at least a week was a little daunting, although with this tip I managed to shower just fine without getting water on my eyebrows.
My eyebrows are still not perfect but for someone who is extremely fussy, this was always going to be near impossible to achieve. However, it’s easily fixed using brow powder to fill in areas that need a little enhancing – no big drama.
The Best Thing About Microblading Eyebrows?
Eyebrows Can Grow Back!
If you ever thought that over-plucking had ruined your eyebrows forever then you have been mistaken. I have seen new hairs sprouting that I would have ordinarily been tempted to remove but I can easily leave them alone, now that the surrounding areas have been filled in.
My natural eyebrows are much thicker and fuller and I can potentially see that microblading is not something I have to consider in the long term.
The biggest effect this has had on my confidence is when on holiday – without my makeup on I look drab, or at least I thought I did. What I have learned is that it was my sparse eyebrows that were the problem – now that they stay put I feel wonderful in the water!
So have the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) been worth it? Yes, for sure!
Check out some of our other posts on microblading to ensure you get the best results possible.