As I mentioned a little while back, I finally got it together and asked Ashley to do my brows. They’re in process right now and once they are all done, you’ll totally be seeing before and after photos.
In the meantime though, I thought I’d share some photos of the process as well the answers to the questions I asked before I decided I was was comfortable letting someone TATTOO MY FACE. I trust Ashley implicitly, but I still had to do little bit of research before getting started. Because IT'S MY FACE. And it’s (semi) permanent.
Here are the questions I asked in advance as well as some things I learned along the way:
Tattoo guns are not involved.
At this point we probably all already know this, but for anybody who’s just researching this for the first time...yes, microblading is actually a tattoo, but all that means is that the skin is opened up and pigment is inserted. The microblading hand tool looks more like a pen than a tattoo gun - i.e. it’s a lot less scary.
Microblading is semi-permanent.
This isn’t the same as the daisy I had tattooed on my lower back when I was sixteen. And before you judge me for that…this was twenty years ago, before tattoos were mainstream and lower back tats were cliche. BTW I have the coolest mom ever for making that my 16th birthday present. Sorry! Back to brows...because microblading only penetrates the top layers of skin it will last for anywhere from 2-4 years, at which point I’ll have to go back for a touch up. I’m cool with that. I’d rather go back to re-up my brows than have them there forever and ever. I feel like I have more control that way.
Yes, the brows will be symmetrical.
This one really freaked me out. Again, because…FACE. But as soon as I saw that fancy eyebrow measuring tool, I relaxed. Height, length, distance from the center of my face, angle, everything was measured before any tattooing began, as well as during the microblading process.
From start to finish the first appointment took about two hours.
Here’s how it went:
She numbed me up and I looked like a wannabe Karate Kid.
We talked, she stared, she drew. I laid down and she went to work. Probably about 30 minutes per brow. And no, it didn’t hurt. The numbing cream is pretty awesome.
I’ll need a touch-up.
I go back under the needle next week, once my skin has healed completely and Ashley can see what needs to be adjusted. I’ve got plenty of "regular" tattoos, and I expected the healing process to be pretty similar to all of those. I was wrong. I think because microblading doesn’t penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin, it’s harder for the skin to retain the pigment. I mean, that’s why it’s only semi-permanent to begin with, right? Anyway, this is exactly why there’s a second appointment built into the service. A little bit of pigment loss is expected and the follow up will take care of that.
Aftercare is key.
There are quite a few pieces to the aftercare puzzle. The most difficult thing for me was sleeping. I’m a belly sleeper so adjusting my sleeping habits while my brows healed was exasperating. But I figured it out. The other components to aftercare were keeping my brows dry for a few days, keeping the skin moist, and not letting anything touch them.
Dry brows weren’t too difficult. I adjusted my showering routine and that took care of that. Keeping my animals away from my face was a little more challenging, but easy enough to manage. I had my liner touched up at the same time my brows were done, so my lids were a little bit sore. This made it easy to remember there was something going up there. We’ll see how well I avoid animal kisses to the face without the lids as a reminder.
Keeping my skin moist wasn’t difficult. However, I do think that I probably pressed too hard while applying my ointment and that may be why the pigment faded a little bit more than I expected. Oh well. That’s what the touch up appointment is for.
I just had to come to terms with looking a little silly for a few days.
The pigment oxidizes and becomes much darker than the end result will be. I had to keep ointment on my eyebrows so that the skin didn’t dry out. And I couldn’t wear eye make up.
Plus I’m special. And of course my eyebrows are too. And by special I mean challenging. While I wanted the shape of my brows to be improved, I am certainly not someone who needs additional hair strokes added in to make them appear thicker. In fact, if Ashley had ONLY used the microblading technique, there would be a very noticeable difference between my own brows and the tattoo.
So, I get a combination brow. She basically made a solid base to microblade over. The solid base is created using a technique called SofTap. Same process and aftercare as microblading but instead of inserting the pigment in lines to mimic hairstrokes, its inserted as lots of little dots, close together. It will create the illusion of thickness and then the hairstrokes go on top.
I share this with you for two reasons. One, because I’ve been using the term microblading, as that’s what we all think of when we think eyebrows. But I actually had SofTap done to me this time. I’ll be microbladed next time. And two because SofTap creates a much bolder brow to begin with, which leads me to this photo.
I had very dark, very defined, very shiny brows. I looked like one of those Angry Birds.
(But it only lasted a few days. Now the pigment really matches my natural brow color and the lines have softened a lot. Probably by about 50% if not more.)
I wish I had done it sooner!
Now that things have healed, and even though they aren’t complete yet, I love the look of these new brows. They make me feel prettier and more put together without having to do a thing. I can’t wait to show you guys the final product!