By Lydia House
We get it. If you'd asked us a few years back about having our eyebrows microbladed, and semi-permanent makeup on our face, our reply would have been a stern no. But things have changed.
Even the best tweezers and the best eyebrow pencils can't create such effortless, lasting eyebrows. And since the late '70s, when it was first invented, the technique of microblading your brows has come a long way. Artistry skills have improved, and the effects are now unbelievably natural.
Along with eyebrow lamination and eyebrow tinting eyebrow microblading has become so mainstream that you probably know at least one or two people that have had it done, and you wouldn't even guess it. Even Helen Mirren admits she loved having it done, telling the Daily Mail, "They're very lightly and delicately done – but it means that when I get up in the morning, and I have no makeup on, at least I have eyebrows. It's made a huge difference."
Whether you've overplucked your arches or the strands in your brows have started to deplete, creating a few fine lines to fill in the gaps can make a world of difference to your face.
And who wouldn't want to skip the faff of having to draw your brows on delicately each day?
But, as with every major beauty treatment that you try, it's important to find out the facts before you book in. So, we've done the legwork for you.
Is microblading permanent?
No. Even if you visit the best place for microblading, the effect will only ever be temporary, and if you're feeling unsure, you'll probably be happy to hear that that's the case.
How long does microblading last?
This depends on your skin type – if you have an oiler complexion, then the effects will fade a little more quickly, lasting around 12 months. Those with standard skin types can expect microblading to last up to 18 months.
Is microblading a tattoo?
Kind of. Technically speaking, microblading is classified as semi-permanent make-up. The tool used in the treatment can create thinner and more precise strokes than a regular tattoo gun. Microblading also doesn't penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin, and instead uses extremely fine needles that gently scratch the surface. The effect left on the skin is a lot softer than traditional tattoo artistry, which is why it's so hard to tell if someone has had it done.
Does microblading hurt?
After your patch test and the discussion of eyebrow shapes and shades, every microblading treatment should start with the application of numbing cream. This should stay on for approximately 40 minutes and will help to alleviate any pain or discomfort. You should expect to feel a small scratching sensation, but this is more a feeling of being uncomfortable than actual pain.
"It's usually dependant on one's threshold", says brow expert Suman Jalaf of Suman Brows. She adds, "Don't do the procedure if you're PMSing on the day but honestly most of my clients say it's the sound of the microblading scratching that they don't like, rather than reporting any pain. I can understand this, so I say to bring headphones so you can listen to your music while I work. If you're worried, you can take paracetamol (and no other pain relief) 20 minutes before your treatment."
Is microblading safe?
It's completely natural to worry about something going wrong; it is your face after all. The procedure of microblading is generally straightforward; however, as with most beauty treatments, there are always risks involved.
You must have a patch test before your treatment to check for skin reactions and allergies, and your technician will organise this.
The skin around the eyes and brows is susceptible and prone to irritation, so it's essential to choose a reputable artist and make sure they are working in a professional and sterile environment. Always check their training and that they have a licence to practice.
Who is microblading for?
Suman says, "Microblading isn't only reserved for thin, sparse brows. Even if you've been blessed with naturally full arches, microblading can enhance what's already there. But the results are especially remarkable on those with thin brows, and can be nearly life-changing for people who suffer from alopecia or who have had chemotherapy."
Who should avoid microblading?
It may not be a good idea if you have sensitive skin. Suman says, "I'm afraid it's not for you if you suffer from a condition like rosacea, eczema, shingles or rashes. You shouldn't have microblading if you're taking blood thinners or Roaccutane, or if you're having chemotherapy.
"It's also not suitable if you have diabetes, or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding."
What is the aftercare advice for microblading?
You will be given strict yet straightforward guidelines to follow, like not getting your brows wet for 24 hours after the procedure. And no tanning, swimming or sweating for a week – a great excuse to skip the gym.
It is normal to experience a bit of flakiness when your brows are healing, and using a small amount of natural coconut oil is excellent for soothing itchy skin.
How often do you need to have microblading done?
Top-ups are usually somewhere between three and six months apart.
What you need to do before having microblading?
Try and avoid taking fish oil supplements, vitamin E and ibuprofen, as they can thin the blood and increase bleeding, bruising and scarring.
It's also a good idea to avoid alcohol and caffeine. And put the tweezers away, as it's much better for your technician to do that on the day rather than creating sensitivity a few days before.
What is microshading?
Many technicians use a combination of brow techniques to create different looks and shapes. One of the most popular methods used alongside microblading is microshading. Microshading uses a machine to pinpoint colour and create a powdery-like finish. To achieve a natural finish, it is common for microblading to be done on the beginning to middle of the brows to create feathered strokes and microshading on the tails of the brow, where you might want a fuller-looking effect.
Martha Stewart launches a brand-new home website with furniture, recipes, and even CBD
We take a look at the items on Martha Stewart's new home site
By Danielle Valente •
A Million Little Things season 4 will be 20 episodes long
A Million Little Things is getting a fourth season and this one will be the longest yet
By Rylee Johnston •
Glossy lips are back! This is how to get grown-up gloss right
The glossy lips trend has been revived—here's our guide to going glossy without the stick
By Emma North •
Transitioning to grey hair: how to make it as seamless as possible
Are you ready to ditch the dye and begin transitioning to grey hair for good?
By Sarah Cooper-White •
Superdrug’s Bloom perfume smells surprisingly similar to Jo Malone’s hero scent (and could save you £49)
Superdrug’s Bloom range takes inspiration from Jo Malone’s classic scents—but at much lower prices
By Amy Hunt •
This Chanel No 5 dupe perfume comes with rave reviews and will save you up to £90
Save money and smell good with this Chanel No 5 dupe
By Aleesha Badkar •
The Serpent beauty—how to copy Jenna Coleman’s 70s hair and make-up
From the kohl liner to the fringe, there's little about Jenna Coleman's 70s style that we wouldn't want to recreate
By Fiona Embleton •
Kelly Clarkson wants us to celebrate and embrace our natural beauty
During a podcast appearance, Kelly Clarkson admitted that she's scared of Botox and would rather age naturally
By Rylee Johnston •
Save your hair from wind and rain with these easy tips
Don't let the weather get in the way of a good hair day
By vjowett •
Dewy makeup—how to nail glowing, juicy skin without looking shiny
Great dewy makeup is fresh and youthful, here's how to get it right
By Fiona McKim •