The indispensible tips you need to know before microblading your brows

Tempted by the lasting brow treatment? Here's everything you need to know, pre-appointment...

A close up of someone getting their eyebrows microbladed, with the brow artist wearing purple gloved and holding the microblading tool above the clients brow/ in a pink and pastel pink watercolour-style template
(Image credit: Getty Images/microgen)

Wish you could skip the 10+ minutes you spend every day shading, brushing and lining your brows? Microblading offers a semi-permanent solution, but there are a few things to note before booking in...

We've all been there: spending all morning contorting your hand into different positions to get the perfect angle, in a bid to disapprove the old standby of 'eyebrows are sisters, not twins' with your best eyebrow pencils - only to fill one in heavier than the other, or absent-mindedly rub your face moments later. Too many times have we had to start our brow routine from scratch but now, with 'permanent makeup' options like eyebrow microblading, we can kiss those qualms goodbye - well, sort of.

While the treatment will allow you to wake up with perfectly visible and sculpted brows, there are a few things to know before you commit - a few of which woman&home's Lifestyle Editor, Tamara Kelly wishes someone had told her...

What to know before microblading, per a Lifestyle Editor

Before we dive in, let's first break down what microblading actually is, for the uninitiated. Karen Betts, permanent make-up artist, founder of Nouveau HD Beauty Group and owner of Karen Betts Clinics, explains that microblading is a form of permanent makeup - in other words, a tattoo - that can offer you a bolder, more even eyebrow shape.

It sits in the dermis of the skin and is performed with a hand tool with, "tiny blades made up of a grouping of pins. Depending on how the pins are grouped together, we can create hair strokes or shading, or a combination of the two, depending on what look the client is trying to create."

As for the difference between microblading and a normal illustrative tattoo, Betts says it comes down to the technique and ink used: "Unlike traditional tattoos, which use a tattoo gun, microblading uses a blade-shaped tool with a row of tiny, barely visible needles to create hair-like strokes along your brows while depositing pigment into your skin."

As mentioned, our own Lifestyle Editor, Tamara decided to bite the bullet and opt for the permanent brow solution and while she loves the results, she has cited four key things she wishes she'd known before going under the 'blade-shaped tool'...

1. You will have black shiny eyebrows for weeks after

Like with many beauty treatments and 'tweakments,' the results you leave the salon with aren't always the final finish. This is also the case with microblading, the initial look of which is a tad dramatic for the first few weeks.

"Due to the healing process, your eyebrows scab over but you are not allowed to remove the scabs in case you remove the ink underneath - much like any other tattoo," says Tamara: "So instead you are advised to coat the brow in a vaseline-like solution to create a protective barrier."

Because the tint is significantly darker in the initial healing period, it does look almost black. "Add the gel and you're left with scary black shiny eyebrows that you have to apologise for everywhere you go," Tamara quips, "So don't make significant plans in the weeks following, unless you're happy to sit out the group photos."

2. They can change colour as the dye fades

Another thing to keep in mind is that the dye can fade over time, Tamara says: "I remember at one point my friend's young daughter asking why I had 'pink eyebrows' not a look I was going for.

This was a year or so into having the treatment and the pigment had changed in temperature." She advises asking your brow artist about why this happens and what you can do to try and avoid it.

3. You still have to keep up maintenance

If you're under the impression that it's a one-and-done type treatment, that leaves you with long-lasting, perfected brows, alas it's not quite so straightforward - thanks to your natural strands beneath.

"Because your existing eyebrows are still growing through fair and out of shape you do still need to have them regularly threaded or waxed and dyed so they don't stand out and ruin the look of the perfect micro-bladed brow," notes Tamara.

4. Eventually you might need removal

"It's been over 5 years since I had mine done and I'm desperate to have them done again," says Tamara, adding: "I've found an 'artist' who creates the most feathery light, natural-looking brows I've ever seen but sadly I can't book her until I have my faded previous microblading removed.

"The definition has all but faded (like how tattoos age and then soften in appearance. The colour has dulled to a grey-tinged outline that surrounds my eyebrow hairs. I NEVER leave the house without pencilling them in because they look worse than before due to the faded signs of work that's been done. But make no mistake I will endure the removal process because it'll be worth it to get perfect eyebrows again."

Why we still think microblading is a great option

While there are a few potential drawbacks to microblading, Tamara still dubs it a game-changer and plans to do the whole process over again: "It gave me the perfect fuller, darker, wispy eyebrows that I have dreamed of (being fair-haired my eyebrows have never been anything of significance. The process enables you to have definition and hair where hairs don't usually grow – so I can't state enough how much I LOVED having mine down."

Another pro in microblading's favour is just how much time it shaves off your morning brow routine, because just as Tamara relatebly comments, "pencilling in your eyebrows every morning is a slow process."

You can also touch your face all you want without the fear of your brows smearing, "You can go to the gym and sweat safe in the knowledge that you can pull your t-shirt up to mop your brow without losing coverage."

And finally, it changes your face: "A well-defined eyebrow, when done by a professional in the right temperature of dye, is ultra flattering to frame your features and give your face more definition. Who remembers '10 Years Younger with Trinny and Susanna' - it was always the teeth and eyebrows that truly made the transformations," says Tamara.

Our go-to brow staples

And in case you're looking to up your eyebrow game, minus the permanency of microblading, or perhaps yours are beginning to fade, here are a few of our staples...

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...