I went through some weird beauty and cosmetic phases back in my teenage years. From Grades 9 to 12, I had side bangs, which eventually turned into front bangs. I spent my entire Grade 11 year painting subpar nail art on my own nails for hours on end, only to have them ruined by my fingerprints. My grad year in Grade 12, I thought it would be a good idea to dye my own hair at home, not knowing that if you wanted that strawberry blonde look, well it takes more than just one at-home session to achieve it. I stuck with brassy orange hair up until early 2017, when it finally faded all the way down to my ends.
But the one phase that has still stuck with me to this very day has to be my eyebrows. I have a wild obsession with my eyebrows, dating back to when I was in the 11th grade. Like any other young adult from our generation, when I first started getting into makeup thin eyebrows were the craze. And typically, the best way to go about getting thin eyebrows was to over pluck them until you basically had no eyebrow hairs left. That’s what I did, except I think I was one of the few who’s eyebrows actually grew back normally… no matter what, every time I plucked or waxed my eyebrows, they would always grow back as bushy caterpillars.
Of course, soon the skinny eyebrow craze came to an end and thicker eyebrows were the enviable look. From the 11th grade, up until this Summer 2018, part of my daily routine consisted of filling in my eyebrows. When I first filled in my eyebrows back in high school, I would literally take whathever brown or black makeup pencil I had, and draw on my eyebrows with heavy strokes.
Wow – do I ever wish someone stopped me and told me there was another way!
By my second year of university I was finally able to afford some higher-end makeup products, like the Dipbrow Pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills. It was from that point on that I started creating well-sculpted eyebrows.
This is when it gets tricky – sticking to this eyebrow routine every living day when I had to attend school to go to work was extremely time-consuming and tiring, not to mention that I had to wake up an hour earlier just to fill in my eyebrows. And as someone who is really meticulous about the things they do, eyebrows was another one of them. If I thought that the shape or how the front of my brows didn’t fade evenly, I’d have start all over.
When a former co-worker of mine told me about microblading, it seemed like the perfect solution for me. My interest in microblading started to grow once I landed a job at a beauty studio this summer, as my store owner, Angela Lin of Studio Artisphere, does microblading for a living. Once I knew that I would be creating content for her that revolved around her microblading work, and learning about what this cosmetic procedure entails, I finally hopped on board – a decision that changed my daily routine forever.
So what exactly is microblading? According to my workplace’s website at www.studioartisphere.com, microblading (also known as eyebrow embroidery or feathering) is “the finest form of eyebrow tattooing done by using a disposable pen-like device with a microblade attached to stroke very thin lines of pigment into the skin. Done by hand, these thin lines flow in the same direction as your own hairs, and create the very natural hair-like results.”
Another type of microblading is called ombre powder brows, which is “done by machine using the latest techniques to create an ultra-soft powdery finish. This method gives you a desirable light to dark fade and is more uniform in tone. This treatment lasts longer than microblading and is better suited for clients with very oily skin types or prefer a soft powdery look similar to the look that can be achieved with makeup.”
Lastly, combination brows combine both microblading and ombre powder brows. Combination brows will “give you the ultimate look of both microblading AND powder ombre brows! This treatment is great for people who still want to have the look of more hair strokes but need extra density and dimension for a more filled in effect.”
Although I liked the natural look that microblading provides with the clean, sharp, and thin hair strokes, I chose to do the ombre powder brows since it matches the look I have been recreating with makeup since high school. I also have a combination skin type, which means that if I did microblading the result I would get would not last as long compared to ombre powder brows.
I came into the studio with the bushiest brows to ever grace my face. You can start microblading by coming in with already filled in eyebrows, but I chose not to fill them in as I wanted Angela to look at my natural brows and for her to determine the best eyebrow look for me, based on the preferences I selected on a form I was required to fill out. By the way, if you’re scared of your end result for microblading, don’t be! This procedure is totally customizable. I’ve seen clients at our studio come out with bold brows, straight brows, or brows with a high arch. Your final look is completely up to you.
Firstly Angela took some before shots of me for the studio’s Instagram account. After the procedure she will take some after shots, which will be compiled to show users the before and after microblading look. Next up, a series of tools and techniques are used to measure my eyebrows to ensure that my end result for microblading comes out as even and as balanced as possible. What Angela uses in her work is called The Golden Ratio, which can also be found in mathematics, nature, architecture, and design.
Then an outline of what I wanted my eyebrows to look like was drawn on my face. Once I had approved of that outline, I was ready to lie on the bed and have Angela draw on my face – or, the cosmetic tattooing process. If you think that microblading isn’t painful at all, it’s actually pretty painful – or at least I thought it was (I have a mild pain tolerance). Since I chose to get the ombre powder eyebrows, I had to go through two rounds of work in one sitting. The first round was the test round, and I thought this was maybe the most painful thing I had ever done in my entire life.
After that step was done, my eyes were watering up quite a bit. Angela applied some numbing cream on me, and I was told to wait about 30 minutes before we could move on to the next round. This round went by like a breeze, since I didn’t feel any pain from that point on.
Two hours later, I was told to get up from my bed and behold – my new and fresh eyebrows are ready to take on the world!
After the actual procedure is done, there is still some aftercare that needs to be adhered to, to ensure your eyebrows remain in tip-top shape. Angela gave me a product called Aquaphor, a type of ointment, and some aftercare instructions. Basically, the goal would be to make sure that my eyebrows would properly heal. I would have to apply on the Aquaphor every hour for the next 10-14 days.
Depending on how well your eyebrows last, you may be required to come in for a touch-up. This was definitely the case for me, since I wanted minimal upkeep for eyebrows during my daily routine.
Three months later, I am simply so pleased with having microbladed eyebrows. My daily routine can be as simplistic as it can get, with the main focus now being towards eye makeup. Overall, I am extremely satisfied – now I am conquering everyday life with my bold brows in action! If the price range may turn you off, my best advice would be that beauty is a powerful tool, just like your personality or your work ethic. As microblading is a form of tattooing, you shouldn’t pay the cheapest price to get your eyebrows permanently done, and then regret it for the rest of your life. Life is too short to have bad eyebrows!