Hey guys! Happy Friday eve!
I am SO excited to share this post with you as it has been a long time in the making. If you’ve been following me since late summer/early fall, then you’ll remember the survey I did asking you if you have any questions on microblading as I prepared to go into my first session. Even though it’s a pretty popular service to have done these days, I didn’t know a ton of people who had previously done it. So, naturally, prior to going into my first session, I had a zillion questions I wanted answered and I figured you guys would too (you did!).
That’s where Cassie from Mother Plucker came in – side note, isn’t that the best name ever?! I met Cassie through my now good friend Alyson who I met in yoga teacher training. Alyson showed up at a class one day with bomb eyebrows, and as someone who is consistently getting eyebrow tints and looking for the next best natural looking brow makeup, I needed to know more. She told me all about Cassie, how she was opening her own booth for esthetician services and how talented she was. I met Cassie in person over coffee and grilled her on all things microblading- will my eyebrows look like crazy tattoos? will they look drawn on like Uncle Leo’s in Seinfeld (if you don’t get that reference, Google it) will they look as amazing as Alyson’s? am I a completely psychotic person for deciding to have someone basically tattoo my face just months before my wedding??? Probably…
Cassie answered each of my questions with ease, showed me a bunch of before/after photos and the story behind why she got trained in PhiBrow microblading – long story, short, Cassie’s brows had been wronged before and she didn’t want others to go through the same sad story! PhiBrow microblading is a bit different than others out there – it’s a manual, semi-permanent technique where the esthetician creates tiny, hair-like strokes to make for incredibly real-looking, perfect brows. She put me at complete ease and all of 99.9% of my fear went away. Now that the dust has settled and my brows still look flawless, Cassie and I put together the following Q&A answering everything you asked and more about microblading!
If you don’t have time to read the microblading Q&A now, make sure you bookmark this and scroll to the bottom because Cassie is offering my readers a special discount!
WHAT EXACTLY IS MICROBLADING ANYWAY?
Unlike tattooing which uses a machine and goes deep into the skin below the dermis (second layer of skin), microblading is a manual semi-permanent process done in the basal layer which is in the epidermis (upper layer of skin). Using a handheld small sterile “blade” (which is actually multiple tiny slanted needles), the brow artist will make tiny “strokes” (incisions) in your skin to deposit pigment. Since the pigment only goes into the top layer of skin and your skin has a natural renewing process, e.g., you’re always shedding your upper skin cells, manual microblading will fade, hence the semi-permanent label.
WHAT IS PHIBROW MICROBLADING? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?
PhiBrow microblading is a manual, semi-permanent technique to create hair-like strokes using sterile, and disposable tools to deposit pigment in the skin. Each set of brows is shaped by measuring the face using a “golden ratio” compass tool to determine where all the angles and arches should be for precise eyebrow symmetry. Treatment is done PhiBrows utilize the highest quality pigments and tools in the industry to create incredibly natural looking brows.
IS MICROBLADING SAFE?
I can’t speak for every brow artist out there – obviously, if you go to someone new, you should do your research on them, get referrals, etc. – but, generally speaking, yes, microblading is safe. However, if you have skin allergies, keloids or diabetes, there’s a chance it might not be safe. Make sure you talk to your brow artist and your doctor cause I for sure am neither of those!
I THOUGHT YOU WERE ALL ABOUT CLEAN BEAUTY – IS MICROBLADING “CLEAN”?
Well, let’s just answer this big old fat elephant in the room – yes, I am an advocate for clean beauty and I have been learning more about what I put on and in my body and that it matters. However, it’s not realistic for me to be 100 % clean with my beauty products or my diet. It’s also pretty dang difficult to be all clean, all the time! While, I have been slowly making the switch to safer and cleaner skincare and makeup, there’s certain things that I won’t give up, and I think that’s OK. For instance, I have been swapping in some BeautyCounter and Drunk Elephant skin care products (more on this to come because I’m super excited that I have found clean brands that actually work!), BUT I can’t give up my NARS bronzer and blush or my new MAC lipstick that my best friend gifted me for my wedding. I mean, it’s not like I’m never going to eat pizza or a cheeseburger again and go on a kale-only diet because it’s clean. Everything in moderation – including moderation.
Back to PhiBrows though – the pigments used are high quality and different formulations are used for each color. The ingredients in the pigments are used in other makeup products and do not contain any metals. And again, the pigment will fade over time which means it will no longer be in my system.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
For my first microblading session, I was super nervous, but Cassie walked me through each step. First, she measured my face using the “golden ratio” used a brown pencil to draw on that exact shape. Once the brows were all waxed, cleaned up and ready to go, Cassie bordered my brows with purple dots, to use as her guide, applied lots of numbing cream and went to town! The whole process was pretty long – like a 2+ hour commitment, so be prepared to hang out for awhile.
The first session is all about getting the basic shape down with super thin strokes and seeing how your skin will react and retain the pigment. I think they looked pretty darn good after my first session! Side note – I had a bit of redness/splotchiness immediately following just from the stress my skin was going through from the treatment; however, my redness was gone the very next day! About a few weeks in or so (it varies depending on your skin type -dry or oily), you’ll notice that the pigment starts to fade – that’s normal! It’s supposed to fade as the first pass is just meant to see how well your skin takes to the pigment. Around the 6-8 week mark is when you go back in for your touch up.
The second session was definitely more painful than the first. Thank goodness for that numbing cream! At this point, Cassie knew my skin was a bit drier, so she needed to make the strokes a bit thinner. She repeated the same process as in the first session, but there were definitely more strokes this time around. For some reason, I felt like it took longer, but I’m pretty sure it was still about two hours. After this session, my brows looked way more dramatic and I was a tad nervous since my wedding was only about two weeks away. But Cassie assured me they would fade a bit once they healed, and was she right. I could not get over how amazing they looked! Not only that, they STILL look amazing two months later! The only time I have had to use eyebrow makeup was for my wedding – they legit look perfect daily. And this is coming from someone who used to get brow tints once per month to color all of those, ahem, silver brow hairs. Because of Cassie and the treatments I got before my wedding – microblading, eyelash lift/tint, I basically only wore concealer and bronzer my entire trip through Greece. Talk about minimal makeup goals – def another post for another time!
DOES MICROBLADING HURT? WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Death by a thousand paper cuts. Kidding, sort of, ha! I won’t lie, yes, it does hurt a little bit – the second time definitely hurt more than the first, and my friend Alyson said she had zero pain the first session, just more so uncomfortable. BUT, if you get waxes or laser hair removal, it really doesn’t feel anymore painful than that. It essentially feels like someone is making tiny scratches on your face, because that’s exactly what’s happening! I’d say the sound the scratches make when the tiny incisions are made are far worse than the actual feeling. That said, bring earbuds and a good playlist to listen to so you don’t hear the scratches!
HOW LONG DOES MICROBLADING LAST? WILL I NEED TO DO IT AGAIN?
Since it’s a semi-permanent process, it will fade anywhere between 6-12 months depending on your skin type and how well it holds on to the pigment. You can get touch ups anytime from 3-15 months following your second session, but typically after 15 months, you’ll have to do the whole process again since the strokes will have faded.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF MICROBLADING?
As mentioned, I experienced a bit of redness right after, but it faded. Also, the brow color will will be a bit darker during the first few days, but nothing crazy. Some people may experience some dryness, but the aftercare ointment helps with all of that.
WHAT’S THE POST-CARE TREATMENT LIKE?
Recovery is pretty minimal. You just have to keep them from getting sweaty for a week and then wash them throughout the day with baby shampoo followed by ointment they call “skin candy” – kind of a weird name, but whatever! The only hard part for me is that you’re meant to avoid sweating for a week, and when you practice heated yoga, that’s essentially impossible. Cassie basically lives at the gym, so she gets it and just recos to frequently blot your eyebrows with paper towels while working out and then wash them straight after with baby shampoo and touch them up with some ointment. How many times you need to wash/use ointment throughout the day depends on how dry/oily your skin is. I lean toward the dry side, so the more ointment, the better!
WHAT IF YOU BARELY HAVE BROWS AT ALL? CAN YOU STILL MAKE THEM LOOK NATURAL?
Cassie’s biggest reco on this is to bring pictures of the look you’re trying to achieve! From no brows to brows, it’s a bit more difficult, but it is possible. Your brow artist will have to build the fullness, shape and depth within the color, so three sessions may be needed for someone who wants to go from no hair to full and fluffy. Each person is different with their preferences so it all depends!
CAN YOU MICROBLADE OVER A SCAR?
Short answer, yes, you can. However, it may be harder for the skin to hold pigment and may heal different than rest of the brow. The brow artist might have to go a bit deeper with the blade to get the pigment to hold.
WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN?
Most likely I would. My only hesitation is it’s so hard for me to lay down in that same position for so long! However, the end result is 100% worth it. Again, I love being able to just dot on concealer and if I’m feeling fancy throw on some liquid bronzer and a swipe of lipstick and go.
HOW MUCH DOES MICROBLADING COST?
The cost of microblading will vary depending on the type (PhiBrows, etc.) you have done and where. BUT, if you are local to Toledo or not too far away, Cassie’s regular price is $400 which includes the initial and touchup session after 6-8 weeks. PLUS, she’s offering 20% off for my readers! When you contact Cassie to book your appointment, mention you saw my post and she’ll get you all set up!
Have anymore questions about microblading? Have you ever had it done?? Let me know in the comments!