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All You Need to Know About Microblading

Brow mapping for microblading

Like many, you’ve probably been sucked into a blackhole of Insta stalking before and afters of microbladed eyebrows. This is especially so if you were an ’80s or ’90s teenager, an era where crimes against eyebrows were rife. If you are looking for a microblading service in Southend On Sea, this is offered at Brows and Beauty, and is still the most requested treatment.

The semi-permanent secret to faking fuller eyebrows that look totally natural, microblading might just be the hassle-free solution to freeing you from spending hours pencilling in your eyebrows.

What is microblading?

Microblading is a type of eyebrow architecture. It is all about creating the best shape for each face – and like other eyebrow treatments such as HD Brows, it’s a totally bespoke approach for each client.

The process is very precise thanks to the tool that is used which is effectively like a pen with the nib being a sloped or curved blade with a series of small needles at the end. The needles don’t penetrate the skin as such, instead they scratch the surface, much like a paper cut. 

The needles very finely implants featherweight strokes with a medical grade pigment on the epidermis layer for the skin, creating fine, realistic and natural hair-like strokes.

How is microblading eyebrows different to having your brows tattooed?

Microblading, unlike tattooing, is not in the deep layer of skin, but more on the surface. This is also not permanent, and the colour gradually fades within 18 months. 

The hair strokes are far more natural and finer than any tattoo, as a handheld needle/blade is used – as opposed to a tattoo machine.

What is microshading and how is it different to microblading?

Yes the names might sound confusingly similar but microblading and microshading are totally different. Microshading is also sometimes referred to as ombré, or powder brows. 

Both forms of semi-permanent make-up for your eyebrows, they have a few subtle but important differences. Compared to microblading’s super precise, individual hair look, microshading/ombré has a much softer finish. Think of it like using a brow pencil compared to a brow powder or pomade.

Where microblading tattoos hair-like strokes in your existing brows, microshading tattoos tiny dots along your brows for a less defined finish.

Not sure which technique is for you? Fear not, because both methods can be combined to create the most realistic and natural finish.

Can you be allergic to microblading?

There are people who are sensitive and allergic to some pigments, but in my experience this is extremely rare. I will always perform a patch or scratch test to check you are not allergic prior to the treatment.

How much does microblading cost?

A Brows and Beauty microblading treatment costs £150. This includes a consultation, and the initial treatment. The top up treatment after 4-6 weeks is £50.

What actually happens when you get your eyebrows microbladed?

1. I clean up the area with antiseptic wash to prepare it for the treatment.’

2. Numbing – this takes 10 – 15 mins using a topical ointment. While this is working, I’ll discuss with the client the best pigment shade for their desired look.’

3. I’ll use mapping tools to begin measuring the area around the brows, taking into account face shape, symmetry, facial features etc. I’ll then draw the brow shape and agree this with the client.

4. Then I begin the micrblading process – gently implanting the pigment via featherweight strokes. Each stroke is a superficial line in the skin where the colour pigment seeps in and settles then. If there is any discomfort at this stage I add another a layer of numbing lotion to the area which will become effective after 5 minutes.

5. I add on a final layer of pigment that stays on for 15mins, clean the area and show the client their beautiful brows!

6. In 4-6 weeks there’s a top-up session to fill in any gaps where the pigment hasn’t taken or healed properly.

Why is there a top up microblading session and when does this happen?

The top up session happens after 4-6 weeks. This is the time where I can assess the first steps, and add in any further strokes and add a darker pigment if preferred.

What happens in the meantime?

You’ll need to follow the after care instructions (see below) and avoid any picking or scratching. Your eyebrows will start to heal over, much like a tattoo, which might cause irritation but is totally normal.

In the next ten days or so your eyebrows will change colour, might become flaky and look like they’ve faded but this is totally normal. They’ll reveal their final colour and shape after around 30 days. This can then be topped up at the second session.

How do you know what eyebrow shape to go for? Should we bring pictures? 

Clients are welcome to bring in images of the style of brow they like, or come in with the brow make up they normally wear on a day to day basis. I’ll also determine the colour and shape to use from the natural colouring and bone structure of the client.

Getting the colour right…

People come in and sometimes want darker than I would suggest, but it’s always better to go a little more natural – you can always add more into the top up session for a darker colour. 

I’ll look at your hair colour, eye colour and skin tone using the Fitzpatrick Chart, which also takes into account how your skin will change with sun exposure etc., to ensure the correct colour pigment choice.

Getting the shape right…

I measure up each client’s eyebrows using a microblading ruler to help map out the perfect shape of brow, which is individual to each client. After checking all measurements are symmetrical, I then freehand the final shape.

How long does microblading last?

Microblading lasts anything between 12-18 months, but the longevity of the pigment will depend on the skin type of each individual. 

People with slightly more oily skin will tend to last around the 12 month mark before needing a top up, but those with normal skin can last up to 18 months.

Microbladed brows will eventually fade away if you don’t continue with top ups every 18 months or so.

Does microblading hurt?

It doesn’t hurt so such, it is more a sensation. The process itself is not painful thanks to the numbing ointment that is applied. It’s sometimes the sound of the blade which people find worse – a small scratching sound. 

Can microbladed eyebrows be undone/removed?

Yes – the pigment used leaves no scarring or discolouration, and I can use a salt/saline solution to remove microbladed brows.

It is very important to know and understand that brows will be up to 40% darker in shade for the first 7-10 days during the healing process where scabs can form and flake off. 

Clients can sometimes leave the studio, and two days later be terrified that their brows are too dark, but please be patient – as this is totally normal! After 7-10 days, you will begin to see the final colouring.

The Microblading Dos and Don’ts

There’s a few of them…

In advance…

1. Do not pick, tweeze, wax or have electrolysis one week prior.

2. Do not use sunbeds or sit in direct sunlight two weeks before.

3. Do not have any type of facial or peel two weeks prior.

4. Stop using any retinol or Vitamin A products one month prior.

5. No exercising on the day.

6. Do not have botox three weeks before.

7. Do not take fish oil or Vitamin E one week prior (these are natural blood thinners).

8. Do not wax or tint your eyebrows three days prior.

On The Day…

1. Do not drink alcohol 24-48 hours prior to your appointment.

2. Do not drink coffee 2 hours prior.

3. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen 24 hours prior.

The Post-Microblading Rules

Days 1-7…

1. Gently wash your eyebrows every morning and night with a cotton pad moistened with cool boiled water or micellar water. This will clean debris away from the brows without removing the pigment.

DO NOT use any cleansers containing acids or exfoliants.

2. Apply a very small amount of healing balm to each brow morning and night.

Things to consider once your brows have been microbladed…

  • Use a clean pillowcase
  • No picking!
  • No facials, botox, or peels for 4 weeks
  • Avoid exercise for 1 week
  • Avoid direct sun for 1 week
  • Avoid long, steamy showers for 10 days
  • Avoid swimming for 10 days
  • Don’t wear any make-up or use skincare on your brows until they’ve healed.
  • Remember, your eyebrows aren’t finished until after the second session.