What you really need to know about microblading
Brows - big business, the focal point of your face and it's a confusing world out there with so many ways to get beautiful natural looking ones.
You probably know about pencils, gels, pomades and tattoos, but how much do you know about microblading?
It actually goes back 5000 years and is a semi permanent way to boost your brows, change their shape or fill in those pesky gaps.
Here's how it works. A pen is used to map individual hairs stroke by stroke to work out where the ink will go. With the right artist, it can take a couple of hours because this process needs to be done right.
A protractor is actually used (think back to those old maths classes) to measure the shape of your brow to determine what'll best suit your face.
A small blade is then used to go over those strokes, making small incisions and the ink is then applied.
An anaesthetic cream is applied but there might be some discomfort - described to me as an elastic band flicking the skin. It'll take about a month to fully heal.
While it sounds like a brow lifesaver, we need to hear from the experts.
Leona Gallagher is a cosmetic tattooist at Simply Laser in Brisbane and says anyone can benefit from microblading, even men.
“It will create shape, fill in gaps if you’ve over plucked with the 80s and 90s trend, it can fill the brow out with a 3D effect if, from your age, your hair has got thinner or you’ve lost your hair due to illness,” she says.
Brow expert Sianne Fitzsimons from Canberra’s The Lab agrees with Leona that it's a good option for those with alopecia or brows that just don't grow, but she has reservations.
"I think at the moment it's a fad and consumers are jumping on the latest trend without really needing it or knowing what to expect," she says.
"It can give definition to and complete fuller, perhaps more sparse brows however, if you can get the same result with tint and fill, we would say to steer clear of it as a good artist starts anywhere from $600 and requires touch ups anywhere from 2 months to 18 months," she says.
"We will always recommend growing your brows out. It's far cheaper, obviously looks more natural, is physically painless and much easier to maintain."
Leona has this thought on the maintenance side of things.
“Microblading is a long term solution as it can last up to 2 years. Tinting and filling them won’t last as long, nor will that defined shape stay.”
Sianne says she worries what damage could be done to existing hair follicles but Leona says that comes down to the artist being vigilant and not disturbing the follicles with the blade.
Speaking of vigilance, if you do go for microblading, there’s a strict after care plan to be followed including applying sunscreen to your brows, no AHAs, BHAs or retinoids as it’ll fade the pigment.
We’ll give the final word to Sianne with this important piece of advice, if you go down the microblading path.
"Ask to see your artists work several years down the track as some pigments fade red or grey.”
Main pic: Dolce Brow Bar