A step by step microblading guide through my experience, before and after pictures, and FAQ to help you on your own microblading journey!
I’m going to jump right in by saying that I’m NOT a beauty blogger. I love beauty, fashion and finding ways to look my best, but beauty blogger status is not something that I’ve quite attained.
What I WILL say though, is that I’m an expert in the multi-passionate, raising babies while building a business, finding ways to save time arena… and wanting to look my best while doing it. The saving time thing though? That’s something I’m always working on.
When I first heard of microblading – I’ll admit it – I cringed at the thought of a “tattoo” on my face. I mean what if something happened? What if she messed up?
Granted, there are horror stories to be found in any beauty trend, but if you spend a little time on research and finding the RIGHT person/expert, you’re on the right track!
So you guys, what began as a quest for finding a way to cut a little extra time getting ready in the morning (I mean, was I the ONLY one who spent actual MINUTES trying to get brows just right only to have to keep adding strokes, fixing mistakes, plucking runaways… and spend minutes more?), became a new beauty favorite for me!
Your Microblading experience doesn’t actually have to be a scary, and I’m sharing all about how it went with Rachel of Arch and Line (Tampa Bay area friends, she’s amazing!!!) and together, we’re answering your questions below.
So whether you’re a beauty junkie or just love a quick morning routine (while still having GREAT brows), you can have a great microblading experience as well.
What IS microblading?
Microblading is actually a form of tattoo artistry, because pigment is implanted under the skin, although it’s all done with a small hand tool and NOT with a machine in order to create those tiny, hairlike strokes. With this small tool, the pigment is not as deep as a regular tattoo (and thus isn’t actually permanent, though it still lasts quite awhile).
This is a great option, especially for thin brows, when creams, pencils and powders just aren’t cutting it… or like me, you’re ready to shave some time off your makeup routine.
How does microblading feel? Will it hurt?
The whole process (or what you can actually feel of it) is a little like a light scratching, but most complain more about tweezing than the actual microblading. Thankfully there is a bit of numbing cream applied first, then you wait a few minutes before beginning the treatment, so overall, you can’t feel much.
There also might be a little bleeding, though that doesn’t happen often. If you’re like me and take vitamins on the regular (especially fish oil), then you may have a little bleeding.
The technician will scrape and apply pigment as she goes, and then after a few rounds of that, she may add on extra pigment on top of the skin to make sure it makes it’s way down into each of the “hair-like” lines. For me, this burned just a bit and I could feel the sting of the pigment, but it only lasted for a few moments (and did itch a little as well).
How do I prepare for microblading?
Preparation is key, and just like I mentioned about the fish oil vitamins above, there are some other things you need to avoid before getting microbladed – basically anything that will thin out your blood.
Avoid alcohol, aspirin and retinol at least one week before your treatment. While some bleeding can happen, profuse bleeding pushes out pigment so that it doesn’t stick as well or last as long.
What is the maintenance for microblading?
It seems as though the maintenance schedule changes based on each technician, though the consensus is a secondary visit at 5-6 weeks, and Rachel recommends following up with a yearly touch-up.
While results are long-lasting and can be seen for up to three years, most clients return anywhere between 6-18 months for a touch-up, and is mainly based on personal preference. The pigment naturally fades to a lighter softer version, and some like it touched up sooner. Plus, based on oiliness of the skin and how quickly the body metabolizes pigment, the timelines very with each person.
What about aftercare?
This is an ESSENTIAL part of the healing process for any microblading experience. After an appointment, Rachel walks all of her clients through the process, but basically it’s important to treat the brows like an open wound, avoiding skincare products, makeup and moisture.
If you get your freshly bladed brows wet, the scab can come off to quickly, taking pigment with it. Avoid workouts, sweaty activities, full-on-face-washes, swimming, etc. And also, use a clean, disposable paper towel to pat dry the area if you do happen to get it wet.
While brows usually look great right away, there can be some slight redness or swelling. Within a few days, the pigment fades, but don’t worry, it will come back again! Some mild itching will occur, but don’t scratch. I didn’t find it to be too bothersome, but Vaseline or other ointments are available to help alleviate the discomfort. Really though, it seems more daunting that it is, and I just enjoyed my brows without having to do anything to them!
What’s also crazy is at about a week after the treatment, parts of the pigment almost look like it disappears. Then at about day 14, the color comes back… so don’t freak out if it seems like the color fades right away… it will show back up!
How do I find the right microblading technician?
There are a few important things to look for:
Is the technician properly licensed and certified? Make sure they have taken a bloodborn pathogen course and certification through the health department as well as having a current a tattoo license.
See their healed work… find an artist that shows healed results. Healed work looks different and that’s what your left with, so make sure to see that before you sit in their chair.
It their micro-blade fully disposable? To me this is an important question, because I don’t want to use a tool (even though they can be cleaned) that has carried another person’s blood and then will be going under my skin.
Microblading is an investment. Though you can find prices that range from very low to very high, find an experienced technician and don’t take reviews lightly. I looked through Yelp and Facebook reviews! Remember, microblading is a form of tattooing… meaning you can’t change it immediately, and a bad service will end up costing much more time and money in the long run.
I’m so grateful for the incredible work done by Rachel of Arch and Line, and just love the atmosphere of her place… I highly recommend her! While I did receive a small discount for my first service, I’m definitely going back again.