This post is in collaboration with Highbrow Artistry. All of these opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting brands and businesses that support Basically Bronwyn!
Happy Tuesday, everyone! This post has been about six weeks in the making, but I'm so excited to finally share my microblading experience with you all. Buckle yourself in because this is definitely the longest, most in-depth post I've ever written on Basically Bronwyn! So get your coffee and kick your feet up because you might be here awhile :)
If you have no idea what microblading is, let's start there first. Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing technique that creates hairlike strokes to fill in sparse or thinning brows. (Find More Information HERE) I specifically got the "Blade and Shade" procedure, which uses a shading technique to create more density with the brow. (Find More Information About "Blade and Shade" HERE)
This should be obvious, but make sure you DO YOUR RESEARCH! Don't make an appointment with the first person you find on Google; make sure you see plenty of photos of their work, make sure they have stellar reviews, and be certain they are a highly trained microblading professional. After all, this is your face!
This leads me into where I decided to get my microblading done, which is Highbrow Artistry here in Lexington. Nicole is the *oh so amazing* artist behind the brows, and I cannot say enough good things about her and her work. I have been following her on Instagram for about a year and was in awe of every before and after photo she would share. Not only did her work and reviews speak for themselves, but I also had a friend who got her eyebrows microbladed by Nicole and they turned out amazing! All of these reasons made my decision to sit in her chair that much easier.
Prior To Appoinment
Pre-procedure there are a few things you need to avoid before going into the appointment such as caffeine, blood thinning medications, and various facial treatments (avoid laser/chemical peels and Retin-A for several weeks leading up to the appointment and let your artist know if you HAVE been doing such facial treatments). Microblading MUST be avoided if you are pregnant and/or nursing. You can find more pre-procedure advice HERE.
The cost of microblading will vary, but it ranges between $400 to $450 at Highbrow Artistry. That price DOES INCLUDE the follow-up session with Nicole, which happens about 6 weeks after your initial appointment; this session is required! The follow-up is where you can make changes (color, shape, density, etc.) and where Nicole really perfects your brows! She explained to me that everyone is different; sometimes people don't need to make any changes, or if you're like me, a few tweaks will need to be made.
The microblading will last and look great anywhere between 15-24 months after the follow-up session (depending on how well you take care of them). Somewhere in that time frame (15-24 months), most people will schedule their touch-up appointment, which is around $175 at Highbrow Artistry.
Upon arrival to the appointment, Nicole took some before photos and chatted with me about my eyebrows. We discussed whether or not I wanted to keep the shape that I walked in with, what pigment I wanted for my brows, and the overall look I was going for (natural is key). I went in to the appointment telling her I wanted to try and keep the shape I had (assuming that would make it feel more natural to me).
After a lot of measuring, Nicole asked if I was "married to my shape," haha. She explained that the shape I walked in with just wasn't fitting well on my face. The good news is, I went in very open-minded and trusting her work, so I had no problem letting her work her magic. So it was back to the measuring board for Nicole, which is actually the most relaxing time for me!
Once we nailed the shape, she applied Lidocaine 5% topical gel which sat for about 20 minutes to numb the brow area. If the artist you go to pulls out an injection, RUN, because they are not qualified to administer those. As for the blade/needles that are used for the microblading procedure, Nicole uses sterile/disposable/one-time-use only blades!
Okay, so let's talk pain, which was the number one question I received about my microblading experience. The good news is there wasn't any. With that being said, there were times towards the end when it got a little uncomfortable. The best way I can describe the discomfort of it would be a "scratching" or "scrapping" feeling. I'm pretty weak, so if I can tolerate it, anyone can :)
The first appointment and follow-up session both took about 2 hours from the time I arrived until I left; so it's not 2 hours of microblading! For my appointments, a great deal of time was spent measuring my brows. So don't worry, you won't be poked at for 2 hours straight :)
After Care & The Healing Process
The after care was quite easy and very manageable. My brows were a little red and slightly hurt after leaving the appointment (for both the initial and follow-up sessions). Day 1 of the after care (as soon as you leave your appointment) consists of compressing a dry, then damp, paper towel against both brows for about 10 seconds every 15 minutes (only for the first hour), then once an hour for the next 5 hours. It sounds like a lot more work than it is :) I also had to wash my brows with diluted Dial soap once a day for the first 3 days, as well as apply a small amount of Aquaphor as needed. The after care is the same after both sessions.
Healing time for your brows is about 14 days. During this time you cannot get them wet (that was the hardest part for me) or apply anything on them besides Aquaphor. I definitely had to be a lot more gentle and controlled while washing my face, and I made sure I didn't get too sweaty during my workouts. Besides not getting them wet, it's also very important to NOT PICK AT THEM, which includes any scabbing or fallout that might occur during the healing process (both are totally normal). You can find a lot more information about after care steps HERE and what to expect during the healing process HERE!
First Appointment VS Follow-Up Session
Everyone's appointments will vary based on the work your brows need for both sessions. For me, both appointments were almost exactly the same. After Nicole examined my brows for the follow-up session, she decided to add more "strokes" and worked on the shape a little more.
I also requested to go one shade darker! I got use to how dark they got during the healing process the first time around. Some brows will get a bit darker the first few days following your initial appointment, but then fade by almost 50%. Keep that in mind when deciding on a pigment!
Before First Appointment Photos
Session 1 Healing Process Photos
*Note: You can see from my '12 Days After' photo that my left brow had some scabbing and was going through the "oh my goodness, my brows fell off" phase. This is totally normal and within a few days, the strokes started to reappear and were filled in!
Prior to Follow-Up Session Photos
Follow-Up Session Photos
Follow-Up Session After Care & Healing Process
Since I'm only a few days into the healing process after the follow-up session, that's all of the photos I have to share at this time. The after care is exactly the same: compressions, washing with Dial soap for 3 days, applying Aquaphor, and avoid getting them wet. I expect the healing process to be very similar to the first time, which includes the color fading a bit. So far, I'm incredibly happy with my brows and the work Nicole did! I didn't realize how much better and more put together I feel when I wake up in the morning and my brows are done; it really makes a huge difference!
If you've been on the fence about getting your eyebrows microbladed, I cannot encourage you enough to go for it. As I said above, it makes a huge difference on days I don't want to wear makeup, but they also look SO GOOD when I do pull myself together.
I know microblading is an investment, so I would recommend saving up "X" amount of dollars every month until the cost is covered. It'll really help ease the blow to your bank account if it's something you've been planning for and you have the funds dedicated to it!
I cannot stress this enough, but DO YOUR RESEARCH! This is your face we're talking about, so don't take it lightly and make sure you find an artist you have complete faith in. Also, make sure you ask them about their equipment and the sterilization of it (if they aren't using disposable/one-time-use needles).
Take the time of year into consideration! Remember that keeping them dry and out of the sun is crucial during the 14 day healing process. So if you're a pool junkie or someone who likes to work up a sweat outside, summer might not be the most ideal time for you to get microblading done. It's absolutely possible, but again, just something to think about.
As awesome as your brows may look as soon as they're done, don't forget that it's also your responsibility to take care of them! Follow all of the after care steps and advice given throughout the healing process.
I'm sure there are 100 things I'm forgetting, so just in case I am, you can find additional information about microblading from Highbrow Artistry's website HERE!
Leave me a comment below and let me know how you feel about microblading! Are you interested in trying it? If you have ANY questions, let me know in the comments or send me an email and I'd be happy to answer them!
Thanks for reading- Xo, BB