My Microblading Experience
Updated: Dec 16, 2021
This year, I decided to try out the microblading I've been wanting to do for the past couple of years. My family is all light skinned, light haired, and light in the eyebrow department. Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of eyebrow hair, it's just so incredibly light that it might as well not be there. After weeks of research, I finally found the artist with whom I wanted to schedule the appointment.
Here is an in-depth diary on my microblading experience starting with the first steps to the final healing. I'm currently in my eighth month post-healing, so I can give you long-term advice on whether or not this procedure might be worth your investment!
1. Why Did I Want to Get Microblading Done?
My main reason for going through with this was to have ready-to-display eyebrows at all times. Before going out anywhere, I was spending roughly 10 minutes doing my eyebrows, and frankly I was fed up with that preparation. I wanted bombshell eyebrows that were there all the time and that would allow me to leave the house whenever I wanted without having to prep my face in any way.
2. How I Found My Artist
I searched for weeks for the right artist for me. I didn't want to just go with the first business I happened to stumble upon. I basically lived on Instagram for a couple of days looking at multiple artists' outcomes and style.
When searching for an artist in your area, it's extremely important to look at their clients' reviews and after photos before you book. Any artist who isn't up front with this information probably isn't dishing out the best results. The artist I chose, who's business is located in Indianapolis (about an hour and a half drive for me), had amazing client recommendation AND had stellar transparency about the procedure and outcomes of her bookings.
3. How Long I Waited from Booking to Procedure
I was able to schedule my brow appointment (consultation and procedure happened at the same time) for the very next week. So from the time I decided to bite the bullet and have it done to actually having it done was only a week's time. I'm sure that some artists are booked farther out than that, so it all depends on who your artist is.
4. How Much I Paid for My Appointment
For the consultation, procedure, and touch-up appointment, I paid $500 total. Which is a good average of what your booking might cost. The average microblading session costs anywhere from $400-$600 with even higher prices if you're going somewhere very sought-after. Beware of artists who want to microblade for much less than that. It's better to pay the average and have a good experience than try to get a bargain and seriously regret it.
Seriously though, look up cases of botched microblading and you'll see what I mean. Spend the $$$ to be happy with your outcome. I've read about a hundred horror stories about clients who received botched microblading procedures because they didn't do the proper research first. Make sure your artist is licensed and experienced. Definitely have brow mapping done before any tattoo needle touches your face.
I've even heard of stories where no mapping was done and the microblading was free-handed without any guides whatsoever. WHAT?!?!?! If your name isn't Bob Ross, you aren't qualified to free hand eyebrows on someone's face free-hand. Sorry not sorry.
5. What Kind of Microblading I Had Done
There are multiple styles of microblading you can choose from. I chose a combination brow, which is the hair-like strokes combined with tattoo shading to create full-density brows that slightly darkened toward the tails. My artist worked with me to get the style of brow I wanted most (I showed her lots of inspirational pictures and she used those to determine what fit me best). She also mixed a couple of ink colors beforehand to determine that she was using the most correct shades that complimented my skin and hair color.
She offered free brow mapping before she started the process and wanted to know what my suggestions were before she started. With very little tweaking, she had mapped out the brows of my dreams on my face!
6. Did it Hurt?
This was the question I was googling most before my appointment!
The majority of that answer is "no". My artist numbed my eyebrows 20-30 minutes before she ever started tattooing, so when she started the strokes it felt like a finger nail was pressing into my skin slightly, not a needle. I actually started to fall asleep a little bit, so that should tell you something.
Halfway during the process, she applied more numbing gel.
Since I got a combination brow, she did switch from the microblade tool to a tattoo gun, and that was more uncomfortable. If you've gotten a tattoo before, you know the very irritated sensation I'm implying here. The good thing was it only took a few minutes per eyebrow to get the desired shading, so I didn't have to experience the discomfort from the tattoo gun for very long at all.
7. How Long Did it Take?
My appointment was scheduled (from beginning to end) for 2 hours. This included the paperwork AND consultation/brow mapping AND actual microblading, and it went so incredibly fast.
The actual microblading took less than an hour, about 25 minute per brow. Again, I got the combination brow. Had I gotten just the hair-like strokes, I'm guessing it would have taken less time. The shading added about 5 minutes per brow I would say.
8. Did my Brows Look Amazing Right Away?
Yes! They looked absolutely fabulous. I was so into them that I kept looking at myself in the car mirror on the drive home, and it probably wasn't safe at all.
I was afraid that my brows would be incredibly red and swollen (I have extremely sensitive skin) and that it would take a few days before I would start to see how they actually looked. But honestly, they were vibing right away for me. I had a little irritation that was gone within 20 minutes of leaving my appointment, and all numbness had gone away by that time as well.
I didn't even have to wear any kind of bandages over them.
9. When Was My Follow-Up Appointment and What Happened?
Six weeks after my initial microblading, I came back in to have my artist put the final touches on the brows. It takes a while for the skin to heal and reveal the final brows, so the touch up appointment allows for any strokes and shading to be added back in that may have faded slightly during the six weeks interval. My artist described this appointment to me as "the perfecting appointment".
And it was!
If I was happy after the first appointment, I was thrilled after the follow up. She was able to fill in any little spots that needed it and even extended the tails slightly at my own request. This appointment took less time, and if I remember correctly I was in there for maybe an hour.
10. The After Care
After my first appointment, my artist gave me a regimen to follow to ensure that my brows would heal as perfectly as possible. This included keeping them extremely clean, dry, and keeping humidity off them. I wasn't allowed to touch them for a couple weeks or get them wet. My artist never told me not to apply makeup to my face anywhere, but I chose not to so I wouldn't risk getting makeup or bacteria from the brushes and sponge into them.
I kept them moisturized with a Vaseline-type ointment she sent home with me and applied it with clean cotton swabs every couple hours.
When I slept, I was careful not to let the pillow touch my brows. I was paranoid that they would get rubbed and heal the wrong way.
When taking showers, I kept my face out of the water stream and kept the doors open and the fan on to keep the humidity from getting too intense.
At my follow-up appointment, my artist said I had done a fabulous job at keeping them properly cared for and that they looked really good. So I'm not sure if the measures I took were all extremely necessary, I just wanted to be extra careful just in case.
After the follow-up appointment, I extended the care for another week or so. Then I basically treated them like normal. I applied makeup, brushed my brows out with a spooly brush, and went about my business as usual.
You guys, I was absolutely in love with my new brows, and I still am 8 months into this thing!
11. What Was the Healing Like?
This is the scariest part for most people. Microbladed brows go through quite a few stages before they're "set".
- The first picture above is during the "clumpy-scabby-gross" stage. It started about 3 days in.
- The second is after all the scabs fell off. The "where did my microblading go?" stage.
- The third is the "Oh, it's kind of starting to come back" stage. About the 2nd week.
After the first appointment, my brows looked amazing. They were full, dark, and the precision of the strokes was a whole look.
The healing phase started. They did scab over slightly and appeared to be darker, crusty, and clumsy for maybe 4-ish days. I wasn't worried because I knew this was going to happen, but it still was a bummer because they looked sooooo good a week before.
When the scabs fell off (they have to come off on their own, you're not supposed to peel them off or brush them out!) the shading and hair strokes underneath had lightened tremendously. Again, I wasn't worried because I knew that they would "disappear" after the scabs fell off and reappear once again.
And they did.
After a couple days of having very light eyebrows, they started to settle and darken once more. Those hair strokes and shading came back and were closer to how they looked after I left my first appointment. Not quite as dark, but they looked really good once again within 2 weeks.
THEN the follow-up appointment!
After the follow-up, I didn't experience the scabbing or clumsy stages as I did when they were initially done. I don't know if my skin was just used to the experience by that point, but the second appointment and after my brows looks fabulous.
I still treated them gently for another week or so just to ensure that the final brows stayed how we wanted them to.
12. How Long Will My Microblading Last?
My artist said that the microblading will last anywhere from 1-3 years depending on the person and the conditions you live in. I'm currently in my 8th month of having these bad boys, and they look just as good as they did a couple weeks after my follow-up appointment.
I definitely plan to have them touched up again. My artist and I decided I'll come in for a reassessment about 18 months in.
13. Was it Worth it?
A million times, yes.
As a person who has always been self-conscious about how light my natural eyebrows are, this was a step that boosted my personal esteem by about a million percent. I won't go into the feelings I dealt with about leaving the house without makeup on because of my eyebrows, but suffice it to say that if I had known what a weight would be lifted off my fragile morale by getting my eyebrows microbladed, I would have done it sooner.
$500 might seem like a lot for "just eyebrows" but it really did change my entire outlook on my face and framed my face in a way it hadn't been before.
This will always be in my beauty routine from now on.
14. Do I Still "Do" My Brows?
Sometimes, a little. But I don't have to. If I want to go to the store without makeup on, I do. If I want to have a hot date with my husband and darken my brows slightly to fit the evening occasion, I do. The point is, my face has been framed anew with my brows, and regardless of whether I decide to "do them" or not, that shape is always the same and doesn't vary at all.
15. How I Maintain My Brows Now
About once every two weeks, I use an eyebrow razor and tweezers around my brows to keep them sharp and shapely. I have very light eyebrow hair, so it's always amazing to me how much hair has grown around my brows until I go in to remove it.
Thanks for reading!
Have you had a similar microblading experience? I'd love to hear what yours was like!