I was an avid tweezer in my high school days and as a result I can maintain a pencil thin brow by tweezing three hairs a month. That would be totally fine if the gap between my brows wasn't four fingers wide and I spend more time filling them in than I did tweezing my beautifully big brows away all those years ago. When microblading first came out I was horrified... I mean... what's the point of tattooing brows on that don't look like brows? Slowly the trend picked up and the results were more and more enticing. It finally hit the Midwest and I didn't hate the way they looked. I toyed with maybe a light outline so I could fill them in myself a little easier. Then Instagram ruined it all haha! I started following brow specialists from LA and New York and decided there was no way I was jumping the broom on this until I could afford a plane ticket and drop quick 1K on my face.... so I put it in the back of my brain and picked up my angled brush once more.
Then a few months ago I had a good friend in my chair who drives from Chicago to have me do her hair. We started talking about microblading and how awesome it would be to just wake up with eyebrows. I asked her if she had found anyone worthy of permanently inking our faces in her area and her response was a surprising no! She felt the same way I did... so the search began. After hours of browsing portfolios, we found her! Shay is her name and she is KILLING the brow game! She did a thorough consultation with before and after photos, pricing and scheduling all via email. It was super easy!
A few months later I made the 2.5 hour trip to Dearborn, MI.. my bestie and toddler in tow.. we made a detour to Nona's house for a swim and a super comfy bed. I woke up feeling... nauseous. I have birthed three babies with no drugs.. two of them I birthed from home.. I have a head tattoo amongst many others.. this anxiety came as a bit of a surprise to me. I think it was mostly because you know... it's my FACE! It came time to make the drive from Nona's to Paradise City Salon & Spa and I packed some parking lot liquid courage...
Soooo we get this party started with a drawing session. Be prepared to spend the majority of your time in this phase! If this takes less than 30 minutes be concerned and triple check shape/symmetry for yourself. Trust me you do not want to rush this... this is the boundary box for what your brows will look like... permanently! I am not a patient girl... after the millionth swipe to wipe off yet another adjustment to the shape I thought I might come unglued. Shay was ridiculously picky... THANK GOD.. because I would have called it good enough 12 shapes ago and been pissed at myself later on when I realized they weren't perfect.
With the boxes in place next comes the numbing cream. This starts with a few light pokes (at this moment I say out loud "this is it?? I can totally do this!! You don't have to do the numbing cream"). She lightly laughs off my comment and explains that even though I may think I don't need the lidocaine for pain purposes it helps her with shading by keeping the blood flow low. It also causes the skin to turn white which gives more visibility of the pigment of the ink. Here is where she also explains why she mixes several shades of ink together instead of only using one shade... as a hair stylist and colorist I totally appreciated this! It should be personalized... you should have your own formula… no one has exactly the same hair color or the same color skin! Small shock at this point… the cream has to be sealed with plastic wrap for 30 minutes! More patience practice!
Now we are finally ready to begin the micorblading work. This small exacto-knife looking blade is actually 12 small needles pressed together. Unlike a typical tattoo this is not a puncture method of application but a drop-and-drag technique. Pressure and wrist movement is very important in making the shape look as natural as possible. The first drag… not bad at all. The second drag… definitely feel it. The third drag through the end… your body will start to run away from you off of the table. I’m not going to sugar coat this. It hurts. A LOT. I’m not saying this to scare you… I’m saying it because I like realistic expectations. I like to know what I’m walking into and prepare my brain for what is about to happen. This applies to every area of my life… it is very difficult to surprise me. This torture will last about 30-45 minutes depending on how much work you need to have done.
Last comes the moment you get to sit up and see your new face… make any final requests and adjustments… and receive your aftercare instructions. This will consist of washing methods, salve and a list of do’s and don’t’s. Wash often, no tap water, no sunlight etc. There will be a 30-day complimentary touch up to perfect what was done at the first appointment and moving forward touch ups will be every 6-8 months at her recommendation. If they seem too dark right away no need to panic… you can expect a significant amount of fading in the first week or two.
All in all I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new brows! Shay is amazing and I definitely recommend her (website link here)! If you are thinking of committing to this process and you are not in driving distance to my new brow bestie do your research!! Thanks to Instagram you can view portfolio history and see plenty of before and afters of service providers in your area… and I would love to know how things go for you!! Post reviews and pics!!