Is Microblading Worth The Hype?

The semi-permanent makeup trend may be all the rage right now, but can the results really replace your brow pencils and gels? The AEDITION spoke to three women who have tried the tattoo treatment to get their honest assessment.
Patient Perspective
Written by Samantha Stone
01.27.2020
Irina Bg/Shutterstock

When I first learned about microblading back in 2018, I thought it sounded too good to be true. The art of achieving perfect brows is a difficult one, and the thought of having them tattooed onto your face sounded, well, just plain weird! Wanting to dig deeper into the matter, I listened to three women’s experiences with the treatment to determine, once and for all, if microblading is really worth the hype.

Microblading 101

First things first, let’s review what exactly eyebrow microblading is and how it works. Microblading — not to be confused with microneedling — is a semi-permanent makeup technique to create the illusion of fuller, more defined brows. The technique involves using a cosmetic tattoo pen to make small incisions that deposit pigment into the skin.

Technique

The tip of the microblading pen is so delicate that its strokes actually mimic individual hairs, and there are a variety of tips in different diameters to control the thickness of each hairlike stroke. By choosing a diameter that closely matches the thickness of the native brow hair, the technician can make the outcome look more natural. In addition to the diameter, you are also able to choose from a range of colors to match your natural hair as closely as possible. Because each hair is hand drawn, technicians are able to customize the eyebrow shape, color, and thickness with each hair stroke.

Cost & Appointment Schedule

Depending on the location and salon, a microblading treatment is usually an investment of $300 to $1,000. In terms of timing, there is an initial session and then a touch-up appointment six to eight weeks later to make any necessary adjustments to the color, shape, and/or fullness.

Recovery & Results

There is no downtime after a microblading treatment, but there are some aftercare instructions. For instance, you should keep your brow area as dry as possible for around 10 days after the procedure. This means avoiding heat and any activities that are likely to get your face wet. There are also medicated and over-the-counter creams that can be applied to help with the healing process.

  • Downtime: None
  • Initial Results: 2 to 3 weeks post-procedure
  • Final Results: 4 weeks post-procedure
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years

Speaking of the healing process, most microblading clients experience darkening in color followed by lightening in color (anywhere from 20 to 50 percent) and scabs for the first seven to 10 days post procedure. By week two or three, however, the eyebrows appear closer to their final state. About a month in, you’ll be enjoying the full effect of the treatment.

Unlike regular tattoos, microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo because it only penetrates the superficial layers of skin. Results typically last anywhere from one to three years, depending on your skin type. In a way, microblading lasts an ideal amount of time considering how often beauty trends last. While you may be in love with your microbladed brows this year, you may be lusting after a different look down the road.

Patient Perspective

While the treatment certainly sounds promising, the only way to truly understand the results is to speak to patients who have experienced it first hand. We caught up with three women to get their thoughts on their microbladed brows.

Carrington, Houston, TX

Carrington, the brains behind fashion and lifestyle blog Chaos & Coffee, opted to get her brows microbladed after being unhappy with the results she was achieving filling them in with pencils, powders, and gels. She spent months researching the procedure and finding the right technician before giving it go.

A before-and-after look at Carrington's microbladed brows.

The AEDITION: What attracted you to microblading in the first place?

Carrington: I have always had extremely thin eyebrows, and, since I have strawberry blonde hair, my eyebrows are very light colored. I filled them in everyday, but, to be honest, I wasn't always the best at getting them even. Half the time I looked like I was questioning everyone that day. I also really wanted to be able to not wear makeup and still look like I had eyebrows, since you couldn't really see them unless I filled them in.

The AEDITION: Did your microblading experience meet your expectations?

Carrington: Yes, I absolutely love my eyebrows now, and I couldn't be happier with the results I received. I did a lot of research beforehand though to make sure I went to the right person and received the best results possible. I found Alex Hein in Houston and couldn't find a bad review from a client, so I booked an appointment and decided to take the leap. I'm so happy I did!

The AEDITION: Is there anything you would have done differently?

Carrington: I'm honestly so happy with the way they turned out. I don't think I would change a thing. The way Alex does her appointments, she has the initial appointment where she does the microblading. Then you go back six to eight weeks later for a follow-up where she does touch-ups and makes sure they are exactly like you want them — dark enough, right shape, thick enough, etc. I decided to go a little darker and thicker at my follow-up appointment and now they are 100 percent exactly like I want!

The AEDITION: Do you feel like it was worth the time and money?

Carrington: Microblading is pricey, I'm not going to lie. But I'm so happy with the results and feel confident now — with or without makeup — with how my eyebrows look. For me, it was worth the money. I could have gone to a different technician and had it done for cheaper, but I researched a lot of microblading technicians and Alex was hands down the best. Her rates are fair, and you get what you pay for. I didn't want to take a chance since it's my face! I was willing to pay more to ensure I got a quality level of service and a quality outcome with microblading.

The AEDITION: How do you feel after microblading?

Carrington:

I do feel more confident! I used to hate not wearing makeup because I really looked like I didn't have any eyebrows. As you can probably imagine, it looked a little odd. Now, I feel confident without makeup and am happy with how even my eyebrows look 24/7. I was never really great at drawing them on or filling them in. I wanted them to look natural, and they never did. Now, they're always even and I never have to worry about wiping one off during the day because I forget I have them filled in or worry if one is higher than the other. I know everyone likes to say ‘they're sisters, not twins,’ but, for me, they needed to be twins! I'm very happy with the results of my microblading and plan to continue it for years to come.

Chaneya, Georgia

Chaneya, the fashion and lifestyle blogger behind Savvy Singer, grew tired of the time and energy it took her to fill in her brows everyday before deciding to get them microbladed. While it was an investment, she believes it can be a more cost-effective and efficient option in the long run.

The AEDITION: What attracted you to microblading in the first place?

Chaneya: I love my eyebrows. It’s one of the most important features on my face. I honestly got tired of the daily routine of filling them in and it taking me 10 minutes alone just to do them. I wanted a way that, during the work week, it would cut back time spent doing them. Microblading was the way to go.

The AEDITION: Did your microblading experience meet your expectations?

Chaneya: My experience with microblading definitely met my expectations and more. I knew it would enhance the way that my brows looked, but I never knew just from the first session how much more confident I would feel having them done when I woke up every morning.

The AEDITION: Is there anything you would have done differently?

Chaneya: Honestly, no. I loved my experience just how it was. I wish I would’ve done it sooner than I had, but I love them. Luckily, my technician is a close friend who owns a salon and does them. He has great brows, and I felt great and confident in him doing the best job.

The AEDITION: Do you feel like it was worth the time and money?

Chaneya: I definitely feel it’s worth the time and money. When you think about how many brow products there are out there and the amount that they can cost, you’re consistently investing in a $20 eyebrow pencil every month, which quickly adds up. I saved time and money in the long run.

The AEDITION: How do you feel after microblading?

Chaneya: I’m definitely more confident. I love that I can wake up every morning and have full brows. That’s just one part of my face that is super important to me, so to have them look great makes me feel a lot better!

Katy, Cleveland, OH

Katy, the Cleveland-based lifestyle blogger behind Sugar & Chiffon, decided to get her brows microshaded after growing tired of filling in her self-described “small, sparse, and patchy” brows on a daily basis. She chose a technician after looking at lots of before and afters on Instagram and is happy with her results.

A before-and-after look at Katy's microshaded brows.

The AEDITION: What attracted you to microblading in the first place?

Katy: I was initially attracted to microblading/microshading because my natural brows are very small, sparse, and patchy. I didn’t really have any arch. And I’m terrible at filling them in, so doing that every day (or at all) wasn’t a viable option for me.

The AEDITION: Did your microblading experience meet your expectations?

Katy: My experience totally met my expectations. My brows look so much better now. They have a defined shape and arch, but they still look pretty natural. When I had my appointment, I told Stephanie Garcia (the woman who did my brows) that I wanted ‘natural Instagram brows,’ and she totally nailed it.

The AEDITION: Is there anything you would have done differently?

Katy: I think, if I could do it again, I would have them done just the tiniest bit fuller and bolder.

The AEDITION: Do you feel like it was worth the time and money?

Katy: I definitely think it was worth my time and money.

The AEDITION: How do you feel after microblading?

Katy: I feel so much more confident now that my brows actually frame my face and don’t look so weird and patchy. I feel like it has helped me look more put together, which is important to me because I’m a stay-at-home toddler mom, so I am definitely not put together most of the time. I am still so happy with them almost a year later, and I recommend it to everybody!

The Takeaway

So, are microbladed eyebrows worth the hype? The answer certainly seems to be a resounding yes. While I doubted that an eyebrow tattoo could naturally mimic real hair, a natural and bespoke result is possible at the hands of an experienced technician. I, for one, am seriously considering giving my brows a microbladed makeover.

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SAMANTHA STONEis a freelance writer for AEDIT.
tagsMicrobladingEyebrowsBeauty

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