Like it or lump it, we are living in generation brow.
Everyone from Cara Delevigne to Lilly Collins is rocking a strong brow, but if you spent your teens and early twenties over-plucking, chances are your eyebrows are looking sparse, thin and weedy.
Microblading is the latest trend in getting a statement brow.
Costing upwards of £300, this semi-permanent treatment counts Helen Mirren, Colleen Rooney and Michelle Keegan among its celeb fans.
Here’s everything you need to know before going under the scalpel…
What is microblading?
Microblading involves making minute, hair like cuts with a fine scalpel, before adding a vegetable-based dye.
Essentially, it’s a semi-permanent tattoo that will fade after 1-2 years.
But unlike a tattoo, which is etched on with a vibrating needle, microblading scalpels don’t vibrate, allowing for much more detailed, steady-handed work.
The fine cuts mimic the natural lines of individual hairs, and should lead to a natural, realistic look.
It might sound scary, but when done by a skilled professional, it can completely transform your face, lifting your brows, evening up your eyes and giving thick, full, realistic-looking brows.
Does it hurt?
Most clinics will apply numbing cream to the area 20 minutes before the procedure.
Although not entirely pain-free, you should feel a mild stinging at worst, but there is the disconcerting sound of the scalpel on your skin to contend with.
What can I expect afterwards?
You can expect redness and mild swelling immediately afterwards, followed by brows that look substantially darker than desirable.
Most clinics advise keeping your face completely dry and avoiding sport for up to two weeks afterwards.
You’ll also have to diligently apply aftercare balm and stay out of the sun.
Your tattooed brows will start to peel and flake off after a couple of days, to reveal your beautiful new ones underneath.
After 6 weeks, you’ll have to go along for a top-up treatment and have it all over again.
Are there any risks?
The biggest risk is ending up with a shape or colour you aren’t happy with.
Do your research thoroughly and ask to see before and after pictures of brows your clinician has done previously.
It’s worth spending a bit extra to get the results you want.
Never, ever let someone use a stencil as a guide when microblading.
Every face is unique and there shouldn’t be a one size fits all brow.
You should also never let anyone microblade your brows on freehand – make sure the clinician spends time drawing the shape on carefully before beginning, and check that you’re entirely happy with it before the scalpel goes anywhere near your face.
Tried and Tested
Our Rosie tried out Brow Reconstruction at Browhaus…
‘Looking back at pictures from my teenage years, I’m always surprised by just how bad my brows were.
'They were hardly bushy to begin with, yet I plucked them to within an inch of their life, leaving me with spindly, blonde brows that I’ve spent a life-time trying to grow back.
'My brows are also not quite even. You know the saying: “eyebrows are sisters not twins”? Well, mine are more like cousins.
'One has a nice arch, while the other is flatter – meaning mornings with the eyebrow pencil were a bit of a fiddle.
'Aarti, a Brow Technician at Browhaus in Soho, assured me she could give me perfectly arched, perfectly even brows.
'Aarti is trained to painstakingly perfect the right brow shape for each individual’s face shape, rather than just using a generic stencil with a one size fits all approach.
'In fact, perfecting the shape with a kohl pencil took much longer than the actual microblading, or Brow Reconstruction as it’s called at Browhaus.
'Once she’d carefully drawn on the shape, she gave me the chance to look in the mirror to see what I think.
'I asked for a couple of tweaks – after all, I was about to have a face tattoo.
'Once I was happy with the shape, Aarti applied a numbing cream to my brows.
'Twenty minutes later I couldn't’t feel a thing as Aarti set to work.
'The most disconcerting thing was hearing the tiny cutting sound of the scalpel on my skin, but other than that, it was actually quite relaxing.
'One hour later, I had a pair of lovely, natural looking brows, albeit rather red and a tad swollen.
'For the next few days I diligently applied the aftercare cream as my brows darkened at an alarming rate.
'Aarti had warned me this would happen. But it was still pretty horrifying and I felt like everyone was staring at my felt tip brows on the tube.
'Thankfully, after a few days of dark, itchy brows the tiny cuts healed and my new brows emerged from underneath.
'I love them.
'They aren’t one hundred percent even now but they are as close as they’re ever going to get.
'I never have to muck around with eyebrow pencils anymore and I love waking up with brows ready to go, instead of my weedy looking fair coloured brows.'
Brow Resurrection is available at Browhaus from £600. Browhaus has four London salons as well as others worldwide. Click here for more information
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