My Tips On How To Achieve Better Brows Along With My Own Microblading Experience
I just wanted to warn you – this post is going to be really long. I have plenty to say and I have been waiting a long time to share my entire experience because in my reviews I like being very thorough. One of the very first things I want to clarify is I will not be sharing any business names that relate to this – and just to be fully transparent, and it is because I don’t like to share negative reviews of an individual’s work. You will be reading about a positive experience and a negative experience in this post, and to keep things fair I won’t be disclosing any of the business names here.
In my post, I will include my positive and negative experiences and to keep things fair, I have not disclosed peoples names or their businesses.
The Background of My Brows
In order to provide you with a history of the eyebrow situation, I need to go back to about 2011. That was before YouTube got to be big and all of the online beauty gurus started getting really popular. When it came to makeup, all of us were basically just on our own. I really love makeup, but at that point, I had just completed my MBA and then moved to be with John in Virginia while he was going to medical school and I didn’t have the money to purchase makeup then. Occasionally I would buy something at Walgreens but it was always something like mascara that I really needed. It was a time when I didn’t just randomly try out or buy new high-end makeup and I didn’t have any YouTube videos that I could watch either. When I look back at my undergrad photos, none of my friends were filling in their eyebrows and that shocks me today since all of us are so into our eyebrows now! In spring 2012, just before we got married, John and I went on a little getaway to Charlotte, NC. We were just 2 hours away and once in a while would treat ourselves and go on a trip to North Carolina to do some window shopping and eat at PF Chang. I went into Macys and stopped by the Benefit Brow Bar because I thought I could use a brow clean up. I had planned on having the girl there “shape” my brows for the very first time. I will never forget that experience since it was so life-changing. She cleaned my brows up and then used a product that tamed the crazy hair and filled it in to give me a little arch. I remember I was so elated when I saw the final product. I specifically remember thinking, ‘wait, now I have an arch just like the pageant girls! That was really huge for me since I look exactly like my Dad and have really thick eyebrows that sit in a straight line over my eyes. On my Dad, it looks great but doesn’t look so good on me. At Benefit the girl taught me what I needed to do to achieve this look and so I too seriously notes – although I wasn’t ever to get the same slight arch that she did. The next time I went home and was with my sister and mom, I show them my new product and used it on them. They were both in shock and we went and purchased products for them also!
History and Hacks
All of this occurred in 2012 – brow products and brows have really evolved since that time. Things have really come a long way and now there are even better products on the market. Also, I notice that people are realizing how important it is to not pluck all of the hairs and allow their brows to grow in also. Just as soon I was able to see what a bit of shaping and filling in was able to do for me, I truly was committed to taking much better care of my eyebrows – do not go crazy with plucking and do whatever you can in order to encourage growth. I recently posted on my IG stories a throwback photo and a couple of people asked me if I had had a nose job. I definitely had not. I posted about my contour routine [here]. Also, I had a couple of comments that asked if I had microbladed since they were able to see a difference. I said, “Yes, and it was life changing!” Many people asked me for a review. Also, a girl asked if I had had a “brow lift.” I had to laugh since I know what she meant by that, but no I have not! I had to google it. That definitely sounds intense! So I went from 2012 with my brows sitting in a straight line over my eyes – to having brows with a little arch to them and still have room for eyeshadow! I didn’t think anybody wouldn’t ever consider this to be a “lift” but over the past couple of years I have been paying closer attention to the makeup regimen that I follow and I realized that there are a lot of little things that I do when I am getting ready for helping give more space in between my brow and eyelid.
** The major key for people who don’t want to do microblading is to use a product such as THIS or THIS in order to add a little to the top part of your brow to provide a “lift” illusion and use a product such as THIS below in order to draw attention and brighten the area. [P.S. Benefit refers to their version of the pencil “Highlight and lift Brow Pencil” – and that is what can help to provide you with the illusion]. Let me know if you would like me to do any demos of it on my IG stories. It can be confusing just trying to read about it! Brows, more or less, can be similar to contouring in many ways – using lighter shades and darker shades will provide you with a different kind of illusion.
Over about the past 5 years, I have fallen really in love with the ABH techniques and products. One of the cheats that I used to use was stencils – and I trained my eyebrows to grow to fill the stencils in. When you are a beginner that is very helpful.
Why are Brows So Important?
It is only my opinion, but I’ve shared my knowledge with many family members and girlfriends and all of them have had the same exact reaction – but I’m sure if you’re reading this it’s because you would like to know more about your eyebrows! The first thing is your eyebrows completely shape your face. Unfortunately, in the past we would get very heavy handed with our plucking and if that is done too often the hairs sometimes don’t ever grow back. Fortunately, my mother would never allow me to pluck too much – that is because she always now that eyebrows are important but every once in a while I would go a bit overboard and end up shortening the tail on my brows. There is a method to know where your brows should go [Here is a post that shows you how to measure step by step where they are supposed to be!] Brows not only make your eyes appear larger and frame them better but balances your face as well. It can be very flattering and provide you with a very striking appearance. My sister and mom have lighter eyebrows but they aren’t into makeup that much the way I am so when we were going to a Taylor Swift concert and I was able to do their makeup I had so much fun seeing their reactions. Both of them do not enhance their arch or fill in the tails on their eyebrows so I did that to both of them and both of them were asking me how I did that. All it takes is about 15 seconds to do it.
A flat eyebrow has a tendency to shorten the shape of the face, which on some faces can be unflattering. It might help if you happen to have a long face but it will not have the same positive effect if you are the opposite. Also if you shape them properly you can change how something looks that you might not like about your face. You would be shocked how shaping appropriate and filling in will change your entire face. I’m always really shocked after I clean up my brows after not having taken care of them that people will comment and ask me if I have done anything with my makeup or something.
My Experience with Microblading
I have never necessarily needed microblading – I do have thick brows and learned how to best deal with them. However, I got interested in it back in 2015/16 when microblading was really hot with celebrites in LA. It wasn’t popular anyplace else at the time and as there new and not many people were trained how to do it. One of the major reasons why I got interested in it was because the girl who shaped and waxed my brows told me that if I had Botox done on my forehead it would give an arched effect also. So I did that and I was a complete nervous wreck. There were nightmare stories that I had heard like eyebrows dropping due to botox. A couple of days later after having Botox, I like how my eyebrows sat – they had an arch to them I really did not need to work drawing in an arch as much. I was thinking how cool it waas. Then about 6 weeks later what I experienced was like a balloon deflating. My eyebrows went back to normal. I really don’t remember how much I paid, but do rememver thinking that I had paid all of that money and that it had only lasted 6 weeks. I asked people and everybody said, “that’s too bad, you must have metabolized it really fast.” I tried it one more time but the same thing happened. This time it lasted for 6 weeks – while some people who have Botox done and it will last 6 months for them! Honestly, I could not justify this. Also, I knew we would be attempting to have our first baby that year and I was afraid it would be too dangerous having Botox while I was trying to get pregnant – and while I was pregnant and nursing. That end up taking up 2 years of my life! About this time I heard about microblading and I saw a girl in LA with incredible before and after photos on her IG and I thought, I really can have an arch. If I do microblading I won’t have to go through the hassle of all of that other ‘stuff.’
That summer I started to do research and found a girl in Dallas who was really well known for her incredible brow skills. [This story is a negative one so I won’t be giving her name.] I was told she did all of the Who’s Who in Dallas and all of the reality television stars and told that he was booked for 4 months and good luck with getting in. We live near Dallas so I called her and was able to get an appointment in 2 weeks due to a cancellation. John was nice enough to drive me there and for some reason I was a total nervous wreck. I remember when I walked in and picked up on how she had a lack of warmth. She wasn’t super warm or friendly. I tried to explain that wanted an arch. She sort of listened to me. She didn’t seem too interested or give me much time. She started to use the needle technique to numb me. But she basically used needles around my eyebrows but I never did get numb. She finished very fast and could feel every single stroke that she added to my eyebrow. Every single one. It was extremely painful. I had paid for the touch up already, but I didn’t return since I couldn’t forget that memory. So I just left and my eyebrows were okay – they weren’t what I had asked for but I just was really relieved to leave. That wasn’t the best experience that I have ever had. I will not be sharing her information publicly because maybe she just was having an off day or a bad day, you never know. I’ve heard lots of good things about her work, so I’m conflicted about it.
During the week of having my ‘new eyebrows,’ they definitely were really dark and scabby – which is really normal. She gave me my care tips on a piece of paper and I did all of them. I just never did love that look. In around 14 days my strokes turned red – like a red dye had been used. She didn’t, but I believe she used the wrong color and it didn’t set well for me. [In the photos below you can see these red strokes.]
Just to be 100% transparent, that experience left a really bad taste in my mouth in general for microblading. Over the next 2 years, I would be really confused whenever my friends had t done and would tell me that it didn’t hurt that much.
2 Years Later
Here in Tulsa, I have a friend who used to do my hair. She is also rally into eyebrows and had hers done by somebody else in Dallas. Hers looked incredible. She also had become trained to do brows and I had seen how hers were before and then after and said, “girl, you are really good.” I was in shock that somebody local was so gifted with eyebrows – since eyebrows are really scary to work on. In early June this summer I reached out and told her all about the bad experience that I had she told me to come in and told me she could fix my brows. She used a certain numbing cream and told me she had never heard that it could hurt so badly. So two years later here we are and she does my brows and I hardly felt a thing. After she had finished, she gave me a mirror and I started to tear up. She did exactly what I had wanted all along. I really couldn’t believe the great job that she did. She gave me an arch and showed me where to pluck my hairs. She used brow and shading strokes [read about that HERE]. I could feel the shading, but it wasn’t anywhere close to the ain that I had felt in the past.
I didn’t really ever get scabby – they never did turn red and they healed nicely. They stayed at the same color. In around 5 weeks I went for a touch up and ever since they looked really great. I will post a couple of photos below so that you can see my eyebrows without microblading, before with no product on them, and then after I had my last microblading. That is very important since I know many people don’t want to have microblading done since it is kind of expensive and can be a permanent scary thing to do.
May 2018 – This is me filling my brows in – you can read all about that in the beginning part of this post. It only takes a minute to fill in your brows once you learn how. So don’t be afraid to try it out.
June 2018 – Before my brows were microbladed. Those red strokes that you see are from after going to the girl in Dallas. I also didn’t clean up my brows. I just want them as hairy as possible so that they could be shaped right. That’s just a tip if you are going to have yours done.
– This photo is from this summer AFTER I had my first appointment. See how natural the shading and strokes look. You also can see how it provides a lifted effect because she plucked some of the hairs underneath my brow so that it set lower down on my eye. I really like having lid space for my eyeshadow.
– July 201 – This photo is from 5 weeks after going in to have my touch up. She really didn’t need to do much. However, it definitely did enhance the look and make them darker. Those were taken up very close with really intense lighting so that you can see each pore, flaw, hair, etc.
– Just added. This was taken in June on the night of my first appointment. you totally can see the overall look of my brows without any makeup on.
Now that my brows are microbladed I really love how they look. I still am able to fill them in using powder on those days when I am wearing eyeshadow and foundation because the foundation will cover up the real hairs and strokes – so I always make sure to apply some powder on those days [link in the post’s first section’ so that way may hairs show up. Having microbladed bros and lash extensions makes it so I don’t need to wear any makeup at all on many days. However, when I’m shooting I do wear makeup and I still really love makeup. However, when I am just home with Luke and were being lazy at home, I like the fact that I don’t ever have to get ready since my lashes and brows are already there!
If you currently do not feel comfortable about having micrbladed brows, you should at least start by filling in your brows. I promise you it will definitely be worth it!