(Updated on May 6, 2017)
Let the record show, I'm not a beauty blogger, I barely know how to put on my own makeup and I make a living coaching my clients in confidence, mindset, marketing & sales strategies.
So this blog on microblading is a bit of a departure from the usual topics, however, I think I can find a way to tie it all together. Plus, way too many people were asking for more details on my experience and I figured, let me just throw this up on a blog and keep it moving.
So here we go.
WHY I DECIDED TO GET MICROBLADED
What you need to know is that prior to getting microbladed, my day didn't start until I painted in my eyebrows. I never felt awake or prepared to see people.
Ok, to be fair, it's not like I had no eyebrows. I had some. But the hair was very thin and fine and the tail ends were barely there. From far away it looked like I only had half a brow.
So there I was, enjoying a beautiful afternoon at the beach, eyebrows painted on, hair blowing in the wind, when I decided to take a dip in the ocean.
I hadn't planned on wetting my face at all. In fact, I had even tied up my hair in hopes of not getting it wet either. But Mother Nature likes to play jokes sometimes...
Within 3 minutes of stepping in, the biggest wave came crashing down on me, knocking me down, fully submerged in the cool, salty water. I almost started to get mad, but instead I laughed and decided to enjoy the moment.
Note: If you're a fire sign like me, getting into the ocean and grounded with water every few weeks is super therapeutic to your energy.
I bobbed around in the water for about 10 more minutes and then headed back to my beach towel to listen to music and write in my journal.
After about an hour, as I walked back to my car, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a storefront window. My eyebrows were gone!
I was a hot mess and all of a sudden I found myself thinking, "Who is that women staring back at me. That's not my face."
And then for some strange reason, a montage of makeup tutorials I had seen on Instagram where a man does his makeup so good he transforms himself into a gorgeous women began to flash in my mind. Imagine them going to the beach on a first date??
It was clear, me and those Instagram boys - we can't go to the beach on first dates! haha!
Anyhow, it was right then and there that I decided I was going to do something about this situation and get my eyebrows microbladed.
I had heard about it about a year prior and a few of my friends had done it and loved their results. But I had held off because it's relatively expensive (I'll get into the cost in a bit) and my big fear was that they'd mess it up, I wouldn't like it and then I'd be stuck.
But this beach trip was the last straw. Not to mention the fact that I was always worried that my brows would rub off when I hugged people or sweat off during a workout, or sex!
It was time to take action.
WHAT IS MICROBLADING
I'm not an aesthetician, brow specialist or technician, so I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty science behind microblading. You can read up on the technical side of microblading in this really comprehensive post by BrowsByWhitney.
But to give you a quick run down, microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow tattoo. Results last up to 3 years and it's recommended that you go for a touch-up once a year to keep the color vibrant and your lines looking fresh and crisp.
I already have 2 other tatoos so I figured, what the heck, why not tat up my face too!
HOW I CHOSE MY TECHNICIAN
I'm a visual gal, so for me it's all about them before and after photos and client reviews when it comes to choosing service providers.
I found my gal Sudie, from Sudie's Brows in Jacksonville, Florida (where I'm currently living; temporarily) thanks to Yelp.
She had plenty of before and after photos and the reviews were pretty much all amazing. But before I let her cut me, I went to her salon for threading.
Sudie is the owner of 2 locations in Jacksonville, and while she has very skilled brow threaders, she's the only one who does the microblading.
I was convinced she was the technician for me when one of her employees, who was threading my brows (and did amazing job!) told me her own brows were microbladed. They looked so darn real!
BOOM! Appointment booked.
I took my Instagram and Snapchat friends along for the ride. If you're not following me, I'm @GirlConfident on Instagram and @RachelLunatv on SnapChat.
Watch the video:
My appointment was at 10am and Sudie had given me strict instructions 2 days prior:
NO PAIN RELIEVERS (ASPIRIN, MOTRIN, ETC)
She explained these were all blood thinners which might cause me to bleed more. But the rebel that I am, I forgot and had an organic almond milk latte (which, by the way, was soooo freakin' tasty). Luckily, my blood is thick and it didn't make a lick of a difference.
Lesson for all: When in doubt, choose coffee.
Ok, so my appointment was at 10am and the first step the draw on the shape. I showed her pictures of how I normally paint my brows and explained the look I wanted.
Sudie used a thick, black pencil and went to work drawing all over my face. When I looked in the mirror, I was worried.
I looked like one of the Marx brothers. But she assured me the pencil was thicker and it wouldn't be that dark; this was just to sketch the shape.
Step two was to thread my natural eyebrows to match the outline we had drawn. I like Threading because I feel like the results are more precise than waxing, but it's not the most comfortable and I hate pulling on my skin. I just know all that tugging is going to catch up with me in a decade or so.
After threading it was time for numbing spray which she applied and let sit for about 10 minutes.
And then it was the moment of truth. I popped my earbuds in, cracked a podcast episode all the way up and closed my eyes.
With her latex-gloved hands, Sudie grabbed the blade which looked like a combination of an exacto blade and scalpel and began slicing away at my brow.
DOES IT HURT
Yes. Yes it does. Even with the numbing spray, I could feel every single, deep slice she made into my brow. I have a pretty good tolerance for pain when it comes to cramps, tattoos and labor; I delivered my daughter without an epidural and was just fine.
So for me, the pain was bearable. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 5.
For some reason, unknown to me, the right eyebrow hurt more than the left. So much so, that my eye began tearing and thick drops rolled down my cheek. But it was fine. I didn't feel like I needed her to stop or take a break.
Everyone is different, but it was as if I could hear the skin being sliced open, which was an interesting experience in itself, and why I highly recommend you wear a headset and listen to something to distract yourself.
Once the first brow was done, she moved onto the second brow. Numbing spray on, slice, slice, slice.
After the first round of cuts were complete on both brows, Sudie then applied a numbing cream to the left brow, gave me a 10-min break and then went back to work.
This second round, after the numbing cream I barely felt a thing. During this part of the process she was filling in the cuts with the pigment. This was easy, breezy.
She repeated the same process on the right brow; numbing cream, break, pigment filling.
And voila! Two hours later we were done!
Or so I thought. Sudie said, "Bite your upper lip." Nervous she was going back in to cut me, I closed my eyes and did as she instructed when all of a sudden I felt her ripping the hair off my mustache!
WHAT THE?! Was she threading my mustache?? Noooooooooooo.
I know I have a mustache, but I never wax or thread it because it's a very sensitive area for me and in the past it's caused horrific-looking breakouts.
I opened my eyes and said, "noooo...I'm going to get bumps." She laughed and said, "Relax, you're not going to get bumps. I'll take care of you."
Mm-hmmm. Within minutes my lips were swollen and tiny bumps were starting to form at the corners. But, true to her word, Sudie took care of me. She applied hydrocortisone and an ice pack and gave me instructions to continue applying hydrocortisone throughout the day.
HOW MUCH IT COST
The entire procedure was $400 and when I go back in a month for a touch-up (if needed) it'll cost me $100. Yearly touch-ups with Sudie will be $100.
Oh and she comped me the lip threading.
THE HEALING/RECOVERY TIME
Sudie's instructions were simple and direct. Bacitration zinc ointment 3x a day for 3 days. "Don't make it too much, or it will pull the pigment. Don't let it get too dry of the pigment will flake off. Keep it nice and light the way I'm doing for you here."
Then switch to Aquafor lotion 3x a day for 7 days. Come back in a month if I want any touch ups.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
To be fair, I think the best thing is for me to write a follow-up post in about a month or two after my touch up appointment, if I end up needing a touch up.
But as of right now, the morning after, I love my results! It was such a pleasure waking up this morning and seeing a frame around my face; one that I didn't have to spend 10 minutes perfectly sketching on.
Now if only we could do something about my perpetual raccoon eyes... I might actually one day wake up and not feel the need to put on a drop of makeup!
But a gentle reminder for us all, including myself, true confidence has to come from within.
Microblading, makeup, botox, surgery...those are all enhancements, which in my opinion, are fine and as is the case with microblading; can be great time savers.
Just make sure that whatever you to do your body and your face, you're doing it for YOU. Not because you're worried how other people see you, but more so for how you see yourself!
Hope you enjoyed this recount of my experience with microblading.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of microblading. Have you tried it? Did you love it? Are you going to try it now?
UPDATE: 3 Days later
Still loving my brows! I love waking up and seeing a face that I actually recognize as my own. I'm applying the bacitration 3x a day as directed, so my brows do look shiny and greasy, but I'm ok with that.
They are also starting to itch. Resist the urge to scratch! If you scratch, you risk pulling out the pigment and worse, possibly getting an infection. Breathe through the itchies; this too shall pass!
For more expert tips on microblading, check out