I’m all about the brows.
I remember begging my mum for my 13th birthday to let me go and get my make up done and my eyebrows shaped. The woman in the Village Hotel plucked my beautiful, bushy, teenage brows into a shape that resembled a sperm-cell, all full and the front with a long tail. Proper 90’s. Then off I went with my hair in barrel curls for birthday tea at Franky and Benny’s. Good times!
However, little did I know, that at the age of 31, I would deeply regret my moment in the chair at the Village Hotel and long for my adolescent brows back! They’ve never been the same since.
I first had them tattooed on in 2013 and loved them. And I’ve turned into a bit of a self-confessed brow connoisseur (is that even a thing? It is now!) ever since. As the tattoo faded to a weird purple tinge, I’d draw them in religiously. My products of choice have been mainly from Anastasia Beverly Hills and Illamasqua.
Since the initial tattooing, the skills and technology in this area of beauty have moved on leaps and bounds. Enter, microblading! The technique sounds scary (more on that later!) but basically involves implanting pigment into the top layers of the skin in short hair-like strokes using a short blade. The results are beautifully sculpted, natural looking brows, tailored to your liking. No waiting for them to grow, spending every morning drawing them in or having them run down your face during a spin class.
With a tropical holiday on the horizon and a lack of patience for the endless rigmarole of drawing my brows on, I booked an appointment with Bellissimo Cosmetics after seeing Jody’s work on Instagram. Not only was I super-impressed with her portfolio, she was great value for money. I do think microblading can be prohibitively expensive with some salons charging upwards of £250 for the treatment. You don’t wana go to someone charging a tenner like, but there are certainly great technicians out there who are more competitive, especially if you offer to model for them under supervision.
Right, to the nitty gritty! Jody and I discussed what I wanted when I arrived – a more gentle step at the front of the brow, a well-defined arch, longer tail and just a tad darker than my hair. She measured out my brows so everything was even and marked it up on my face. She then applied some numbing cream to my brows which sat for about 20 minutes to give it plenty of time to kick in.
And it worked – to an extent. The first few strokes of the blade, I thought “I can totally do this, it’s like a tickle!”. As time went on though, my bravado faded because it really-bloody stung! Like, eye wateringly stung! It is a blade being drawn across your skin mind, so it’s going to hurt! After about 40 minutes of wincing, going over each brow twice, Jody applied some more pigment over the entire brow for a few minutes and I was done. And the pain was worth it! They were flippin’ boss, so natural and just what I wanted!
You can walk out of the salon and just get on with your life – you don’t look like Oscar the Grouch! Just try not to get your face wet for 24 hours. Over the next few days, the colour will settle and they’ll start to peel a bit – that parts a bit gross, having flaky, scabby eyebrows but it’s not intolerable.
You have to go back for a top up 4-6 weeks after your initial treatment to really bed the pigment into your skin. This also gives you opportunity to talk to your technician about any changes you want to make to the shape or colour so you’re 100% happy. The top-up appointment is more of the same – I actually think it hurt more the second time around but I was due on – does anyone else think that makes your pain threshold lower? Anyone?
So in case you haven’t guessed by now, yes, it does hurt. That’s the question everyone wants to know. If you have a low pain tolerance, brace yourself! A couple of good deep breaths does help and Jody is great at taking it at your pace. But it’s not like a normal tattoo sort of pain and it’s certainly not a constant pain; the shorter strokes are totally fine and the numbing cream does help.
The results though, in my view, are totally worth it. They look so natural, not like two big slugs stamped on your head. I’m loving not having to worry about doing my brows in the morning or them smudging off and I’m excited to go bare-faced on my holiday without looking like a boiled egg. They’re only a couple of days post-top up and they’ll continue to bed in over the next few weeks but I’m already delighted when them. The photo below is two days post top up with no brow product in them AT ALL. Boom!
Have you had your brows done? What was your experience? Or are you thinking about it and have some questions? Just let me know in the comments below.