Take Care

You got your eyebrows microbladed for the first time and if you’re lucky, your technician sent you home with an Aftercare kit with instructions; but if you weren’t so lucky and were sent home without much direction, here are a few important things to keep in mind: 

 Cleaning

Following your procedure, you’ll need to keep your eyebrows as dry as possible for at least 2 weeks. In the first 2/3 days you’ll clean them with a pre soaked cotton ball (pre soaked with sodium chloride or an antibacterial soap with water) every 2-3 hours, you’ll pat your eyebrows dry using paper towel (no face/body towels as they have too much bacteria) and moisturize them with an ointment (less than a pea size), barrier cream or tattoo gel. After 2/3 days, if things are healing nicely (no crusting), cleaning and moisturizing can be done twice a day for the remaining week and a half. Cleaning is essential; if your technician tells you not to clean them, run! Just think about it, while you’re being microbladed, lymph fluid comes out of the skin and will lightly continue to do so as your skin heals. If you don’t clean the skin and allow the body fluid to crust over, there’s a greater chance of pigment loss and build up of bacteria, which can lead to infection.

Showering/Washing Face 

Since you want to avoid water sitting on your eyebrows for the first couple weeks, some minor adjustments with your beauty routine will help keep your eyebrows dry. The lower part of your face (below the eyes) can be washed as normal, but from the eyes up, it’s best to spot clean by either using a makeup wipe or a clean wash cloth, still avoiding your eyebrows. 

When it comes to showering, the best thing to do is apply a thin layer of ointment to your eyebrows and cover with saran wrap. This gives you a double layer of protection from water and steam while in the shower. You can wash your hair and body normally, but avoid the water hitting you directly in the face. Also make sure the water isnt too hot so it doesn’t create too much steam.

 Makeup, Cosmetics & Skin Procedures 

While it’s best to avoid makeup for the first couple weeks, I realize for some of us, that may seem impossible. Wearing makeup is ok if the eyebrows are avoided completely and as long as you make sure to give them a good clean and follow up with ointment. I tell my clients to do their beauty routine first (wash face/shower/apply makeup) and clean their eyebrows and apply ointment as the last step. This ensures that if any product accidentally touches your eyebrows, you can clean it off and keep it protected with a barrier cream.

DO NOT APPLY MAKEUP TO EYEBROWS AT ALL DURING THE HEALING PROCESS -no if’s and’s or but’s! 

When you get microbladed, you technically have an open wound on your face. Anything you put onto or do to the skin will affect how will it heals. Facials, lasers, microneedling, etc., should be avoided for at least 4 weeks. 

Sleeping

Avoid sleeping on your face or side for the first couple weeks and change your pillow case regularly to avoid the transfer of bacteria.  

 Sun & Tanning 

You need to avoid direct sun and tanning beds for at least 4 weeks. Don’t let this deter you from getting microblading in the summer. It’s always good to be careful in the sun and not bake because of the risk of skin cancer and premature aging. 

Wearing a hat, large sunglasses on and off, as well as applying an ointment to the eyebrows while in the sun will help protect them. Tanning beds are fine if you’re willing to avoid tanning your face, or covering the eyebrow area during the treatment.  

Once your eyebrows are fully healed, remember to put sunscreen on them to protect from UV rays.  

Exercising 

No heavy sweating for at least a couple weeks. If this isn’t possible, stick to light weights.  

This aftercare information may seem like a lot, but it really only takes a couple days to implement into your routine and the trade off  is amazingly healed brows! 

For more detailed Aftercare instructions take a look here and if you have any tips and tricks, feel free to share them! 

Glow Up

We all have a favourite celebrity, model or online personality who we look to for inspiration. The trouble with wanting to have things exactly like them is not knowing if it’ll work for us. When it comes to faces we all have different shapes, bone structure and hair density. So while it’s good to draw inspiration, keeping an open mind while also being realistic to what works for you is key.

I get a lot of clients who come into their microblading session knowing exactly what they want. The main requests I get are achieving a higher, more defined arch, length - which usually requires elongating the tail, going thicker and building fullness. I also get clients who have no idea what they want or what will look good on them. This is generally true for people that are on the more natural side and don’t wear much makeup, or have been filling in their eyebrows for years, but never getting a shape that they are truly happy with. 

As a microblading technician, the one thing I would like clients to know before coming in is that brows aren’t one size fits all. The goal is never to completely change your face and have you look like someone else by the end of the tattoo session; It’s to enhance what you already have in order to make the rest of your features pop! 

The first thing you should know is how thick you’d like to go. People often confuse thickness with fullness. Thickness is width and fullness is adding depth into the dense (sparse)  areas of your eyebrows. Almost anyone can pull off a thick brow but it’s not always a desired look. Some people prefer to have a thinner brow, and that’s ok too. Going thicker may sometimes mean going outside of where your natural brows grow. In choosing this, your tattoo will be a little more visible as opposed to just adding fullness to the sparse area of your eyebrows.

Your arch and tail are the next couple things that can make or break your look. A high, super defined arch may look great on one person, but if you’d have an intense look to begin with, a brow like this can end up being too harsh. Rounding off the arch will help create softness and is a more versatile, everyday look. Having your tail fall too short can also make your eyebrows look short, which in turn make your eyes look squished. The tail should end where the imaginary line going from the corner of your eye, to the outside corner of your nose is, never before that line, and only a couple millimeters past it, if a longer look is what you want. 

As a client you aren’t expected to be versed in any of this, but it’s always good to have some understanding on how to achieve the brows you want. Appointments with me are on the longer side (3-4 hours for first session), and not because I want to waste your time, but because I see the value in taking the time to measure and draw a shape that’s perfectly suited for your face, while also going back and forth with you until you’re 100% happy with what we created. Also, everything cannot be done in one sitting and that’s what your touch up is for. This appointment (2 hours) gives us room to adjust anything that wasn’t working well, or to further perfect. Hello, dream brows! 😍

 

 

Trust the process

People often ask me how I got my start in microblading and are confused when I say I was working in the Administrative/Executive Assistant sector for over 10 years. The truth is, when I found out I was pregnant 4 years ago, I was laid off of my job a week after announcing it to my employer. I was scared and angry, but I told myself I wouldn't let that ruin the happiest, most life changing time for my bf and I so I moved on and enjoyed my pregnancy. 

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After having my daughter, I really wanted to contribute to our home so I began job hunting again. Starting from square one is never easy, but I looked and looked and found a job as an executive assistant at an artist management company. Unfortunately the job wasn't fulfilling, and I felt an immense amount of guilt going to work everyday and leaving my daughter to be raised by someone else. I had a lot of sleepless nights and one of those nights, I came across a microblading video online that left me in complete awe. It looked challenging but I was intrigued enough to dig further. I found a school that offered a 6 day intensive course, but they were full for another 6 months and the course was unbelievably expensive. I didn't register right away... I sat on the idea for a couple weeks, discussed it and finally took the leap. In the meantime, I quit my job, raised my daughter and ate up every minute wih her until I had to start my course. 

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I completed my Permanent Makeup training in October of 2015 and left feeling excited but nervous and unsure how to even start a business. Shortly after I was offered a job at Vancouver's leading digital publication company as an Office Manager, so I took it. I saw immense opportunity at this company and was even promoted as the People & Culture Manager after a few months, so I told myself to stick with it; but as time went on, I itched for more. I wanted my own freedom... The freedom to do the kind of work I wanted, how I wanted, and be able to have a schedule that fit around my family, not the other way around. I also wanted to explore my creative side. Growing up I always loved drawing, writing and being hands on; being in an office was stifling my creativity and I feel that played a huge part in my unhappiness. 

Last March I began plotting my startup, all while balancing a 2 year old and a full time job. When I wasn't working, I was searching for studio space, applying for licenses, getting business cards made and creating a website. Everything started to really come together last July and that's when I quit my job. Uncertainty, the comfort of having a steady paycheque and 9-5 aside, I quit. Again, it wasn't a fool proof plan and I knew it would be hard, but I also knew I wasn't happy with what I was doing and it was taking a toll on my personal life.

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Here I am 1 year later as a new business owner and I could not be happier. Sure, this past year has had its challenges, but for the first time in my life, I'm working towards something that's my own and something I can be proud of. I no longer have to hold back in making decisions or be apologetic. One of my biggest fears 4 years ago was not finding a path that would make my family proud of... now the look my daughter gives me when she visits me at work strongly affirms I made the right choice and motivates me to keep pushing forward. 

I don't know what the future holds, but for the first time in a long time, I'm excited! I've never been the type of person to get too high on my own supply, so I'm going to keep enjoying the process and see where it takes me! 

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If you don't know, now you know! 💉

 So, you've been wanting to get your eyebrows microbladed. Everyone you know has either got it done, scheduled to have it done, or wants to get it done but is still just as weary as you. I thought I would round up some of the main questions I get from people that want to get their eyebrows microbladed, but have a slight hesitation.

How much is microblading?

It varies. Prices can range from $200 all the way up to $1000. The lower end ($200) is generally offered by technicians that are just starting out, and the middle to higher range ($500-$1000) is for more experienced technicians.

Are touch ups needed? And are they included with every service?

They absolutely are. Some people have great retention after one session, but two are needed to solidify your shape, perfect symmetry, and make sure the colour chosen for you is correct. Most technicians will include a complimentary touch up with initial service, but it's always best to check their website, and/or call or email just to make sure before setting up an appointment and paying a deposit.

Will my eyebrows be huge and dark after treatment? Will I need to hide out while they heal? 

Most clients return to regular life immediately after the procedure. Some people may experience mild swelling and redness but none of which will cause you to be confined to your house. Depending on the colour and shape you decide to go with, your brows may look a little intense, but more often than not, it just looks that way to you and is a change you just need to get used to as it heals. Once healed, most clients come back and tell me they actually preferred their brows when they were dark and end up requesting a darker colour at their touch up.

Why are deposits required?

Deposits are needed to reserve an appointment day/time. They also safeguard technicians from people that may cancel last minute. When someone cancels last minute it's super hard for a technician to fill that spot on such short notice. When a spot doesn't get filled, the technician will incur added costs such as rent, travel, etc. With that said, life happens, and rescheduling is perfectly fine for most technicians as long as enough notice is given. Always make sure you read up on your technicians policies before paying a deposit.

Does it hurt? I have body tattoos, is the pain similar?

It can. Everyone reacts to pain differently, so it's hard to say if it will be painful for each person. Considering I've had it done, I can say that it's an uncomfortable feeling more than anything, and it's not the same as a body tattoo. I would say the pain is similar to getting laser on sensitive areas, or having a thick hair plucked out of a sensitive spot. It's not so painful that you can't get through it though, and numbing cream is used throughout, so your comfort is constantly monitored.

Why is it necessary to wait 6 weeks before a touch up?

Every technician is different with their timing for touch ups. It's best to wait at least 6 weeks because your skin will be fully healed by that point. Anything sooner may be too much for your skin to take. Waiting allows us to see how well the strokes heal, and how the colour fades. You also don't want to wait too long as your tattoo may fade completely and your touch up will end up being a full session all over.

$500+ seems like a lot for an eyebrow tattoo... wouldn't it just be better to fill them in?

That totally depends on you and your lifestyle. Having your brows tattooed gives you the freedom to spend less time filling them in everyday, and in turn, you won't be spending money on brow pencils, powders or gels. You also won't have to worry about having your eyebrows rub off when you're doing any sort of physical activity, going swimming or anytime you touch your face.

I'm pregnant and will be breastfeeding. Can I get it done? 

Personally, I don't take clients who are pregnant or nursing as there is no science to show if the pigments or other products used will have any adverse effects on your body or be transferred to your baby. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I feel that anyone who would offer a service as such to someone growing another life, is a cause for concern.

I've heard that microblading will not work for people with iron deficiencies. Is that true and why is that?

It's really 50/50. The pigments I use are top quality, but they are iron based,  therefore your body will absorb the pigment a lot quicker than someone who doesn't have a deficiency. Some people with low iron who follow the aftercare very thoroughly and also have a balanced diet, have had great results in my experience. I always urge my clients to get regular blood testing to make sure their iron levels are stable and if you decide to take an iron supplement, to do so under the care of their physician.

It's not my job or of any technicians to convince or sway you to get your eyebrows microbladed. It's very similar to getting a body tattoo in that it will be on your skin for a while, there's a healing period, and at the end of the day, it's an art. You can't pick a technician based solely on price, it has to be on their overall aesthetic, so choose wisely!

The views expressed in this post are mine and based solely on my own experience as a cosmetic tattoo technician. Feel free to ask any questions! I'm open to everyone's feedback -XO

The Recipe

Cosmetic Tattooing, Microblading, Micropigmentation, Eyebrow Embroidery, Featherstroke Tattoos, and Permanent Tattoos are all one in the same. They all use similar methods of breaking open the skin and inserting pigment to either design brows, create eyeliner, lip colour, freckles, etc. This beauty trend isn't so new and has actually been around for years, originating in Asia, but only picking up steam in North America over the past 2-3 years. Considering there are so many different names for these services, I thought I would break it down and give a clearer understanding of all the information that's out there.

Since there are so many different names for these types of tattoos, how do they differ? 

All methods have the same goal, however the outcome is a result of the technique and tools used. Some artists use machines, and others use hand tools that have a tiny, disposable microblade attached to the end. Some artists create hair like strokes, and others work to create a filled in look, which really just depends on your preference. 

How is cosmetic tattooing different from traditional body tattooing?

Traditional body tattoos use ink, whereas cosmetic tattoos use pigments. Ink has a watery consistency and tends to spread under the skin, whereas pigments are thicker and don't migrate as much. Traditional tattooing also generally goes deeper than the dermal layer of the skin and therefore makes the process permanent. 

How safe is it?

If proper sanitation and health requirements are followed and your technician is trained and experienced, the procedure is very safe. If you are pregnant or nursing it's best to hold off as there are no definitive studies to show how safe/not the ingredients in pigments are. If you have underlying health conditions or are taking specific medications, it's best to consult with your doctor first. 

Who's a good candidate?

This is for anyone and everyone! With that said, there are certain skin types that will heal differently, and that is something to keep in mind so that you don't go into it with unrealistic expectations. People with acne prone, oily, or dry skin generally tend to have strokes heal blurry, but that doesn't necessarily mean the procedure will not work well for you, your results might just yield a more filled in look as opposed to crisp strokes. People that are anemic, have low iron or are diabetic also may not have the best results, again this isn't always true but is good to keep in mind before going through with the procedure. 

How many sessions do I need? And how long does it last?

It really depends. Some people have great retention after just one session and others may need multiple in order to achieve their desired look. Lifestyle and how your body heals itself will determine how long the tattoo lasts. The ideal time frame is 1-3 years, though before going through with it, it's good to know that maintenance will be required to keep your look fresh. 

What lifestyle factors will cause it to fade?

Things like tanning beds, or exposing your face to direct sun will cause the colour to fade or change colour. Swimming in chlorine or salt water will alter the colour and cause fading, as will using face products with lots of chemicals in them. Treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, lasers, etc., will also cause fading and pigment loss, so it's always important to advise your skin care technician so they can avoid treating the areas that have a cosmetic tattoo. 

How do I find the right technician?

That really depends on you. For one, you have to like their tattoo style. Make sure they have lots of before and after photos as well as testimonials, so you know they're good. It's also good to request credentials to make sure they're certified, and licensed to work. If the technician offers mobile or at home services, it's good to ask more questions as it's harder to have sanitary or safe practices in these instances and licensing is generally not given for this (at least not in Vancouver). 

Cosmetic tattooing is a great way to change and refresh your look, create eyebrows if you've lost hair and have to draw them in everyday, or just want to save time and money. While it's very safe in the right environment, it's up to you to do your homework and make sure you find the best technician for you. Cheaper doesn't always mean better, and neither does expensive. When finding a technician, keep in mind that there will be maintenance so if their prices are unreasonably high, your touch ups will be as well. If you do your homework and communicate what you're wanting, you'll have a great experience with zero regrets! 

The views expressed in this post are mine and based solely on my own experience as a cosmetic tattoo technician. Feel free to ask any questions! I'm open to everyone's feedback -XO