Your brows, but better.
If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are you’re considering, or have considered getting micro blading done. Like any permanent (or in this case semi-permanent) beauty treatment, it pays to do extensive research, and most importantly - choose your practitioner very, very wisely.
Eyebrows are important, not just from a vanity standpoint, but they also act as a crucial facial recognition feature, and changing your brows is just about the fastest way to give yourself an entire wholesale makeover. But unlike laser hair removal, for example, which is usually practised on those ‘less shown’ areas, micro blading is quite literally done directly onto the face. So to do so on a whim, or without ensuring its the best option for you, would be reckless, and borderline idiotic.
My eyebrows are a lot like my high-school academic record, not terrible, but could do better if they really applied themselves ya know. So on my quest for the perfect arch, shape, thickness and brush stroke, I went to industry-leading brow specialists OFF&ON. This is boutique beauty at its best. You’re not rushed, there are only one (or sometimes two) other clients in the room at one time, they know what they’re doing, and by god, they do it well.
There are a number of reasons you might have considered having the treatment done; maybe you’re suffering from a sever over-plucked 90’s hangover, or, like me, you just need a little bit more depth of colour. No matter the reason, here are a few things to consider before jumping under the blade:
What if it goes horribly wrong?
I let my brows run rogue for quite a few years, not really knowing how to fill them properly or what to do with them. Then I began experimenting with a number of different eyebrow products from pencils to pots to pomades, but I struggled to find anything thin enough to mimic the real thing.
That’s when I began teetering on the edge of trying something a bit more ‘extreme’ if you will, but I’ve heard horror stories of similar procedures going wrong so I hesitated and hesitated.
It wasn’t until a friend of mine recommended OFF&ON that I started to do some more extensive research. I quickly discovered that this was more an art than a science and that due to the training and certification not being overly difficult to achieve, there are a few rookie amateurs out there providing a haphazard service. The best artists will take into account the angles of your face, and provide a personalised finish that will enhance your facial features in the best way possible.
The lovely Nichola from their Quay Street salon did exactly that, taking the time to draw up the perfect brow shape, and ensure that each stroke looked like an individual brow hair. While results will vary for everyone, if you’re willing to cough up a few extra hundred to avoid a catastrophic mishap in the form of discoloured eyebrows, I don’t foresee you running into any issues.
How long does it last?
Again, results will vary. Your artist will likely ere on the side of caution, going for a lighter touch and then doing touch-ups where necessary after a month or two. The results usually last around 1-3 years, depending on how well you look after them. I use a lot of active skincare, which wreaks havoc on the dye, so I do my best to avoid the area when using retinol in the evenings.
Does it hurt?
When you arrive at your appointment, a numbing agent will be applied to the area which is designed to mitigate, if not completely erase, any pain. I’ve never had a real tattoo to compare the pain level to, but I would describe it as more uncomfortable than painful. You can still feel the sensation of the fine needle but I’ve certainly had more painful procedures performed on my face.
Aftercare is relatively straightforward, the only real downside is you have to keep them away from water for a week.
How much does it cost?
Cost’s vary among practitioners, but to be honest consider it payback for the hours spent perfecting their ink stroking skills on unassuming grapefruits or brave family members. If someone can freestyle a tattoo onto a face and then said person is still able to walk around in public afterwards, they’re a national treasure.
You’re looking at roughly $400 - $1400.
I am thrilled with my results, my brows are noticeably bolder and more defined. It hasn't completely removed the necessity to fill in my brows, but it takes about a quarter of the time, and I could definitely get away with not wearing anything and still have some definition. The best way to vet your artist is to ensure you like their work, look through their portfolio and ask others for advice. Like all tattoo’s, it’s a bit of a gamble, and there's no real way of knowing how well your skin will retain colour until you have it done. But speaking from experience, I can’t speak highly enough of OFF&ON, so if you’re considering having it done, book in for a consultation here.