And just like that, it’s 2020 and we’re heading into “new” territory. With the start of a new year it’s inevitable that everyone is pledging allegiance to new resolutions, new life outlooks, new changes – I have a theory that most people are stuck in a perpetual state of longing for newness and that the only way to really commit is to wait for the ending of one year and the beginning of another (not to mention that 2020 marks the end and start of a new decade). Being the eternal pessimist, I usually swear off any resolutions or vows to change. I start my year the way I end the previous one.
This year, however, along with a shiny new collection of 366 days (it’s a leap year!) I got myself a brand new set of eyebrows, thanks to the cosmetic technological wonder that is microblading. And I regret nothing.
What is microblading?
In short, microblading is the application of semi-permanent ink onto your eyebrows through the use of a handheld tool made of several tiny needles. Microblading took the beauty world by storm in 2018 and its popularity has continued well through 2019. Several beauty outlets have published magazine articles on the procedure and benefits, and you will find no shortage of YouTube influencers and vloggers documenting their microblading journey. As Elle UK reports, it’s a totally bespoke experience that’s meant to find the perfect eyebrow shape for a specific face shape.
While I didn’t necessarily hate my eyebrow shape, the maintenance thereof was incredibly frustrating. At a certain point in time, roughly second year of university, I attempted to grow out my eyebrows à la Alexa Chung or Cara Delevigne. I very quickly learned that the look was not for me and the maintenance was more complex than these effortless beauties will lead you to believe.
The pain, the procedure, the pleasure
The procedure was fairly straightforward: my technician applied an anaesthetic which numbed my eyebrows slightly, then drew out the desired shape with a pencil, and started filling it in once my eyebrows were sufficiently numbed. When you think needles, you usually think pain but this procedure was most definitely lower on the pain scale.
Dare I say it was an ASMR-esque experience? As the tiny needles scratch the surface of your skin, it makes a noticeably tingle-inducing sound while the sensation of the scratching on numb skin is a strange combination of uncomfortable, ticklish, and soothing.
Am I reaching? Maybe.
With microblading, the first look is the scariest. As soon as the pigment is massaged into your skin, it oxidises almost immediately, which results in very dark eyebrows which look like they’re severely overdrawn. I’ve been told by numerous reputable sources that this is 100% normal and actually desired. In the following 7 to 10 days the skin will scab, much like with a tattoo, and eventually lighten to a point where the fine lines look like that of your own natural hairs.
The aftercare for this procedure is therefore very important. Apply a soothing, clear ointment, like Vaseline, to your eyebrows every morning and evening. This helps with the dryness and also prevents you from scratching the itchy areas.
Have I sold it yet?
While the procedure and aftercare spans over a few days, the results last and saves you a ton of time in the end. Gone are the days of trying to find some identifiable shape that I can build on when I’m doing my make-up in the morning. Even on days that I’m not wearing make-up, my eyebrows at least look like they showed up to work, even if I didn’t.
I would recommend microblading to anyone whose beauty routine needs a bit of a pick-me-up, or anyone who is looking to experiment with macro beauty. As the witty Irish actress, Saiorse Ronan, noted: “If you don’t have eyebrows, you don’t really have a face”. And while I don’t necessarily agree with the entire sentiment, you know Whoopi Goldberg made the no-eyebrow-thing a moment, my face feels complete now more than ever before.
Have you tried microblading or other forms of macro beauty? Let me know in the comments!