I like to keep my makeup as natural looking as possible. Sure, there are occasions where I’ll step it up a notch, but most days, my makeup routine consists of a tinted moisturizer, under-eye concealer, mascara, tinted lip balm and brows. When I say “brows”, I mean filling in those pesky sparse areas with a fine tipped brow liner or brow powder. I’m blessed with fairly thick brows and I hardly ever pluck them, but just like most women, I have little gaps where my brows aren’t as full as I’d like them to be. I absolutely love the way filled in, fuller brows frame my face and make my eyes pop – it’s just a time-consuming process and never looks as natural as I’d like it to.
A couple of years ago, I heard about microblading for the first time and I was instantly intrigued by the idea of natural looking semi-permanent brow makeup. I didn’t jump on the idea of getting it done right away, but started following the trend on Instagram and beauty blogs until I built up enough confidence in the procedure to explore it myself. Of course the idea of tattooing my brows was a little intimidating, but the before and after photos really sold me!
One of my favourite local beauty salons, Sugarmoon, recently added microblading to their list of services, and since I was already a fan of their beauty treatments, I decided to visit them for a brow consultation. I booked an appointment with Ann, one of their estheticians who specializes in microblading. Her iPhone has hundreds of before and after photos from happy clients which was really reassuring to me! The consultation took about 30 minutes; Ann answered all of my questions about the microblading procedure (and I had lots) and then spent the remainder of the time designing my perfect brows by drawing the shape with a soft wax pencil. We reiterated the design a couple of times before landing on the desired outcome and then Ann took a bunch of photos for us both to refer back to. By the end of the consultation, I was ready to go through with the microblading procedure and I booked the appointment for two weeks later.
The first microblading appointment (there are two), takes approximately 3 hours. Now don’t worry, you’re not under the blade the entire time – most of this time is spent re-drawing the design from your consultation, mixing the pigment and setting the pigment once the blading is done. Ann started by asking me if I had any other questions or concerns before we got started, I didn’t, but I appreciated her care and attention to my needs. Next, Ann mixed the pigment to match my existing brow hair and placed sample spots on my forehead for comparison. We decided to go with a shade just slightly darker than my current brow hairs simply because the pigment should fade a little after the brows heal. Then, we referred back to the photos we took at the consultation and Ann recreated the design on my brows using the soft wax pencil. Once I approved the design in the mirror, Ann created a finer outline with a surgical grade skin marker, wiped off the wax pencil and sterilized the area with a sterile wipe.
Since microblading involves dipping a needle tipped blade in pigment and making a series of small incisions into the upper layers of the skin to mimic the look of individual hairs, the process can be quite painful. Prior to blading, Ann placed a numbing cream on my brows and let it sit for 15 minutes. Once that time was up, Ann cleaned the numbing cream from my right brow (leaving it on my left) in order to begin microblading on the right side. Ann communicated very clearly with me the entire time, and let me know when she was going to make the first cut so there were no surprises. Deeeeeep breath…here we go!
I won’t sugar coat it, it hurts quite a bit. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, and I would rate this around 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. It’s such a sensitive area right on the brow bone, so it’s not exactly pleasant, but the numbing cream helps a little bit. On the bright side, the cuts happen quickly, so the pain is intermittent, not constant. Ann did about 20 cuts on the right side, before moving over to the left. She alternates back and forth so the pain isn’t concentrated on one side for too long. Before she moved to the left side, she applied more numbing cream to the right so it would kick in again before she revisited that side – AMEN for that! The actual microblading process took about 40-45 minutes overall with approximately 40-50 hair-like cuts on each brow.
Before applying the final pigment to set, Ann wiped a little blood from the area and let me look in the mirror to determine whether I wanted to add any lines. I spotted one area where I wanted an extra line for symmetry and no problem – within a few seconds it was done! The last step in the process involves slathering the pigment over the brows and letting it sit for about 20 minutes and luckily, that part is 100% painless! As much as the blading process hurts while it’s happening, I didn’t experience any discomfort or pain once that part was over. After marinating my brows in pigment and rocking caterpillars for 20 minutes, Ann wiped the area clean and I got to enjoy the big reveal. I couldn’t believe how amazing my brows looked! Definitely a little darker than normal (they’ll fade about 50% after the healing process) but the shape of my brow is gorgeous and the cuts really do look like natural hairs.
Before I left Sugarmoon, Ann walked me through the post-care rules which are pretty simple – don’t get the brows wet for 24 hrs, avoid sun exposure and rigorous exercise for a few days, apply coconut oil to keep them moist if they feel tight or dry, DO NOT pick the scabs that will start to form within a few days, and don’t use makeup on the brows until after they’ve fully healed – not that you’ll need to! I was so happy with my new brows, I think I may have skipped out of Sugarmoon that day. Check out the before and afters below – the first collage shows before and after the first microblading appointment, and the second single eye shot, shows a completely healed brow 2 weeks after the touch-up appointment.
As expected, I did experience some scabbing and peeling within a few days of the microblading procedure. I did not pick it (as tempting as it was) and minimized itchiness with coconut oil. As Ann explained, the colour did fade as the scabs came off, revealing a much more natural looking result. Within one week, my brows were fully healed and beautiful! I did notice a few areas that faded a little more than I wanted them to, but I didn’t worry because that’s what the 4-week touch-up appointment is for!
Every microblading appointment at Sugarmoon has three visits overall – the consultation, the first appointment (3 hrs) and a touch-up appointment 4 weeks later (1.5 hrs). The touch-up process is almost exactly the same as the first time, just faster. Ann asked me if I was happy with the shape and colour, and for the most part, I was. There were a few spots that needed to be darkened, but that’s to be expected because it’s hard to know how your skin will hold the pigment after the first session. The touch-up appointment involves re-tracing all of the initial cuts to deposit more colour, as well as making new lines if requested. I won’t lie, the re-tracing hurts a little more than the first time because the cuts are happening over tender scar tissue, but again, it’s a quick process and the numbing cream helps.
Within 1.5 hours, the touch-up was done (only about 30 minutes of that involved actual cutting). The healing process was the same as round one, darker at first, with a more natural result after the scabbing and peeling process. The touch-up is 100% worth it if you’re a perfectionist – you get to go back and nit-pick a little bit! It’s been a little over a month since my touch-up and I absolutely LOVE my new and improved brows. I can actually say and mean “I woke up like this!” The microblading process truly complements my natural brows so I can skip the extra step of filling them in each morning. They are totally maintenance free and the results will last from 1.5 to 2 years, at which time, I won’t think twice about going through the process again. Just look at these brow-tastic selfies!
I always felt like I was in great hands at Sugarmoon. The facilities are clean and comfortable (thank goodness because you’ll be there a while) and Ann was very clear and communicative with me throughout the entire process. The cost for microblading at Sugarmoon is:
- $399.99 for the initial appointment
- $149.00 for the touch-up appointment
- Total = $548.99
It’s pricey but well worth it in my opinion. Especially if you struggle with super fair, uneven or sparse brows. I’m thrilled to offer my readers $25 off the microblading service at Sugarmoon! Simply provide the code DAINTYBROWS25 when you call or visit to book your appointment.
To learn more, visit the Sugarmoon website here: https://sugarmoonsalon.com/microblading/
And don’t hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments section below.