It’s not a new thing. So many of my friends and favourite creators have strived for and succeeded in perfection when it comes to their brows. It’s an aesthetic luxury which I too have always wanted to master the art of, but to be quite honest with you, I failed at every hurdle.
I tried brow pencils, benefit ‘Brow-zings’, waxes, the lot, but during my teenage years I had somehow managed to butcher the shape a little with over plucking, AND…I’m not gunna be shy here, but in my “learning years”, I even took a razor to parts of them!
In my 20s, and now early 30s, they managed to become “ok” after I stopped being silly with them, however they still required daily maintenance with a little shading and shaping.
After witnessing the likes of the wonderful Samantha Maria, and Helen Anderson showing off their success with microblading, I decided to investigate the technique of brow tattooing myself, and got in touch with Lisa at ‘The Pure Salon’ (aka @pure_brows on instagram) to book my first appointment.
"Manual microblading is a form of semi-permanent tattoo that involves using tiny needles that make up a small blade to help deposit pigment under your skin."
Prior to my appointment, Lisa Skyped me for an in depth chat about everything involved in the process, what I can and can’t expect to do during the healing time, and whether I’m even actually suitable enough the procedure in the first place! The whole thing felt SO comforting to go through at this point, because it’s quite a commitment you know? Your brows are two (or in some cases, one) of the most focal feature points on your head. They “frame your face”. Everyone who’s anyone will describe them as such. You do NOT want to get it wrong, or do it on a cheap whim.
So following such a precise and thorough chat with Lisa, I had no hesitation in booking in with her, and excitedly had the second session (and final, for 9-12 months), named the “perfection top up”, this week.
That’s right. There are two initial stages you go through for perfectly microbladed brows. The first is to design your new brows with your consultant, and get the “base blading” done. The second session is due a month later, and is to go over the “base blading” to really seal in the final result, with then any additional definition added in if you decide you want a little more something here and there. Following this second session, as I say, you’re done for 9-12 months until your next top up.
Honestly, I’m so inspired by Lisa. Her beauty studio is pristine perfect, and as is her home! Everything is immaculately presented in a relaxing, luxurious, boutique style setting, where you feel fully pampered on entry, before you’ve taken your coat off.
On both preliminary sessions, Lisa gets you to fill out a thorough consultation form where you pop in any pre-existing conditions, medications you take, and more details to ensure the procedure is being undertaken in safe and proper circumstances before beginning.
Once the paperwork is done, it’s time to design your new look!
At first I was convinced that I wanted the “blade and shade” technique, which is basically microblading (the tattooing of replicated hair strokes along with your own natural hairs to add shape and definition) plus a powder brow treatment over the top (a technique which provides that “pencilled in” look.
By the end of it though, after lots of measuring, mathematical implements, and crayon all over my forehead, I decided that pure blading was the way to go, as my brow hair was already thick enough to not warrant filling in. Besides, I LOVE the hair strokes look!! I wouldn’t want to lose that or dull it down too much.
The “design process” for me took around 30-40 minutes, however if you’re more unsure of a look in mind, or just want to experiment more, it can take much longer!
I think the longest part for me was considering which colour to go ahead with!
Basically you have the choice of pretty much any natural hair shade your consultant can muster up with the inks they have. Lisa had a very broad selection of shades for me to test out, and thankfully I already knew that I wanted a "warm brown", slightly lighter and red than my natural hair, and naturally Lisa nailed it pretty much instantly.
From design stages to the couch, it then took around an hour and a half to completion.
Microblading, as I mentioned, is a tattoo technique. It involves scratching into the top layer of skin to infuse ink therein. Now I’m heavily tattooed anyway, so I was anticipating a similar feeling, however Lisa numbs you up to high heaven so I literally didn’t feel a thing other than some hard to explain “scraping” feelings going on. I don’t want to say “slicing” because that sounds dreadful, but hopefully you get what I mean?
Be aware though that everyone is different, and you’re not entirely without sensation during the process. Sometimes (although, hardly ever) there may be a requirement to hop outside the numbed
area for just a small moment. This can be rather ‘ouchie’, like a paper cut, but it’s over as soon as it happens. Again, you are being tattooed.
Tattooed skin also comes with all of the healing process too, because your skin does go through minor trauma! You will have scabbing. You will have dryness. You'll also get a beautiful result if your make sure you look after your temporarily annoyed eyebrows whilst their grumpy!
With the procedure done, you’ll have a whole new set of beautifully designed brows!! They’re yours to keep for a hell of a long time, and you don’t need to fudge around with cosmetics anymore to achieve the result! Hooray!
Lisa then sent me home with a bumper aftercare kit of special cleansers, balms, and reading material on how to look after them prior to my second session, and it’s highly advised that the rules are followed! Remember! They’re on your face! Mess up, and you’re walking round feeling pretty sorry for yourself if your brows are bitty and scabby.
Avoid getting the area wet for up to 10 days, which includes keeping your face dry during a shower.
Don’t wear makeup for at least a week. This is because the pigments are still settling in to the shallow cuts in your skin caused by the blading.
Don’t pick at scabs, tug, or itch the eyebrow area.
Avoid saunas, swimming, and excessive sweating until the area is completely healed and you have a follow-up appointment.
Keep your hair away from your brow line.
Apply any medicated cream or healing balm provided by your technician as directed.
Four weeks later, you’re ready for your perfection top up. In mine, I loved the colour, I loved the shape, however I wanted to go a touch “bigger and fluffier” with the shape.
This session only lasted around 1 hour, as Lisa went back over the strokes she felt needed a touch up to seal them in good and proper, as well as a little added length to the sides of my brows (love), and to my inner brow (LOVE!).
The same aftercare advice applies following this session too – and I’m now booked back in for my top up in May 2018!!
There wasn't even a moment of doubt that I was getting the brows I asked for. Lisa listened to all of my ideas and wishes, and delivered them with ease! I didn't feel like any part of the process was rushed or took any kind of 'ad hoc' turn - utterly brilliant. I'm so glad I went for it!
So the results here in the video are still very fresh, so it's really hard to show you the true end result, however I'll be posting my healed results in the weeks to come on my social media (@saysallymay). They'll also be featuring in more of my beauty posts too, of course.
Honestly, if you’re local to Cambridge and can get to St Neots, I wholly recommend Lisa at ‘The Pure Salon’ for brows and beauty treatments. She’s so friendly, welcoming, and such a TRUE person to speak with. Not only that, she’s a business woman with continuing ideas for her own development, and helping the development of others too. She’s just wonderful.
If you're local, and even if you're not (she's worth the trip!), get in touch with Lisa Fensome at The Pure Clinic (@pure_brows), St Neots, Cambridgeshire.
Let me know in the comments any experiences you've had with microblading, or if you're ready to book in your first session!
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