What Is Microblading 2020 – Microblading Cost, Risks, Pain, and More

Let me guess: You’re here because you fill your brows in every day, you’re kinda over it, aaaand you’re officially considering microblading, the semi-permanent form of brow tattooing. But if the idea of microblading scares you too much to try it (there’s something about permanent makeup that feels so…permanent), don’t psych yourself out. Not only does process hurt way less than you think, but the results don’t actually last forever—which is great news if you’re on the fence.

To help answer every question you might have about microblading, we turned to makeup artist, certified esthetician, and cosmetic tattoo specialist Piret Aava, who’s also known as the eyebrow doctor. And not only did we go to Piret with allll the questions, but one Cosmo editor also tried out the semi-permanent eyebrow treatment for herself (peep her before-and-after pics below). Keep scrolling to find out how her experience went and to learn all about microblading so you, too, can have perfect brows without all the extra effort.

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What is brow microblading?

Manual microblading is a process that involves tiny, fine-point needles (instead of a tattoo gun) that make up a small disposable blade and handle (picture a very small tool that looks like a rat-tail comb) to scratch and deposit pigment simultaneously under your skin. The result? Realistic-looking brow hairs that don’t wash off.

Sooo, is microblading a tattoo?

Yes, but also, no. Unlike tattoos that last forever, microblading is a form of semi-permanent tattooing (keep reading if you wanna know how long it lasts). For microblading, Piret uses a hand tool that lets her create thinner, more precise, hairlike strokes that aren’t as deeply ingrained into the skin (compared to, say, hairlike strokes created by a tattoo gun). The pigment also differs from that of a tattoo because (1) it’s only semi-permanent, which means your body eventually ends up metabolizing it so it fades away, and (2) the dye particles are less concentrated in microblading ink than in the ink of a traditional tattoo.

Microblading eyebrows before and after:

The cool thing about microblading is that you can have thick, ultra-faint brows, or even lost your brows due to alopecia, and a good microblader can still create the appearance of naturally full brows on anyone using any shade range. On her clients, Piret creates a custom color using several shades that match your hair color, so your brows will look multidimensional and ~real~. Don’t believe me? Check out a few examples of Piret’s work below:

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How long does microblading last?

Microblading usually lasts 1-3 years depending on your skin type (oilier skin types tend to fade the fastest), but, says Piret, clients should go back after four weeks for a touch-up and to check-in to make sure they’re happy with the end result (these appointments cost less than the initial price of microblading; more on the $$ below). After those first four weeks, Piret says you typically won’t need a touch-up for 12 months.

How much does it cost to have your eyebrows microbladed?

Sorry, buuuut microblading isn’t cheap: Depending on where you live and where you get them done, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000. And if you want to see Piret, save up: An appointment with her costs $2,000, which includes that initial touch-up that’s baked into the cost. That said, brow products aren’t cheap and time is money, so it can definitely be worth the cost for anyone not feeling their natural brows.

Microblading aftercare:

Now, listen up because if you do decide to get your brows done, this part is super important: For a week after your appointment, do not get your brows wet or sweaty. And if you do absolutely need to work out, Piret highly recommends covering them with ointment first to protect the pigment and keep the cuts clean and bacteria-free. She recommends you use an antibacterial ointment on your brows for the first 24 hours, and then a Vaseline-like ointment for a week. She also says no picking of any scabs that form from the tiny cuts, and avoid using any acids or retinoids while they heal, since they could fade the pigments.

One Cosmo editor’s review:

“I’ve always had bushy brows, but as I’ve gotten older, the beginning and tail end of my arches have definitely thinned out, which made me want to try microblading. I’m not going to lie: I was kind of nervous about the whole semi-permanent part, but Piret reassured me that she’d draw in my brows first to make sure I liked the shape before she officially microbladed them.

Piret outlining my brows.

Cosmopolitan.com

After I approved the shape, I laid back down on a sterile, hospital-like bed. Piret then began creating the tiny superficial cuts in and along my brow, depositing the pigment over my arches so it would seep into the hair-like wounds she had just created.

Okay, I know this all sounds super painful and scary, but I promise it’s surprisingly not. If you’ve ever threaded your eyebrows, microblading feels pretty similar. It was definitely uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t call it painful? More like little annoying scratches, if anything. Plus, the whole procedure from start to finish only took about an hour, so it wasn’t anything too intense.

(P.S. If you want to watch my full first-time microblading experience, see below:)

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Post-microblading, I took about 100 selfies and went off to spread the gospel it to all who would listen. I thankfully also had a totally normal healing experience: A few weeks later, my brows looked as natural and as thick as I’d always wanted.

Piret Aava

Where can I get microblading?

To get your own semi-permanent brow look, book an appointment with Piret (I know, I know—but I had a good experience!), or, more realistically, research a brow tattoo specialist near you (FWIW, Piret also recommends UzBrows if you live near Los Angeles or Permanent Beauty by Monica if you live near New York City). Just keep in mind that Piret recommends doing your due diligence and looking into technicians’ past work to make sure their results are what you want.

That said, if you’re still hesitant about microblading or don’t have a brow artist near you that you trust, Piret recommends two products: Kevyn Aucoin’s brow pencil, which has a non-waxy fine point that helps you create hairlike strokes, and her brow gel, which comes in clear, brunette, and blonde and offers a stiffer hold that keeps your hairs in place. These alternate options might not be permanent solutions, but hey, it’ll at least buy you some time to save up and prepare yourself for the real thing.

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