Beauty 101: Microblading

Beauty lovers know the face-framing, transformative power of brows, but with all the brow-ha-ha about bold arches these days, they've become a topic of conversation for even casual beauty browsers. From temporary fixes such as penciling and shading in sparse spots to permanent makeup, there are countless ways to get better brows. But, daily drawing and permanent makeup tattoos aside, there's a new method of eyebrow filling that is catching on fast: Microblading.

Unlike permanent makeup which uses a vibrating needle, microblading uses a manual pen-like tool to deposit color close to the surface of the skin for natural-looking fill. This semi-permanent treatment creates natural-looking brows that last for six months to a year. Various salons we researched price the treatment at $700-$1200. 

We talked to microblading artist Julia Anne Milin of Brow Design International to get all the details about this treatment and why people are clamoring to have it done.

Milin said people choose microblading over other brow fixers for a variety of reasons: 

+Over-plucked brows that haven't grown back
+Misshapen brows
+Chemotherapy patients whose hair never grew back
+Trichotillomania and Alopecia
+People struggling with hair loss from thyroid disease

Julia Anne Milin

Julia fell in love with microblading in an unconventional way. She comes from an opera and classical singing background and still performs around the world. Her mother, Connie Milin, is a beauty professional in New York City and Houston, Texas. Julia saw her mother practicing the technique and was immediately interested. She told us, "I was excited about incorporating my drawing and design skills in a new and cutting edge technique in makeup. Beauty maintenance is an extremely important aspect of being in the arts, and this was a natural progression for me into the beauty industry."

Microblading tools

Tools used for Microblading

Julia traveled to Europe to attend masterclasses and conferences and eventually developed her own technique and design. Julia sees 50 clients per month and has even opened her own Microblading Academy to train other artists in her methods so they can give their clients the most realistic and tasteful brows that perfectly frame the face. 

Read our interview with Julia to learn more about microblading and the procedure: 

How does microblading work to fill the brow?
"Microblading is a form of permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattooing. It is a manual method using a hand tool and very fine needles. High-quality pigments are deposited underneath the top layer of the skin in such a way that it mimics actual hairs. It is a highly artistic technique, and a masterful artist will match the growth of the natural hairs of each client."

How does it compare to permanent makeup tattooing? 
Microblading uses a hand tool, while permanent makeup uses a machine to implant pigment. The difference is that the machine vibrates, making it harder to get exact hair strokes in the skin. Microblading does not have a vibration, which makes drawing hair strokes with the needle more exact. With the machine method, the needles work in a very fast up and down motion. Microblading is considered semi-permanent because as the skin exfoliates, it takes the pigment with the exfoliated cells." 


Where did microblading start and how has it grown in popularity? 
The microblading technique started in Asia at least 24 years ago, where it is known as Eyebrow Embroidery. It then traveled West to Russia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and now the USA, Central, North, and South America, and Oceania. As the technique moved west, drawing shapes and hair strokes evolved according to the genetic characteristics of different facial structures. The technique has adapted according to ethnic backgrounds."  

What can a patient expect from a microblading procedure?
"When I start, I do not use any anesthetic. Pre-numbing the skin prevents the most optimal results. Instead, I start the treatment going into the skin very shallow. To the client, it feels like cat scratches, and mildly uncomfortable. After the shape has been made with the needles and pigments, I use a topical anesthetic, which completely numbs the skin. The whole treatment in my studio takes about two hours from start to finish. Sometimes it's less, and sometimes it's more, depending on the skin and desired outcome. The client can go about their lives normally, but must abstain from strenuous exercise for 9 days post-treatment to prevent any pigment loss."

How long do the results last? How often do clients need touch ups? 
The results last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on how well the clients cares for their brows, and quality of the skin. Clients will need a touch up every six months to a year, depending on care and skin quality."

Do you have any stories of clients and their reactions to microblading results? 
Just today I had a woman burst into tears because the microblading treatment took ten years off her face. As we age, our skin succumbs to gravity and loss of collagen. I was able to lift her brows by taking some hair off the bottom of her brow, and adding microbladed hairs on top. The most common reaction I get when women look at their brows after the treatment is how natural the work looks. When done right, microblading blends right in with the natural hairs of the brow."  

Quick Tip: If you are currently undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant on nursing, have taken Accutane in the past year, have insulin-dependant diabetes, botox in the last two weeks, viral infections or organ transplants you are not eligible for microblading. 

What do you think? Would you try Microblading? 

About the Author
Katharine A.
Katharine A.
I'm that tall girl blocking your view at a concert.