Straight, bold, arched, feathered, elongated. No, these aren’t sex toys or fetishes. (At least, we don’t think they are.) These words define your dream eyebrows, and microblading is the of-the-moment technique to get the look you want.
Eyebrows are the exclamation point of your face — they help express joy, sadness, horror, anger, and every other emotion. Walk into a London Drugs and the amount of products you can purchase (pencils and brow gels, powders, highlighters and pomades) can be overwhelming. If only there was some natural option that delivers semi-permanent results to get your brows looking awesome. Actually there is, and it’s called microblading.
We’re not talking about permanent tattoos. You know, the ones that look like someone took a Sharpie to your face and just went to town. If done right by a skilled artist, microblading can help define your brows or maybe fill in a gap where you over-plucked. With microblading, you can even reconstruct your brow line.
I arrived at Mila Mink, Kamila Canet’s chic little studio in Gastown knowing nothing of microblading. She took a long look at my brows and determined that their natural shape was not helping my face. “Your brows are very long and go down too much so they make your face look not so happy,” she said. It’s true, I might be having the Best Day Ever but my brows tell a different story. “I’m sad!” they scream. She suggested shortening them to open up my eyes, and filling in on top for a fuller look. Nervously, I said ok.
What To Expect
1 Numbing cream is applied to your brows. Meanwhile, Kamila will discuss your brow shape and draw with a removable pencil. You then discuss the shape and make any changes you want.
2Choose a colour to match your natural brow hair. There’s black, varying shades of brown as well as a few lighter shades of blond and red. Kamila recommended dark brown for me.
3 One by one, little strokes are drawn on your brow line with a tool that looks somewhat like an exxacto knife, but has tiny little blades on the tip. Is it painful? It feels kind of like paper cuts. She made around 19 individual strokes on the first brow and then applied the brown pigment on top. While she worked on the second brow, a pigment mask was left on the first brow to absorb into the skin.
4 The pigment mask is rubbed off and numbing cream is reapplied. This time, because the skin is broken, your brows will truly go numb and you won’t feel a thing. The entire process is repeated again a few times (three times in my case) on each brow.
5 After the treatment, your brows will be thoroughly cleaned and you’re ready to look in the mirror.
The nice thing about microblading is that there’s no downtime. The second the procedure is done, you are ready for a selfie. That said, there’s a bit of caring for the first 10-14 days after the procedure. “Some people experience redness or itchy skin,” says Kamila. My brows will felt tender and slightly swollen. Kamila’s patients receive a a small container of a Vaseline-like balm to apply once a day.
You should also avoid exercising, steam rooms and basically sweating. If possible, skip a shower after your microblading and just gently wash your face while trying to avoid splashing water directly on the brows. The first few days after the treatment, your brows will look quite dark. Worry not, the color fades around 30 percent about a week later.
Two months after the initial treatment, you go back and do it again. This is an opportunity to make your brows fuller, longer, darker, add the powder look, etc. If you skip the follow-up appointment, your brows will fade away faster than the expected 9 to 12 months. “My clients typically come back once a year for touch ups and to keep their brows looking beautiful,” says Kamila.
To avoid bleeding, do not drink alcohol or take aspirin 24 hours before your microblading session. Consult your doctor if you take Retinol or any other blood thinning drugs.
The prices vary depending on your desired look. Powder/Ombre brows cost $450 and include one free touchup. Hair stroke brows cost $500 and include one free touchup.
So what’s the difference in brow looks? “A lot of women over-plucked their brows in the ’90s and now they’re trying to achieve a fuller brow using the hair stroke technique,” says Kamila. “The Ombre brow is popular as well and instead of creating hair strokes a Powder brow is created, which looks more like soft powder eyebrow makeup has been applied to the brows.”
About the Artist
A makeup artist, Kamila has been microblading for a year at her Mila Mink studio. She trained with Everlasting Brows in New York. To make an appointment, call 604-500-6009.