I am a victim of sperm brows.
For whatever reason, the beauty world has moments where eyebrows are encouraged to be plucked into oblivion. I thought we left that behind in the 1930's but that look came back in the early 2000's, which of course collided with my years as a teenger. LOVELY! So as any true teenager would do, I went against my mother's pleas and plucked away at my thick, dark eyebrows.
Spoiler alert: My eyebrows were ruined
They never grew in as thick and the ends of my brows were basically non existent. I could never regain the shape correctly. One was really sparse and the other was not as bad, but still pretty sad. On one upside, the beauty world stepped up their game with makeup to help the victims of the 2000 Eyebrow Epidemic, but makeup will never look like natural hair and filling in brows can take a huge chunk of time in your morning routine. For me, I was spending about 10 minutes a day trying to find my shape, filling in my brows, correctly any mishaps then always checking my brows to make sure nothing got smudged. I tried a lot of products and some help up more than other but I was really sick of filling in my brows every day and not having them look natural.
I first heard of microblading from a makeup artist I was working with on a shoot one day. I instantly began scrolling through Instagram and Google, researching anything about microblading. I know a few people that have their eyebrows tattooed and it does not look natural. So the idea of a microblading really baffled me. How the flying monkey did they get it to look like natural hair???
Well, now I am going to link you to the technical information on that because I really want to focus on my own personal experience.
Not all microblade artists are created equally. In fact, you don't even need to be licensed in microblading to do microblading so make sure to do your research. Luckily, my eyebrows were transformed by Erica Joy, owner of Viva La Brow. She was trained by the best of the best and truly has passion behind her work. Also, she plays really good music and has a warm and inviting aura.
Upon arriving to my appointment I filled in my brows to the shape I like best and brought a few reference photos from days I felt my eyebrows were "on fleek". We went over the shape I liked, my face shape and eye shape. I had a suspicion one of my eyes was larger than the other, but it turns out that the eyebrow on that side had been shaped differently by me and caused my eye to appear bigger. Already, proof of the power of good eyebrows.
We removed the makeup I used to fill in my brows and Erica got to to work on creating a guideline shape of the eyebrows I wanted. It felt like architecture was happening on my face. She drew then stood back and looked, drew, looked and so on. She then showed me in a mirror the "blueprints" on my face. We discussed any changes and made some minor tweaks. This was actually the longest part of the process, but it SHOULD be. We did this for about 30 minutes until we were both happy and confident with the outline. Next we decided on a color. She noted my skin tone and natural hair color. We chose a nice dark warm brown to make the brows look natural and not too harsh.
The actual procedure is a bit hard to explain since I don't know exactly what it LOOKS like so I am going to explain what it FEELS like. First you get a nice numbing cream on your skin for about 20 minutes so you don't feel the needles as much. I was expecting the tattooing to feel similar to a regular tattoo, but I found that it doesn't. The pain, for me was minimal. It felt a little irritating but mostly just weird and the noise was sort of a popping sound so I focused on that. Next the ink is put over and is left to set for a few minutes, wiped off, another round of numbing cream, needle time, ink, wipe and done. I didn't even feel the second round since my skin was so numb by then and I also knew what the process felt like. It felt like that whole process only took about 30-40 minutes.
Then I got to see my brows!!!
The reveal is like Christmas and meeting your favorite celebrity all in one. I was in shock of how natural it looked and so happy that I was done having to fill in my brows.
Now in spite of all my joy and happiness I knew that in order to preserve them and not undo all the magic Erica created I was responsible for the aftercare.
FOLLOW THE AFTERCARE RULES LIKE IT'S ANCIENT PROPHET SCRIPTURE.
-No getting your brows wet for 7 days ( I lived in hats and so much dry shampoo for that first week)
-Do not scratch or pick at them (they first got itchy on day 3 and that lasted until day 5. On day 4 they started peeling. Just don't touch them ok?! Also wearing hats help minimize any peeling)
-Do not freak out on them changing color (my brows got super dark the next day and then have slowly gone lighter. This is normal. Do not freak out. Just be patient.)
You will need a follow up appointment a month after the first visit to correct any fading or add any hairstrokes. It's been about 11 days since my first appointment. My brows have faded in color a bit and I noticed a few spots I would like to add hairstrokes, but they still look gorgeous and I am blown away with the confidence it's given me, the time it saves me in the morning getting ready and I am so excited that when I go to Thailand next month I don't have to worry about my brows washing off in the ocean.
All and all I would do this again in a hummingbird heartbeat and I recommend anyone who is looking for a semi-permanent solution to sparse brows to look into microblading. If you are in the Portland area do not think twice about trusting anyone else with your brows. Erica is your girl.
Visit Viva La Brow on Instagram at: @viva_la_brow She posts amazing before and after pictures there
Full website for Viva La Brow is here: www.vivalabrow.com