Testimonial: Microblading Experience at InkCredible Outcomes

*Name withheld for privacy.

My first appointment

“Any nerves I had were quickly dissipated; my technician, Sian, made me feel completely at ease and I found that chatting to her both before and during the treatment helped to take my mind off of any potential fears. Just like any treatment, the more relaxed your body is, the more comfortable it will feel. We began by discussing my current brows vs. my dream brows; I wasn’t wearing any make up so I showed Sian some photographs of how I ‘do’ my eyebrows and I said that I wanted them to look ‘done’ without looking completely fake. Sian worked her eyebrow science and quickly measured and mapped out where my brows should begin and end, then drew them on in lots of detail and precision so that I could see exactly what the finished product would look like.

When the treatment began I was more surprised by the noise than the sensation. It’s similar to someone ripping paper very close to your ear, or a little like the sound that a fine tooth comb makes if you run it along your finger. As someone with sensitive eyes, the thing I actually found most uncomfortable was the bright light which made my eyes water (I cry at the dentist for the same reason – ha!). Once the initial stage was over, the skin was broken and the numbing cream re-applied I could’ve actually had a little nap. In fact, I think I probably did because the appointment seemed to fly by. By far the worst moment, which thankfully lasts for maybe 20 seconds tops, was the application of the final layer of pigment.

And just like that, after about 20 minutes or so, we were done. I sat up, was handed a mirror and genuinely gasped. I could not believe how incredible they looked, nor that they were actually MINE on MY face. They explained the aftercare process and I skipped on my merry way…”

Day One

“That afternoon, as the numbing cream wore off I got a bit of a headache and took a couple of ibuprofen. Making any kind of expressive brow movement felt quite uncomfortable; I had the girls round that evening and my catchphrase of the night was “Stop making me laugh!” I had been warned that for a few days after the appointment they would be dramatically dark and sent a full Aftercare 101 guide from my technician. They pressed just how important the aftercare is, in fact she said it’s as important, if not more so, than the treatment itself. She could do the most amazing job but if you don’t look after them religiously for those first 10 days then it’s worthless. No pressure.”

Day Five

“Halfway through the recovery and I was finding the aftercare surprisingly easy. In fact, it is easy. Don’t get them wet, don’t touch them and apply coconut oil with a cotton bud 2-3 times per day to keep them hydrated. Simple! The most frustrating part by far was being unable to give my face a quick wash; instead I used my usual cleanser and applied it avoiding my brows. Every evening I used a baby wipe to very, very gently wipe my brows and remove any coconut oil build up or bacteria.”

Day Seven

“I had been warned that as they scabbed they were likely to flake but was pleasantly surprised by how limited this actually was. I hadn’t particularly been looking forward to walking around looking like I had gone moldy. At around day 7-8 they began to scab which was a little itchy and I really had to resist the temptation to pick. Instead, I slathered them with my new BFF, coconut oil, and powered through.”

Day 10

“My brows had healed and any scabbing had stopped, but I waited another couple of days before washing my face properly, just to be on the safe side. By this point they looked much lighter than what I wanted but thankfully they had warned me that this would happen, so I didn’t panic.”

Day 14

“About two weeks after the treatment I felt like my brows were officially ‘done’ and I started cleansing my face as normal again. They looked amazing but I did find that with a full face of makeup they weren’t quite as dark as I’d like, so I was applying a tinted brow gel. Having got used to my new set, I was really excited for my touch up appointment so that I could ask them to make them a little more dramatic.”

My second appointment

“This time there were no nerves because I was fully prepared for the treatment. They was really impressed with how well I’d looked after them (gold star for me) and I explained how I wanted them a little darker and perhaps a tiny bit fuller, now that I’d got used to the shape. The purpose of the touch up appointment is to ensure that your brows have healed properly and that they are 100% what you want. I was in and out in now time at all with solid 10/10 brows and another 10 days of aftercare (at which I am now a pro).”

I am a total convert. The treatment is not cheap and I was grateful to be invited to try it out to share with you all, however I will absolutely be paying them to redo them in around a years time. They are an investment but the time (and money on products, waxes and tints) it saves is well worth it in my eyes. I would absolutely recommend InkCredible Outcomes; they were incredibly professional, the clinic itself is clean and relaxing. I felt well looked after and completely informed the whole time.

What to Expect Out Of Microblading

Microblading is a semi-permanent brow treatment that uses a very, very fine little blade made up of what are essentially nine pins to deposit pigment into the skin. Unlike tattooed make up, there are no machines or needles involved and the overall effect is much more natural looking. The treatment is carried out completely by hand after an in-depth consultation, which means that hair-like strokes can be strategically placed in ‘real’ looking directions, lengths and positions. The tiny blade essentially scratches the skin, leaving behind the color.

Does it hurt?

This is the number one question we have been asked, and the number one question I wanted answered before I went to my first appointment. Everyone has a different pain threshold. I’d say it sits somewhere around the middle of the scale .Most are pleasantly surprised by how little pain is felt. Numbing cream was applied beforehand. It was scratchy and a little annoying but it didn’t actually hurt and most are relieved to find that the scratches didn’t even sting. Once the initial layer had been done, We apply a second coat of numbing cream, you can expect to feel a slight prodding and poking around your brow area. If you’ve ever had your eyebrows threaded, the pain is nothing like that. Clients have said they rather an hour of microblading than 10 minutes of threading. 

How much does it cost?

The full microblading treatment at InkCredible Outcomes includes the consultation, color matching, patch test numbing, and first appointment. Prices range from $350-$500 (depending on client’s needs). Four to six weeks later, you will require a touch-up that ranges $150-$200. The initial appointment is the most expensive part and a touch-up once a year costs $250. Most businesses offering microblading charge anywhere from $350-$1,000 depending on regional location, skill-set and experience.

How long does it last?

The treatment lasts about a year, some people choose to get the color refreshed sooner while others wait longer. Because you don’t have to fuss over your brows every day, a lot of people find that microblading helps their natural brows to grow thicker and healthier in the process!

Aftercare DO’S & DON’TS 

  • Keep them dry for the first 10 days

  • Apply coconut oil two to three times a day for 10 days

  • Use an SPF on them once they’ve healed

  • Don’t pick at them or remove the scabs whilst they’re healing

Don’t use AHAs/BHAs or other chemical products on them.

Everything You Need to Know About Microblading

Microblading: it may sound like a new potentially dangerous winter sport or form of medieval torture, but it’s the latest, most cutting-edge (pun fully intended) technique by which to achieve full, flatteringly shaped eyebrows, whether you’re starting with 90s style pencil brows or nothing at all. Madonna is said to have had the treatment and if it's good enough for Madge, it's good enough for us. But what is it?

Microblading sounds frankly terrifying. Talk me through it.

The difference between microblading and semi-permanent makeup is that microblading is manual; it’s all done by hand with no machines. The microblading tool looks like a pen, and you attach the tiny, pronged blades to the end. You create all the brush strokes individually, with none of the vibration that you get with a semi-permanent makeup machine. There’s no power behind it, it’s all you. With the machine, the vibration causes pigment to disperse in the skin, so the stroke isn’t as crisp- it blends out more. With the blade you don’t need to apply as much pressure, and it’s very superficial, which is why microbladed brows and makeup doesn’t last as long. That’s also why the dye doesn’t change color, as it’s not pushed as deeply into the skin.

Microblading creates a very delicate effect that can’t be achieved on a semi-permanent makeup machine, even if you’re an extremely experienced technician, as the machines vibration takes away an element of control. Working freehand with the microblade tool, you can be more precise.

Where did microblading originate?

Microblading originated in China, over 10 years ago. It’s a very refined technique and has slowly filtered through to us in the West. It’s become established over here in the last three years, but it’s in the past year that it’s just blown up. The results are so incredibly natural and realistic.

How do I know if microblading is for me?

It’s most suitable if you’re after a beautifully defined brow and you pencil them on pretty much every day. It makes such a difference. You get that extra time to yourself and more sleep in the morning! If you’re not someone who does that every day and you happily leave the house without pencil or product on your brows, then there’s probably little point, as that’s not something that you’d ordinarily spend a lot of time on. For most woman there’s no way they would leave their house without having done their brows. In that case, it makes sense to have it done. You never have to waste time drawing them on or trying to get them even. If you’re not that person, it’s probably not for you.

A big majority of clients are cancer patients, and microblading can really help to restore someone’s confidence. They might come in before, during or after chemotherapy or treatment, although beforehand is great as I can help to recreate their brow almost exactly. It’s not essential, as the browbone is there as a guide, but catching them before can help you to achieve even more incredible results. Depending on the strength of the treatment they’re having I might do microblading during, but it’s normally after chemotherapy, especially if treatment is aggressive as even one small nick can have an impact on the immune system. Doctors will always advise patients as to what’s best.

Is there anyone for whom microblading is totally off the cards?

Really the only people that definitely can’t have microblading are women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You also need to be over 18.

This tattooing business is serious stuff. How can I find a good technician?

When looking for a great technician, look out for an extensive ‘before and after’ portfolio. It’s absolutely a must for me, because you want to see that that person has worked on young skin, mature skin, dark skins, fair skins; a whole range of people. If there’s not too much evidence of that, we’d have to question the experience of a technician.

How long does a microblading session take?

An initial session normally takes about 2 -2 ½ hours. The treatment time is actually the quickest part, it’s the preparation that takes time, from consultation to numbing time to making sure the shape is right, that they’re perfectly even and the color is spot on. That can take over an hour, while drawing on the hair strokes might only take 30-60 minutes.

Onto the pain issue. What can I expect? What does microblading feel like?

It’s very scratchy. I wouldn’t say it’s painful per se, but it’s very uncomfortable. It’s not a relaxing treatment during which you’ll drift off- you feel it, but you also hear it a lot more than you feel it, which can be strange. You hear the scratching, but the area is numb. Everyone has their own pain threshold. Some people say it’s totally fine while others are more sensitive to pain. It can also depend on how you’re feeling on the day, for instance if you’re on your period, or leading up to it, you’ll feel it more.

Any risks to bear in mind?

The correct aftercare is really vital though to prevent infection. You need to keep the brow area very clean and keep your hair away from the area. You must not get brows wet or apply any cream to the area apart from the healing balm you’ll be given for around 7-10 days. After that time you can fully wash but just be careful around the brow area as it’ll still be healing. For some people the healing process can last up to two weeks. After that point you can carry on as normal.”

Microblading is semi-permanent. When might I need a touch-up?

How quickly color fades totally depends on the individual and their skin. There’s no one size fits all with this treatment. Sometimes I might have a top-up at six months, and sometimes at eight months. It can depend on any number of things, from sun exposure to exfoliation. There’s no definitive answer in terms of how long microblading lasts, but most clients will return for a top-up within a year or so.

As a guide, normally I’d tell a client to return before brow color has faded too much, but if you are wanting to change color, you’re best of waiting a bit longer to allow you to switch to a different shade or go cooler or warmer.

How can I keep my brows “on fleek” for as long as possible?

We’d say that wearing an SPF 50 is essential, but then I think it is anyway whether you’ve had microblading or not. Be careful not to over-exfoliate the brow area too; not that you ever need to! It’s just something to be aware of, as this will cause color to break down much faster.

Is microblading a lifelong commitment?

If a cancer patient had their brows microbladed, and then eyebrow hair grew back, they wouldn’t need to continue with the treatment anymore, so commitment wise it’s very dependent on the person, their preferences and the situation. The touch-ups are always considerably less cost-wise than the first treatment once a year, if the brows make a big difference to confidence and lifestyle, as they do for me personally, I think it’s worth it. The time and effort it saves me justifies the cost.

What’s the number one advantage afforded by microblading in your view?

The definition that it gives! It can make you look instantly amazing, and for many of clients, it changes lives. The hair follicles in the brows are so delicate, for many people once they’re gone, they’re gone, so this is such a great treatment if you’re in that situation.

Semi-permanent Makeup vs. Microblading

'Microblading' seems to be very popular in the media at the moment.  While both are forms of micropigmentation (the process of implanting pigment into the skin), the techniques, results and process are quite different. 

Semi-permanent Makeup  Involves using a specially developed medical and cosmetic tattoo machine and needles, specifically for this purpose. The pigment is implanted around 1.5-2mm into the layers of the skin. There are a variety of needles and techniques available with machine work, from super fine natural hair stokes, through to soft ombre powder brows and bolder full powder brows. Some clients choose to have a combination brow - with hair strokes at the front, going through to a powder effect in the full body of the brow.  Typically you can expect to have a re-touch up at around 1.5 - 2.5 years. 

Microblading is a technique that involves using a hand held tool, which has micro blades attached to it. The technician creates fine hair strokes in the skin by slicing the blades in a hair stroke motion. Pigment is implanted at a much more superficial level into the layers of the skin. Typically you can expect to have a re-touch around 12 -24 months. 

Each of these treatments has its benefits; the best thing to do is discuss your requirements with your technician. We will be able to tell you whether you are suitable for semi-permanent eyebrows or microblading. 

Eyebrow Shading/Ombre Shading/Powder Shading

Are they permanent?

They are semi-permanent and not permanent.  However, you need to treat them as if they are permanent; there is no exact science as to how long they will last. As a guide, they can last anywhere between one to five years before needing a color boost. Factors that contribute to how long they last are your initial skin coloring, skin type, aftercare and lifestyle.   

Who are semi-permanent eyebrows suitable for? 

Clients choose to get semi permanent makeup for many reasons. For some it could be that they simply don't want to have to do their eyebrows every day! Others may want to work out, without worrying about having their makeup come off of their face while working out. So there's no doubt that semi permanent makeup is a great timesaver—would you like to have an extra 30 minutes in bed in the morning? Then this treatment is for you! 

It may also be a surprise to know that many clients have semi permanent eyebrows as a result of a medical condition or treatment.  This is a great option for clients going through chemotherapy, clients with alopecia and also those with thyroid disorder (at times hair tend not to grow).  Also, as we age, hair growth tends to slow down and the brows can thin.  It's possible to create really natural brows using either natural hair strokes, or a very soft and gentle ombre powder brow.  Semi permanent eyebrows can look so natural no one will ever know they aren't real!