From bird poo facials to fat freezing, there are very few beauty treatments that I won’t try; but ask me to mess with my eyebrows and I’ll run a mile. The truth is that I’m part of the tadpole brow generation that spent the Nineties and early Noughties plucking their eyebrows in to oblivion.
Then along came Cara Delevingne, Lily Collins and the rest of the bushy-browed beauties and suddenly we all needed to spend an extra 20 minutes every morning filling the gaps and thickening our measly arches. Pencils, powders and pomades suddenly became indispensable products. A bare, pallid complexion was fine by me, but God forbid I be seen in public without perfect brows. Needless to say, this quickly became the bane of my life and I was on constant lookout for long term solutions. Never in a million years would I consider the blocky, tattooed brow; but when natural-looking microbladed brows started taking over the Instagram feeds of the beauty obsessed, I knew it was something I could get on board with. The delicate embroidery of realistic hair strokes is perfect for those who want to fully reconstruct, define, or fill in over-plucked brows.
So what is microblading?
Microblading, 3D Brows, 6D Brows, Micropigmentation– it’s easy to get lost in the jargon but they’re all basically semi-permanent tattoos. Each brow hair is intricately drawn on using a manual tool dipped in pigment. Whilst it may look like a blade, it’s actually an arrangement of tiny needles that allow the artist to make small incisions in the skin. This way the they can vary the thickness and depth of hair strokes according to the client’s needs.
How long does it last?
From six to 18 months depending on how oily your skin is and how fast your body absorbs the ink. You’ll generally need a touch up after a year.
If you have any of the following you can’t do microblading:
- chronic skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema
- HIV or hepatitis
- if you take blood-thinning medication (like aspirin)
- if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding
- if you’ve had Botox or fillers within a month of the treatment
- if you have a pre-existing traditional eyebrow tattoo
What’s it like?
I finally plucked up the courage and headed down to Sisters Beauty Lounge in The Dubai Mall to try out the treatment with microblading pro Kristy Macovei. We began by discussing exactly what I was looking for- basically the same shape just fuller, thicker and more defined. I’d seen her work on Instagram and I was confident she knew what she was doing. Kristy began by measuring my brows to get the correct dimensions and then drew an outline that acted as a frame to work within, she then cleaned my skin and got to work. Unlike traditional tattoos, she didn’t apply an anaesthetising cream to numb the area as she said it causes the skin to expand, which would change the shape of the strokes once the cream wears off. This isn’t the case everywhere; some artists do use numbing cream so it’s best to ask beforehand.
I found the process quite painful and I did need a little break every few minutes to catch my breath. The level of pain experienced is different for everyone but I’d say it’s completely bearable and the results are worth it. After an hour or so, Kristy had finished drawing the hairs and filling the larger gaps with some shading. She then applied a heavy layer of pigment and left it to soak in. 30 minutes later and I my perfect new brows were complete. It’s advised to avoid getting them wet on the first day and to apply vaseline or the special balm that’s provided several times a day for about a week after the treatment to prevent dryness and itching. The healing process is different for everyone, but generally it takes about a month for the skin to heal completely. After 30 days I went back for a quick touch up to fill in the gaps which can appear after the brows have healed.
The best part about this technique is that there’s no down time. Your new set of brows will be ready for a closeup selfie immediately after the process. It can cost anywhere between 1500 and 4500 AED depending on where you do it. But having perfect, minimal maintenance brows from morning to night, come rain or shine is definitely worth it. I’m in love with them and I’d recommend this as the perfect solution to sparse brows.