Whether your brows are sparse, thin or not shaped as you’d like, micro blading could be nigh-on miraculous, but it’s not for everyone. Here’s the deal on the newest brow treatment around…
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?
Also known as eyebrow embroidery, micro blading is a subtle, precise and softer take on makeup tattooing, which can be carried out on eyelids and lips but is most commonly applied to the brow area.
I sat down with Sian Dellar, London’s most sought-after microblading and permanent makeup specialist, to talk natural-looking semi-permanent eyebrow makeup, brow trends and pain thresholds. For your ultimate microblading manual, look no further.
Microblading Sounds Frankly Terrifying
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 colour, 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 machine’s 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 ten 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. I’m not knocking the machines because I’ve used them for years, but you can’t get the same kind of nuanced results as you do with a blade with regular semi-permanent makeup, hence its popularity.
How and why did you come to be a microblading maestro?
I came to specialise in it because I’m up for anything that’s going to make my work look a thousand times better and more realistic. I’ve used a machine for many, many years and I was just looking for something more.
About three years ago a client came to me with microbladed brows. It was really awful, and I just thought how could someone put a blade to a client’s face like that?! It had been done so badly, but I researched microblading and discovered that actually, when it’s done well, it looks incredible. That’s when I decided I wanted to train in it.
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 me before I had microblading done, however, there’s no way that I’d have ever leave the house without having done my brows. In that case, it makes sense to have it done. You never have to faff around trying to get them even. If you’re not that person, it’s probably not for you.”
A big majority of my 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.
The Bottom Line
“An initial session normally takes an hour and a half to two 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 bang on. That can take over an hour, while drawing on the hair strokes might only take twenty minutes.”