Why does the word 'microblade' have to sound so friggin' scary? Every genius knows you can't put the word 'blade' in a beauty treatment and think people will come flocking to it. But that's exactly what's happening. Ladies, if you've been curious or maybe heard of microblading but don't know what it means, I'll enlighten you with my recent experience. Let me be your guinea pig, because I'm rockin' some awesome eyebrows now and you deserve to know this secret. Don't eyeroll me. Now you are going to start noticing people's eyebrows and how helpful brows can be to frame your face.
A couple of friends were raving about Jacqueline Perry, who owns Permanent Appeal in Bellevue. It was a little difficult to get scheduled at first because apparently a lot of other Eastsiders had discovered her before I had. But it was worth the wait. She took the time to explain every step of how this semi-permanent tattooing method works. My brows have always been on the lighter side and fade out at the ends. She is so experienced and was super patient with my 493 questions. This technique typically lasts 9-12 months and can be up to 2 years, so you don't want to trust your face with just anyone. After the free consult when I was totally comfortable I schedule my appointment, and the follow up for 5-6 weeks later. Here's the story.
<--crazy face getting prepped <--smallest blade i've ever seen
First, Jacqueline mapped out my brows (lovely photo above, klingon style) based on facial reference points of what my brows should be. So we're not just freestylin' here, which is good. And then we discuss and agree upon the shape, size and color, which was way less difficult than I expected. She's done this 700 times before after all. There's a clean and sanitary work area and topical numbing happens next before the microblading begins. The tool she uses really is a micro blade (photo)- a teeny tiny little blade to which pigment is applied and the skin is stretched apart and small scratches are made, in hair-like strokes, for the pigment to get pushed in. I'm sure everyone has a different pain threshold, but for me this didn't hurt at all. It felt like little teeny zips of static electricity along with some blotting and stretching to help push the ink in. The entire appointment took 2 hours. A follow up appointment is needed 5-6 weeks later where you repeat the process. It helped that Jacqueline is so clear and thorough with what to expect during each week post treatment (see the card below). Because it does look dark at first (don't panic), and then fades and gets a little peely before color comes back (at which point your wondering what the heck is going on) and then by week 4 you're healed and almost ready for your follow up appointment. The second time around goes way faster because you know what to expect. How much does this semi-permanent make-up miracle cost? $650 (ouch, I know-includes free consult and the first 2 appointments). After that you can touch up after 6 mo for $150 or $350 for annual touch up. You can find the service for less, but be forewarned, this is an art and not all are artists are created equal. I've had a few friends go to Jacqueline, both fair and dark browed, that are all really happy with their results.
Check out my before and after photos. There are lots of other examples she has done here. You can finally retire your eyebrow pencil! Jacqueline encourages anyone who is considering microblading to ask a lot of questions of their provider. She does a lot of correction work. There's a technique to the strokes, the depth of superficial cuts, the types of pigment and the balance/evenness of your brows that comes with training and experience. So if you nail or lash person says they just learned to do this and want to try it on you, it's ok to be skeptical (because there is no certification requirement in WA State besides a business license!). Make sure you work with someone that uses all disposable products and be sure to ask a lot of questions. This is a tattoo on your face after all.
Jacqueline has an interesting story. She has a marketing background and used to work at UW School of Medicine within cancer care. A few years ago she was at a party and met a woman who had just gone through two rounds of chemo. She complimented Jacqueline's brows and shared that she had minimal brows and was bummed they wouldn't grow back because of her treatments. Side effects from her cancer treatment impacted her vision so she struggled to see to do her make-up and even pencil her brows. This got Jacqueline thinking, and so she did a little research and discovered microblading was trending in other major cities but just hadn't reached Seattle yet. Then she took a leap! She became passionate about having the ability to help a person feel better about themselves. She took a microblading course, but felt that wasn't enough, so she did more advanced training in LA- paramedical cosmetic tattooing and scalp micro-pigmentation. She not only does brows, but also helps alopecia patients and partners with local plastic surgeons to assist breast cancer survivors that need areola and nipple tattooing.