I’ve never been particularly happy with my eyebrows. Even in my youth, my brows were always follicularly challenged and just kinda meh. Then, when I was 17, I had my brows waxed at a random strip-mall in Texas…and they stopped growing. With or without plucking, my brows just kinda stayed in that sad post-waxing state – uneven and sparse. For years, I’ve filled in my brows using pens, powders, pomade, you name it…Sometimes they’d look pretty good, and other times I’d apply too much pressure and they’d end up looking cartoonish and severe. Sometimes I’d spend an entire day unknowingly walking around with one smudged eyebrow and dark powder on my forehead, and sometimes one eyebrow would end up looking really good while the other…you know.
Once I heard about microblading, I became a woman obsessed. I’ve never considered tattooing my eyebrows, but microblading sounded different and looked really natural in photos. Microblading (or eyebrow embroidery) is a process during which semi-permanent pigment is pushed into the surface of the skin with a fine blade to mimic the growth of existing hair and to create strokes that imitate hair, making the brow look fuller, thicker, and more natural than any powder or pomade ever could. Because it’s such a labour-intensive and intricate process, microblading isn’t cheap. Prices range anywhere from $300 to $1000, depending on your location and your aesthetician’s level of experience. As a blogger, over the last couple of years I’ve received several offers of complimentary eyebrow microblading from various aestheticians, but after looking at their work, I didn’t feel comfortable taking them up on their offers. Instead, I did my research, until I found Arabella Trasca. I pored over her instagram photos – the befores, the afters, 1st touch-ups…she’d post them all without editing or makeup, and most importantly, each photo demonstrated that Arabella’s work enhances her clients’ looks, making their brows look better but still natural-looking. So I emailed her assistant and made an appointment.
More after the jump!
The appointment began with a mini interview, going over the questionnaire I had filled out before arriving – allergies, skin conditions, history of cosmetic enhancements. We also discussed my likes and dislikes when it comes to brow shapes (I wanted to avoid the inescapable “instagram brow” and was relieved to hear that it was not a problem). Arabella also applied a numbing agent on my brows as we chatted. Once we settled on a shape, she sketched it out over my brows and the procedure began. The first few cuts hurt, but not unbearably so. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say some of the cuts felt like a 3 and others felt like a 5. After a few strokes, Arabella applied another numbing agent and there was no more pain…until the end of the procedure, when my brows felt tender and sensitive from all the rubbing. But overall, it was not bad, not bad at all. If you’ve ever endured a Brazilian wax, microblading will be a cake walk. Of course, everyone is different when it comes to pain tolerance, but my personal experience was very comfortable (I didn’t even need those stress balls I was given!).
Throughout the process, Arabella would let me look at the brows in progress, asking for my feedback and making sure that both brows looked nice and even. Once she was finished, she applied some coconut oil on my tender brows, and asked me not to wet the area for 10 days, while keeping the brows moisturized at all times using the mini kit she provided (coconut oil, application wand, and a brow brush). Washing my face and hair without getting water on my brows was definitely challenging, but not impossible. I used paper towels and plastic wrap on my brows when washing my hair, and used makeup wipes on my face. Applying coconut oil to my brows throughout the day made them look shiny and definitely drew some curious looks from co-workers, so that was probably my least favourite part of the process. I was also supposed to keep my brows away from the sun, avoid strenuous activities like exercise, and try not to sweat for the next 10 or so days, all of which proved to be difficult since le bf and I left for Las Vegas and Palm Springs pretty much right after my procedure.
Luckily for me, a touch-up appointment was included with my microblading experience, and so a month or so later, I was back at Arabella’s studio, getting my brows touched-up. I did lose quite a few strokes during that month, most likely because of the sun exposure and those sweaty Palm Springs hikes, but after the touch-up, my brows looked great again and didn’t lose many strokes after they healed! By the way, right after the procedure and for about a week or so, the brows do look quite dark and intense, but don’t be alarmed, eventually the look softens as the scabs form and fall off, and the colour settles into your skin.
It’s been nearly a year since I first had my brows microbladed, and I loved Arabella’s work so much, I ended up going for an optional 6-month touch-up to add a few more strokes to my brows. Today, I am happy to say that I hardly ever apply makeup to my brows – only when I go out and would like a bolder brow. But on a daily basis, my makeup routine has been simplified thanks to the magic of microblading – no more smudged and uneven brows for this girl. If you look really closely, you can tell which strokes aren’t real hair, but you would have to get pretty close to be able to tell the difference. For someone with sparse brows, this procedure is a true game-changer, and I’m so happy that I finally made the leap.
If you have questions about my experience, please let me know in the comments!