Microblading Means Never Having to Draw Your Eyebrows on Again

microbladingMany of us have completely destroyed our eyebrows. There have been bad decisions made, too much time spent in magnifying mirrors with tweezers, and some who have even gone as far as using a razor. But stop furrowing your messed-up brows about it, because microblading, the latest and greatest brow technique, could be just the fix you need. 


A brow expert like Jen Terban-Hertell can create natural-looking brows that work with your face perfectly. 

Jen has been a co-owner at East Side Ink tattoo shop for almost 10 years. Once microblading became available in the United States, she immediately went to learn the craft to become certified. Tattooing eyebrows is a much different technique than microblading. She was her own first client, and microbladed her own eyebrows (seen below), and she was thrilled with the results. 

jen terban hertell eyebrows

As a busy, married mom of two, Jen understands how sometimes we just don't have the time to draw our eyebrows on every day or worry about their fading off. But we all deserve to feel beautiful, even if we did a number on our brows years ago. Microblading solves that.


Microblading seems like magic. It's different than tattooing brows because with a microblade, the strokes of ink look like hair. "I involve clients in the process so they get exactly what they want down to their last hair," Jen says. "This isn't about getting clients in and out -- we work together. I want them to be happy looking in the mirror."  

So we have questions, and Jen shared all.

How is microblading different than the tattooing eyebrows of yesterday? If I get microblading, will the ink turn weird purple over time?
There are pros and cons to both. The pro for microblading is that you look amazing, but it's not going to last forever. But you don't want it to last forever. Styles change, faces change, pigments change. The "pro" to tattooing eyebrows is that it lasts forever, but at the same time that's a "con" because it ends up looking terrible within a few years because your face is exposed to elements and those elements affect tattooing. The sun fades the ink, and the colors don't fade evenly -- you can be left with pink, purple, blue, gray, or gray fuzzy brows over time. 

Tattooing goes in eight layers deep into the dermis; microblading goes two layers deep. So with sun exposure and exfoliating and natural skin regeneration, you will eventually expose the two layers of skin and the pigment is gone and faded out. That's a plus, because you don't want it on your face forever, because the color will never stay the same. If you love it, you can do it every year or two and if the day comes and you stop, you don't have to worry that you will be left with pink archy weird eyebrows.

Microblading is better because it looks like hair, not like a pencil, and you have the choice to redo it without discolored lines.


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Your clients rave about their new brows. Why are we just hearing about microblading now?
Good question -- I don't know what took America so long. Microblading has been popular in Asian countries for years. It's huge in Europe and Canada, and it just made its way here. We may be the last to get it, but the good side is the technique has been perfected along its travels so it looks better than it ever has.

The biggest thing most of my clients say after they have microbladed their brows is that it's life changing -- that's how much of an impact it is making.


What have been some of your favorite compliments from clients?
One of the great parts about this job is that it makes women feel pretty and good about themselves. We are so critical of ourselves and we rarely look in the mirror and are happy, but the nicest compliment from clients after microblading is that they feel good about themselves. Many of my clients had changed their activities to revolve around their eyebrows getting washed off. They would avoid or dread going to the beach or yoga or gym or out on a hot day because that would wipe their brows away if they are drawn in. They didn't like the way they looked without their brows drawn in, but once they had their brow microbladed, they felt good, felt pretty, and they didn't have to worry about their eyebrows. To say it's life-changing -- that's major.


Why is it worth the splurge for those who draw them on every day?
If you draw your brows on every day, you are used to a few things happening. You know you can never draw the same eyebrow twice every day. They also look penciled in. It's time-consuming. And the most important part is the self-esteem issue -- you clearly don't like the way they look when they are not drawn in and it impacts daily activities. Microblading, even after the first session, gives you fuller, thicker brows -- you can get either a little more or a lot more. And as we age our brows get shorter and thinner, so filler makes you look younger. That is the liberating benefit.

Microblading costs average between $500 and $1,200, and every client needs at least two passes. It depends on healing and what clients want to achieve with their brows. I charge $500 for first pass and second pass is free -- it is at least a two-step process.


Does it hurt ... a lot?
No, it's tolerable. Pain is minimal. I use a slight numbing agent and microblading feels kind of like plucking.

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What is the process like? What can someone expect when they come see you?
Every microblader is different. If they come to me, the process consists of consultation and conversation so I can get to know clients and what they like and want to do. During this talk, I also pay attention to my client's face as they are talking. I have a background in sculpture art, and I want their brows to be on the brow bone moving with the face -- I want my client's brows to look good when their brows and face are resting and with expression. I'm paying close attention to style and noting face and shape. 

I remove any makeup on the eyebrow, and then draw it on in a way that works with their face. We make any changes as needed and then draw the other one on. Then I numb the area, which takes about a half hour to set in. The blade is made out of needles thinner than tattoo needles. I use a color that matches the natural color of the brow. The actual time it takes to microblade is the shortest of the whole process. The whole thing can take two and a half to three hours.


What about upkeep?
The greatest thing about microblading compared to other procedures is that there is zero downtime. You can come in to get microbladed on your way to dinner, get brows done, and go to dinner feeling fabulous. Aftercare varies for each microblader, and everyone is different when it comes to healing. But it's easy -- you almost have to do nothing. I provide healing balm and ask clients to avoid sun and water for the first week while still healing. Within two weeks, clients can go back to normal life minus having to worry about their eyebrows.


Clients have even said they wear less makeup in general since their brows make them feel complete. In about 4 to 12 weeks after the first pass, I do the second pass.


After learning all about it, microblading sounds amazing -- and we love Jen's enthusiasm in helping women feel more confident and beautiful. That is something we should all feel.

Follow Jen at brows.by.jen on Instagram.


Images via Jen Terban-Hertell

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