Mom's Groupon Microblading Session Goes Horribly Wrong

Jami Ledbetter
Fox 4KC

We all try crazy new trends in the name of beauty. But now one mom from Kansas City, Missouri, is sharing a beauty treatment she recently did that went horribly awry. Jami Ledbetter was born without eyebrows, so she was excited when her daughters gifted her with a Groupon for a mircoblading session. But when she looked into the mirror after her treatment was completed, she was horrified by what she saw. “I would never wish this on my worst enemy,” she said.

  • The mom said that originally she was excited to get her eyebrows treated by a woman who claimed to be a professional.

    As reported by Fox 4 KC, the 42-year-old mom had received the $250 Groupon from her daughters to get her eyebrows microbladed -- a technique which involves tattooing individual eyebrow hairs with a tiny needle or small blade -- in November. But what she saw the job that her technician had done, she was heartbroken.

    "I was devastated," she said of her botched brows.

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  • Not only did Ledbetter's self-esteem take a hit from her botched brows, she said that the man she was seeing stopped dating her.

    Jami Ledbetter

    “What it’s done to my self-confidence, it’s been hard," she told reporters. “I was even dating a guy, and he stopped dating me at that point.”

    Things were so bad that Ledbetter was embarrassed to leave her house. She said she only went to work, the grocery store, and then came home. And her attempts to cover her brows with make-up didn't work either. Ledbetter even went to a second specialist who promised she could help "camouflage" her brows, but six weeks later, they looked even worse.

    “It was pretty painful,” Ledbetter said. “I tried to have a good attitude, but it burned a lot. It kind of felt bruised.” But Ledbetter was determined to find a way to fix her brows.

    “It took everything in me to hold back tears because this is the worse I’ve ever seen,” said Kara Gutierrez, a licensed and insured tattoo artist whom Ledbetter was referred to for tattoo removal.

    “Within 24 hours of a botched job, I can remove the bad brow,” she said. But would she be able to save Ledbetter's twice-botched brows?

    The two had their first session in February where Gutierrez used a solution called Li-ft to help lift the pigment out of Ledbetter's brows. The Li-ft is first tattooed into the brows and then when the brows scab, it takes the pigment with them. "It’s very unpredictable to how much you can remove, but it works," the tattoo artist said of the treatment, which must be performed at eight-week intervals.

  • Now Gutierrez is warning women to be on the lookout for unlicensed microblading specialists and is speaking out about how little regulation there is.

    Microblading isn't regulated in the state of Missouri and is technically considered "semi-permanent" under the law. 

    "Nobody’s governing this," Gutierrez said. "No one is saying, 'This is the right way. This is the wrong way.'"

    Right now, technicians only need a certificate to be approved to microblade, but sometimes these training sessions don't cover best sanitation practices and the risk of blood-borne pathogens. 

    "The money is good [in microblading]," Missouri state Rep. Nate Tate explained. "You just take the class, pay your $2,500, and you can perform it. I think as we start seeing the propagation of these microblading shops popping up, it’s going to become more of an issue."

    And Gutierrez added that if someone is interested in microblading they need to look beyond a simple certification. "A certification is just a fancy piece of paper saying [someone] learned how to do this," she said. "It doesn’t necessarily mean [they’re] an expert. Don’t just look into the person that’s doing it. Look into their instructor."

    This was a lesson Ledbetter had to learn the hard way. "If I would have known it was going to turn out like this, I probably would’ve never done it at all," she said. 

    Most likely, Ledbetter will need two to three more sessions with Gutierrez to remove all pigment from her brow line. And in total she will need to spend $1,000 to get her eyebrows removed.

    The woman who is responsible for botched eyebrows is now out of business.
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