I grew up plucking my eyebrows overzealously – heavens I wish I hadn’t. Over plucking, a botched wax job by a trainee and possibly just bad genes resulted in sparse, unsymmetrical brows. The hair on my left brow grows out like cyclops, and the right brow was longer and higher than the left. Filling in your brows is a great temporary, cost effective solution, if you’re able to fill them in correctly. I tried; some days I got it right, other days, not so much (a bit like winged liner)! Besides that, I was often too lazy to fill my brows in every day and some days I just didn’t have the extra time to fill them in when whilst coercing a half-dressed 2-year-old to eat her vitamins or brush her teeth.
Towards the beginning of last year I noticed a thread pop up on my local community group page – someone was asking for a microblading referral and 90% of people recommended Desi from Derma Graph Aesthetics.
I began developing a bit of a complex about my brows, especially on the days when I couldn’t get them filled in correctly, so I got hold of Desi. I’d heard of some horror stories regarding botched microblading so naturally I stayed away from my friend, Dr. Google, but rest assured, I’m going to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding the procedure.
To get back to my experience, I met with Desi one afternoon after work for a consultation and we chatted so long I had to rush to fetch the kids from school before it closed! We talked through everything from her qualifications, to her family, how she got into the beauty industry, her dreams for Derma Graph Aesthetics and obviously got around to my expectations of this procedure.
A quick bit about Desi. She has trained both locally and internationally, is certified with Phibrows and also forms part of PCASA (permanent make up association of South Africa). She’s the kind of person you instantly feel at ease with and is so knowledgeable in her field – what more could you want from a therapist? We diarised my appointment date and she emailed me two attachments which included information regarding the pre- and post procedure do’s and don’ts as well as the aftercare and relevant timelines.
Procedure day rolled around, and I began to feel a mix of nervousness and excitement – although this also could have been prompted by the lack of my usual morning coffee, you see, caffeine before the procedure is not advised – along with a long list including diuretics, pain killers, anti inflammatories, blood thinners, Asprin, Ibuprofen, vitamins and alcohol, as they all contribute to the thinning of the blood and more bleeding during the procedure which may cause more fading as it prevents proper absorption of the pigment. However, NO medication may be stopped without your Doctors consent. General hair removal options such as waxing, laser treatments and tinting etc. should also be avoided.
For your aftercare one must carefully follow the instructions and use the aftercare ointment provided. During the first 10 days avoid creams, water and make up over the treated area as well as exercise. Desi’s forms explain all of the timelines and do’s and don’ts in much more detail.
Whilst filling in the comprehensive medical history forms, there were approximately 70 yes/no questions (yes she is very thorough), Desi applied the numbing cream and showed me the tools she’d be using. Explaining that she’d be using a state-of-the-art hand tool as opposed to a machine, this lets her create thinner, more precise hair-like strokes that she had more control over. My mind was instantly put at ease when I saw how minuscule the needles in the blade were. The next port of call was to measure symmetry and outline what shape and fullness we wanted my new and improved brows to be according to my facial features and shape. We checked this all out on an app she uses – how cool??? My pigment colour was matched to my natural hair colour.
We’d decided that I would do some live Instagram stories of the procedure ahead of the time, we tried a few strokes before going ‘live’. I was pleasantly surprised at how painless it was, so live we went! If you watched the videos you would have seen a minuscule amount of blood, actually like little dots of blood in the line created and a watering eye, but otherwise it really felt like a harmless treatment. After creating the fine, superficial cuts on my brow, she then saturated the brow area with the selected pigment colour (or mask as she refers to it) over my arches to seep into the hair-like cuts. Sounds painful, I know, but I even joked this was my Mommy time so I might just close my eyes and have a little snooze. At worst it felt like a scratching sensation, and the left brow was a little more sensitive on the tail of the brow bone. The worst of it was the sound of the microblading tool, not even the pain – it sounds like Velcro.
A procedure usually takes about 2 hours from start to finish, but being born with the gift of the gab, and filming for social media, mine was closer to 3.
Overall, I am absolutely thrilled with the results, even though I’m only 1 and a half weeks into the process, and yet to see the final results. Your natural eyebrow hair, skin type, incisions application and pressure, pigments used, and how well you follow your aftercare all impacts results. Immediately after your appointment, you should expect the colour of the pigment to appear darker until the area heals which can take a minimum of two weeks. I’ll be back between 6 – 8 weeks for a touch up, where final tweaks may be made if necessary and to touch up any areas that may have not retained as well. As mentioned everyone heals differently.
So, who’s a prime candidate for microblading?
Almost anyone who is not naturally blessed in the eyebrow department and just wants a little more definition, shape and fuller look.
Would I recommend it?
Absolutely, yes! Eyebrows are the most overlooked feature of the face which actually shapes and frames your face, and I think you’ll agree with me from my pictures, a fuller, defined brow has accentuated my facial features and eyes which has made me feel so much more confident.
My advice is to invest in a therapist that has been through extensive training and has the accreditations and experience, and definitely have a look at their work to ensure that you see consistency in their stroke pattern. I would recommend chatting to your therapist ahead of the time about managing your expectations.
The healing process differs from person to person as everyone heals differently. Some heal quicker than others, some people have a certain amount of retention and fading after the first week and that is their retention until the touch up and others, like a tattoo, pigment will disappear and reappear again during the healing process. Desi described that if the aftercare is followed correctly that the “scabs” should be like dry flaky skin that won’t even be seen as the ointment covers that. My brows have scabbed a little more than most, which can happen and is completely normal and although I considered cutting some bangs on Friday morning (one week after the procedure), and have had some very strange stares, I can’t wait to see the final result. Excuse me while I go spread the gospel of microblading!
The initial procedure and follow up session 6 – 8 weeks later, as well as the aftercare kit with Derma Graph Aesthetics will normally cost you R2800 BUT one lucky follower will walk away with the initial treatment! The touch up however, is not included.
Look out for how to enter in my post, here on Mommalikeme, tomorrow!