Ever wondered EXACTLY what happens when you go to get semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos?
By no means am I lacking in the brow department, my dark bushy caterpillars can be tamed into looking good (at least one of them will – why do they never look the same?) from time to time. But wouldn’t it just make life so much easier to not spend a good 20 percent of morning makeup time perfecting the arch of my brow.
I wanted to be able to have my brows on fleek (oh God, I actually wrote that), even when I’m a hot mess at the gym. And so for this reason, I put aside my painful fear of needles and headed to Tracie Giles semi-permanent makeup salon in Knightsbridge to take the plunge. The treatment I received was a 3D brow treatment, which is super similar to microblading – the only difference is they use a tattoo gun instead of a blade (eek!)
I will admit, I should have done a little more research. It wasn’t until I arrived and signed away my life that I realised Microblading is legitimately a bit gross. I mean, check out this YouTube video. But what exactly is this mysterious treatment? How does it feel? And is it worth it?
What are semi-permanent brows?
Although microblading is a big buzz word right now, it’s a beauty treatment that goes way back. The practice originated in the Far East and uses a hand-held blade to implant light strokes of pigment into your skin to give you shapely and fuller looking eyebrows. The treatment that I received was called 3D brows, it’s basically like microblading but rather than use a blade, a tattoo gun was used to paint on the pigment in the shape of fine hairs. The brows can last around 18 months -10 years depending on your skin type and depending on the treatment. The treatment that I had should last around 2-3 years.
The best bit?
Well, as the name suggests although they’re long-lasting, you aren’t committing yourself to a lifetime of the same eyebrows – unlike eyebrow tattoos, they fade away after time.
So what happened?
The fact that the procedure is carried out with what is basically a tattoo gun had me feeling a little on edge. When I first went into the treatment room, semi-permanent makeup artist, Tilly helped me to figure out what shape I’d like to have. She drew the shape onto my skin with a pen and once a few adjustments were made, Tilly applied the anaesthetic. ‘Will it hurt?’ I tentatively asked her. She told me it was just a bit scratchy and that although it hurt a little at first, after the second layer of anaesthetic was applied some clients had been known to fall asleep.
This put my mind at ease a little and as I lay down on the treatment bed the ex-body tattooist explained that her work at Tracie Giles could be extremely rewarding, telling me that her past clients have included those with alopecia or people that have had chemotherapy.
She applied the anaesthetic to my brows and we waited for it to start to go numb. After a short wait, she began to draw on the first layer. The pigments used at Tracie Giles are made from organic and inorganic materials – Tilly explained to me that this meant it was basically like a mineral makeup, only underneath your skin. After the first layer of pigment, the second layer of anaesthetic was applied.
It was more than a bit scratchy! My right eyebrow wasn’t really taking to the anaesthetic so it felt a little bit sore the whole way through.
According to Tilly, I must have more nerve endings on my face in that area. Maybe I’m a wimp but there was no chance I was about to start snoozing during this treatment. That being said, it wasn’t that bad – nothing unbearable.
Tilly built up the layers of pigment, drawing over the fine lines that she had drawn with the needle. In total three layers were tattooed onto my skin. Then I was told to come back in four to six weeks time for my retouch. I was also told not to put any makeup on my eyebrows for as long as possible (which anyone who knows me will realise was SUPER hard). After a couple of days, the skin on my eyebrows started to flake a little bit and I had a mini-meltdown that I’d turn into Gollum. At first, my skin was quite tender and sensitive but within a week or so it had started to heal and feel more comfortable.
The treatment took around two hours but thanks to a nice a cheesy playlist playing in the background it didn’t seem to take quite that long. I was told to come back for a retouch after 4-6 weeks.
What was the verdict?
At first, I was a bit unsure – I was a bit worried the colour didn’t match up to my eyebrows very well and I thought that the strokes were a little too obvious at the front of my brow. But after about two weeks the colour faded and at this point, I was IN LOVE. Like, seriously in love.
Because who doesn’t love minimal effort.
My eyebrows were left looking thick, full and natural – all in all, I would DEFINITELY recommend.
If like me, you love to save as much time as possible in the mornings then this is the treatment for you. I loved not having to worry that they’d totally smudge off mid gym sesh. But that doesn’t mean that I never use product – I still find that to create the heavy brow look that I most like, I do have to use product on top of the tattoo.
I would definitely recommend this treatment to anyone looking for a long-lasting, low maintenance brow treatment.