Every since I was a little girl, my eyebrows have been on the thinner end of the spectrum (understatement). In 2013, I decided I was done dealing with drawing them on and got permanent makeup for the first time. Over break, I went ahead and got them touched up!
I wanted to share this post with you guys for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I LOVE my eyebrows – I consider getting them tattooed on one of the best decisions of my life. Secondly, I get asked questions about them all the time (well, after I tell people they are tattoos, since no-one ever notices). What better time to do this post than right after I got them done!?
So I think this biggest misunderstanding about any form of permanent makeup is how permanent it is. Over time, there’s definitely a good amount of fading, especially since my eyebrows are on my face – I’m forever washing my face, exfoliating, exposing them to sun, and my skin is turning over. In the four years since I got my eyebrows done for the first time, I’ve had them touched up 3 times (basically once a year). They keep the shape and still look great, but just become a little lighter.
Why did I decide to get them done?
Since day one, my eyebrows have been kind of nonexistent. I’m not really a hairy person, which is great for when it comes to shaving my legs, not so great when it comes to my eyebrows. For the most part, it never really bothered me until I got to middle school. That’s when I started getting made fun of for them. The guys in my class would call me “Half-brows” and ask what I had done to make them look so weird. Typical kid stuff. So I started experimenting with different makeup options to fill them in, but this was before thick eyebrows were really in style, so there weren’t a lot of good options that I could do easily. I put them on the back burner for a couple of years before I discovered the most magical makeup ever – Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen. This became my go-to, and the only makeup I wore on a daily basis. And for a year, it was great!
Then the summer after my freshman year of college, I fell off a horse and broke both my distal radius and my ulna (Colles’ Fracture or the “silver fork” wrist fracture). I was in a cast past my elbow for 2 weeks, and then a short cast for 2 weeks, and then a hard splint for a month. During that time, I was grumpy and in pain, and basically lost it about the fact that I didn’t have eyebrows. I decided I was done drawing them on and I wanted a more permanent and drastic change. I did my research, talked to a plastic surgeon, and found my amazing eyebrow artist!
What is the experience like? Does it hurt?
First off, yes it hurts. It’s still a tattoo, and it is directly over the bone. I definitely suggest getting a numbing cream if you decide to do something like this – I sit for about 20 minutes with the numbing cream on under plastic wrap. Then John (the guy who does my eyebrows) draws on the outline of a shape. Here’s a good explanation of what he does to shape them. After that he goes ahead and tattoos them on. Overall, the pain is bearable and over pretty quick. You want someone who does hair strokes, not shading in. So each stroke is painful, but then he moves on to a new spot and the past strokes don’t hurt. Probably the most difficult thing is keeping your face calm and relaxed so that no mistakes are made. Also, John tends to smash my face a little to get his hands in the right position, which is a good distraction from the pain. Afterwards, I put a light layer on Vaseline on them until they heal.
Why didn’t you go with Microblading? Doesn’t that look better?
When I first made the decision to get my eyebrows done, Microblading wasn’t as big as it is now. I had gone to a plastic surgeon to for some reason, and they had recommended I consider getting them done by the same guys who tattoos aureolas on to women after mastectomies. The guy I go to does hair strokes (very similar to microblading), but as time goes on the strokes do get a little blurry – I don’t know how Microblading looks as time goes on. I will say I did consider getting them micro-bladed on this time, but since I have permanent makeup already, a lot of places will not do Microblading over that.
Realistically, I don’t think I’m missing out on anything by having mine tattooed versus bladed. No one ever seems to know that they are not real, and I personally love the way they look so much! I do need to go back in December to get them touched up a little – there’s a lighter spot in my left eyebrow and it needs to be shaded in a little more. I have more hair on that side so it kind of changes the shape a little.
The best part is John does them so lightly and understated, that they are able to grow as I grow. So everytime I go back in, he makes sure to measure out my face and make any adjustments. This time I got them done a little thicker and with more of an arch than I previously had.
One downside to them is that when I wear foundation, they can kind of get covered up a little bit. So I have to be very careful about not getting any on them. Or sometimes I don’t worry as much and end up darkening them a little with the Brow Pencil.
I also make sure to always put sunscreen on them during the day, and I make a concerted effort to moisturize them when I put on my heavy duty night cream. Additionally, whenever I do any sort of more aggressive face washing / treatments I make sure to not get any on them.
I hope you enjoyed this little look into getting permanent makeup! My best piece of advise before you make any “permanent” changes is to do your research! Additionally, wait it out for a while before you pull the plug, as you don’t want to change your mind after the fact. Find someone who really cares about what they’re doing and want to make you look your best (the first time I went in, John refused to do anything before speaking to my mom because I was so young! He also went very soft and simple because he didn’t want anything drastic for my face.)
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