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4 Major Things You Should Know Before Microblading Created By: Marissa Miller

Full brows are all the rage, with stars like Cara Delevingne and Lily Collins rocking thick, statement-making eyebrows. And even among us mere mortals, we all have that friend who shows up with flawless eyebrows—Every. Single. Time. It looks like she either woke up like that or nailed a seriously meticulous Instagram tutorial (or she's really, really good at using a brow pencil). But in reality, the secret to her effortless brows might actually be microblading. But what is it exactly? Microblading is a form of semipermanent cosmetic tattooing, according to feathered eyebrow expert Kristie Streicher at STRIIIKE in Beverly Hills, which she co-founded with her sisters Jenn and Ashley. After numbing the area with topical cream, the technician will create tiny hair-like incisions using a fine blade with needles, then deposit small amounts of pigment, which penetrates the top layer of the brow skin. This helps make sparse or patchy brows look fuller.

1. Find the right salon This can be trickier than it sounds, because regulations vary. In the state of California, for example, Streicher says the salon should not only be approved by the county health department, but the technician should be a certified body art practitioner and have a microblading certification. Microblading requires a similar amount of training (a minimum of 100 hours) as any other type of permanent cosmetics, according to the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. According to industry data, most people who are practicing permanent cosmetic technicians are also estheticians or cosmetologists.

Take this with a grain of salt, however: Jeanine Downie, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and director of Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey, says microblading is “very loosely regulated,” so your best bet is relying on word of mouth. A certification hung on the wall doesn’t necessarily indicate anything. “Ask your friends that have been satisfied and monitor their results a couple months after,” she says. Wherever you go, make sure the blade and needles used for your procedure are brand-new and sterile.

2. Properly prepare Downie says you shouldn’t wax or spray tan before a microblading appointment since it can irritate the skin and tarnish results. Streicher also recommends skipping alpha hydroxy acid products, retinoids, and exfoliating treatments for two weeks prior to the procedure, because those can be similarly irritating to the skin. She also advises patients avoid blood thinners, aspirin, and alcohol up to one week before treatment because excessive bleeding may prevent proper absorption of the pigment.

Remember, you're going to be getting lots of micro-cuts on your skin—if you take blood thinners, that will make you less likely to clot! Although there is a numbing cream administered to help with any pain or discomfort with the needles, you should be fine taking a Tylenol before the procedure since it's not a blood thinner. Be sure to check with the salon before your appointment for specific recommendations that they have.

3. Result vary So, what does that look like? Downie says her patients who get microblading see results lasting for around a year, with eyebrows looking “dark, pretty, and quite natural.” But if only that rang true across the board. Streicher says your amount of natural eyebrow hair, skin type, incision application and pressure, pigments used, and how well you follow aftercare directions can all impact results. Her clients’ results usually last six to 12 months, but she recommends touch ups every four to six months.

If you're not a fan, it might be a little harder to get rid of those results. According to, you'll have to resort to laser, dermabrasion, or excision treatments to get rid of the color—all of which you can do at a dermatologists' office. However, you'd need to wait a few weeks to make sure your brows are healed before you can undergo a procedure. As part of the healing process, your brows will scab so don't be TOO freaked out when that happens.

4. It’s not for everyone

While your BFF might be serving brows on fleek, it’s not for everyone. If you have sensitive skin, steer clear. Those who tend to develop allergies may react to the pigment or experience contact dermatitis. Microblading on keloids and scars is a huge no-no as well, according to Downie. Don’t opt for microblading if you have liver disease, or are pregnant or nursing.

If you’re experiencing any inflammation or rashes, don’t try to treat it with funky home remedies. Go see a board-certified dermatologist, says Downie. As a precaution, Streicher suggests asking your technician for a list of pigment ingredients and to test a small patch prior to your session.

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4 Major Things You Should Know Before Microblading  

Microblading is done by using a unique hand instrument with a small row of very fine needles that deposit pigment into the epidermis with sl...

4 Major Things You Should Know Before Microblading  

Microblading is done by using a unique hand instrument with a small row of very fine needles that deposit pigment into the epidermis with sl...