Photo: Kyle John Photography
Brows are one of the biggest bridal beauty trends. The right shape can frame your face and bring out your best features, making you look even more fabulous in your wedding photos. Whether you dream of gorgeously groomed arches (like Chanel Iman) or full brows (à la Cara Delevigne), every bride wants brows that wow. Want to wake up the morning of your wedding — and every morning for the next year — with perfect brows? Then microblading may be for you.
While the term may sound scary, we can assure you, it's anything but. This tattoo technique uses a special microblading pen — with tiny needles — to individually draw hair-like strokes, creating the appearance of full, natural brows. It's fast (the procedure takes about two hours, plus a follow-up appointment), precise and semi-permanent. And unlike eyebrow extensions, microblading is relatively low-maintenance. All you need is a touch-up once a year. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
We spoke with NYC-based microblading expert Piret Aava, a.k.a. the Eyebrow Doctor, to get the dos and don'ts of microblading for your big day. Here's what you need to know:
1. DO Your Research
"Not all microblading technicians know what they are doing. Just because someone may have taken a two day course doesn't make them a pro." She suggests looking for someone with experience, stellar reviews and a ton of before and after pictures to prove it. "Make sure they also have images of healed brows to show the final result."
2. DO Bring Images of Brows You Like
Just like you bring pictures of your favorite wedding makeup and hair looks for inspiration, you should do the same for your brows. Come armed with pictures to show your technician how you want your brows to look. The more you give your tech to work with, the better the outcome.
3. DO Prep Before Your Appointment
Proper prep is key. Aava suggests avoiding alcohol and blood thinners, like aspirin, at least 24 hours prior your appointment — and skipping your faux glow before (and after). "You should also refrain from plucking, tweezing and waxing brows before your appointment."
4. DO Communicate With Your Technician
"Your technician is not a mind reader," Aava explains. Make sure to discuss your desired outcome prior to the start of the procedure. "If you aren't happy with the shape or color, you have to be vocal about it...or you will wind up being unhappy." The bottom line: speak now or forever hold your peace (or at least for the next 12 months).
5. DO Follow the Aftercare Advice
Just as with any treatment or procedure, you need to take special care after. Aava suggests applying ointment on your brows for about a week after to promote healing. Keep your newly microbladed brows clean (don't touch with dirty fingers) and dry (apply vaseline prior to showering or washing your face) for one week after treatment. After 10 days, you can start using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and moisturizer (or coconut oil). But steer clear of makeup for at least two weeks, as this can interfere with the healing and even the color of your brows.
1. DON'T Be Cheap
This is not the time to pinch pennies or go for a Groupon. "You get what you pay for," explains Aava. "Your brows are in the middle of your face, so there's no hiding a hack job."
2. DON'T Be Scared if Brows are Darker at First
The tattooed area will appear slightly darker for a couple of weeks. "Don't worry, that's part of the healing process," assures Aava.
3. DON'T Rush the Healing Process
Speaking of, don't rush the healing process, which can take four to six weeks. Some post-procedure swelling and redness may occur, but this usually goes away within 48 hours. As your brows heal, you may experience some dryness or minor scabbing. Don't pick, scratch or scrub. This can cause scarring and mess with pigment. To ensure your brows look their best by your big day, Aava suggests booking an appointment six to eight weeks before your wedding day.
4. DON'T Be Unrealistic About the Results
Don't forget microblading is a tattoo and your skin and face shape are the variables. Even though the hair strokes look very realistic, your individual results will depend on your skin type, face shape and how your skin heals. "The dryer your skin, the sharper your brows heal. If your complexion is oily, the hair strokes will tend to blur more." The phrase "sisters, not twins" is often used to describe brows. That's because no one's face is perfectly symmetrical. "At the end of the day, microblading enhances your appearance, but it isn't plastic surgery," says Aava.
5. DON'T Skip Your Follow-Up Appointment
Microblading is a two step process. "Clients should come back four to six weeks after the initial treatment to fill any gaps and make any necessary color adjustments."