one are the days when eyebrows were just hair that framed a person’s face – they’re the centre of a multi-billion dollar global industry.
As consumers embrace a more luscious, thicker brow – contrasting the 90s thin aesthetic – solutions for eyebrow grooming have also advanced in cosmetic technology, pledging ‘permanent’ solutions with minimal fuss.
Today, microblading is capable of creating almost undetectable hair-like tattoo strokes to fake a ‘naturally well-groomed’ brow.
Unfortunately, the industry is also ripe with bad operators, and consumers are urged to do their research before going under the knife for semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos. The internet is filled with horror images of unwitting individuals whose microbladed tattooed eyebrows have turned purple, or left skin scarring.
AESTOLOGYY sat down with Denise Kara, the founder of PhiBrows Certified microblading salon ‘By Kara‘, to obtain expert advice on what individuals should be wary of before getting their eyebrows microbladed.
AESTOLOGYY: How does microblading actually work? What’s the cosmetic technology behind it?
KARA: Microblading is done using microneedles with pigment to create semi-permanent hair-like strokes in the skin, offering aesthetically-pleasing shape and fullness to existing eyebrow hairs. This can be done with either a hand held tool or a machine. The traditional method uses a hand held tool which comes in different needle sizes, shapes and thickness. Different blades create different strokes, and many experienced artists use the traditional 18u hand held blade.
AESTOLOGYY: In your expert opinion what questions should someone ask a potential microblading eyebrow artist to avoid bad results?
KARA: Before making the decision to get your eyebrows microbladed, it’s important a potential client steps back and actually asks the artist a few questions to assess their quality of work:
1. What brand pigment will be used?
Do your research online about the pigment they use after receiving an answer. Pigment can play a major role in eyebrows turning a different colour afterwards.
2. Is the pigment used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) safe?
3. How many years experience do they have?
Look for consistency
The industry is growing with new students each month – it’s crucial you research and ‘stalk’ your artist online to see if their work is consistent.
Don’t settle for a few photos, be sure to watch videos post by the artist. A great eyebrow microblading artist will never hide videos as they show absolutely everything.
AESTOLOGYY: Is it true that some microblading artists have left people with purple, or other coloured, eyebrows?
KARA: Pigment can play a major role in eyebrows turning a different colour. There are a few reasons you might see eyebrows turning a different colour which could be:
1. The artist going far too deep with their instrument, prompting a change to unwanted colours.
2. ‘Cheap’ pigment which often turns an unwanted shade quickly.
3. The artist manually mixing many colours (e.g. a mocha, light brown and chocolate brown) to match the client’s hair colour, but by mixing many pigments has got proportions wrong.
Within each pigment there are several different colours, such that they’re really mixing almost 10 -15 different colours – one colour may dominate after a while.
There has been many research papers published about pigment shades changing to favour a dominant colour after a while. For example, PhiBrows pigment has 3 simple colours (yellow, red and black) mixed.
The more yellow, the lighter the brown; the more black, the darker the brown. Phibrows has mixed both synthetic and iron oxide pigment colours so no colour dominates when placed into the skin. The red in the PhiBrows pigment is iron oxide, and is developed using a special grinding process which results in it being a fusion formula because various particles weight differently from one another.
There is constant research and technological cosmetic development for these particular pigments which is why I personally believe them to be amongst the highest quality on today’s market.
AESTOLOGYY: Apart from colour changes, what’s another way to determine a ‘bad’ eyebrow microblading job?
A terrible eyebrow microblading treatment would result in scarring. If the artist doing the treatment has gone too deep into the skin with their instrument, the client can unfortunately be left with scarring.