I’m proud to say that I finally have distinguished (ok that’s a strong word but you know what I mean) eyebrows. Here’s the thing with my old eyebrows: they were more of the barely-there-wispy-blonde type. I have pretty fair skin (when I ease up on the self-tanner 😉). Also, I have light and fairly *sparse* eyebrows.
I don’t think you’ve actually ever seen my real eyebrows before, until I shared them here, because I would always draw them in (I used to use this eyebrow pencil). I really believe that eyebrows help shape my face, so it just became part of my makeup routine to fill mine in every morning.
The thing was though, I wasn’t particularly the greatest at the art of drawing on my own eyebrows, so they were often lopsided or resembled more of a flat line rather than a nice sassy arch. You know what I mean?!
I had heard of people getting their eyebrows “microbladed” and was definitely curious by that option. I’m the kind of person who thinks and thinks about something, and then all-of-a-sudden wants to make it come to life, so that’s how this shook out. I simply got sick of drawing on my eyebrows all WRONG and realized I needed to seek professional help.
What is Microblading?
Before I get into this post, you may be wondering (like I did before I went to my first consultation), WHAT THE HECK IS MICROBLADING? Microblading is the “hand method” form of tattooing that etches dyes into your skin to create the illusion of eyebrows.
It’s a type of “permanent makeup” because it’s a tattoo, since anything that penetrates the dermal layer of the skin is a tattoo. Tanya (who I talk all about below) says that “microblading is the cave man form of tattooing.” No, literally… cave men used to dip bone fragments into ink to etch into their skin, thus creating the original form of a tattoo. Microblading is the modern version of this. In a nutshell, I like to think of it as “painting on” strokes that look like eyebrow hairs, that last for a much longer amount of time than a brow pencil does.
It’s important to note that I received a combination of both microblading and powder fill, which I define more in the Q&A below!
I emailed my girlfriend, Patricia, who always has the best recommendations for all things Mainline and Philly, PA, and asked her for a microblading recommendation. She told me that Tanya, at Wink Lash Studio in Wayne, was the BEST. I set up a consultation with Tanya and was at ease the second I met her.
When I went in to meet her for my consultation, she was saying goodbye to a client who had just gotten her eyelashes done, and you could just tell that they knew each other well from Tanya’s time spent with her doing her lashes over the years. That’s the kind of person she is—she has loyal clients who really trust her in the space of permanent makeup– from eyelashes to brows and beyond. Trust is SO important in this (since it’s much more permanent than a wax!).
After my meeting with her (we couldn’t stop chatting!), I learned a LOT about the process and Tanya herself. She has the sweetest story about how she got into permanent makeup (ask her about it!) and is unbelievably knowledgable about the ins and outs of it all.
What stuck with me most was this:
Though Tanya loves all of her clients, there’s a special place in her heart for the women she works on who are cancer patients and survivors who have lost their hair or their breasts. She showed me photos (you can see more on her Instagram), and I saw that she has done the most beautiful work through permanent makeup. Her work is truly an art form and has changed the confidence and outlook of so many women. If you know anyone who this may apply to, send this post their way 💗.
I was so honored and thrilled to have her do my eyebrows, to say the least!
About the Process
The whole process took three appointments at Wink:
The consultation, the first microblading procedure, and then the second microblading procedure.
At the consultation, Tanya was straightforward and got right down to explaining the process of microblading to me. After wiping off my eyebrow pencil, she looked at my eyebrows and could immediately tell that I was a candidate for microblading and powder fill (due to a number of variables that she looks at like the eyebrows and skin).
Then, she explained why her process at Wink was different than most. Many micriblading places have pre-made templates that they let you choose from for the shape of your eyebrow. But, you can imagine the problem with that because everyone has different shaped heads, eyes, eyebrows, etc. Who wants an eyebrow from a template?! 😂
Tanya doesn’t use templates because she wants to mimic your natural hair-stroke.
Believe it or not, everyone’s hair strokes are different!
So instead, during my first microblading procedure appointment, Tanya customized my eyebrow to my face, through a process that entailed measuring it out, drawing in a brow outline, getting my feedback, adjusting the brow, etc., all before we made a final decision on the shape.
Then, because you can’t just pick out an eyebrow color, we tested out various colors by smudging them on my forehead so that I could see them close to where my eyebrows are. Tanya told me details such as “yellow is the first color to fade from skin,” so we were able to make a smart decision about which color would be best for my skin tone.
We ended up deciding to blend two colors, to create a shade that would work perfectly.
My sweet (and hysterical) co-worker and friend, Jen, came with me to this appointment and she was insanely helpful. It was so nice to have a second opinion, beside mine and Tanya’s, to help us decide on the exact brow shape and shade. She also provided comedic relief, which was priceless. 😂
After we decided on the brow shape and color, Tanya numbed me and then started the process. She used both the microblading and powder fill techniques to tattoo and fill in my new brows. That part didn’t take as long as I expected and was nearly painless because of the numbing cream she had put on me. Seriously, I found it to be much less painful than getting your eyebrows waxed, ha! I was so delightfully surprised by this, and instead giggled throughout the entire session. I did bleed a little bit though, but Tanya was so awesome with numbing me so I didn’t feel any of the needles or tattooing part. Remember that tattooing HURTS, and everyone’s experience is different. It did hurt more for my second procedure. (More on that in the Q&A).
See below for the before & after from my consultation to my first session:
And then, all of a sudden, I HAD EYEBROWS.
I loved the shape, the arch, the shade, everything. After the procedure there are pretty strict rules about caring for your eyebrows. I couldn’t get them wet for a number of days, had to keep them moisturized with the ointment Tanya gave me, and generally not touch them at all. Tanya gave me a detailed paper that let me know what I could do (or not do) to my eyebrows day-by-day in the week afterwards.
Then, for about two weeks after the first procedure, they went through a process of peeling, lessening in color, and then getting darker again. Tanya managed my expectations so that I knew what to expect at each stage. One of my friends, who recently got hers done too, sent me the below graphic, that was a cute way to remember that the healing process was all very normal.
Four weeks after my first session, I went back to Wink for my second session with Tanya and she PERFECTED them.
This was the part where we filled in any spots and rounded out the overall shape, so they would be perfect. This session didn’t take as long as the first (because we were designing the brows, only tweaking them), and though the recovery time was the same, it seemed easier since I knew exactly what to expect from getting them done once before.
I am now a week and half into my finalized brows and OMG I LOVE THEM. I literally wake up with perfect brows. It saves me time and angst, and has helped frame and shape my face better than I ever have before. My only regret is not getting them done sooner.
If you are in the Philly/mainline area, or remotely close (this is worth a longer drive!), then I honestly couldn’t recommend Tanya and the Wink Lash Studio any more. Tanya is seriously the brow guru. She will make all of your brow dreams come true! Feel free to call them and ask for a free consultation!
See below for the before & after from my consultation to my last session:
What’s the difference between microblading and powder fill?
Microblading is done with a handheld devise and the pigment is etched into the skin to mimi the form of a hair-stroke. Powderfill is done with a machine, and the pigment is buffed into the skin. It’s not going to give a hair-like appearance, but it’s more of a soft, natural look. I have them both done in conjunction.
How did you know that Wink was the right place to do it?
I received a recommendation from my friend, Patricia, and took her advice. From the moment I stepped into Wink, I had a good feeling about it. Then, as soon as I chatted with Tanya I could tell how extremely knowledgeable she was about the process so I immediately felt better. She’s a member of the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, so she has to adhere by a code of ethics and a number of high standards. Also, it’s important to note that when choosing where you want to get your microblading done, the sanitation and cleanliness of the salon is KEY. They are using needles and expensive equipment, so it should be expensive. Tanya recommends that you do a LOT of research before you decide on a place!
How badly does it hurt?
Like I mentioned, tattooing hurts, which is why Tanya will numb you. It was nearly painless my first time around (thanks to all of the numbing), but it was more painful the second time because we made last-minute tweaks once some of the numbing had worn off. But, it’s much less painful than a bikini wax, ha!
Were they super dark at first?
They were dark once I first got them dark, but not too dark. I actually loved the shade haha. I went back to my apartment right afterwards and my roommates didn’t even notice that I had have them done! They looked that natural even right after getting them done.
How long will the microbladed eyebrows last? Is it different for lighter or darker hair?
Tanya told me that they are going to last according to my behavior with my skin. For instance, if I exfoliate my eyebrows every night when I wash my face, they will most likely last for a shorter amount of time. It does not vary or affect you differently if you are blonde or brunette.
How often do you get touch-ups?
The average touch-up is between a year and two years. This depends on your skin type, skin care regimen (Whether you use retinol, glycolor peals, etc.), and the amount of sun exposure you receive. The touch up is at least half the price of the initial procedure.
How much does it cost?
Permanent makeup starts at $600 at Wink. The equipment is expensive (hello, needles!), and in order to do it right, and completely sanitary, it has to cost at least that. But the consultations are 100% FREE, so I would suggest calling them and scheduling one! Tanya will only work on you if you have a consultation beforehand, because she needs to make sure you’re a candidate and perfect fit for the procedure. 🙂
I hope you found this helpful if you’re interested in microblading, are going to have it done, or just wanted to learn more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions at all! xx