I used to never be one who did my brows. I would literally do my whole face full of makeup, but leave my brows bare as I didn’t think they needed to be shaped since they were already kind of dark. Then one day I had my brows done by a pro makeup artist and all that changed. I saw my face was completely transformed and my brows gave my face structure and made everything look complete. After that, I started to do my brows daily. I tried pretty much every single brow pencil or gel on the planet to obtain perfect brows.
Full disclosure here I wouldn’t say I was that great at doing my brows. I would often find them to be uneven or too dark and I struggled a bit in finding the perfect shape. I’d always been intrigued by microblading but I was scared. For me, finding a place I trust is important. What if my brows get messed up? What if they look awful?, I thought. I was too scared to bite the bullet to try it because I was worried they’d look horrible and then I’d be stuck with bad brows long-term. Then I found Ellada Studio. I was already seeing Farideh for eyelash extensions and I trusted her. When I learned she also did microblading we had a long discussion about my brows. She told me that for my skin type of combo/oily/sensitive, I’d be more of a candidate for microshading. I had no idea what this was. Farideh explained the process and I did some research. Microshading is where micro needles inject your brows with small pin-point dots of permanent pigment - essentially a brow tattoo. This process is considered to be better for people with oily or sensitive skin, and Farideh told me she prefers this method as it doesn’t leave your skin with open wounds like microblading does. While microblading leaves small, natural looking hairs on your brows, microshading looks as if you’ve had the most perfect brow shadow drawn on your brows 24/7.
I decided to go for it and tried microshading with Farideh at Ellada Studio. The results are AMAZING and I swear I have never had better brows in my entire life. Every time I look in a mirror, the first thing I notice are my brows and they totally complete my face. Its also nice that I don’t have to worry about drawing them every day and worrying about if I drew them on nicely or not. It’s also saved me a ton of time getting ready every morning. Not to mention, my brows are fleek AF.
So, what is the process like? As someone who likes to know all the facts up front before I try something, I’m walking you through the process in this post. Thank you to those who submitted questions on Instagram, I have included everything below!
What is the process and how long does it take?
The process of microshading is done over two visits, about a month in between each appointment. During the first appointment, Farideh and I consulted about my brows. She asked if I had preferences in shape or any problem areas of my brows. She then drew an outline of my brows and measured with a brow tool to ensure the brows were even on my face. She walked me through the shape and waited for my approval to begin. After the shape is decided, the pigment color was next. The pigment is matched to your brow color but you can also decide to go darker if you want a more dramatic look. Since I have dark brows and light hair, I chose to stick with a color closest to my natural brow color, so it wasn’t a super dramatic difference.
Once the shape and color is decided, the microshading starts. The pigment is applied to your brows using a small tattoo pen. This part took about 30-45 minutes for both visits. After the first visit, I made an appointment 4 weeks later for the second visit. During the second visit touch-up, you can alter the shape or pigment color. The same process is done for the second visit- you have a consultation, bring up any areas you may want altered on your brows, review the color, and then fill them in with the microshading tattoo pen.
Does it hurt?
The short answer is yes- but luckily Farideh used numbing cream on my brows to help alleviate the pain. There are some parts that I only felt a bit of pressure and other parts that hurt, but it depends on a lot of factors like your pain threshold or even your hormones. You should not have any alcohol or caffeine 24 hours before your appointment to help with discomfort during the process. While there are parts that hurt and parts that didn’t, the pain was manageable and Farideh would apply more numbing cream if I said a certain area was really painful. There is no pain after the process.
What is the healing process?
The healing process varies among people depending on their skin. It took me about 2-3 weeks to fully heal from each session. I experienced some tightness and itching for a few days after, and I eventually scabbed, but that is common. The scabbing cannot be picked at, but it would fall off on its own. The scabbing only lasted about a week (but took a week or so to start scabbing), and it was manageable. You also cannot wet your brows 24 hours after each session.
Brows here were about a week after session 2! Photo by Arielle Lewis Studios.
What if I don’t like the shape?
When you first have microshading done, your brows will look pretty harsh. They will be much darker than you may expect, but they lighten up a great deal after a week. If the shape is not to your liking, you can address this in the second session for a touch-up. You do, however, want to give it some time after each session for the brows to be fully healed to make a decision. My brows were extremely dark at first and the shape looked dramatically full, but they are literally perfect now after they have healed.
How long does microshading last?
Microshading varies by person, but it is said to last between 1-3 years.
How did you get past the fear of them not being what you wanted and being permanent? If they mess up is there a way to turn back or is it forever if you don’t like them?
First of all, finding someone you trust is the key for any long term process like microshading. I highly recommend Farideh at Ellada Studio, but if you aren’t local to the DC area, I’d recommend doing research of salons in your area and having a consultation with a few to chose who feels right to you. Also stray from looking to groupon or deals for a process like this, to ensure you are receiving the highest quality. Once you have a person you trust, you will get past the fear!
If the brows do get messed up for whatever reason during the process, they can be fixed in a touch-up appointment. Once the process is done, it will last between 1-3 years and they will fade over time, so you will not be stuck with bad brows forever if you don't like them long-term.
What is the investment and the long term commitment?
The initial investment ranges at each salon, but at Ellada Studio it starts at $500, with touch-up’s $50. The long term commitment is all based on your personal preference. When the shading begins to fade, its entirely up to you if you want to get them touched up, or if you don’t. I’d say if you love the shape and want to keep them up, to get touch-ups as needed to keep them going longer!
Blonde in the District