This story was originally published April 03, 2018.
Microblading is a semi-permanent makeup technique used to fill in and define your eyebrows. A certified aesthetician uses a pen-like handheld blade with 12 to 15 microneedles to make tiny hair-like incisions along the shape of your brows. The small cuts only pierce the top layers of the skin and are then dyed with pigment to give naturally full looking eyebrows.
The technique comes with a slight pinch, much like eyebrow threading, and the end-result lasts a month until touch-up. Microblading is great for those with over-plucked or overwaxed brows, very fair blonde brows and if you’re looking to save some time shaping your brows every morning.
When it comes to thinner brow lines, pumping up the volume can still be a daily challenge, since encouraging those hairs to grow back after years of enthusiastic plucking or waxing is a notorious struggle. Given the beauty world's obsession with bold brows, see Lily Collins' Twitter-famous ones, maintaining a luxurious, thick set can quickly lead to investing in an arsenal of pricey powders and tinters.
Enter Tinel, our unflinching microblading technician. Using a blade composed of 12 tiny needles, this innovative process deposits pigment beneath the skin under your eyebrows, leaving behind tattoo-inspired strokes that amplify the fullness and shape of natural arches. The obvious benefit? Say goodbye to that makeup bag crammed with eyebrow-enhancing products, because microblading eliminates the need for everyday maintenance, though occasional touch-ups are usually necessary over time.
Of course, newbies to microblading often worry that their freshly-boosted brows will come with pain during the procedure — and you're not wrong. "It might hurt," Tinel says with a knowing smile. But we definitely can't argue with the results. After one session, R29 staffer Natasha, and our intrepid tester, saw clear improvement to her once-sparse hairs and wakes up each morning with immaculate brows, no upkeep required. Reporting on the pain factor, she bravely says that "it's tolerable."
Watch the video above for an up-close look at Natasha's microblading experience and its gorgeous effects. Spoiler: get ready to visit your ASMR happy-place with those zoomed-in shots of her brows getting brushed and trimmed.
Update: Two years after microblading my brows, I've found myself reaching for gels and pencils to fill them in once again. My permanent makeup artist Emilia Berry mentioned that the ink would start to fade within one to two years and like clockwork, they have. In the video below, I share my experience getting my eyebrows touched up, as well as how to keep them looking fresh for as long as possible.