Beauty review: Microblading

I had some bad habits in the 1990s. Flared jeans, slogan t-shirts, boys with blonde highlights. The worst of them though was over plucking my eyebrows. I would stand in my mother’s bathroom clutching a pair of tweezers, pulling out the tiny hairs in a manic state of curious satisfaction. The results were carnage. 

Since then, the era of Cara Delevigne’s plus size brows has solidified and I have been left behind in the decade of questionable fashion trends. Today, sixteen-year-old girls post photos of their handsome arches, safe in the knowledge they have learned from their predecessors mistakes.

But recently I found the solution for my younger self’s naivety. My friend, who enlightens me on all the best beauty hacks, (Jefree Star lipstick, Glossier cheek tint, Simple Human makeup mirror) introduced me to microblading. I noticed her eyebrows from across the office one day, slicked with a greasy healing gel with a shape so envy-inducing and a thickness so mouth watering, I begged for her secret. 

She gave me the details of Carrina Vaughan, who takes appointments for microblading on Harley Street, but if you’re on a budget, for around half the price in a salon in Watford. There are few beauty procedures that I would leave zone two for, but after my first appointment, I think I would travel to the back end of nowhere for Carrina to work her magic. 

The process of microblading is not the most pleasant. Tiny cuts are made by hand into the skin in and around the eyebrow. The first round is not unbearable, particularly if you are used to threading but the scratching sound is somewhat disconcerting. Once the initial cuts are made, Carrina rubs a second coating of numbing cream into the skin which eliminates all feeling for the second round of incisions. Once this is complete, ink matched to your colouring is rubbed into the wounds. This is the worst part mainly because it stings. 

There is a 10 day healing process in which time the area has to remain completely dry. Carrina is very firm about the rules, arguing if you want the results to last the predicted year, you have to follow the instructions. The best thing about her approach though is her thoroughness. The sketching in of the shape at the beginning of the appointment is so microscopic it takes half of the time. It was at this stage I realised I’d been walking around with one eyebrow significantly lower than the other.

The morning after the first appointment I completely freaked out. Although Carrina warned me my eyebrows would look much darker as they healed, I was not prepared for my new bombastic brows after spending the past decade with the little anaemic ones I was used to. These new eyebrows looked foreign on my face, but I was assured they would soften once they had healed.

In four weeks time I was eager to return for my complimentary top-up appointment, even asking if I could go a little darker. In my adjustment period, I realised how much I had been missing out on before. Now, I looked more symmetrical. In photos, my whole face looked lifted. 

Before and after the treatment

Overall, the process is not an easy one. In total you spend 20 days avoiding water and sun at all costs, meaning this is a treatment I would recommend booking during the winter when you can more easily hibernate. The results are worth it at anytime of year though. I now have the kind of eyebrows which facilitate the kind of withering look wielded by Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. Ten-year-old me has come a long way. 

Treatments with Carrina start from £250. She will be opening her new shop in Abbots Langley High Street in November 2019. For enquiries contact microartldn@gmail.com.

Lauren Saving

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