By Kathleen Mulpeter
Taking your overplucked eyebrows from patchy and sparse to full and thick can be a slow and frustrating process. If you're sick of penciling them in every morning and you've already tried every brow gel and growth serum at the beauty counter, you may be yearning for a more permanent fix. Enter microblading: With this semi-permanent technique, a technician reshapes brows by drawing individual hairs with a special tattoo pen. "Hair-like strokes are created in between the brow hairs to fill in short or sparse brows," says Hibba Kapil, owner of Hibba Beauty in New York City. The result: Fuller, darker brows that look totally natural and require no daily upkeep.
The treatment is offered at salons across the country and boasts A-list fans. Lena Dunham recently opened up about her decision to microblade her eyebrows in an essay for Vogue, where she says the results exceeded her expectations: "When I finally sat up, I was too stunned to speak," she wrote. "On my face were two perfect brows, the same hard-to-capture brown as the hair on my head, multidimensional, thick in all the right places."
By Kathleen Mulpeter
Dunham's experience with microblading was a success (and her new look is serious #browgoals). But should you consider the procedure to give your own eyebrows a boost? "It's a safe and effective procedure when done by someone experienced," says Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City. But there's a caveat: "It must be done under sterile conditions, otherwise you can get a skin infection like staph or strep, even herpes."
In other words, this is one beauty treatment that you definitely want to have done by a professional. Dr. Jaliman warns that at-home microblading kits carry a huge infection risk (and would you really want to tattoo yourself anyway?). She also advises people with eczema and rosacea to steer clear.
If you decide to try microblading, prepare to spend as much as $1,300, depending on the salon and your technician's experience level. That doesn't include touch-ups. "Clients must return approximately every six months to a year for a touch-up visit, depending on the depth of color," says Rose Marie Beauchemin, founder of the Beau Institute in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. "Darker colors will generally last longer than the lighter to medium shades of brown."
But if you have sparse brows and crave a fuller look, microblading could make a big difference.
"This procedure has tremendous appeal," says Beauchemin. "Microblading creates a beautiful, natural, and believable eyebrow, and I love seeing it and performing it."