While microblading has its cons, we can understand the allure of waking up to perfectly shaped and filled brows. We've heard from ladies with very light, sparse, or non-existent brows that the process was a major confidence booster for them. While we’re still on team #growyourownbrows naturally (because we know it can be done!), we’re here with more information to help you make your decision. And whatever you choose, we can help with growing your own brows with/without microblading!
How Does Microblading Work?
Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that places ink under the top layer of your skin. The brow artist uses a pen-like tool equipped with micro-needles to make tiny incisions in the skin. This ink-dipped tool creates hair-like strokes to mimic natural brow hairs.
The initial appointment lasts 1.5 – 2 hours and a touch-up is required 4-8 weeks after your first appointment.
Before you commit to the microblading process, know what you’re signing up for. A lot of care and attention is required for the results you’re hoping for, and things can go awry in some cases.
Is it Safe?
Eyebrow tattoos are not FDA-approved. The pigments themselves are considered cosmetic-grade and mostly FDA approved. However, this approval is for use in cosmetics worn on the skin. No pigments have been approved for implantation into the skin.
The most common concern with these pigments is heavy metal contamination and toxic added chemicals. Manufacturers in the US are not required to disclose the ingredients in their ink formulas. Also, intense skin burns during MRI or CAT scans have been reported with Iron Oxide-based pigments.
The safest pigments available come from Germany, Spain, and France. These countries do not allow any of the 1300+ chemicals on the Council of Europe’s Banned Cosmetic Substances List in tattoo inks. If you are set on microblading and have found your ideal brow artist, ask if they can source these safer inks for you.
Is it regulated?
As you’ve seen above, the formulation is not regulated in North America. The FDA has set some standards for heavy metal contaminants but these limits are voluntary and companies are not required to test their levels.
Microblading procedures “are not regulated for safety, the inks aren’t tested, and I’ve seen a lot of complications, like infection, allergy, permanent scarring, and poor aesthetic outcomes,” says Jennifer MacGregor, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist at New York City based Union Square Dermatology.
In terms of artist certification, it varies by area. In Canada, this is no government body regulating the permanent cosmetic industry. Artists can become certified in a home-study course that lasts as little as 1-3 days.
In the US, the licensing requirements vary by state. As a start, find an artist who has a state license and then find out what that means in your state.
Is it worth it?
We have heard mixed reports – some ladies are extremely happy with their investment, while others wish they would have never done it. Our best advice: do your research: know all the potential risks, investment over time, and aftercare inside and out. If you know all the facts, and microblading still feels aligned, there'll be no surprises in the end.
Once you’re committed, find a licensed brow artist with many years of experience and lots of glowing, authentic reviews. The brow artist makes all the difference.
Is it forever?
Microblading is considered a semi-permanent tattoo. If you don’t touch them up after 12 to 18 months, eventually the color will completely fade away. There is a potential for scarring though, and Iron Oxide pigments can actually darken under laser removal so just make sure you're prepared for these potential outcomes.
Can I still grow my own brows with microblading?
Yes, definitely! Extra hair growth will make your microblading look more natural and could eventually eliminate the need for extra touch-ups at all.
We hear these two sentiments from ladies a lot:
- I’m thinking of getting microblading done, but I also want to grow out my own brows. I don’t want to be getting touch-ups for the rest of my life.
- I already have microbladed brows and am tired of the maintenance/don’t love the look. I just want to grow my own brows.
In both cases, we can definitely help. Both our Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum and our Nourish & Define Brow Pomade are compatible with microbladed brows after the 2 week healing period.
Should I use the Brow Pomade or Lash Serum? Or Both?
1. Nourish & Define Brow Pomade – If you’d like some additional definition and color on your microbladed brows, the pomade is a great option for you. It will help grow your brows as you wear it, so the more often you wear it, the faster your results will be.
Expect noticeable results in 8-10 weeks.
2. Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum – if you’d like faster results and don’t want the additional color on your brows, the serum option is for you. The key is to apply everyday (both morning & night for faster results). The more consistent you are, the faster your results will be.
Expect noticeable results in 4-6 weeks, full results after 12 weeks.
3. Both the Serum & Pomade
If you’d like the added brow color + faster results, combining the two is your best bet. Apply the serum before bed and wear the pomade during the day.
If you're using both products, consider our Limited Edition Brow Collection. It’s the same price as the products individually but also includes our Sculpt & Refine Precision Tweezers to groom all those new hairs that'll be popping up!
Expect noticeable results in 3 – 4 weeks, full results after 10-12 weeks.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you below or send us an email anytime!
-The Plume Team <3