*Giveaway Details Below*
Background: I’ve always had sparse eyebrows. My dad has luscious, thick brows. My mom? Not so much. So when my siblings and I were born, I drew the short brow straw and was stuck with fine hairs and patchy eyebrows. It was fine when I was growing up but when I got to college, I became fascinated with finding and testing every eyebrow product to hopefully settle my biggest insecurity. Gels, pencils, and powders worked fine for a while and I even got pretty good at filling my brows quickly every morning! But even with Anastasia’s Dipbrow Pomade, I still dreaded swimming, sweating, and even surprise visits from people who could potentially catch me without my full made up brows.
Feeling a bit exhausted and desperate, I looked into surgical, more permanent options. Now, I know this may seem silly or even a bit dramatic to other people, but for me, my brows are my biggest insecurity and I really just wanted to find a more permanent solution that would make me feel confident. So everything from skin grafting to permanent tattoos were considered and, with the help of my mom, I finally stumbled upon microblading! While there are some states and countries where microblading is more popular and common, Texas has a limited amount of microblading locations and the few that we do have are mostly limited to Dallas. But despite the potential location barrier, I was willing to travel (even out of the country) if that meant finding the right person to do my brows!
So you won’t believe how ecstatic I was when I stumbled upon, Studio42o Brows in Hutto, Texas- just outside of Austin! I followed them on Facebook in my random search to find a microblading artist. I looked at her pictures for weeks and kept considering her until finally I saw a recent “before and after” of hers that I loved and decided to take the plunge and contact her. I texted the owner and main artist,
Kristin Claridge, at 10:30 pm on a Thursday night not expecting to get a reply the next morning telling me she’s too booked or can’t see me for at least 6 months. But to my pleasant surprise, she texted me back within minutes telling me she had a cancellation for the next day and if I could make it to that time! Of course, I freaked out and then very quickly agreed to take the spot!
So to make this post more efficient, I’m going to describe my experience in a FAQ format in an attempt to make it easier to navigate the information you are specifically looking for:
What is microblading?
Microblading is a semipermanent procedure that utilizes very fine micro blades. These small blades penetrate the epidermis layer of your skin with colored pigment to produce very small, detail strokes that look like individual eyebrow hairs.
What is the difference between microblading vs. tattoos?
Microblading does not utilize a tattoo gun. Microbladed strokes are placed manually by a small, non-electric micro blade. Additionally, microblading only penetrates the epidermis whereas tattooing penetrates the dermis which is the deeper layer of your skin. This is the reason that microblading doesn’t last as long BUT also the reason each hair can look clean, and precise and not “bleed” into one giant brow.
Describe the microblading process.
Please keep in mind that this is my description of it, and not a professional’s.
The first thing we did was discuss what my goals for my eyebrows were. I showed her pictures and she took measurements of my face. Then she sketched in a “draft” of what my eyebrow shape could potentially be in regards to the shape of my eyes and face. This process was tedious but very important as they guide what she will be following throughout the procedure. Once you’ve both decided on the shape, my brows were prepped for topical anesthetic by a very light pricking. This was done so the anesthetic would be allowed to seep deeper into my skin and allowed the whole procedure to be painless. Kristin uses both a liquid and gel anesthetic formula that, together, worked extremely well to numb my brows. After letting the anesthetic sit for about 2o minutes, she then began the microblading. This process was completely painless. Other than the sound of her microblading, I had no sign at all of her doing the procedure. After a few minutes of her microblading, some feeling came back to my brows and at the slightest sensation, I notified Kristin and she stopped and placed more anesthetic.
The application of the anesthetic is probably the only time you may feel some discomfort throughout the whole procedure. Since it is highly acidic, placing it on the newly bladed skin stung slightly. After the anesthetic set in, she completed the microblading and sat me up to make sure everything was symmetrical and made slight adjustments if any were needed. Then after we both agreed that we LOVED them, she placed a last layer of pigment on them and let them set for 15-20 minutes.
Then, VOILA! I was done and walked out of there feeling like a brand new person! For a few hours after, the anesthetic wore off fully and a slight stinging and tenderness were present for about 3 hours. Honestly, I didn’t even really notice it because I was so happy with my brows. The next day, I had no pain at all!
How long does it last?
18 months-3 years. This does ALSO include 1 free touch up with Studio 420 4-6 weeks after the initial procedure. She also warned me that oily skin, may push out pigment faster than dryer skin and may require more touch ups.
How long did it take?
The whole process took about 2.5 hours. The first hour is mostly discussing what you want your brows to look like and her sketching out the potential shape of your brows based on your face shape. The second hour was the actual microblading.
Did it hurt?
To be honest, I’m a HUGE baby. More than anything I was scared of how much it would hurt, so TRUST ME WHEN I TELL YOU IT WAS NEARLY PAINLESS! There are a couple of times the the actual numbing cream and pigment felt like an uncomfortable sting, but other than that, Kristin is so patient with you and makes sure you are completely comfortable the whole time.
Once the procedure is over, you will feel a slight sting because the lidocaine will wear off, but it really is nothing compared to getting a real tattoo or even a shot!
How much was it?
Kristin’s current price is $450, which, is definitely a pretty penny, but other microblading tattoo artists are charging almost twice as much as her! So if you’re looking for maybe just a small adjustment to your already full brows, this may not be worth it. But for me? It was literally worth every penny. (Make sure you keep reading for the giveaway!)
Kristin also gives you a free touch up 4-6 weeks after the initial procedure. Depending on your skin type, you may need a couple more touch ups throughout the year to keep it as dark or full as you’d like.
Do they remove the hair you currently have?
No, they leave all your current hair and only remove the stragglers that lie outside of your desired brow shape.
Do I need to do anything before I go into my appointment?
Do a little research about microblading and the whole process. Come with pictures of eyebrows that you like and make sure your inspo has a similar face shape as you. This will help Kristin or any other artist understand your goals and expectations.
Am I going to look swollen or red after the procedure?
I, personally, did not experience any swelling. There was slight redness on certain areas of my brows but they were not noticeable. I was able to go to a restaurant right after the procedure!
Is there anything that I have to do after the procedure?
Yes, you are supposed to keep your brows dry and undisturbed for 14 days! Do not wet them, sweat on the them, or put any product on them. You should also stay out of the sun and try not to expose your brows for long amounts of time. I’ve just been using a baseball hat to play it safe and its been working great for me. Your brows will be dark from the scabbing for the first 5-7 days but they will be lighter once the scabs fall off naturally. Also, sleep facing upwards so that your brows are undisturbed throughout the night.
What happens after the 4-6 weeks from the initial appointment?
Your brows will shed its scabs after about Day 9 and the first few days after, you’re going to think your brows are WAY too light. BUT give it another week and you’ll see your little micro bladed hairs show up! After 4 weeks, you’ll be able to FULLY see where the pigment maybe didn’t take as well and Kristin will fill them in during your follow up appt!
My Overall Experience:
There are very few times that I have gotten my hair, nails, etc. done and actually liked it so I tried to talk myself down before my appointment so the let down wouldn’t be too bad. Usually, I expect too much and walk out feeling sad and like I wasted time and money. So I cannot stress to you enough how amazing I felt when my brows turned out even better than I could have ever hoped for! Throughout the whole experience I felt completely confident in Kristin and her knowledge on microblading. There were even times where I felt like she cared more about my brows that I did, haha. She is so passionate and knowledgable on the process that I felt so relaxed and in good hands throughout the whole procedure. It really made a WORLD of a difference.
As of yesterday, I completely saw my healed eyebrows from the initial appointment and just did the touch up- and I have to say, no doubt, one of the best cosmetic decisions I’ve made in my life! I absolutely love it and recommend it to anyone who feels unsure or insecure about their eyebrows. It was honestly a very life changing moment for me!
If you have any questions at all, you can comment here and ask me OR contact Kristin Claridge or Heather Fitch directly at 512-705-7061! Heather, Studio 420’s other microblade artist just came on board and is so excited to start shaping some amazing brows! I’ve linked her Instagram and Facebook.
**HUGE GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT**
I’m partnering up Studio 420 and am giving away 2 FREE SETS OF EYEBROWS! (Valued at $450 each!)
I am so excited to be able to do this with a studio that I love and believe in! Kristin and Heather do such amazing work and I cannot wait to for two of my readers to be able to get to experience it themselves!
1. Follow us on Instagram:
2. Follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat:
3. Share Studio420Brows Instagram post about the giveaway linked here!
And CONGRATS! You’re entered and are in the drawing for the best eyebrow decision you’ve ever made! Studio 420 will be announcing the winner on July 20th, 2016!
Good luck and Enjoy!
If you decide to make the best brow decision you’ve ever made and work with Kristin or Heather, let them know Kara Tapangan referred you and they’ll take amazing care of you!
Disclosure: Kara Tapangan, The Blog is not sponsored by Studio420 Brows and all opinions are purely my own.