If you have not yet heard of microblading, it is a permanent makeup treatment you can get to enhance and shape your eyebrows. Since beautiful bold brows have become imperative to keeping your face looking glamorous, microblading has become more popular over the last couple years. Not knowing any details behind what microblading is, I decided to research where all the glamorous girls were getting their brows beautified and stumbled upon a chic little boutique in Boulder, CO. Jessica Tiel, owner of Boulder Brows and permanent makeup artist /esthetician, promised to tell me everything I needed to know about microblading. Here is what we covered:
Who would you deem the perfect client for microblading?
Microblading is perfect for anyone who wants to enhance their brows. If you can’t attain the perfection you are looking for with makeup and the current shape of your brow, this is for you. It is especially great for those who are missing hair from over plucking in the 90s; they are my most common client. People with super thin eyebrows or people who do not have hair growth in the brow area are also great candidates. As we age we begin to loose hair, even in our eyebrows, so clients 60+ can benefit greatly from this enhancement. I have also done someone as young as 17 who had alopecia. It is really something anyone can benefit from.
What kind of training is required to become a permanent makeup artist?
Colorado has strict regulations on permanent makeup. There are tons of traveling companies that offer day long training, but that is not enough for Colorado law. I personally went to Houston and took a three day training class, then got my esthetician license, and completed 132 hours doing permanent makeup with another boutique in Arvada. There I learned eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, scar pigmentation, and ended up taking another three day training with everlasting brows. I opened my business shortly after and started taking clients.
What made you decide to get into the business?
I have a sociology degree from CU Boulder and worked at Boulder Community Hospital before this. In doing so, I began to realize how much I loved working with people. I also had my eyebrows microbladed and loved it so much. My morning routine went from an hour to 15 minutes. Ultimately, I decided to look into training and eventually it lead to opening my own business.
For those who have misconceptions or fears around microblading, what would you like them to know?
Everyone always thinks of old permanent makeup. This new technique is totally different. It doesn’t come across harsh and the fading isn’t going to discolor like the older tattoos do. I use pigments that last and are true to color and a tiny blade to make hair like strokes instead of a tattoo needle. It is a similar concept as tattooing, but doesn’t go as deep into the dermis. The pigment doesn’t mix with blood and create a cloudy brow. It is superficial so there is no migration in the healing process.
Some people say you can’t get an MRI if you have had permanent makeup but there is only a super small amount of iron-oxide in the pigment used for microblading, so it shouldn’t affect you. At most you will feel a slight tingle.
Lastly, some people worry about the pain. While microblading is painful, it is tolerable and the pain is only felt during the first pass. I start by applying numbing cream, it is basically resting on the top of the skin, so it doesn’t give a full effect of numbness until the skin is broken and the numbing cream can be absorbed. The rest of the treatment should be pain free.
Is there anyone who is not a good candidate for microblading?
I will not take clients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Clients with high blood pressure or who are on thyroid medication should let me know during their consultation at the beginning of the appointment so I can warm their color, as it tends to turn grey.
After a thorough discussion about microblading and what to expect, Jessica’s first client arrived. I followed her throughout the session and onserved each step of the microblading process.
First, the client fills out a consent form. Jessica takes a picture of the normal routine brow with makeup, then removes the makeup and takes a picture of the natural brow. She adds numbing topical to the brow area and begins her consultation with the client while it begins to soak in. She covers what they like, looks at pictures, and goes over what they have done in the past. She tests color on the forehead by putting a few dots for comparison, and she and the client come up with the best fit for the end brow.
Next, Jess takes the numbing cream off and starts the stencil phase. She does not use an actual stencil, but draws the ideal brow in with a pencil and alters it per the client’s critique. She does brow mapping, one brow at a time. She matches them as much as possible, but remind her clients, brows are cousins so they will never be the same.
Once the client feels confident in the shape they begin the first pass of microblading. Jessica uses her tiny blade to outline the shape and draw tiny hair like strokes inside the brow. Again, this is the most painful part of the procedure, but once she is done breaking the first layer of skin, the numbing sets in even more. She repeats this process three more times on each brow.
The client will then examine the brows. This is where Jess will work on the tiny details and can make the brow fuller or darker in areas to perfect the look. Once they are looking as the client has requested, Jess paints a layer of color over the brow, filling in all the lines made so they are fully saturated with color.
She finishes by cleaning the brow and supplying the client with a hygienic care pack to take home. The client is not allowed to wash or touch the brows for two weeks prior to the procedure. This allows time for the brow to heal.
With every microblading purchase at Boulder brows, Jess includes two touch up sessions to make sure the brows are looking their best. The finished product will not completely fade away until 3 years from the initial appointment. Jess recommends coming in to refresh at least once a year. She is always welcoming new clients and has been commended for her patience and thoughtfulness when it comes to talking with clients so everyone is on the same page before the procedure is done. The client from this day left loving her brows. “It was worth the time and discomfort to get my brows looking perfect. I look forward to my morning routine being much easier. Jessica’s space is super comfortable. She made me feel relaxed and I would recommend this for anyone looking to improve their brow shape.”
You can visit the Boulder Brows site to browse through Jessica Tiel’s photo gallery of before and afters. This will give you a more extensive look into what a huge difference microblading can make.