I’ve had a rough eyebrow journey. All through middle school and high school, I was a culprit of the caterpillar brow. I got the strays waxed but no one ever even asked me about a shape change so I stuck with the caterpillars. (get ready for some solid throw back pictures)
After heading off to college, I went to get a wax and was asked about my brow shape for the first time. She told me she’d give me some shape but ended up waxing them way too thin, or maybe I was so used to the thick brow that I just thought they were too thin. Regardless, this began my awful stage of over plucking. We’ve all been there, right? Remember the sperm brow? How many of you reading this had those? While I never quite had the sperm brow, they were so thin and the shape was just awful.
I over plucked for years and didn’t really stop until filling in your brows became the latest beauty trend. I could finally see what the “perfect brow” should look like and mine were no where close. I vowed to not touch the tweezers for a solid year. Y’all, it was HARD. Like honestly one of the hardest, beauty related, things I’ve ever done…but I did it.
And after about a year, I finally had a decent shape to my brows and could start filling them in properly. After searching and searching I finally found brow products I loved and that matched my brows, a cream pomade and a brow brush. I learned how to properly fill in my brows but it definitely takes time and patience.
When I first heard about microblading, I knew it was something I wanted to look into but after reading about it I was so nervous. I don’t have any tattoos and now I was looking into semi-permanent ink ON MY FACE. I also have a crazy low tolerance for pain so there’s that. I looked around in my area and didn’t find anywhere or anyone that really stood out to me to go have them done so I decided to wait.
A few months ago, I was scrolling social media when a Facebook friend of mine whom I’d never even met, Stephenie, posted about her new journey with semi-permanent makeup. She was opening her own studio and would begin shortly after finishing up all of her certifications. I watched as she uploaded photo after photo of her beautiful work. The microblading thoughts kept coming to mind as I went back and forth with my decision to contact her for more information. Well, she made up my mind for me when she commented on one of my photos basically confirming that I needed to go see her. We chatted for a bit via messenger before I finally made my appointment for her Signature Combination Brows for the following Friday. To say I was excited was an understatement. Even David was surprisingly on board with the idea. My appointment came so quickly, I was crazy nervous and full of what-ifs. What if I can’t handle the pain? What if I don’t like them? What if? What if? What if? I took a deep breath as I walked in the door, here goes nothing.
Stephanie immediately greeted me with a smile and a hug. Y’all she made me feel so comfortable from the time I walked in her door to the time I walked out. I put my stuff down and filled out all of the paperwork as she went over everything and answered some last minute questions I had. All the nerves went away and I knew I had gone to the right person for the job, she knows her stuff y’all. She put the topical numbing cream on and she told me some of her story as we let that sit for a bit.
She’s been doing freelance makeup for the longest time and brows had kind of become her signature. Every time she did a makeover, people would always leave loving their look. She said they would always mention their brows and how they wished they could fill them in like she had done, that’s where the idea began. She talked it over with her family and decided that this was the path she wanted to take. She got certified by some of the best in the country and has since opened her own studio in Fairfax Station, VA. And y’all, her studio is absolutely beautiful. Everything is blush pink, gold, white, and navy and I am obsessed. Her door, the table you lay on while she does your permanent makeup and even most of her tools are pink. It’s my kind of environment, that’s for sure. Everything is super sanitary and cleaned before and after each client with medical grade cleaning supplies and all of her tools are one time use. She showed me everything as she opened them and prepared for my service.
After the topical numbing cream set in, she began to “map out” my brows. She put this really cool sticker in the center of my face and above my eyebrows. It’s a brow ruler, if you will, and helps her shape your brows to the perfect proportions. Once she’d finished mapping them out, she handed me a mirror. This was my last chance to make changes before she began the process. That fancy brow ruler is the coolest thing though and my brows were going to look GOOD.
The last thing she did before starting my brows was color match me. She put a few different shades of ink on my forehead and we chose the perfect shade for me. She really took into consideration my skin tone and hair color to pick the perfect shade. It was officially time, I took in another deep breath and laid down on the table.
The pain level with just the topical cream got to probably a 5, but again I am such a baby when it comes to pain. After a few minutes, she was able to put the second numbing cream on which really helped. She was consistently asking me how I was doing and if I was still numb. She put more numbing cream on every single time I asked. I knew exactly what was going on the entire process as she talked me through everything. She did the shading first and went in with the microblading techniques afterwards. Even as the numbing wore off, the pain never got above a 6. Would I want to do it without the numbing creams? HECK NO, but it honestly wasn’t near as painful as I thought it would be. To finish it off, she puts the ink over my brows and massages it in. This just helps the pigment take and last longer but it does burn a bit.
It was finally time for the big reveal as she wiped the ink away. They were perfect, like so perfect. They’re really dark right now until they’re fully healed. Over the next few weeks, the color will decrease by about 40% and that’s where they will stay. They look so good right now so I’m so excited to see how amazing they will look when they’re fully healed.
Q: What is microblading?
A: Here’s the definition straight from the INK Beauty Studio, LLC website:
“Unlike a regular tattoo, microblading is a form of tattoo artistry where pigment is implanted under your skin with a manual handheld tool that resembles an exacto knife, instead of a machine. The hand tool has a multi-needle blade that makes tiny and shapely hair-like scrapes as it inserts pigment into the outermost layer of the skin. It is very natural looking but lasts less than other forms of brow shading with results usually lasting up to one year depending on the person. A complimentary touch up is required 4-6 weeks after the initial service.”
Q: Are you doing the microblading or shading?
A: BOTH! Stephanie calls it her Signature Combination Brows and gives you the best of both worlds. From her website:
“This is the ultimate brow treatment. It offers the best of both ‘shaded’ and ‘microbladed’ effects combined together to achieve a beautifully natural yet defined brow. The inner brow is feathered with hair strokes while the tails are shaded to achieve the perfect definition. Hair strokes are also added around the outer line of the arch to soften the tails. If you want the ultimate and most popular brow style then the ‘Combination Brow’ will suit you. A complimentary touch up is required 4-6 weeks after your initial service.”
Q: How long does it last?
A: I will go for a touch up once they’re mostly healed in about 4-6 weeks and then they should last about a year.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Even as the numbing cream wore off, my pain never got above a 6 but Stephanie is so good about making sure you’re experiencing little to no pain.
Q: What was the worst part?
A: Honestly? Not being able to drink coffee that morning. Fun fact: caffeine increases skin sensitivity and will cause you to experience more pain during your services.
Q: Do they really razor off most of your eyebrows?
A: Oh my goodness, no!!! I wouldn’t be getting it done in that case. She trimmed up some stray hairs but for the most part, she worked around the brows I already had.
Q: Is it supposed to keep hair from growing?
A: Not at all. Just an enhancement of what you already have. Think of it as permanently filled in brows.
Q: What do you do to take care of them while they heal?
A: You’ll want to softly and lightly wash them everyday with a mild soap. As far as maintenance, you can heal one of 2 ways. Daily light ointment or dry healing. Stephanie said she’s tried both and liked the end results of the dry healing best. I’ve been dry healing and so far it’s been fine but if the itching and tightness becomes unbearable I’ll begin the ointment.
Q: How long does it take to get done?
A: From the time I walked in the door to the time I left, my entire appointment lasted about 3 hours.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Permanent makeup is definitely on the pricy end but it is so worth it and lasts so long. Services start at about $100 and go up from there. I assure you she has the most competitive pricing in the area and her work is amazing.
Q: What’s the healing process like?
A: The first few days they will be really really dark and you’ll be afraid you made the wrong decision. Then as they heal, they’ll scab and it’ll look like you’re losing all the work you just paid for. Then they’ll come back at the perfect shade and be the perfect brows you wanted.
Q: What other services does she offer?
A: Microblading, Shading, the combination brow, lip liner and lip tint, eyeliner, brow tinting, microneedling, B.B Glow facials, and henna tinting. You can find descriptions of all her services and pricing on her website, www.inkbeautystudio.com
Have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I will update this post and answer your questions. I will do another post in a few weeks with updated photos as my brows heal and what they look like through each stage of the healing process.
The entire process, I knew I was in the right hands. She never made me question if I’d made the right decision. She is so sweet and knew exactly what she was talking about. She calmed my nerves and made me feel completely comfortable the entire process. If you’re wanting any permanent makeup done and you’re in the DC Metro area, contact Stephanie at INK Beauty Studio, LLC. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Y’all be sure you’re following INK Beauty Studio, LLC on social media for further information on services and specials she may be running. I can’t wait to see what you have done!