What is microblading: Microblading is a technique using a super-fine pen (technically, a bundle of 12 to 15 needles) to deposit pigment into skin. The tip is so fine, in fact, that it can create hair strokes that look legit. And the needles reach only into the superficial layers of the skin, which is what makes the method semi-permanent (versus permanent, like traditional cosmetic tattoos). Think of each stroke as a little paper-cut. (We know what you’re wondering: Yes, it hurts, but your brow artist can numb the area first.) Compared to other techniques, “microblading gives a very natural look and better simulates hair,” says Betsy Shuki, makeup artist and brow expert who offers microblading services at the office of NYC plastic surgeon Scott Wells, MD.
What you should know: Prices vary based on location and artist expertise, but expect a quality job to run somewhere between $700 to $1,500. In the first few days, you might want to plan around your brows. “On the first day after microblading, clean your eyebrows with distilled water on cotton pad gently and apply aftercare cream every four hours,” says Shuki. On the second day, repeat that three times. For the next five days, do this morning and night. Your brow area might be red and scabby, so try not to schedule big things (e.g., a huge job interview or engagement photos) for the first week or two. “Also, avoid going to the gym, any excess sweating around eyebrows will prevent pigment retention and can cause infection,” adds Shuki.
How long microblading lasts: You’ll need a touch-up in about a month (the cost of this is typically budgeted into the fee of the initial service). Then, microblading can last anywhere from 12 months to three years, depending on your lifestyle. A few ways to extend it: Stay out of the sun, since it can fade the pigment, and avoid putting exfoliants (like retinol and glycolic acid) near your brows, because they’ll lift the top layers of your skin with continued use—and the color with it.