If you know me, you know that I am extremely indecisive. Before making any big decision I do hours & hours of research. I read pretty much every review, testimonial, or article there is. I consult with my mom, my sister, my boyfriend, my co-workers, or literally anyone that will listen. The decision to get a semi-permanent tattoo on my face was no spontaneous decision. It was, however, the greatest decision I have made. My only regret is that I did not do it sooner.
I am going to walk you through my complete Chicago microblading experience – starting with the history of my eyebrows all the way through the procedure to the healed eyebrows.
Please leave comments with any questions you may have, I am glad to answer!
Brief History of My Eyebrows
My resentment for my eyebrows began in middle school. I was your typical hairy Italian girl rocking her fluffy unibrow. Finally, in 7th grade, my mom let me get my eyebrows waxed. I became obsessed with keeping my eyebrows clean and would get them waxed as soon as I saw a new hair sprout. My frequent eyebrow waxing caused my eyebrows to completely lose their shape. My eyebrows began to resemble an upside down Nike swoosh symbol. Note to younger self – let your natural eyebrows grow in! It wasn’t until college that I discovered eyebrow gel, eyebrow powder, eyebrow pomades, and then eyebrow tinting. You name it, I tried it. I was desperately trying to join the “eyebrows on fleek” party but was failing miserably. When I discovered Microblading, I knew I had to try it.
My Ideal Eyebrow Look
I like really thick and bold brows. I also am not really into the “makeup” like appearance – I like more of a natural look. I was hesitant about getting microblading because I didn’t want them to look unnatural or like a tattoo. I think the ombre eyebrow look is super cool, but not for me. I like my eyebrows to be evenly filled in throughout. Pictured above is my sister. I absolutely LOVE her eyerbrows. I brought her picture to my appointment as an example of the look I would like to achieve.
Microblading In Chicago
I chose to do my Microblading in Chicago at Skyn Studio in the Gold Coast. I read endless amounts of Facebook & Yelp reviews and stalked their Instagram until I made the decision to schedule a consultation. Their schedule was really booked, which I took to be a great sign. Skyn Studio was convenient and easy to get to from my office (about 15 minutes from the West Loop). I took an Uber, but there are plenty of parking garages nearby that you can look up on SpotHero. The salon itself was small, super clean, and nicely decorated. The receptionist was very sweet and accommodating. I scheduled my appointment with Shana, the owner & master artist. Shana knows her stuff. She has been in the industry for over several years. She is down to earth, honest, and extremely talented. Shana’s personality made the entire experience more relaxing and put me at ease.
What To Expect At A Microblading Consultation
My consultation was at 5:30 PM on a Tuesday evening and lasted about 20 minutes. Shana started off by explaining the different types of semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos that they offer at Skyn Studio.
Microblading – Uses a handheld tool to create realistic looking eyebrows. Microblading creates hair stroke brows that blend seamlessly with your natural hair. Microblading typically lasts for 1-2 years and requires yearly touch ups.
Nano Brows – Uses a machine with a specialized nano needle to create the look of microblading. Nano brows requires a touch ups every 2-5 years.
Powder Brows/Ombre Brows – Uses a machine to dispense pigment throughout the brow and create a clean, defined, and powdery effect. Powder brows create the perfect “makeup” look.
Custom – Uses multiple techniques to acheive your unique perfect look.
Shana allowed me to ask all of my questions and was happy to answer them. Based on what I was looking for Shana recommended going with Nano Brows. Shana advised me to do some research and bring in pictures of my ideal eyebrow look. I left with homework to do and a set of precare instructions for 72 hours before the procedure.
Preparing For The Microblading
Microblading is quite different than getting your eyebrows waxed or tinted. 72 hours before the appointment it is required that you stop taking any blood-thinning medications (Vitamin E, Aspirin, Fish oil supplements, Ibuprofen, etc.). If you regularly get your eyebrows shaped, you need to do so at least 3 days before your appointment. You can NOT drink any coffee, caffeine, or alcohol for at least 24 hours before the appointment. If you take Accutane you must wait one year before considering the procedure. It is recommended that you avoid sun and tanning bed exposure for 30 days before and after the procedure. Do some research for your procedure. Look at different pictures of eyebrows on the salon’s website. Search using eyebrow hashtags on Instagram (#eyebrows on fleek, #nanobrows, #microblading). Print out pictures of your perfect eyebrow look and bring them to your appointment.
The Microblading Procedure
Come to your appointment with no makeup on. If you are coming straight from work like I did, bring makeup remover (they do have some at the salon as well if you forget). Keep in mind that you will be laying there for a few hours so you will want to be in comfortable clothes.
The appointment will begin with discussing again the look you would like to achieve. Shana took a look at my pictures that I brought with and we confirmed that we would be moving forward with Nano Brows based on the look and longevity of what I wanted. After we confirmed the type of semi-permanent tattoo and shape we selected a color. She has TONS of different colors on hand. There should be no difficulty at all choosing a color that matches your hair. She did advise me to go a little lighter with the color selection as it will be darker once your brows have healed.
She started by having me lay down and wrapped my feet in a blanket. She had relaxing classical music playing that put me at ease. She took the color we selected and tested it on my forehead next to make natural brows to confirm I liked the color. She then took out a variety of tools to begin making measurements. Once the measurements are completed there was a sketched out version of what the shape of the brows will look like. Shave gave me a mirror to confirm I was happy with the mock-up of the shape.
Once the shape is confirmed, the tattooing begins. I am going to be honest, I was so focused on the outcome of sem-permanent tattooing, I did not put much thought into what the procedure itself was going to feel like. The pain was more severe than I was expecting. I do not have much to compare it to. I have never gotten a tattoo. I would give it a solid 5 on the Taylor pain scale. She did give me a stress ball to squeeze which helped a lot (and was covered in sweat by the time she was done). The tattooing alternates between the left and right eyebrow 3 times spending about 10 minutes on each side each rotation. Shana was great and talked me through the entire process and let me know what she was doing.
Once the tattooing is finished she cleans up the hair surrounding the tattoos. Then comes the moment I was waiting for. The first look at my new brows. I know it sounds cheesy, but I was on the verge of tears I was so happy with the finished product. I just kept staring at myself in disbelief that these were really my eyebrows. No makeup needed.
Before leaving Shana went over the aftercare with me (detailed below) and gave me an aftercare ointment. The entire microblading appointment lasted about two and half hours from start to finish. The picture below is immediately following my appointment.
The Day Ater Microblading
The day after microblading I went about my day as normal. I woke up in the morning and cleaned my face with my Philosophy Purity cleanser and lukewarm water. I lightly cleansed my eyebrows and patted dry with a clean towel. I followed this by moisturizing with my First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream moisturizer. I applied the aftercare ointment with a clean Q-tip to my eyebrows. I repeated this process at night before bed. I applied makeup around my eyebrows as I normally would. I was not in any pain, however, the area around my eyebrows did feel a little tight and there was a little bit of redness. The aftercare ointment does leave the eyebrows looking a little wet and greasy, but nothing too crazy. The picture below is the day after my appointment at work.
Microblading After Care & Healing
Following your microblading procedure, you should not wear any cosmetics for at least 10-14 days. You should also avoid sweating for the first week. It’s important to cleanse twice a day with lukewarm water, pat dry with a clean towel, and apply the aftercare ointment with a clean Q-tip. If you are going on the vacation, avoid the sun and be sure to wear a sunblock directly on your eyebrows. I went on a vacation 10 days after my appointment and I used the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60 and it seemed to work very well. It’s important to keep in mind that your eyebrows will not be fully healed for 4 weeks. This means that the appearance of your eyebrows will change and not be in their true form until week 4. During this 4 week period, your eyebrows can and will flake, peel, be red, feel tight, and turn very light in color. It’s important not to worry, your eyebrows and the area around it is taking the time to heal. The picture below is of my completely healed eyebrows.
The Follow-Up Appointment
The follow-up appointment is short and sweet. I was back laying on the table where the tattooing took place and Shana started by removing the makeup around my eyebrows. She examined my brows and advised that she did not see any pockets or spaces that needed to be touched up. Shana told me that she would be glad to touch up any areas that I would like, however, I was perfectly content with the way my eyebrows healed. We agreed that no additional tattooing was needed. Shana waxed and cleaned up my eyebrows. We concluded by taking pictures of the finished product.
Please let me know if you have any questions at all about microblading, nano brows, or Skyn Syudio. I am so happy with my decision and my choice to work with Shana at Skyn Studio. I now can proudly say that my eyebrows… are on fleek! Below is a picture of the before and after Nano Brows at Skyn Studio.
Thanks for reading my Chicago microblading review!