So long pencil-thin 90s brows—bushy brows are back, thanks to celebs like Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson, Sofia Vergara, and Lily Collins. While those who hate plucking can rejoice in the tweezer-free trend, there’s one tiny problem: Growing out your brows can be a total pain, especially if you’re not naturally blessed with the fuller look.
For most people, simply using an eyebrow pencil to fill in those sparse areas can do the trick and create the illusion of thick eyebrows. But what if you don’t want to spend the extra time getting ready in the morning? Or you simply want thick brows without the worry of them fading throughout the day—say, during your workout or at the beach?
Think of microblading as a tattoo, but not as deep. The brow artist uses a pen-like tool outfitted with seven to 16 (or more) micro-needles in various configurations, says Lee. “Microneedles are so tiny that they can’t be seen in detail by the naked eye,” she explains, so they can realistically mimic brow hairs by creating thin strokes. The artist may also use a shading technique that involves “plucking” the skin to deposit the ink manually.
Microblading artists begin each appointment by discussing their client's desired look and needs before measuring and sketching out the placement of the eyebrows. Measuring brow placement is a multi-step process that begins by determining the center of the face and the set of the client's eyes. The starting point, arch, and ending point are determined by whether the eyes are normal, close-set, or wide-set. The artist sketches out the full brow with the appropriate thickness and arch height to give the client a good idea of what the finished brows will look like and set the outline for the microblading. Manual smooth shading (Microshading) can also be added to go over spin and between the hair strokes to visually give the dimension of natural eyebrow thickness without any sharp contours on the eyebrows.