Bold, natural eyebrows are back with a vengeance, and if the 90's marked you in any way you are still struggling (like myself) to grow them back from gruesome over-plucking.
I was recently speaking of these first-world problems with a friend, when she introduced me to the Instagram account of mega-babe Shaughnessy Keely; Cosmetic tattooist and all around BOSS where brows are concerned.
Shaughnessy is the owner and HBIC at Studio Sashiko in Vancouver, Canada; where clients flock in to get their brows transformed from Payless to Prada in no time.
She’s honed a wonderful skill in tattooing hella realistic-looking brows using a process called microblading… and no that’s not the stencil-on BS they offer at your local nail salon.
Microblading is a relatively new method of cosmetic tattooing, where small blades are used to deposit semi-permanent pigment beneath the epidermis. The procedure is rather meticulous as the brow is essentially re-built hair stroke by hair stroke. The result, a naturally fuller looking #browonfleek, completely custom to the wearer. These pigments are designed to fade gently over a year or two, for those wondering about the commitment.
I reached out to the Brow Queen with some questions I had about the procedure and was pleasantly surprised that she was happy to answer. Say goodbye to sharpie-esque eyebrows of the past, and allow me to introduce the work of Shaughnessy Keely...
So a typical search through the internet on eyebrow tattooing produces some pretty horrid results… nightmare stories on message boards of blue eyebrows and the like… How does micro-blading differ from the conventional process cosmetic tattooists have used in the past?
It's so true! If you Google "eyebrow tattoos", there are NO good ones that come up! Today's process of microblading allows artists to mimic realistic hairs almost PERFECTLY. The technique has definitely come a long way. Compared to older methods of eyebrow tattooing which are done with traditional tattoo ink and coil tattoo machines, microblading is all done by hand using the tiniest of micro-needles and high quality pigments in an array of natural colors. This newer technique is considered semi-permanent and will fade as your skin naturally exfoliates and regenerates. This is preferred so that we may make changes to your brows as your skin ages and changes over the years.
Can we expect a similar sensation as getting a normal tattoo, or is it much different?
This is one of the questions we get asked the most! It's interesting because we get mixed opinions. Some people will say it's nothing like a regular tattoo and others think it's similar to getting some detailed linework done.The sensation is really different from any other tattoo I have received and any discomfort is extremely minimal. Our clients generally say that threading or tweezing their brows feels much worse than tattooing them!
What is a normal session like?
I typically start by asking my clients if they have anything in mind... do they have a picture to show me or a selfie that could give me a better idea of how they like to wear their brows normally? After discussing how subtle or bold they are looking to go, taking into consideration their face shape and natural brow structure, I'll start to pencil in their brows. Often times this part takes the longest! We work together to perfect the shape and go from there! Once my client is happy with the shape and color choice, I apply a topical numbing product. The client lays down, cozies up with a blanket and I get to work! Once I have a nice amount of hair strokes tattooed in, I hand the client a mirror and we start perfecting from there! It's really a joint effort! The entire process from start to finish is usually about 2 hours.
How long do eyebrow tattoos usually last for?
It really depends on how well you take care of them as well as the exposure to abrasion (chemical peels, facial exfoliant, waxing) and sunlight! My clients usually come in for a refresher anywhere from 12 - 18 months, some even sooner, and some later or not at all. It's all personal preference. Enjoy them until you want them bigger or bolder!
Does micro-blading damage the hair follicle?
Not at all! This process is all done in the surface of the skin and we take special precaution when working around your existing eyebrow hairs. Although, if your brows have been previously tattooed using the traditional method, there is usually a bit of scar tissue built up which can affect future hair growth. We have noticed that in some cases, our clients have experienced some hair growth stimulation and have naturally fuller brows by the time they come in for their touch-up appointment! It all depends!
In the business of facial semi-permanency, you must experience many clients that get cold feet. How do you deal with it?
If a client hasn't had a tattoo before it can definitely be daunting especially when you think of your first tattoo is not one, but two... and they're on your face! If you're not ready to take the plunge, don't rush into it! In the same sense, if you absolutely cannot wait to get your eyebrows tattooed, take your time finding an artist that you are comfortable with and don't just go with the cheapest option at your nearest hair salon.. I encourage anyone who is a bit anxious to get this done to keep up with their artists' Instagram feed for a few reasons...
1.) seeing the before and after shots are motivation! You know why you booked in the first place, seeing the results is an encouraging reminder. 2.) this lets you become familiar with your artist and their work. Seeing the range of work vary on face type and preference is comforting and let's you know they're not going to slap a few generic brows on you. At Studio Sashiko we like to think we "custom design" each set of brows to the individual client.
How many girls come in asking for the “Delevingne”?
Ha! I don't know the exact number... but the big, bushy, natural brows are definitely making their mark! I absolutely adore this look. Adding a few "crazy" hairs to the front or even a few strays here and there makes the whole brow just look that much more realistic! I do also appreciate a nice, clean, defined brow though!