I Am Microblade Curious
Her brows started thinning and this writer got to experimenting. What you should know about microblading ahead of time
When I ask women who have worked at InStyle and Refinery29 for a NYC-based salon offering eyebrow microblading, they come up with the same name: Emilia Berry of Permaline Cosmetics, with salons on the Upper East Side of New York City, and in South Hampton and Huntington on Long Island. A consensus! I am all in!
The Price of Perfect Brows is High
But when I call to book an appointment, I suffer a severe case of sticker shock. Rates aren’t quoted on the website and here’s why: the procedure costs around $1,000. Note, too, that the “perma” in “permaline” is something of a misnomer: my new eyebrows will last from one to two years at best.
But what is also bonkers is how, with age, I had come to look expressionless in photographs. My brows are sparser and lighter now. Worse, they are stuck in a shape that was popular in the late 1970s — skinny with a high arch and a too-prominent wedge of hair near the nose. Microblading promises to reshape my brows by replacing missing hairs with fine, feathery deposits of pigment laid into cuts made in the surface of the skin by a technician wielding a pen-like device. These razor-thin brushstrokes mimic the look of real hair; the color matches my original brow shade.
Berry’s website says I will be in the hands of an artist!
For a price, though. While mulling the cost, a friend helps me cut to the chase. “Either do it or don’t do it,” she says. “But please don’t think that your eyebrows are a good place to save a couple of hundred dollars.”
She is right.
I call Berry and make an appointment. I am immediately comforted. Berry works with me to create the brow look I like — from the right thickness to the perfect arch. And she pens the plan right onto my face. Thanks to the topical anesthetic the application of the color doesn’t hurt. (I’ve actually felt more discomfort having my eyebrows threaded!) In less than an hour, my brows look nearly perfect. Though the skin beneath the cuts is slightly red, it heals within 48 hours. I didn’t even need the four-week follow-up touch-up, offered free of charge. (You can watch Berry in action here, but be sure to ignore the client’s slightly hysterical approach; the procedure was, for me, entirely drama-free.)
I Get The Expression in My Face Back
And here’s the bottom line: My microbladed brows mean I no longer have to fill them in every morning — especially on the days I don’t wear makeup. Overall, I look more polished and well-rested. But best of all, I got my expressions back. I look lively again — like me — around the eyes.
A checklist for women considering microblading:
- Confirm that your technician is certified by a reputable organization, such as the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals and the American Academy of Micropigmentation. Both offer FAQs and lists of certified technicians.
- Visit the office to assess its professionalism and cleanliness; review testimonials and the technician’s portfolio to confirm it’s a good match for your aesthetic.
- Ask how long they’ve been in business and their experience with the procedure.
- You can ask about their use of sterile tools and best-quality pigments, but employees are likely to stick to a script. Your gut will tell you if the place is clean and reputable.