Okay, so here's the deal, I was never really a huge advocate for the whole "I've been bullied movement." I always had the mindset that EVERYONE had been bullied at some point so what's the big deal? The thing is, the words people hear (especially if it's coming from someone or over a situation they truly care about) CAN have a lasting impact. It took my decision to get microblading to come to this realization about bullying. I have become more sensitive to people's feelings and less quick to judge.
Let me give you a background on what started this whole microblading journey. As you can see from the photo, as a child I had fair skin, light eyes and very blond hair. I come from Irish and German heritage so this shouldn't come as a shock, ha!
I never wore makeup growing up because it felt like too much work and it didn't interest me like it did other girls. I was definitely more of a tom-boy who surrounded herself with guys and believe me, that was very low on their interests list. Having the "perfect brow" was not part of my language. So what led me to making such a drastic change to my face with microblading? It was one picture...
Now, let me preface this with the fact that I never had issues with my eyebrows. My eyebrows were something that were NEVER on my radar. My big chest? Yes. My "saddle bags"? Yes. But my face?! No, never. What sparked this movement was a comment that an ex-girlfriend of a guy I was seeing made about me on her Instant Messenger "away status". Yes, you read that correct. Do you even remember what AIM was?! It was THAT long ago. A petty comment by someone who was jealous that her previous relationship was moving on sparked a ten year vicious cycle for me. I'm not blaming her for making the comment because she was upset. Instead, the guy is to be blamed. No seriously, he was. He was not handling the situation well. Instead, I became a victim of circumstance. But I digress...
Okay, so the gossip... What did she say? She made a passive aggressive comment saying, "Where are her [me] eyebrows anyway?" What makes this laughable, to an extent, is that she could have said ANYTHING about me but the thing she and her friends picked on me about was my eyebrows? I mean, seriously? Not, "ohhh she's so overweight." Or, "wow, what a fool." Nope, it started and ended with my eyebrows. Unfortunately, those comments stuck.
Let's flash forward through the years where I struggled with these issues. Constantly trying to create the perfect eyebrow, having to airbrush in eyebrows in professional photos, being nervous about my engagement photos because I didn't have a professional makeup artist to do them, the list goes on and on. I became obsessed and I think due to stress, uneducated plucking, and doing my own brows with excessive amounts of pencil led to even more hair loss.
It was becoming such an issue and I was really starting to dislike the way I looked in photos. For the longest time it was due to weight gain that I was self-conscious but now it was something different. I mean, I lost over twenty pounds so I knew that that wasn't the reason anymore. Why did I still hate how I looked in photos? That's when I decided I had to do my homework to make a change. I initially heard about microblading from one of the women/fitness trainers I look up to, Chalene Johnson. It made me feel so confident about the procedure because I could see her amazing results and she was so open about it. It was nothing to be ashamed of! If you don't listen to Chalene's podcasts or follow her on Instagram, you're missing out. She's a KA (Kickass) talent!
Due to my Type A personality, I researched all kinds of tattoo artists and microblading salons in South Florida. I was NOT waiting until I got back up north to get this done. I finally decided to use the Brow and Beauty Bar in Boca Raton with world-renown permanent/semi-permanent make-up artist, Kler Rosenberg. Although I had seen video footage of Chalene Johnson getting her eyebrows done I still didn't know what to expect after the consultation. All I knew was that I was confident in Kler's skills and had to take a chance. Here are a few of my BEFORE photos...
Microblading is NOT a permanent tattoo. I don't have ANY tattoos on my body, you think I would get one on my FACE?! Not likely! The ink that is used is on the top layer of the skin and does not penetrate all the way down underneath the dermis like a regular tattoo. Needles are not used, instead they use a scalpel. Yes, little incisions are cut into your skin in the shape of hair (so it looks natural and not just blocks of ink) and then ink is applied. You're probably thinking, wow, this must hurt a lot. Well, it isn't super comfortable I'll tell you that. Prior to the incisions being made, measurements of your face are taken and you look like an architect drew an entire blue print on your face. It's important to find the center of your face as well as where your natural arc of the eyebrow is. You don't want this to completely change your face but rather amplify what's already there.
Some places will put lidocaine (a liquid numbing agent) on the skin PRIOR to the cuts starting but my artist didn't. I asked her why they do it differently than what I had researched and Kler explained to me that the lidocaine changes the texture of the skin. You need a good initial feel for what the skin looks like and how it will react to the cuts and dyes. After the first round she did apply the lidocaine to numb the skin. If anything, the sound of the incisions was worst than the actual pain because it was just plain weird. There is a tad burning sensation when the dye is added but think about it... they're open "wounds". What wouldn't burn a little? After the incisions are made in each round the dye must sit on there for about 5 minutes, this repeats for approximately 2-3 rounds on each eyebrow. You will briefly look like an Oompa Loompa!
Kler was worried about how my skin would react to the procedure because of the texture of my skin. I have battled rosacea for most of my life and I do have scarring from chicken pocks and my own self-inflicted picking. She was surprised with how well it initially went and how little I needed touched-up when I went back five weeks later. Typically, people will have to go every six months but she thought I could even make it a year. YESSSSS, who doesn't love saving money and time right? The touch-up does NOT take as long as your initial procedure. In fact, I think it took only about 20 minutes compared to the hour and half for the initial session.
So, now you're probably wondering okay... Well, what about what it looks like afterwards and what's the upkeep like? This was right after I initially got the procedure. Your eyebrows will be MUCH darker than what they will eventually settle into. What's pretty cool is that each person will have a different mixture created for them depending on what their hair and skin tone are. It's a real art, folks!
AHHH, the results were in and there was no going back. Yes, I did have a tad bit of bruising and of course then came the peeling. It was at times embarrassing but, hey, that's what sunglasses are for, right? I had to keep the brows clean and apply topical wax to make sure they did not get infected several times a day for the first week. I was reminded that these were small incisions so they needed to be kept clean to prevent infection. That meant NO WORKING OUT for a week! That was probably the most difficult task for me, not going to lie. I did go out and watch Nick play in his golf tournaments though. I would just wash my face at the half-way turn and reapply my wax. It's super important to keep the eyebrows protected from the sun, even now, so that the dye will not fade. So between the sweat and sun in South Florida, I had to make sure I was diligent with my eyebrow care.
Overall, I would say my experience has been a positive one and I've been wanting to share it with everyone for awhile. After the procedure I didn't tell anyone except my immediate family as well as my closest friends. I wanted people to just not take notice and think that's how my eyebrows have always been. I am sure more people noticed a change and couldn't put a finger on what it was but were too shy to ask. I mean, it is a little different than saying, "I love your haircut," right? It made me feel even better when I reached out a friend in one of my fitness challenge groups to compliment her on her eyebrows and she told me she had them done too. I felt a sense of relief that I wasn't the only one who had this "secret". One of my friends even sent me a private text after seeing one of my posts to compliment my on my "eye brow game."
The moral of this story is that sometimes you might not know what someone is going through or WHY they've made a dramatic change in their appearance. Maybe it's something as simple as a haircut or maybe it's even plastic surgery. The point is, it's their body and you never know what prompted them to make the change. If it's something that is going to give them more confidence then I say, God Bless! You do, you. Let's all let one another live our greatest life and instead of putting one another down for the way we look let's search for ways to add value to one another's lives. You never know how your words will negatively affect someone's well-being. Kind words only, please. Thanks for listening and stay great!