How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I’m Removing It

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I’m Removing It

One of the most viewed posts on my blog right now is titled The Truth About Microblading. I didn’t mean for it to be click-bait, but in retrospect– the title does sound a little ominous. Like, there was something I was about to uncover or reveal about microblading!  At the end of it, I debunked a few myths I’d heard and shared my overall positive review on my experience. I did say that I’d keep everyone updated and a year later I came back with very sad news. That title, “The Truth About Microblading,” eerily represents my overall experience and today I’m sharing my story on why I’m removing my microblading.

First of all, what even is microblading?

Google says, “a semi-permanent technique for enhancing the eyebrows, in which pigment is scratched into the skin in fine, short strokes resembling hair, using a hand tool with a blade formed of tiny needles.” So, basically an artist draws strokes on your brows that help fill it in and add dimension and color. Those of us with sparse brows were immediately turned onto the trend!

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

Microblading can take your brows from sparse to full:

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

I’m just amazed at how talented some of the microbladers I’ve been stalking are! Gahhh so good!  These two pics above are from Tiffany from Enhance Artistry and I ADORE her work.

So why am I getting mine removed?

Well, I had an unfortunate experience that’s hopefully uncommon and won’t ever plague you or your brows!  However, since sharing my story on Instagram, I’ve received literally hundreds of emails from women who have found themselves in the same situation. I decided maybe my story wasn’t uncommon after all and if sharing it can help someone then of course I’m going to do it. Here’s a picture of my brows before and after microblading.

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

They looked good, right?!

My original artist transformed my shape. In the very beginning right after the treatment, I hated it. I was so worried I’d ruined my face! Once every thing was healed though, and I’d had time to live in them, I really came around to the new shape and loved it!!  For months I was riding on a happy brow high and just couldn’t get enough.  They were amazing!  You can read all about my experience in this post here.

Unfortunately, things quickly changed for me…

The pigment started fading and the strokes started disappearing. I’m not sure it would have been such a big deal if the girl I’d went to would have just enhanced my natural shape. Remember when I said she’d transformed it? She shaved off my tails and had lifted my arch with the microblading and because I needed more dimension, she’d also done a powder-fill technique which gives a pretty shadow behind the microblading.  When these pigments started fading this is what I was left with…

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

Not super pretty anymore, right?!

It’s not the worst but I quickly became super self-conscious of my brows. You could see there wasn’t hair growing, that 3D texture you get with real brows was gone and there was just the greying microblading. Filling it in with warmer makeup was also tricky because the makeup would fade or it was too dark and would look like one solid block of color.

Here are a few more pictures so you can better understand why I decided to remove my microblading.

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

You can clearly see where the natural hair stops and where the tattoo microblading starts.  The strokes were completely gone just a few months later.

Natural hair.

Here’s another picture where you can see the second problem I was facing: my natural hair.  If you look near the arch you can see where you my natural hair was growing.  It wanted to go down and follow it’s own path, not stay in line with the microblading!  I felt like it was just highlighting the fact that I had microblading. 

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

So you can see my concerns, right?

Some of these pictures were taken four months after my touch up. Four months!! I figured something was wrong and I finally dm’d my artist for advise. Is this normal? She said sometimes yes and to make another touch up appointment. It just felt off to me. This should have lasted longer. I was told it’d look nice for at least a year!

Why is it fading so soon?

I was on board with the new shape, but not in this condition. That’s when I got in touch with Tiffany (@enhanceartistry), the gal who did my sisters brows. I went in for a consultation and told her it was probably my fault for the pigment fading because I’d taken a quick shower while they were healing. She politely smiled and just started talking about the pigment she uses, her healing process and the overall experience you can expect when you’re her client. It was very different from what I had experienced.

I was speechless. And mad at myself!

She mapped me out (something I don’t remember having done prior), and showed me how she would have done things. She would have enhanced my natural shape and while lifting the arch and brow keeping it natural, so I didn’t need to shave off any tails. She uses a persons bone structure to map out their natural shape which I loved, there’s actually a science to it!

I was like YES! YES! This is what I want! How do I get it?! Haha! And keep in mind, I’m not sharing this to expose my original microblader. I really think she did what she thought was best. I’ve removed mentions of her everywhere on the blog and all tags on Instagram so you won’t find her if you look. I don’t want to ruin her reputation or hurt her business in any way. Do I hope she’ll be more careful when recommending new shapes to people? Of course I do! But I’m sharing this story with you because I want you to think twice about microblading and who you go to. I want you to be as educated as you possibly can be before getting it done. Education is power.

Has it been hard to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong? Yeah.

I mean, I’m classified as a beauty blogger for crying out loud! I should know all these things! I should have done better research. I should have had several consults. How did this even happen?! I’m happy to swallow my pride though, and admit I didn’t know enough and hopefully that helps some of you. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I’ve been through. So, I’m sharing several blog posts in the next little bit that will help you navigate your way through microblading. Like things to look out for, red flags, questions to ask your artist and things to know before getting it done. And of course, how to remove it if that’s your path, too.

So, back to the removal.

I first started letting my brows grow back in and scheduled my first laser tattoo removal session. I was hoping it’d take a couple quick months and I’d be good to schedule my appointment with Enhance Artistry soon. Boy was I wrong.

Here’s a picture several sessions post laser tattoo removal– still VERY dark. When I hear people say that microblading is semi-permanent, it makes me cringe. Like full blown anxiety. My experience has not been that at all. Do you like the two tails? Super pretty 😉

If you’re in a situation like mine and are looking into removal options, checkout my post called 3 Ways to Remove Microblading.  I’ve shared the entire experience and what worked best.

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

Here is seven laser tattoo removal sessions + three microneedling sessions laster…

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I'm Removing It

You can see my natural brow is mostly intact, thank goodness, even after shaving it off for a whole year.

Ugh, saying that out loud makes me think WHAT WAS I THINKING! But it’s ALLLMOST GONE– I’m so excited. It’s literally been a nightmare to remove. Gateway Laser said they think the pigment was scarred into my skin. I’m honestly not sure if it’ll ever come out? I desperately need to get my brows done, I need to do something with them. And every time I see my sister I want to cut her hahaha she had her brows done from Enhance Artistry the same time I started my removal process in Dec 2016. Over a year later, her brows look AMAZING. Literally nothing has changed. So natural and beautiful. I now understand why people travel out of their state to get their brows done!

It’s a HUGE commitment and nothing at all semi-permanent.

I’ll keep you updated on when and if I actually get them re-done. In the meantime, stay tuned for my brow routine, I’ll post in a couple weeks!

Love you babes! Have you had your brows microbladed? What was your experience like? Have you had a good experience with the color lasting?

Until next time babes,

Abby

Abby Smith

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28 thoughts on “How Microblading Changed My Eyebrows and Why I’m Removing It

  1. Abby,
    I cant thank you enough for being so brave and posting your microblading experience. I had the procedure two days ago and Im already planning on removing them. I’ve done nothing but cry and I feel like a freak. Im 59 years old and wanted to have my eyebrows filled in a little and ended up with a fake eybrow. on top of that, Im a blonde with Black looking eyebrows!! Im an emotional wreck and and cant leave the house. I cant believe i didnt do my research!!! I feel like a stupid idiot.
    I started researching microblading after it was too late and thats when i found your post. At least i have a small ray of hope it can be fixed. Thank you again for being so brave.
    B Denise Beck

  2. One thing I learned in the process and a bunch of research is that if there’s an initial mistake. Do NOT try to remove it right away. It actually can make it more permanent. WAIT until it’s scabbing on that spot and then pull the scabs out. Works much better. Wish I had done that instead of exfoliating on the tails right away. It just ground it into my skin and made it messy instead of a nice line. Don’t despair ladies if yours didn’t go amazing. We are harder on our own appearance and everyone else still thinks you look beautiful. B

  3. Hi I just want to say I am so glad you are going back to your original brows. I would never have told you at the time but I was aghast you were changing them. They are beautiful and unique and frame your eyes so perfectly. You look better with your personalized shape. (The one good gave you!). Also my microblading girl is great but she extended mine a little too far past their natural length. Definitely have a weird gray Shadow (they didn’t last because I immediately tried to remove them) and really wish they were not so long.

  4. Wow this really hit close to home. I also had a bad experience even with a well known highly respected artist. It threw me into a depression and 2 years later I still am self conscious. I used to never wear makeup but now I feel anxious without powder on my brows to cover the fading ink. My artist did all the measurements etc but bc one brow is naturally higher than the other she had to lift the other brow so ink is higher above the natural brow line. I think microblading can be great but as long as it’s done around the natural brow structure. I rather it look natural than be the “perfect” shape since it so quickly fades. Thank you for sharing. I’ve cried so many tears over my brows. It’s so embarrassing and isolating. I still hate what I see in the mirror and spent a lot of time hating myself for not being smart enough. Just curious do you think the microneedling helped?

  5. This was really helpful. I’ve had microblading before and related to a lot of this- in particular frustratingly fast-fading pigment. Honestly, I’m a bit shocked by the comments here. Why be so rude to someone sharing their experience to help other people? Throughout the post she’s clearly taking responsibility for the experience she had.

    It’s our job as clients to ask questions and be informed, but it’s the job of brow artist to be trustworthy and trained with the best possible techniques. Her brow artist recommended SHAVING OFF HER TAILS. I know very little about brows but that sounds absolutely insane to me. The blogger had perfectly intact and full brows to begin with, why would any serious artist actually recommend shaving off half the eyebrow knowing it would take so much maintenance and would not look as natural. I’m not saying it wasn’t the blogger’s responsibility to make the best decision for herself but I can see how she could make that decision with an enthusiastic brow artist– that you’re supposed to be able to trust– telling you that she will “transform your brows.” The artist likely wanted to immediate gratification of lifting the brow– makes for better/more dramatic before and after photos. This whole issue could have been avoided if the artist would have prioritized recommending a technique that would be best for her client instead of her own Instagram portfolio.

  6. I had mine done and touched up once. I’ve definitely experienced it to be semi-permanent and find the cost of maintenance just too high for the benefit.

  7. I think it’s great that you are sharing your experience. Most of us have no idea what to ask or what to look for. I’ve been following enhance artistry for a little while now so I know a little better but still. I think it’s dumb that you should take all the blame, the artist should claim some responsibility as well, after all she is supposed to be the expert that’s what you are paying for. People that are on here being negative are ridiculous, especially because they do it as a profession. Yes client approves but we trust your opinion as a professional, if articles about the negative sides of microblading come out don’t bash the author LEARN from it. Take it as an opportunity to learn what you DON’T want your clients to feel. Don’t let pride take over and blame the client or the author of the post.
    Personally I would have hoped the name of the artist would have been said, again responsibility for actions or lack of them should be taken. I think Abby is being too nice in this case and I know if I were in her shoes my post would not have been as kind.

  8. Abby, you are truly the best. I am so amazed by your kindness even when people aren’t so kind to you. 😘Thanks for sharing this honest review of your experiences. It helps so much when making decisions in an area that is still fairly new. I mean, my Gma had eyebrows tattooed on in the 80s but it was done by a tattoo artist and she had no hair on her brows anyway. We have come a long way from that. 😆🙈

  9. I’ve actaually been following this microblading story since she originally got it done. The original artist does amazing work and there was no reason for anyone to question her recommendations. I’m also in the beauty industry and even when my guests want a high maitnece look, I always break it down to them on how much work it will be for them to maintain that look time/ money wise. They don’t always understand the ups or downs to high maitnece looks it’s not their area of expertise, it’s ours ! That’s our job! The guest always deserve to know what they are getting into fully in a consultation. There’s no right or wrongs about this post and I know it’s helps a lot of people to know to ask more questions! Keep on keepin’ on abby -xoxo

  10. Hey y’all – let’s keep these comments constructive! I am in no way trying to put microblading on blast. If you read the article you’d know that and I fully intend on getting it done again. I just want people to see both sides of microblading because it’s important to understand what it is and what you’re getting yourself into. It’s important to ask the right questions and to choose the right artist because when you don’t… well, this post speaks for itself and your story doesn’t have to look like mine! I hope you get your brows done and have THE BEST experience because you were armed with all the info you could get your hands on.

    1. This is a result of our trade (I am a cosmetic tattoo artist. Liscensed and certified) not being regulated by state tattoo board. There is a ton of botched work because people are operating illegally and without a proper apprenticeship. It is very much permanent. I think there however is a huge responsibility on both clients behalf…to so proper research first like ask for liscensure and if the artist is insured. How long have they been microblading, etc. Microblading is a tattoo and that was never really clarified in this. It should be perfor.ed by a tattoo artist who specializes in this procedure. The healing process is very different than that of traditional body art tattoos. It is also the artists responsibility to make sure they are operating legally and with plenty of hands on model and latex experience before altering someones look forever. I hope this doesn’t deter women from getting the procedure from the real pros. I would like to add that this service is only a 5 year old service. there are no case studies older than that. It is still not mastered by many. However there is such a huge saturation currently everyone wanting to do it being promised lots of cash and notoriety. I hope things make a change

  11. Hey! Great article. My only question is…when she sat you up to view your stencil (after she drew your estimated brows on prior to beginning) did you not agree to the shape prior to her applying them with the hand tool or machine? I feel that this article is very skewed and very bias and I do not really see any accountability on behalf of yourself. All artists allow their client to approve of the pre-draw. No microblading takes place unless the client approves of the pre draw. As a beauty blogger you should know, you are right. Because you failed due diligence, you do not get to write an article blasting microblading. I hope that any and everyone that reads your article dismisses your verbiage immediately.

    1. Can I say I absolutely agree with you Kara! I mean we people have a mouth for a reason and one of them is to speak up when we can and are able to. I read this article and thought to myself “hm the artist is somewhat wrong but also she as the client is wrong as well, did she not ask questions? Did she not do her research? Did she not ask appropriately what is the beginning to end procedure? I blame her as a client entirely. She is one of those ladies that a lot of artist talk crap about because she didn’t do research and she most likely went somewhere cheap. And now she’s writing a while article about her “bad” experience when in reality she should write about her faults and what she should have done to not get what she got.

      1. I for SURE didn’t go somewhere cheap and I’m definitely not talking crap.
        I’m sharing my experience to educate other women to ask those questions I wish I had known to ask! If a post like this had existed 2+ years ago (or I had known of one to read) I would have read it and would have been so thankful for the information! Would I have still gotten it done? YES. But I would have kept a more natural shape and asked a few more questions so I could have been better prepared for what to expect. I love reviews like this because there are plenty of positive reviews for microblading. It’s helpful to see both sides of the coin with things like this! Sorry you saw my review as bashing microblading but I’ll accept the client blame because girl, I blame myself every day! This has nothing to do with me and everything to do with people understanding what can happen IF they don’t like their microblading.

      2. Omg! If you understand what you read, she does fault herself and is obviously telling her readers to absolutely do their research and ask and what kinds of questions to ask. She isn’t even blasting the artist in general. I keep reading comments on ladies that aren’t taking in the words. She faults her self and what she missed. We are all humans and make mistakes and I love the article because it does say a lot of good points and to learn from her mistakes. I also loved to hear this side of a story because all I hear are good things. I feel these are hidden until it happens to you. Great read, thanks for sharing Abby.

      3. Did you read the article all the way through though? She was positive towards her former artist and microblading and accepted the majority of the blame.

      4. I would hesitate to go to any artist who responded the way you did to Kara’s comment. Would you listen to me or my concerns? People are paying you hundreds of dollars for you to tattoo their face. You see her for a couple hours. She gets to live with what you did for a year or more. Clients deserve respect and kindness for allowing you the privilege of trying to help them achieve the look they are going for. You are in a position of power, you have the responsibility to make sure the client is well aware of what you are specifically getting them into. They need to hear it from you clearly.

    2. Not sure if you guys read the entire article but I blame myself completely. I didn’t do enough research and I didn’t know what questions to ask. She did stencil the shape on, although she didn’t map anything out, and immediately it felt heavy and dark but she claimed it was from the black pencil and that she knew faces better than anyone and worked with them all day. I assumed she knew better than I did about shapes and went ahead with her recommendation. I should have used that appointment as a consult and I didn’t and I blame myself 100% for that. I also said “I’m sharing this story with you because I want you to think twice about microblading and who you go to. I want you to be as educated as you possibly can be before getting it done” Not that I hate microblading…?! Or am bashing microbladers? I’ll be getting it done as soon as it’s off my face! Everyone is entitled to there opinion though and I’m happy to have yours here so people can consume as much info as they can. Mine is just one side of the story and I know my audience is smart enough to see that 🙂

    3. Why did you say it was a great article and you only had one question and then suddenly turn mean andand it was all bunk and everyone should dismiss her “verbiage” completely? Seems strange.

  12. I’m fixing to have my brows done, but I have no hair at all. So I’m wondering where or if you have written about the red flags and what to know about ,that you mentioned above. I want to know what to look out for and etc… I don’t want to look like a clown or something if I don’t know what to look out for before I choose a artist. I’d appreciate it if you could let me know. By the way, your brows did look beautiful before the tail started fading, I’ve tried to do some research on which artist I will choose, but its limited info. I can only go by pictures and them telling how they do the procedure , I would like to learn more before I do this, I don’t want to have a disaster happen. And I’m very sorry you had a bad experience, hopefully everything will be better for you soon.

    1. Yes they looked so good!!! Truly, I loved them. Well, at first it took me a second to get used to the shape haha but after the touch up I loved them!! It wasn’t until they started fading that things turned quickly. If you have no hair at all just make sure you’re mapped out and that they follow your bone structure. The post about what to look for will come out soon!

  13. Hi there, wow I’m really sorry this went so badly for you. I actually do microblading for a living myself. I have never shaved off the entire tail of someone’s eyebrow! That does not make sense long term. I always try to enhance the natural shape they have. I have to agree with the second artist that you saw. Its all about the pigment. She must have used some kind of cheap pigment with alot if iron in it for it to be so hard to remove. I personally use a very well made carbon based pigment. My clients need a touch up every 8months to a year but it fades very naturally and if they wanted to let it go for a while they could just let it fade away completely…the true meaning of “semi-permanent”. I just want people to understand that this is an art form and not everyone is an artist. It is ok to ask to see a portfolio of their work or how many clients they have had? Ask what brand of pigment they use, then Google the brand and see what kind of reviews it gets. I do believe that microblading is here to stay, but it will be a while until the cream rises to the top, if you know what I mean. Good luck out there. @brows_for_life_aspen

    1. I loved your comment, thank you!!! I hope this article didn’t come across as a bashing post, that’s not my intent at all as a few others have stated above. I fully plan to get my brows done again and this time, I know all the things to look for and ask!

  14. This is SO interesting!! I’ve been thinking about microblading for a few months and honestly haven’t heard anything but good from everyone. This has me completely second-guessing however. What a nightmare for you!!

    Laura
    Black Coffee Beautiful

    1. As a microblading artist I just tell everyone to do your research. Ask questions. Ask what the procedure is like? Do you have pictures? What the process from beginning to end. Do you shave off the brow(not suppose to btw) do you numb? Who trained you? How long have you been doing it? And last but not lease remember you get what you pay for. Microblading is expensive so if you’re paying less than $300 then they are most likely new to microblading and you are just a Guinea pig.

      1. Totally agree!! I have a post coming out soon that shares 10 things to know before getting microbladed and that includes all the things you listed!! I’m still a total advocate for microblading and can’t wait to get it redone the right way!

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