10 Red Flags to Watch for Before Trying Microblading

Photo Credits: Getty Images | Model Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

It’s not exactly news that microblading is BIG. The “permanent-makeup-with-a-fine-tuned-twist” method uses 3-D hair strokes (yes, it’s technically a tattoo-meets-semipermanent-makeup) to create the look of fuller brows—but, as many experts warn, it’s not without it’s blunders. “The use of hand tools is the oldest form of tattooing that dates back thousands of years. In recent years, celebrities like Angelina Jolie brought similar style of tattooing (Sak Yant) back to the mainstream,” says Kerry Spindler, celebrity beauty expert at Sain Visage Med Spa & Beauty Bar, which has multiple locations in the Boston area. “Today’s micropigmentation tools have amazing and precise blade configurations that helped practioners rediscover great techniques like microblading, which are carried out by trained permanent makeup artists.” Spindler also stresses that this is “a skilled art form” and if you see any of these red flags, you may want to stay away.

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Cleanliness Is Key

“As a trained practitioner providing a safe and clean environment is a top priority and concern,” Spindler says. “Cleanliness is godliness when it comes down to opening ones skin. Having hospital-strength sterilization and an organized work area free of distractions provides for a safer work environment.”

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Training Is No Joke

Spindler says the education portion of becoming a trained practitioner is pretty serious. “Make sure the practitioner has in-depth training that consists of multiple days and the availability of ongoing ad support after class. Every client is different and continued support is instrumental.”

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Remember That It Is Semi-Invasive

Microblading is not just an art; it is a semi-invasive procedure that requires careful care and attention. Watching a YouTube video or online training does not make someone a trained professional.

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So Make Sure You See a License

Spindler stresses to make sure whenever you are going complies with town/city rules for semi-permanent makeup “Look for the licensing and make sure it’s posted.” You should also be sure the practitioner is insured for semi-permanent makeup. “Cosmetology/aesthetics insurance does NOT cover microblading,” Spindler says. “Microblading insurance is not provided without proof of training.

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Ask for Examples of Work

New York celebrity brow expert Elke Von Freudenberg says she’s actually seen an influx of women coming in in the past year who need help fixing “botched brows” from microblading. One big scam she’s certain is a problem? People using stock images of before-and-afters. “Make sure images are showing not only a close up of the eyebrow, but of the whole face. How does it look in proportion to the bone structure? The eyes and hair? If you're only seeing a tight close up of the brow, you're not really seeing the whole picture.”

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Avoid the Deep Discount

Like most things in life, deeply discounted prices are the biggest red flag. “The cost to get trained, to carry the correct insurance, the cost of quality inks and sterile implements make the procedure costly to perform if done correctly,” Spindler says. “If someone offers steep discounts, something has probably been skipped!

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Don’t Go Too Dark

Von Freudenberg stressed that you want to make sure that the brows look as natural as possible because brow trends do change. “Avoid going too dark, or too 'square' in the shape. Brows are not a square, but rather hairs that create the shape. The lines should be going in the same direction that the hair growth is going to keep a natural look.”

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Remember That It’s Still Pretty Permanent

“One to three years is too permanent if it's done badly, so there are still risks involved,” Von Freudenberg says. 

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…And the Color May Not Fade

Von Freudenberg has seen this one a bunch. “Note that the color may not fade as it's supposed to, and uneven eyebrows can still happen. And in that case, this is permanent. No amount of brow correction will be able to fix it. I see a lot of clients with bad microblading and sadly in those cases, I'm not able to fix it because it's not the brow hair that is wrong, but color on the skin that is too dark or in the wrong place and it cannot be hidden.”

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Still Not Sure? Schedule a Consultation

Spindler says this is standard: “Schedule a consultation ahead of time with the practioner to make certain it’s a good fit.”

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