I realise now I was naive in choosing to have microblading
A Liverpool sales executive has warned of the dangers of microblading after she was left with eyebrows which, she says, “looked like they’d been drawn on by a child with a Sharpie!”
Chloe Jones says the treatment, which she paid more than £300 for, shattered her confidence and left her unable to leave the house without covering up her botched brows.
Microblading has become a huge trend in the past 18 months, with celebrities keen to gush over its brow filling effects.
But Chloe says her results, which she was initially happy with, began to go wrong within a week.
“I did some research into clinics and read reviews, and the before and after photos seemed to be exactly what I was looking for, but I don’t think I fully understood the difference between microblading and semi-permanent hair stroke tattooing.
“I know it sounds naïve, but I didn’t realise that microblading involves making a series of tiny cuts in the skin to allow the colour to seep in. I thought it would be done using a tattoo gun.
“The treatment took about 90 minutes and at first the hair strokes looked good, they were thin and I was happy with the shape. But when they scabbed over I panicked because they started to thicken, as if the ink was spreading and smudging, so they looked like pen lines.
“The clinic I went to in London told me they’d fade and the colour would change, and my original eyebrows were a light blonde so I hoped they’d improve. But actually, they faded to a horrible grey so it looked like I had a zebra crossing on my forehead!
“They were one block colour and as it merged the arch became really uneven so I hated them even more.”
Chloe says she chose microblading because she wanted to make her pale brows look more defined, but in a natural subtle way.
“I thought it would save time in the mornings because I wouldn’t have to pencil my eyebrows on, and I’d feel happy with no make-up,” she adds. “But I ended up with something that actually made me more self-conscious and I had to cover them up every day when I was going out to work, going out at night or even on holiday.”
Too scared to go back to the London clinic for a follow-up appointment, Chloe was convinced by a friend to find a solution closer to home. She persuaded her to see semi-permanent make-up expert Nicole Francis, owner of Lip Couture in Crosby, who managed to repair her brows.
Nicole, who has worked in the industry for almost nine years, says she’s seen a big increase recently in the number of clients coming in for microblading corrective work.
“When the Scousebrow went out of fashion, people wanted something more natural and softer and so that’s when semi-permanent hair stroke tattooing became popular,” she explains. “But a lot of women don’t realise that semi-permanent tattooing and microblading aren’t the same things and they don’t do the same job.
“Microblading is the best option if someone has a strong brow shape but they want something more permanent than henna or HD brows to fill them out a bit.
“But it’s when their whole brows aren’t full enough, or they want to have a more defined arch created, that they’re often unhappy with the results.
“Because the process stretches and cuts the skin, microblading an entire brow can blot and double in thickness leaving a smudged line, so if you’ve no natural brow hair to disguise that it can end up looking awful.
”When that happens we have to tattoo a solution in to lift out the old colour, shade the blotted parts with nude colouring to cover them and create a finer, more natural hair stroke tattoo using several different shades. But if the colour has gone deeper or too dark, then sometimes the only option will be to laser remove it.”
Nicole says another issue with microblading is that many technicians are training on the cheap so don’t have the expertise required to carry it out neatly or safely.
“You see one or two-day courses advertised for microblading, but there’s no way you can learn how to shape, match a colour or master all the other things required to create a natural-looking brow in that time.
“And it’s an invasive treatment, so it’s important to choose a reputable technician because without the right hygiene there’s a real risk of infection.
“I’ve trained in microblading so I’m not totally against it, but women do need to understand that you can’t build a hair stroke eyebrow with just paper cuts in the skin. If they just want a bit of added colour then it’s fine, but for most people wanting to go from thin to thick, it’s not the right choice.”
Chloe says finally having her brows corrected has ended “two years of hell.”
“It feels like a massive weight has been lifted off me,” she adds. “Nicole hasn’t just given me my eyebrows back, she’s given me my confidence again too.”