Eyebrow ‘Embroidery’: Semi-Permanent Ink Gives Brows Fuller Look for Far Longer

PHOTO: A before and after photo shows the results of eyebrow microblading.PlayBrow Design International
WATCH Eyebrow 'Embroidery': All About the Semi-Permanent Makeup Tattoo

Eyebrow "embroidery" – or microblading – is a process of adding semi-permanent ink to the eyebrows using tiny incisions to mimic eyebrow hairs, giving brows a fuller appearance.

The technique is popular among some celebrities, including actress Bella Thorne, who documented her transformation on Snapchat this summer.

Julia Milin of Brow Design International says the process is in high demand.

“It's caught fire already but now it's really starting to get huge,” Milin said.

According to Milin, the process starts with sketching the brows with a pencil, then application of a topical numbing agent before beginning the microblading process, which involves making tiny scratches on the surface of the skin, then injecting a temporary dye that fades over time. The dye lasts between 1 and 3 years.

Piret Aava, a Manhattan aesthetician who calls herself the Eyebrow Doctor, has worked in the eyebrow business for almost 12 years.

She says that the beauty about eyebrow embroidery is that it doesn’t last forever.

“If you get tired of the shape and want to change it, you’re not stuck with it,” Aava said. “It looks a lot more natural and less scary than the old-school eyebrow tattoo.”

But doctors warn that if it isn’t done properly it could make brows look much worse.

“Anytime you create a break in the skin you take some risk. The obvious risks are things like infection and scarring,” Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist, told ABC News.

The procedure costs between $500 and $1,500. For some, like Paulina Baltazar, the cost is worth it.

Baltazar had the procedure done and said it came out “amazing,” adding: “My mornings are going to be a lot quicker so I’m happy about that.”

Extra Eyebrow Tips

For more affordable alternatives to microblading, Michelle Lee, the editor-in-chief of Allure, offered the following tips:

1. Never pluck grays. That can sabotage the shape of your brows. Instead, cover grays with tinted brow gel or get them professionally dyed.

2. Resist the urge to tweeze. Nine times out of ten, all you need to do is trim. Comb your brows straight up with a spooley brush, then lightly snip only the longest hairs with eyebrow scissors.

3. Add highlights. Brighten up your brows the same way you highlight your hair by taking a contrasting cream shadow (like a soft gold) and tracing it over the brow with a soft shadow brush. Always comb through with a clean spooley brush.

4. Fake a higher arch. If you highlight right above the arch (in addition to below), it gives the illusion of raised brows (think Karlie Kloss). Use a highlighter or cream eye shadow that's one shade lighter than your foundation to draw an arch directly above your arch. Blend with your finger until the product fades but doesn't disappear.

5. Blend with two shades: To make brows look longer, use a pencil or powder slightly lighter than your hair color on the inside corners and one the same color as your hair through the arch and end. Most brow powders come in duos -- one light shade, one dark -- for this reason.

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