A few short years ago, eyebrow tattoos were what you wished on your enemies, and what you laughed at in various hilarious internet memes. Today, eyebrow tattooing is getting a whole new lease of life – and a new name: microblading.
As the name implies, it involves a teeny tiny blade, used to place pigment – ink – just underneath the top layer of your skin. Unlike traditional tattooing, because the ink sits just underneath the top layer of skin, the result is semi-permanent; as your skin renews itself, the ink will eventually fade out completely, between 12 and 18 months after you first undergo the procedure.
But, er, why would you bother?
Aisling Powell of Empower Studio is just one of the Dublin make-up artists who's qualified in the art of microblading; she works with PhiBrows, essentially just one of the brands that provides training in microblading. (Consider it the brow equivalent of Wella.)
According to Aisling, microblading isn't just about that quest for Cara Delevingne brows – and she doesn't just see women who hate their eyebrows. Or, rather, she does – but often with good reason.
"Microblading is great for people with sparse hairs, or a bad shape naturally – or perhaps from years of overplucking," she says. "But it's also great for clients who have no eyebrow hairs – maybe someone who suffers from alopecia or lost their hair due to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It essentially creates new, beautiful, and really natural-looking brows."
It's also on offer at The Dublin Makeup Academy, where, according to Independent.ie columnist Vicki Notaro, the €495 treatment "hurt like hell", but "the treatment has changed [her] life."
It's been described as feeling a little like tiny nicks on the surface of your skin; after the first few cuts, a numbing cream will be applied, after which, zero pain. The area takes three to four weeks to heal, and then you'll go back in for your top-up treatment.
Aisling Powell charges €480 (with a special offer in August at €299) – but if you're someone who invests in HD Brows every six weeks, at €40 a go, over 18 months you'll save at least €400.
Plus, you'll get the most symmetrical brows of your life, says Aisling, which, in turn, will make you super sexy: "Basically, humans are attracted to symmetry. You often find with people you view as being super attractive, they'll have almost perfect symmetry. By creating perfectly symmetrical brows, we're making ourselves more attractive."