Have you ever thought about getting your eyebrows tattooed? I never had either, but then a couple of unimaginable events occurred. I reached a “certain age” and the pandemic hit. This one-two punch left me dazed and altered my thinking.
First I must tell you, I went gray at an early age. It had never occurred to me that as I got older my once brown eyebrows would collude with the hair on my head, and go their own shade of silver. If that wasn’t enough, my eyebrow hair thinned, as if an evil genie plucked them randomly while I slept. And never from an area that needed plucking.
The combination of gray hair, slight brows, and pale skin started a constant battle with looking washed out. My facial features faded like the aging of an old photograph. This unwanted look made me do what others had done, I bought more and more product and spent hours penciling in my brows. I seemed to lack the skills necessary to create a proper eyebrow. I struggled with color and drawing a decent shape. I’d heard repeatedly that eyebrows were “sisters not twins” and it was obvious mine were adopted and feuding.
Add to this––the pandemic. If I wasn’t washed out before, now I was almost nonexistent. The mirrored vision of mask, eyeglasses and no eyebrows had me running for my laptop and got me to Googling.
While researching, Microblading came up first. The various sites talked about a fine tipped instrument that put pigment into the upper layers of skin. The tip was capable of creating individual hair strokes and the process was semi-permanent. I looked at hundreds of pictures and some of them caused a cold shudder to crawl up my back. The horrifying photos revealed eyebrows replaced by black caterpillars, not only large but dead. It wasn’t a look this bug loving gal was after.
While checking the Microblading sites, I also noticed that I couldn’t find pictures of women my age––early sixties. Didn’t older women get their eyebrows done? I had to keep digging because I wanted a softer look and I didn’t want to keep fussing with my brows.
My next search led to Powdered Brows. This was a more permanent process that could last 2 – 4 years, was recommended for “mature” skin, and gave a powdered makeup look. The cost might run $400.00 – $800.00. This procedure seemed more what I had in mind, even though I couldn’t find before and after photos of women my age.
Now to find a place that did powdered brows. I contacted a medical facility/salon I had gone to in the past because it was clean and professional. I was informed they did have a Permanent Makeup Artist at only one of their locations. The drive was a bit farther than I would have liked, but it was a reputable place and that was a priority. I scheduled a free consultation and once off the phone began to list questions I wanted answered at the first appointment. (It’s important to know that I’ve never had a tattoo, nor have I had my eyebrows waxed or threaded. I probably had more questions than some of you might.)
The medical facility was spa-like, clean and classy. The Permanent Makeup Artist I met had been doing eyebrows for 20 years. Hers looked lovely and what I was hoping for. She told me she had done them herself and that they were powdered. (Powdered brows, I discovered, weren’t just for older women.) The makeup artist was kind and patient, and calmly explained the entire procedure and answered all questions.
My biggest concern was the shape and color. I didn’t want to go too dark. She said she would start by penciling in my eyebrows and I had to approve the shape and look, prior to any pigment being applied. She stated that to shape my brows she might need to wax them, which I was fine with. I wasn’t worried about the pain as she said she used a numbing agent, and after childbirth, I figured I could handle a little tattooing.
I was glad to learn I would keep what brow hair I had left. I was also advised that after the initial tattooing, I would come back in four weeks to get a touch-up and to make sure the eyebrow color was to my liking.
I felt very comfortable with the knowledgeable Permanent Makeup Artist, so I booked an appointment. On the day I was scheduled, the two feelings that bubbled up were excitement and nerves.
After being greeted by the artist, I was ushered into her private room within the salon. While perched on her table, she worked on my eyebrows with a pencil I’d brought from home. It took some time to get the shape just right, and when pleased, I gave my approval. The actual powdering/tattooing procedure came next. I laid down on the cushioned table and she began to numb, draw, wipe, scratch and needle my brows. Even with the numbing agent, the process stung some but nothing I couldn’t handle.
The artist warned me again that my brows would be too dark the first week and to please not panic. She assured me they would flake and get lighter. Then she sat me up and faced me into the large mirror attached to the wall. Wow! To go from washed out to dark brows within an hour was startling. To quiet my rising anxiety, I reminded myself the color would lighten within a week. I found delight in knowing I would not be penciling in my brows and I did love their new shape. My eyebrows had finally become sisters, if not fraternal twins.
I was given supplies to apply to my brows for the first three days, Hydrocortisone Cream and Aquaphor Ointment. I was instructed to not get my eyebrows wet for the first week which made me ponder how I would wash my face and shower. You all know the answer . . . very carefully. The makeup artist did say if my eyebrows got wet to pat dry and not wipe. Before I left the salon with my new eyebrows, I scheduled a four week follow-up appointment.
Everything I had been told had come to pass. My eyebrows were sore and tender the first few days. They got itchy and flaked towards the end of the week. I resisted the urge to peel the flakes as I’d been cautioned this could remove some of the pigment. Over the course of a few weeks, my brows lightened up. There was absolutely no downtime while my eyebrows healed. When I returned for the follow-up appointment, I shared that I didn’t think the color was quite right and I needed more of a true brown. The artist agreed and she worked her magic once again. The new color made me happy as it reminded me of what they had looked like when young.
Having my eyebrows powdered was the best decision. It’s a treat not putting makeup on and plucking got easier because I now have a template to follow. I’m truly ecstatic over the results, especially when wearing my Covid mask. Powdered brows might be something to consider if your hair is sparse or gray. It’s amazing how a small procedure can bring about so much satisfaction and joy.
Copyright 2021 Erin G. Burrell