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Officially, it’s called microblading — an accurate name. The process involves the tiniest blade in order to achieve the realistic look of thicker brows. But tiny doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt AF. Thankfully Emma, the aesthetician at Tips Nail Bar (yes, a nail salon offers this service), had been experimenting with different numbing creams before I booked my first appointment. I’ve heard from others that the experience is excruciating. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t torturous.

Why put myself through it at all? Most people would agree that I had pretty great brows to begin with — fleeky, some would say. First, the opportunity presented itself. As a blogger, I’m lucky enough to try things out in order to share my experience. Second, like getting eyelash extensions, I really just wanted to cut down my daily beauty routine. What is worth it? YES.

Pain during and the intense itching that came with the two week healing process aside, getting my eyebrows microbladed has only been a boon. One thing I didn’t expect was the shaping Emma would do. She essentially elevated my existing brows in more ways than one. I also don’t have to think about them. I can even still fill them in a bit if I decide I want a slightly more dramatic “Instagram” brow.

What can you expect?

1. It’s a two-step process. The price accounts for the initial microblading and a touch-up. It’s a brilliant process since the aesthetician will likely go on the safe side first and then adjust the look (shape, color, strokes) depending on how it healed the first time.

2. The healing process sucks worse than the procedure — that is if you have the numbing cream Emma used. The summer humidity didn’t help. Although I wasn’t supposed to get my brows wet for two weeks, I couldn’t help but sweat. Tip? Get them done in cooler weather — that way you might be able to sneak in a workout here and there as well.

3. Don’t pick the scabs. You have to let them peel away on their own to ensure the ink truly settles into the skin. This was the hardest because as they peeled away, my brows became itchier. And it just looked downright gross.

4. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind in regards to what you want and expect. Learn more about what products they’re using (for me, the numbing cream Emma used was a huge plus). This ensures you know exactly what you’re getting into. After all, the tattoos might be temporary — but they still last 1-3 years depending on the color, care and, of course, how your skin takes it.

5. But lastly, trust your aesthetician. When Emma created the outline of my “new” brow, I was nervous. It looked as though they would be too big and dramatic. Yet they were there as more guidelines than an outline.

I genuinely love my new brows. They are definitely a luxury for me, but a luxury worth having. But minor cosmetics aside, microblading can transform the confidence of so many, especially those suffering from hair loss for a number of different reasons. It’s a service that caters to a slew of needs and wants.