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February 17, 2017

Eyebrow Microblading Review

Undercover Beauty: one of our beauty experts undergoes her first Eyebrow Microblading appointment to help shape and fill in her brows!

When I was in second grade I stood in the entryway of my house and shaved my eyebrows off with a pink Bic razor. I can literally remember the entire process of carefully thinning and shaping my brows, just like my mom and sister (for some reason I thought that’s what razors were for, nbd) and eventually got to a point of no return…my brows just got thinner and further apart until eventually I just shaved them off entirely and put on a hat.

Props to my mom who somehow managed to not obnoxiously laugh (or cry) in my face when she saw what I’d done, and also to my second grade teacher who let me wear a hat for the next two weeks.

And that, my friends, is where my story with eyebrows begins. Over the past 31 years they’ve been shaved off, over-plucked, cursed at, tinted, subjected to $8 wax jobs and then, thank god, totally rehabbed. They’ve come a long way, and I love where they are at now thanks to my eyebrow coach, Buttercup Beauty, who has spent the past 6 months swatting my hands away from the tweezer and lovingly whipping my brows back into shape. The first time she tinted, shaped and filled my brows nearly brought me to tears. I really had no idea the magic that a true brow technician can work (this is the part where I tell you that if you’re still paying your hair stylist $8 to wax your brows you need to upgrade that routine, stat). Before Microblading

Here’s where I’m at currently with my brows. On the left are my brows totally bare. Mind you that they haven’t been touched by Kylene in a good six weeks, so normally I’d have them tinted and shaped and they’d look a little better naturally. On the right is my regular day-to-day look, with a bit of brow powder added to fill them in and enhance the shape.

When Kylene got certified in Microblading I knew I’d be enthusiastically trusting her with my face! I’m excited to see what a little microblading can do to further fill in some of the spots that we haven’t been able to fix through regrowing or tinting.  I have a small scar in my left brow where hair doesn’t grow and an unruly arch that never matches the other, and although my brows are pretty thick at the beginning, they get sparse on the ends. These are things that microblading can help correct. So, now that you know why I’m opting to try microblading, let me tell you more about what it is!

Microblading is, in essence, tattooed eyebrows. But girl, these aren’t your mama’s tattooed brows! Erase that visual from your mind. Microblading, when done by a properly trained technician, is really more of an art form, where they carefully sculpt your brows using tiny, microscopic strokes. The initial appointment takes 2-3 hours and cost can range from $400-$1500 depending on where you go and the level of expertise of your technician. Careful placement and shading yields a very natural 3D effect and after a healing period and a touch-up appointment you get to wake up every day with perfect brows.  Just look at some of these before and afters!

Microblading Before and Afters by Buttercup Beauty

So, today’s the day that I go in for my first appointment for Microblading. Afterwards there’ll be a 1-week healing period where I have to keep my brows moisturized and avoid sweating, swimming, washing them, etc. After that I’ll wait another 4-6 weeks and then pop back into Buttercup Beauty for a touch-up appointment.

Horrified? Interested? Just really curious to see how this all goes down? Pop over to my Instagram Story, where I’ll be posting throughout the day with live updates on the procedure as well as the recovering over the next week! Check back in about 6 weeks for my final before and after!


Hi, I’m back! I thought I’d update this post with some notes about the procedure at Buttercup Beauty as well as the video recap that I shared on my Instagram story. I’ll continue to update throughout the healing process and will be back mid-march with a final “after” photo and video.

The procedure was about 2 hours long—yours could be shorter since you might not be live sharing it with Instagram (we took a few breaks for photos and videos). The first hour is all measuring and marking. The second half is when the microblading actually takes place and it goes pretty quickly!

Admittedly the pain was more than I expected but the sensation was totally different than what I thought. It’s important to remember that although micorblading gets classified as “tattooing” the actual technique is pretty different. I don’t have any tattoos so its hard for me to give a total comparison, but I kind of expected the sensation to be kind of a vibrating need and perhaps some stinging or poking. With microblading they are using a blade, instead of a needle, and they are essentially scratching the skin, instead of poking. They hold the skin very taut and make very small scratching motions. The sound that comes along with it is pretty gross (sounds like ripping fabric or separating velcro) and the pain is like a 4 or 5 out of 10. Fortunately it’s pretty short bursts of pain and is definitely tolerable. I had several people point out that I didn’t take any video clips of the actual “blading”….and it was totally because I was trying to be all zen and not focus on the pain and I forgot about it. I will definitely get some action clips during the follow-up appointment and add them to the video below.

On the upside, the recovery has been way better than I expected. It’s different for everyone and I think easier on people who have dark hair/brows, but I’d say my brows look fine and totally presentable, which was a relief because I was prepared to spend the next week hiding at home. We biked to a brewery on Saturday and went to a birthday party on Sunday night and I didn’t feel like they looked weird or needed to be covered up. Over the weekend (days 1 and 2) they felt kind of like a sun burn (kind of hurt to furrow my brow etc) but today (day 3) there’s pretty much no pain. They darken slightly during the healing process, so the final look will be more subtle..I am so antsy for the follow-up appointment (March 17th) I can hardly contain myself!

I had my brows microbladed at Buttercup Beauty, which is just outside of Madison, WI. Her prices currently start at $450 which includes the first appointment and the initial follow-up appointment. Below is my video of my brows before the procedure with updates after day 1 and day 2. I’ll update this again to include more healing updates and a final update in Mid-March!

Ta-da! It has now been 2 months since the initial appointment, and two weeks since my follow-up appointment, so I have finished the microblading process with Buttercup Beauty and have healed from the touch-up appointment! I am absolutely LOVING the after!

Eyebrow Microblading before and after with Buttercup Beauty in Madison, WI | Beauty Bets

The follow-up appointment was just 90 minutes long, and was an opportunity for me to refine the shape and then go over the “hairs” again. The healing process was the same…they were slightly sore for 2-3 days and then lightly peeled and flaked. Once they were healed I was left with pretty low-maintenance brows! Day-to-day they look great as-is, but if I’m going out I’ll fill them in just slightly with a light powder or pencil. They microblading looks so natural that even I have a hard time telling what is actual brow hairs and what are the microblading strokes! So far the process is one that I really appreciate and found worth the time, money and recovery! Here’s an official before/after close-up of my brows.

Eyebrow Microblading before and after with Buttercup Beauty in Madison, WI | Beauty Bets

Eyebrow Microblading before and after with Buttercup Beauty in Madison, WI | Beauty Bets
  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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