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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Eyebrow embroidery or microblading offers a longer-term option for full, thick brows

After years of using make-up to give her eyebrows the full look that is currently on-trend, we explore a longer-term option – microblading.
Patrica Kerr performs micropigmentation on a client. Microblading is a similar procedure, but instead of a machine, it uses tiny needles to make incisions and colour-in the eyebrows. Courtesy Lesprit Medical Clinic
Patrica Kerr performs micropigmentation on a client. Microblading is a similar procedure, but instead of a machine, it uses tiny needles to make incisions and colour-in the eyebrows. Courtesy Lesprit Medical Clinic

My eyebrows were in a dismal state: the result of teenage years spent over-plucking, and threading-­jobs gone wrong.

I was never too distraught about this – until full, thick brows started to become trendy. A constant stream of beauty bloggers flaunting their bold brows on social media brought my insecurities about my own brows to the surface.

Filling them in each day with pencils or shadows, and often a combination of both, was frustrating and tiresome. So when a friend suggested microblading or micropigmentation, I decided to give it a try.

“It’s literally life-changing – the best thing I ever did,” she told me.

From the moment I make my appointment at Lesprit Medical Clinic in Dubai, a week in advance, I have butterflies in my stomach. The day finally arrives and I make my way to the clinic, having avoided reading any reviews of the treatment or watching videos of the procedure for fear that they would scare me away.

When I arrive at the reception at Lesprit Medical Clinic, plenty of numbing cream is applied before I meet eyebrow specialist Patricia Kerr.

She examines my brows and recommends I undergo microblading rather than micropigmentation, because my hair is very fine and the former treatment will result in a more natural ­look.

Microblading involves adding pigment to the skin under your existing brows using “long lasting make-up”, which needs to be touched up every eight to 10 months.

While this was the best option for me, some might prefer micro­pigmentation, which gives a fuller, bolder result. It uses a machine connected to a digital pen, rather than a hand-held blade, and makes slightly thicker, deeper marks in the top layer of the skin.

Micropigmentation also requires fewer touch-ups and usually lasts longer – between one and three years. For those seeking a more heavy and dramatic brow, it is the preferred option. Those seeking a more natural effect are likely to favour microblading.

Kerr tells me microblading originated in Asia, where it was called “eyebrow embroidery”. This makes sense – it is a painstakingly intricate procedure, during which the technicians must make precise strokes with a steady hand, not unlike decorative stitching.

The tool used is a slanted blade with seven small needles. It is dipped into the pigment – Kerr uses ebony brown on me – then used to make small cuts in the skin at the eyebrow, following the lines of the hair, which are then filled in with the colour.

It is an uncomfortable process, but not unbearably painful – similar to threading, or laser hair removal. Though I am nervous about the pain before the procedure, I quickly realise it all sounds worse than it actually is.

Kerr is comforting and engaging, and keeps talking as she works. She tells me she has spent most of her life in Dubai, but trained in Germany. While she has been working with micro­pigmentation for years, she has recently started performing more microblading procedures, after finding a supplier of disposable tools – allowing for a different blade to be used for every client.

The process takes about an hour, and when she shows me the results in a mirror, I can’t help but beam – it’s exactly the bold-but-natural look I had been hoping for.

I expect the redness around the area to remain for the rest of the day, but after an hour or so, the skin around my eyebrows has returned to normal and I almost forget that a blade was slicing into my skin a short time earlier.

The only reminder is a slight stinging sensation when the skin stretches: while yawning, or rai­sing my eyebrows, but by the next morning that, too, is gone.

After three days, I notice that much of the pigment has faded, blending in with my natural brow strokes. Two weeks later, I go in for a touch-up, and Kerr goes over the strokes again. Again, after three to five days, the pigment fades, but only slightly, leaving me with a full set of great brows.

Only time will tell how well they last, but if the look truly lasts for about 10 months, this is a procedure I will be investing in regularly.

I’ve now packed my numerous eyebrow pencils away in a drawer – hopefully, I will not be needing them again anytime soon.

• Microblading and micropigmentation eyebrow treatments cost Dh3,200 at Lesprit Medical Clinic. The package includes a touch-up two to three weeks after the first session. Microblading lasts up to 10 months, while micropigmentation lasts about a year; results vary according to skin types. Lesprit Medical Clinic is on Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai. Call 04 338 8238

hlodi@thenational.ae