It's a beauty woe that's all too familiar. It started in middle school, when I couldn't stand to look at the tiny feather boas sprouting above my eyes. Gwen Stefani was rocking pink parentheses, and I looked like Harrison Ford. I had to tweeze them. Because, you know, when you're in middle school you make responsible and wise decisions. Little did I know that tweezing was a gateway to overtweezing. I ended up looking like Clara Bow when all I wanted was a clean Audrey Hepburn.
Eventually I stared at my superskinny arches and realized that (believe me, I tried) there was little waxing or threading could do to help my already barely-there brows. I watched YouTube videos of women filling in theirs like they'd been doing it since the dawn of man. But I wasn't exactly a makeup connoisseur. Probably more like a festival face-painter . . .
But I turned to makeup nonetheless — pencils for sketching my misaligned arches, powders for filling in those sexy bald spots, gels to keep unruly hairs in line, and waxes for building up color. Do you know how much time that takes? If I'm being honest, it takes up most of my morning routine. I could shave my entire body faster than it takes to create one perfectly arched brow.
After all that time each morning, I still found myself catching reflections of them in the rearview mirror. I looked like I'd passed out at a party too early and got attacked by a Sharpie. I had to switch up my morning eyebrow-creating routine. "Eyebrows" and "trial and error" are now so synonymous to me that I fear the bad brow days and cherish the good like loved ones.
While, naturally, perusing #eyebrowsonfleek on Instagram, I discovered microblading. The clouds opened above me, and light poured down on my thirsty arches. My brow-brush-wielding hands prayed for a paid vacation. So I decided to look into the technique.
This alternative tattooing method produces semipermanent results. However, unlike the block-like and harsh traditional eyebrow tats, microblading creates subtle, natural-looking brows by mimicking the strokes of eyebrow hairs.
Microblading requires a manual tool featuring several tiny needles in a row to deposit dye into the dermal second layer of the skin. The pen-like device yields amazingly natural-looking arches because the needles etch hyperprecise strokes that actually look like your brow hairs. Or, in my case, my would-be hairs.
Needless to say, I was intrigued, so when I got the opportunity to visit brow specialist Piret Aava for microblading, I decided to take the plunge and get my eyebrows tattooed. What? Tiny tattoos are in style. It's 2016. And I needed some fly eyebrows, stat.