Microblading - The 6 Most Asked About Questions

Shannon Smyth

With age comes thinning brows, and I fully admit, I've considered microblading to help me tackle this issue.

Prior to its popularity making it more main stream, it was just know as semi-permanent makeup and was often found on the menu at your local spa or esthetician's salon. But we are all obsessed with our brows - having full, perfectly arched brows is the holy grail and this has prompted stand alone brow bars to pop up across the country. While so many people are intrigued to have it done, many don't actually understand what is involved or what microblading really is.

Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure (similar to tattooing) that uses a special tool to create hair-like strokes on the brow line that give the appearance of thicker, fuller brows. Kait Paige, microblading expert, at Boom Boom Brow Bar (30 Greenwich Avenue in NYC), outlines the 6 most asked about questions for us below:

Who should get microblading?

Those who want to redefine their eyebrows by filling in gaps, finessing the length, width, density and color, and it’s great for sculpting a beautiful arch.  It looks completely natural.

 What is microblading?

A temporary pencil is first used to map out the shape of each brow.  Then, a topical numbing cream is applied and a special microblading pen is used to draw on semi-permanent individual fine strokes of color on the skin that look like natural hair.

Does it hurt?

The pain can be similar to waxing, threading or plucking, but the numbing cream reduces discomfort.

How long does it take?

Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours for the first service, and a 1 hour 15 minute touchup is required after 6 weeks.

What is the maintenance?

The area must heal, peel and fade which takes up to 10 days; Do not touch the area, except to clean and dab with a damp cotton to prevent scabbing; Apply oil Vitamin E to area to promote healing and retain pigment; No makeup, tinting of lashes/brows, sun, soap, sauna, steam, Jacuzzi, swimming for 10 days; Once healed, wear sunblock to protect color; Do not use products that contain AHA’s, Vitamin A, Retinol, glycolic or lactic acids – pigment will fade.

How long does it last?

1 year - excessive sun exposure, exfoliants, oily skin and smoking tend to cause fadage earlier.

You can schedule an appointment with Kait @ 516-972-7406, follow her on Instagram @kaitpaigebeauty. The cost for microblading with Kait is $500 and includes one time touch up scheduled 6 weeks after initial service (for maximum results.) Have you had microblading done? What was your experience like? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Improve Your Brow Game with Chella

Shannon Smyth
Improve your brow game with @ChellaBeauty via @agirlsgottaspa My brows are sparse and basically non-existent in some spots. They also do this caterpillar ish from years of plucking the wrong way when I was younger. I've considered getting permanent makeup with a brow tattoo, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of needles (which is also the reason I don't think I'll be getting Botox any time soon.) So the next best thing, and really the only option for me, are brow pens, pencils, brow gel and highlighters. Chella recently sent me their Tantalizing Taupe Eyebrow Color Kit, and I was totally on board to give it a try and up my brow game. Improve your brow game with @ChellaBeauty via @agirlsgottaspa Chella's brow kit comes with a pencil sharpener that can sharpen both large and small pencils, Latte Highlighter Pencil, Tantalizing Taupe brow color pencil and brow defining gel. Taupe is a mid-range brown, not too dark and not light. I think it would be a great fit for most brunettes. The brow gel is clear and weightlessly thin. It's not clumpy at all and sometimes I really had to look at the applicator to ensure that there was gel on it. When you apply it, it's not sticky on your brows or even obvious, so your brows look natural. With the brow pencil I was able to fill in color to make my brows look a bit more lush. I also have a scar in one of my brows, and since scars don't grow hair, a brow pencil is the only way to cover it. (You can see it in the before - after picture below.) The Latte highlighter is flesh toned and gives my brows the look of being lifted, which also makes my eye area as a whole look lifted. The products didn't seem to wear off, but were easily removed with makeup remover. Before and after with @ChellaBeauty Tantalizing Taupe Eyebrow Kit via @agirlsgottaspa Click to read the review! Voila! Before and after. I really love the look of my brows from using this kit. It transforms my face. What do you think? Chella's Tantalizing Taupe Eyebrow Color Kit is available on their website and in any of their 4 brow bars in California. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Disclosure: press sample

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Best Tips for Tweezing

Shannon Smyth

Best Brow Tweezing Tips #beauty

The biggest mistake people make is tweezing too much. Avoid over plucking as it can take months for brows to grow back. Follow these tips from Malynda Vigliotti, aka Boom Boom, to get the perfect brows every time. Brows are sisters, not twins – they should be proportionate, but not identical. Tip: The space between brows should be equal to, or a little wider than eyes. Take a long eye shadow brush or pencil and hold it parallel to the side of the nose. Where the brush meets the brow is where brows should begin. To find the end, extend the brush diagonally from the nostril following the outside edge of the eye toward the brow. Where the inside edge of the brush hits is where it should end. If brows are too far apart, it can make the nose appear larger – yikes! (See the step by step brow guide with pictures.) Arch Madness. The best brows have a slight arch. To find, hold a brush parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of the eye (the iris). Where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of the arch should be. Brush brows up – it gives a clearer picture of the situation and lifts everything. Leave no stragglers behind! Read: 3 Brow Essentials Sterilize with a clean surface, use an antiseptic wipe and a pair of clean sharp Tweezerman tweezers with a slanted tip (they will last a lifetime because you can mail them in to the company to be sharpened). When tweezing, hold the slanted part of the tweezer as close to the skin as possible, hold skin taught and pull in the direction the hair grows. This will reduce irritation and pain. Map it out! Use a white eyeliner or Boom Boom's Push Up Brow and draw a line on to follow. Remember the 4 basics:
  • Do not make them too far apart in the center (brows should start at the inside corner of the eye)
  • Identify where the arch is and make sure not to over tweeze on the brow bone (it should be a straight line)
  • Do not make them too short – longer brows are better than short; take it easy, better safe than sorry.
  • Begin tweezing anything below the line - remove the liner and there should be a clean brow that is not over-tweezed.
Sanitize by applying Bacitracin ointment – hair follicles are yanked out at the root leaving an open area susceptible to bacteria and infection, ointment seals the area with an antibiotic to sooth and reduce bumps. If you found these beauty tips helpful, please be sure to Like it, Pin it and Share with friends! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

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3 Simple Steps to Finding Your Brow's Arch

Shannon Smyth
Need some help in finding the perfect arch in your brows? It's not complicated and brow guru, Malynda Vigliotti aka Boom Boom, breaks it down for us in 3 simple to follow steps. What you'll need: Mirror Makeup brush or pencil The space between brows should be equal to or a little wider than eyes. Use a makeup brush or pencil to assess. 1. Start: Hold the brush parallel to the side of the nose, where the brush meets the brow is where the brow should begin.

Define your brow arch, here's how! #beauty #brows

2. Arch: Hold the brush parallel to the outside edge of the colored part of the eye (the iris), where the brush meets the brow is where the highest part of the arch should be.

Find your arch. 3 simple steps. #beauty #brows

3. End: Extend the brush diagonally from the nostril, following the outside edge of the eye toward the brow. Where the inside edge of the brush hits is where the brow should end.

3 Simple Steps to find your brow arch #brows #beauty

If you found this how-to simple, please be sure to Like it, Pin it and Share with friends!

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

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3 Brow Essentials

Shannon Smyth

Brow Obsession: 3 Brow Essentials

Your brows are an essential part to framing your face. Having the right tools is a necessity.

There are plenty of products out there - from brow gels to brow tints, to brow pens and brow markers and so on. What I've noticed lately is that there have been three brow products that I always seem to reach for.

NARS Brow Perfector ($22): This brow pencil has a velvety feel as you fill in where hair is sparse and shape where necessary. It blends perfectly, not making my brows too dark (I used Brown) and filling them out without looking "sharp" in their appearance. This pencil doesn't budge once blended in.

Boom Boom Push-Up Brow Highlighting Pencil ($18): Created by Malynda Vigliotti (aka Boom Boom), brow extraordinaire, this double sided brow highlighter is a hands down, must-have. Apply the matte side of the pencil along the brow bone, use it on the inside of the lower lid and then apply the Sparkle side to the inner corner of the eye. These three little tricks will make your eyes appear wider and uplifted.

The Sonia Kashuk Essentials Brush Set for Meaningful Beauty (Free with Meaningful Beauty purchase):  The Lash Brow Groomer brush in this Meaningful Beauty collaboration set, is one I cannot put down when it comes to my brows (the Foundation Brush is pretty fabulous, too.) I use the bristle side to blend the Boom Boom highlighting pencil into my brown line, while also using the bristles to blend the Nars Brow Perfector while shaping my brows. The comb side is pretty handy when trimming your brows back into a uniform length (there are always those random stragglers that seem to want to grow longer than others!)

Do you use any of the products mentioned? What are your brow essentials?

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+

*Disclosure

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Brow Q&A with Christina Snead of blink in Minneapolis, MN

Gail Lewis
It seems like thicker, fuller brows are suddenly EVERYWHERE…eyebrow implant procedures are becoming more popular by the minute, so for those of us who crave thicker, fuller brows but were not born with the brows of Arizona Muse and cannot afford eyebrow implants, I decided to ask Christina Snead of blink  in Minneapolis, MN for her recommendations on how to begin the process of growing our brows out.  blink is a brow beauty boutique in Minneapolis that specializes in waxing/threading, makeup application and facials.  Christina Snead Snead is one of the partners in beauty at Blink (the other is Brook, who is also amazing) and has been in the aesthetics for over 12 years and she is the only person I trust with my brows. Q: First of all, how does one even begin the process of growing their brows out?  A: When starting the process of growing out the brows... most people need to come back within 3-4 weeks.  Once the shape is where we want it, clients can stretch time between appointments to 4-8 weeks.  It all depends upon the amount of hair a person has, how much growth they get and if they want to do tweezer maintenance in between.  Patience is key.  It usually takes months to get the brow hair to fill in... even over a year for some people. Q: What should most people keep in mind when trying to grow their brows out? A: When growing out your brows... it's necessary to leave the brow alone and let the hair grow in.  This takes time. Self-discipline.  But has results!  It allows us to assess the situation and decide what's going to be the best for your features and face shape.  It's important to know how to maintain the brow while growing it out.  There is always one brow that is fuller than the other, and even slightly different in length or width.  One brow tends to grow faster than the other and fills in better...  it's common! Q: How do we fake fuller brows until they are grown out? A: In the meantime, we will teach you how to fill them in naturally during the re-shaping process.  A fuller brow is a more youthful brow, whether your 15 or 75!  Natural is good... because it's what you were born with... just "blink-enhanced".  The natural brow complements your features, doesn't compete. Q: What are some products you would recommend for creating a fuller brow? A: I love the ALIMA shadows to fill in the brows!  They have many different shades of browns which I think is essential when making the brow look natural.  Most of the time... makeup lines only carry a light, middle and dark brown.... but some people have more auburn, chocolate or espresso hues in their hair color so the ALIMA matches really well.  They also have an onyx that works well for black hair... it is a softer black which enhances the shape and doesn't make it too dramatic.  I use our blink angle brush to fill in... the right brush is essential.... too much fluff in the brush and you don't get definition that is needed.. too much stiffness and it ends up looking like a line.  Brushes are important especially around the eyes!  It's like painting your house.. you need to have the right brushes for the different areas! If you have any other questions about growing your brows out...or about brows in general, let us know and we will pass them on to Christina.  Christina is also available by appointments at blink in Minneapolis!

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Review: Blink For Beauty, Minneapolis MN

Gail Lewis
The importance of well groomed eyebrows should never be underestimated.  After all, eyebrows frame our face and also has the power to transform it.  Yet there are still many of us out there, who will invest in facials and top of the line skincare and makeup, but then kind of forget about the brows...or worse yet go to an inexperienced aesthetician and get our brows completely hacked in five minutes after we have spent the last three months growing them in...ok I digress. I was given a referral (from a pretty reputable source) of a place to get my brows done before a photoshoot and ended up having a good amount of my eyebrows waxed off in a few minutes and left with horribly thin and dramatically arched brows that I have to constantly fill in (which for someone who likes to spend 5 minutes or less on her daily makeup routine, is very annoying.)  Plus I cringed every time I looked in the mirror because I looked like I was constantly surprised or tired and older...sometimes all three at the same time.  Being that I had just moved to South Beach and knew absolutely no one, I had no idea of where I should go to get them fixed, if that was even possible nor would I have trusted another "referral."  My only option was to continue filling them in and hope that since I was in the Sunshine State my eyebrows would grow in faster...because everything grows faster in the sunlight...right?

My brows did start growing in...to their natural shape and not the hyper arched scrawny line that was waxed on to my face.  While I was ecstatic (and still continue to be) about my brows growing in, they now looked a hot mess.  I needed a major brow overhaul.  Lucky for me a trip to my hometown of Minneapolis, MN for my friend's wedding was in my near future so instead of taking my chances on an unknown salon/spa and have my brows defiled, I decided to wait until I was in Minneapolis to go to the only person who understood my brows and their needs (she was actually the first person to clean and shape my brows to perfection) and immediately after booking my Flight to MN, I booked at appointment at Blink For Beauty to see THE brow guru herself, Christina Snead. Christina has been in the aesthetics and fashion industry for 12 years and is an absolute expert, you only have to glance at her brows to know that you will be in the best of hands. The first time I saw Christina was after a makeup artist shaved off most of my eyebrows and filled them in with brow powder to hide the deed (imagine my surprise after I got home and washed my face!)  I don't know how she did it, but Christina saved me from looking like something out of Star Trek and I've never looked back since.  I was hoping that she would again be able to work whatever magic it is she does and save my brows for the second time. The next morning after my flight to Minneapolis, I woke up and headed straight to Blink For Beauty (I would have gone right after my flight landed but the studio is not open at 11pm).  Upon walking through the door I immediately felt reassured and relaxed.  The space is absolutely breathtaking. It is modern and sleek yet very relaxing, warm and welcoming...much like Christina herself.  It's always a great idea to get there a bit early to browse the great selection of jewelry, dresses and beauty products that Blink For Beauty carries, I especially love the wrap bracelets and products from Coola. I didn't even need to explain the torture that my brows underwent in Miami; Christina pointed out where too much had been waxed off  and explained to me what she would be doing to clean them up as well as to make sure they would grow back into their natural shape.  In twenty minutes my brows were transformed...as well as my entire face.  No longer did I look like an surprised, angry, tired Klingon, but my face somehow looked cleaner and more refreshed.  I swear her chair has magical powers because although she is removing hair from your face, she manages to make the process absolutely relaxing and painless.  I always get a bit sad when the service is over because I absolutely love being in the Blink For Beauty studio surrounded by calming music, relaxing scents, the nicest aestheticians I have ever met and the pretty great, but hard to find beauty products.  When I did manage to tear myself away from Blink For Beauty, I of course, had to leave with a bracelet... In four weeks, when my brows are again ready for a tune up, my plan is to fly to Minneapolis and once again head straightaway to  Blink For Beauty.  I am convinced that paying for a plane ticket is a much better choice than walking around and having people speak some weird language to me because they honestly think I might be a Klingnon (thanks to my brows) and to be honest Blink For Beauty is definitely worth the plane ticket, after all they have transformed hair removal into an art form.  Now, if only I can convince founders Christina and Brook to start traveling and teaching their "art of hair removal" secrets to the rest of the nation...first stop of course would be Miami.

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