What’s the big deal with brows? That’s what I used to think, before I became the proud owner of "brows on fleek," aka. brows so flawless, you almost want to bow down before them.
I was never a brow-obsessed person, but as the beauty industry became more and more brow-centric (thank you Cara Delevingne), they just weren’t wow-ing anyone, least of all myself, and it was getting tiresome having to draw them in each morning.
That’s where microblading comes in. The semi-permanent eyebrow was actually invented around 25 years ago in Asia (you may have seen them on older ladies in various shades of blue, black, grey and sometimes, red), but the technique has thankfully come a long way since.
Now big in Hollywood and all across Europe, microblading looks much less stamped on and more like natural hair strokes, using special tools and a '3D eyebrow' technique.
In Hong Kong, microblading is available at a variety of beauty salons, but the treatment varies drastically in terms of price, technique and hygiene. We decided to give it a try at Careyou Beauty, an upscale semi-permanent makeup and microblading studio at The Landmark, Central, which is considered to be a pioneer in the industry:
The first step in every microblading journey is a consultation with your eyebrow artist. At Careyou Beauty, I met with the studio’s founder, Carey Cheung, to determine my ideal eyebrow shape and colour. Lying down in one of their spa-like treatment rooms, she used an eyebrow pencil to draw in my brows and showed me the results a few minutes later.
We worked on adjusting the length and thickness of each brow until I was absolutely comfortable with how they looked, and then Carey snapped some pictures for reference. With that, the consultation was finished, and I was ready to schedule my microblading appointment.
As one of the top spots for microblading in Hong Kong, Careyou Beauty’s waitlists can be a few months long for their top artists. I managed to book an appointment for several weeks later with one of their senior artists, Karmen, which was confirmed by WhatsApp several times before the actual date.
The procedure itself starts with the application of a numbing cream for about 30 minutes, after which the artist comes back to start the microblading. Using a special pen fitted with an angled tip of several smaller blades, she used a combination of 3D hair strokes and shading techniques to shape, fill in and add length to my natural brows.
I won’t lie—it was quite scary to hear the sound of the blades cutting across my brows, which sounded like a fork dragged along concrete. The numbing cream helped somewhat, but there were definitely moments when I could feel the blades go in deeper—and it hurt.
Photo: @careyoubeauty/Instagram (not the author)
According to Careyou Beauty, the procedure is meant to be painless but if you do feel anything, it wouldn’t be any more painful than a paper cut. But, we all know how painful paper cuts can be, so imagine getting several of them at the same time(!).
See also: 7 Expert Tips For Flawless Brows
The microblading finally came to an end about 30 to 40 minutes later, and the artist applied a final coat of ink to both brows to let the colour sink in. The last step is to wipe off the excess ink to reveal picture-perfect brows, so if you’re interested in seeing this, be sure to ask the artist to film it.
Right after the procedure, your brows will look a-ma-zing so be sure to take lots of pictures before they darken 40 to 90 percent over the next two days. I received ointment to apply for three days following the treatment, and strict instructions to avoid getting them wet at all costs. That meant no washing, rubbing, sauna, steam rooms, swimming, or any other kinds of sweaty exercise. After a week, you can go back to your normal activities, but the drier they’re kept, the longer they’ll last.
The healing process takes anywhere from seven to 14 days, and the colour will fully set in after a month. Don’t be surprised if the brows look lighter after two weeks, as the skin is still healing over and the ink will resurface after a month’s time.
After about six weeks, you can go back to Careyou Beauty for a touch-up to fill in any leftover gaps or to add more colour to your brows. The touch-up procedure is basically the same as the actual procedure, in terms of treatment booking, experience and follow-up, so be sure to factor in the same amount of healing time into your schedule (particularly when it comes to exercise).
So, is microblading in Hong Kong worth it? Given that it’s a relatively simple procedure that gives you perfectly shaped, natural-looking brows for up to two years, we'd say yes (even with the slight pain factor). Just be sure to go with a reputable salon who knows what they're doing.
Microblading at Careyou Beauty is priced at HK$12,000 by their founder Carey Cheung, or HK$5,000 by their senior artists. Hong Kong Tatler readers who are interested can use the code 'HKTatlerBrows' to get a 20 percent discount (this offer is valid until March 8, 2018).
Careyou Beauty, Shop 311A, 3/F Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 6083 7316, careyoubeauty.com
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