I have wanted to do something about the shape and thickness of my eyebrows for such a long time now but hadn’t really looked into the procedures available until these last few years. When I was at school in the late 90’s it was fashionable to pluck your eyebrows into a very thin and somewhat wonky line leaving only the bottom of the brow to cling to the edge of your eye socket for dear life, because obviously the plucked chicken and puffy eyelid look was fashionable back then; as was double denim and slicking your hair so tight into a bun it looked as though you’d had a facelift at fifteen. Oh dear.
And I fully confess, my eyebrows went from bushy caterpillars to a single line of hair overnight all in the name of fashion. I lost shape, I lost fullness and I lost length. My eyebrows no longer start and finish from one side of my eyelid to the other, but trail off two thirds of the way to the side of my face, and in places they overgrew and others they never came back at all. I therefore use a brown eyebrow pencil everyday to add shape and fullness to my eyebrows and have done so for around eleven years now, and I’ve never left the house without it. The problem with using an eyebrow pencil is when you sweat it can run, if you absentmindedly rub the back of your hand across your brow it drags a lovely brown colour across your face with it, and if you wear it to bed you could be forgiven for thinking a small dog with an itchy bum had relieved itself on your pillowcase by the morning.
I basically want my eyebrows to balance out a little more, to start and end at a similar point above each eye, although I realise that eyebrows can never be identical – they are sisters not twins! I would like them to have a smooth and natural shape so that I don’t need to overgrow them in order to make them look thicker as this makes them look a bit wild and rough, and I’d also like to fill in the gaps where there isn’t so much hair which is mostly towards the inner corners of my eyes. I know it may not seem like my eyebrows are naturally that bad, but they never look even and I’m forever retouching them and it would be so much easier if I didn’t have to worry about the wind blowing them out of line or smudging them when I work out.
So now that I have had my children and am a worn out and washed up mummy, I feel it is long overdue that I now have a little me time again so that I can take pride in my appearance once more and perhaps correct some of the everyday little beauty issues that I face. My love/hate relationship with my eyebrow pencil is definitely overdue a review and it’s been a long time coming!
My current routine with my eyebrows is pretty low maintenance, I generally just pluck my eyebrows when I get a stray or stubble coming through and threatening to serve me with a monobrow. I have had my brows threaded every now and then in order to give them shape, but as they’re not very thick I still have to fill them in with a brow pencil on top. I try to avoid the thick marker pen/HD look of eyebrows in general and I’m no longer one to follow fashionable facial features, which is why I’m a reluctant user of the eyebrow pencil because the block/coloured in look isn’t to my taste and I try to make my brows look as natural as possible. I’ve also never tried to change the colour of my brows despite whatever colour my hair is, so I’ve never had them tinted or used different coloured pencils.
So what I’m looking for is a natural hair-stroke effect semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing in order to fill in the gaps within my brows, add a little shape to them and a slight bit of length so that my eyebrows extend to the outside of my lid once more and don’t look like scrawny chopped off worms.
I’ve been doing my research for some time now and have discovered through reading various clinical information that even though the procedure involves having a tattoo – for which I have a few on my body that will last a lifetime – on the face the results only last a couple of years before they need to be topped up as it is a semi-permanent tattoo which means the ink doesn’t go as deep down into the skin and therefore disappears quicker. This made me wonder if a regular tattooist would or already does tattoo eyebrows but after further research it appears that regular tattoos go deep into the skin so that they last, and as the years pass the skin is shed and new layers come through which means the original sharpness, colour and definition of tattoo will eventually blur out, fade and discolour the deeper down that the ink goes. So a pretty angel tattoo on a ladies wrist today will look like a sloppy gargoyle in x-amount of years. Which is why if you were to traditionally tattoo your eyebrows today, by the time you’re in your later years with white hair and a pale complexion you will have these dark blue blown out blobs for eyebrows; how attractive!
So I have booked my consultation with the Whitethorn Fields MediClinic in Buckinghamshire to have their £300.00 Semi-Permanent Make Up on my eyebrows. From speaking to the helpful staff on the telephone I was advised the free consultation will last half an hour and I can expect to discuss the best shape and thickness for my face and what I would be happy for them to look like.
As I have already decided to have this procedure done at the Whitethorn Fields MediClinic I have also booked in for the one-hour procedure to take place on 20th February as their schedule was fully booked before this date and they have a fantastic reputation.
I will therefore be charting my progress of having my eyebrows tattoo’d here in this blog. I will cover in detail my consultation, procedure, aftercare and healing and show pictures throughout the next few weeks following treatment. I hope that this will help others who may be thinking of having their eyebrows treated and in some way shed some light into having procedures done professionally and properly without risking your health and appearance over cutting corners with cheaper alternatives or visiting a regular tattooist to have semi-permanent make up applied.
So check back and I’ll let you know how I’m getting on! Happy browing!
I’ve just had my consultation with Caron Vetter this morning at the Whitethron Fields MediClinic, and here is her write-up from their website:
Caron Vetter MBA Bt & C
‘Caron is a Director of Whitethorn Fields MediClinic. Caron is one of the leaders in medical micropigmentation in the UK. She is professionally trained and has more than 20 years experience carrying out procedures in support of surgeons, both private and within the NHS. Having successfully completed Paramedical Tattoo training in the USA, Caron became one of the first specialists in the UK to provide areola restoration to patients undergoing breast reconstruction following breast cancer. This practice Caron has extended to include the creation of permanent eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner.’
Immediately Caron put me at ease as she is a very warm and welcoming professional. After filling out my details at the Clinic reception I was led to a bright and clean treatment room and Caron asked me to lay on a bed so that she could examine my eyebrows. She identified that one was shorter in length than the other, that they both start from different places in the middle and that they are not the same height. She used a tool to measure the length and height of my brows in order to distinguish how the shape and thickness could be successfully corrected and restored, and advised that the procedure would be complete after just two treatments.
My first treatment is in four days time where the same colour as my natural brows will be tattoo’d in fine brush strokes into my existing eyebrows to give shape, definition and thickness. Caron advised that this colour can seem slightly dark at first but will soon lighten as the brows scab and heal. At the second treatment a few weeks later, a slightly lighter colour can be added to complete the natural look or the same colour repeated; this way the effects will last longer and only need a single top-up treatment after eighteen months or so to keep them maintained.
I am beyond excited right now to have my first treatment next week, it will make such a difference simply for not having to fight my eyebrow pencil every morning as I try to balance the shape of my poor over-plucked and threaded brows. To know that I will have the perfect brows that shape my face and look amazing whatever the weather is just the best feeling, I can’t stop smiling. I’m literally counting down the minutes right now until it’s done and will be filming the treatment so that you can follow my progress from start to finish and throughout the healing process. 🙂
The First Treatment
Wow! That is all I can say right now after having just had my treatment; I am both amazed and in love with my new eyebrows and I am so so happy that I had my first treatment today. It really has changed my appearance and balanced my face, my eyebrows seem so perfect and beautiful, I never thought it was possible to love a formation of hair before but now I do! If I knew that I could have achieved these results before then I would have had my eyebrows tattoo’d years ago.
I arrived for my appointment with Caron Vetter at 7pm this evening as the Clinic stays open until 9pm on a Tuesday night; which was perfect for me as I was able to put the children to bed and my father-in-law came to babysit for an hour and a half whilst I had my treatment. I have to admit, when I laid on the bed and heard the buzz of the needle start up I had butterflies in my stomach and I suddenly felt nervous. Despite having had two children, various tattoo’s and cosmetic surgery in the past I was apprehensive over having a needle inserted into my eyebrow as I am nearing Mother Nature’s monthly visit and have had a lot of spots appear in the last day around my forehead. Last night I tried to pop a spot by my eyebrow that was sore and still under the skin and it hurt like crazy and made my eyes water just squeezing it, so I wasn’t feeling very confident with the tenderness factor of a needle instead of a spot!
After having antiseptic and numbing solution applied to my brows Caron began to tattoo the hair strokes into my existing hair and I was shocked that it wasn’t so bad at all. It doesn’t hurt as much as a regular tattoo, which is possibly down to the size and depth of the needle being more shallow, and although it made my eyes water it was more of a niggling scratch than a spot-popping pain. After several minutes I could hardly feel a thing and felt so relaxed and calm laying on the bed that I almost fell asleep! The whole procedure from start to finish including discussion, measuring and marking the brow position, preparing the ink and needles, numbing the brows, tattooing and retouching both eyebrows and trimming and plucking the hair afterwards only took 90 minutes. Considering the skill and care taken in her work, the professionalism in the effect created and the way that it has completely transformed my appearance, the price tag of £300.00 is completely justified as I spend more on my car insurance that I never use or takeaways we order over a few months; but this is something that I will most definitely maintain for the rest of my life because of the immaculate outcome it has given.
I will need to return in four weeks time to have a second treatment to ensure that the pigment holds, and at this time I can decide on whether to have the same brown shade, lighter or darker flecks added and if I wish to change the shape slightly, make it more rounded or longer then this can also be done.
For now I have an aftercare sheet to follow as well as some vaseline to ensure that my eyebrows heal properly. As with any tattoo the skin will tighten and scab over during the next day or so and must be moisturised so that it doesn’t crack and pull out any pigment. So I will be lovingly taking care of my new beautiful brows in anticipation of my next appointment. They do not hurt at all, they’re not sore and they didn’t bleed like a normal tattoo would. I’m so happy about having had them done and love the look that Caron has created for me, no wonder she is regarded so highly for her treatments, she truly is a perfectionist.
UPDATE: 12/03/13 Second Treatment
Today I had my second and final application of pigment to my eyebrows as it is one month since my first treatment and the pigment had taken really well; so now the shape, thickness and darkness of my eyebrows could be adjusted accordingly depending on how I’d gotten on with them.
I absolutely adore my eyebrows and after first having them tattoo’d I was told that they would look quite dark until they healed, but after a week they looked so natural and light it was incredible. If you didn’t know I’d had them tattoo’d you’d easily think that I’d have them plucked, treaded and shaped everyday to keep them so pretty! It’s made a massive difference to my face already, everything looks so balanced and in line which in turn makes the rest of my makeup look better.
This time around I had my eyebrows waxed first underneath the brow and in the middle before having some soothing lotion applied. Both of my eyebrows were then tinted as my hair comes through quite blonde so it can distract from the colour that is being tattoo’d. Caron advised me that the tint will last for around eight weeks and can easily be topped up at little cost should I want to. It only took a couple of minutes per brow to apply the tint paste with a small brush and then leave it to work in, before the remainder was wiped away.
I was then asked if I was happy with the shape, if I wanted rounded edges or square and if I wanted to go darker or lighter with the second pigment. I decided upon squared off edges as my eyebrows are a modest size, but had they been bigger I would have had them rounded off. I also wanted to go one shade darker as I like to wear black liquid eyeliner and didn’t want it to contrast with the lightness of my brows too dramatically. So one step darker was a good medium for me and the anaesthetic was applied a few minutes before the tattoo’ing began.
The tattoo itself doesn’t hurt as such, and I wouldn’t exactly call it painful so much as irritating. It isn’t like taking blood or having an injection when you’re afraid of needles, it’s more of a surface scratch that feels better and better the more times that you go over it; and within several minutes I hardly felt a thing because of the anaesthetic. It was a shorter procedure this time around as the planning and measuring had all been taken care of at my last appointment so all I had to do was lay back, close my eyes and listen to the soothing music and it was blissful.
My eyebrows will now take around ten days to scab over and heal. I have to keep them dry for forty-eight hours before I can begin applying vaseline to help them to heal. And then that’s it! My eyebrows will remain immaculate for the next eighteen to twenty-four months when I can then decide to have a quick pigment top up if I wish. I can’t believe how simple the whole process has been and the fantastic affect it has had on my appearance and confidence. Caron Vetter, I salute you!
UPDATE: 18/03/13 After Healing
Almost a week after my second treatment my eyebrows have scabbed and shed to reveal a perfectly natural and full bodied set of brows which I absolutely adore!
The entire process took five weeks from start to finish with a four week healing process between the first and second treatment allowing the pigment to take, and a fifth week for the second treatment to heal. I no longer have to suffer from wonky, patchy eyebrows. My eyebrow pencil has been redundant for almost two months now and I no longer worry about smudging them, going out in the rain and sweating when working out.
The simple cosmetic procedure of eyebrow tattooing has made such a dramatic impact on my daily life already, I wish I’d done it sooner!
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