Frequently Asked Questions
What is Microblading?
Microblading, also known as Eyebrow Embroidery is a procedure categorized under permanent makeup, but unlike traditional cosmetic tattooing, it is less invasive and is considered semi-permanent. Microblading typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on skin type and skincare routine. The procedure is done by using a hand tool with ultra fine needles and each 'hair' is gently etched into the skin, giving an incredibly natural and realistic look. Microblading can dramatically correct or fully reconstruct lost eyebrow and is excellent for those wanting to enhance their brows or who have little to no eyebrows, thinning brows from age or over tweezed brows. Pigments used are chosen to match the natural or desired brow color and skin tone will also be taken into consideration.
How long does it take?
For the first Microblading session, the entire procedure should take about 2.5-3 hours. During this session, the brow technician will shape and style the client’s brows for client approval. We then follow with pigment color selection. Once the client is satisfied with the choices, we begin the procedure.
The client is to come in for a follow up visit in order to have any minor necessary touch ups. The second Microblading session takes place after 4-6 weeks after the initial session. This session will take approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete.
How long does it take to heal?
The eyebrow area will be slightly red after the procedure and color will appear very dark. This is normal for the procedure and part of the healing process. The color will fade by up to 40% as it heals. In the following days, the eyebrows will continue to be dark and you will notice slight scabbing. Do not pick at the scabs as this may damage the skin and the outcome of the microbladed area. The eyebrows will lighten up in color as it heals. No down time is required after microblading procedure. It takes approximately 7-14 days for the brows to heal over, and about 1 month for the color to fully set in. You'll notice the color is very light right after the two weeks after healing; the skin will have an opaque milky looking quality to it. This is known as the milk skin and is common in tattooing. This is due to the the tissue still healing from the inside out even though the surface of the skin is healed. True color will reveal itself once healed.
Is the touch up session necessary?
Yes! A touch up session after 4-6 weeks is necessary as everyone heals differently and outcome will vary. Certain areas may not pick up during first session and will need to be refilled. Pigment color may need to be adjusted, brow thickness and more strokes can be added. Individuals with oily skin often require a deeper shade during the touch up session as the oils tend to lighten the pigment. Most importantly, your touch up session is when we refine your brows to ensure it looks perfect and retains the color for the whole year!
Can I get my touch up session sooner than 4 weeks?
Touch up sessions should not be done earlier than 4 weeks after initial microblading session as pigment color has not fully settled into the skin. Most importantly, this is to prevent scar damage as the tissue requires time to completely heal.
Is it painful?
The pain level for the procedure is considered mild to none. Prior to the procedure your brow technician will apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area, and also reapplied during the procedure. Everyone responds differently to anesthetic; depending on the client, the feeling of the procedure has been described as light cat scratches to not feeling anything. Topical anesthetics used may contain lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, tetracaine and epinephrine.
After the procedure, redness and slight swelling in the area is normal. Clients describe the area feeling similar to a light sunburn. Clients can take Tylenol but not aspirin or ibuprofen.
How long does it last?
Since microblading pigments are not implanted into the skin as deep as traditional tattoos, the area will naturally fade overtime. Microblading typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on skin type (normal, oily, dry), age (youthful/mature). Skincare routine will also affect the lasting effect of the pigment: patients who tan, uses products with AHA or Glycolic Acid with fade faster as your skin will resurface faster. Each individual's color retention within the skin will vary. To maintain the brows looking fresh, a touch up is suggested every 12-18 months. Clients can let the microbladed area fade over time, but please note a slight shadow may remain.
What are the pre and post care procedures?
In order to achieve the best results, it is best to follow the pre and post care instructions.
Prior to your procedure, clients are advised of the following:
Avoid alcohol and aspirin/ibuprofen and any vitamins that may thin your blood for 72 hours.
Avoid tanning so we can assess your natural skin tone.
No face scrubs or chemical peels at least two weeks prior.
Feel free to come in with their brow makeup on so our technician can see your every day look you prefer. Reference pictures of shapes and colors of brows are always welcomed. We will then work together to create the perfect brows!
After your procedure, clients MUST follow these instructions:
Within 2 hours after the procedure, clean brows using a q-tip and lightly moisten with distilled or cooled downed boiling water. Gently wipe away the old healing balm and any lymphatic liquid (clear yellowish liquid) that may have built up. Lightly pat dry with tissue and using a new q-tip, re-apply healing balm to the brows.
Make sure to apply a light layer of healing balm morning and night to brows for at least 5-7 days.
Do not over apply healing balm.
Do not immerse brow area in water for 14 days. When showering, make sure to avoid face area. When cleaning or washing face, make sure to avoid brows and clean around it.
Do not put makeup on the brow area for a minimum of 10 days. Microbladed area is an open wound, using makeup may cause infections.
Avoid alcohol and aspirin/ibuprofen and any vitamins that may thin your blood for 24 hours.
Brow area will feel slightly itchy as it heals and will start to lightly scab over. Do not peel or pick at the scabs as this can affect the outcome and pigmentation.
Do not go swimming, tanning or into saunas for at least 14 days.
No face scrubs or chemical peels at least 2 weeks after.
Who is not suitable for the procedure?
Microblading is not suitable for the following candidates:
Have heart conditions or using heart medications
Have diabetes (will require a physician's note)
Have skin disease or irritations
Have had Botox in the last 2 weeks
Have gotten a deep tan or chemical peels in the last 2 weeks
Allergic to lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, tetracaine or epinephrine
Anyone who has any serious medical conditions may require a physician's note.
Pregnant or nursing clients who want to microblade can be done at your own discretion. We suggest discussing with your doctor first. Microblading is still considered a tattoo, and just like with wine or sushi consumption, it is a personal choice to do so during this period.
* We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who we deem not suitable for this procedure or for any other reason. Our brow technicians make the decision to microblade an individual based on their own discretion. *
Risks and complications?
We take all proper precautions for a safe session by using sterilized equipment, new needles and in a sanitized environment. Should clients follow our pre and post care instructions, there should be minimal risks or complications . Although allergic reactions to the pigments are rare, it could be possible for certain individuals. We suggest a pigment patch test for individuals who have high skin sensitivities or are sensitive to:
Topical makeup products
Gold, silver and nickel
Patch tests should be performed 5-7 days prior.
What if I do not like it?
As with all cosmetic procedures, individuals should not make their choices lightly. We always recommend clients do their research, understand the procedure and compare different artists' work and portfolio when making their decisions. Our brow technicians will do their utmost to shape and style the eyebrows to the clients satisfaction prior to the procedure. Every effort will be made to achieve an even appearance, but please realize our faces are never perfectly symmetrical. Uneven appearance can be fixed during the touch up session. Pigment discoloration and color correction can also be fixed during the the touch up session. Microbladed brows will eventually fade away if no additional touch ups are done.
What are your cancellation or missed appointment policies?
Clients are able to cancel or reschedule appointments at anytime with a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to the appointment time, otherwise a fee will be charged. To book a reservation, you must provide a valid credit card that is in your name. No charges will be made at time of booking. For a more detailed list of policies and associated fees, please click here. To cancel or reschedule, please email or call us. Clients can also do so by selecting the 'View Appointment Details' button on their confirmation email to reschedule themselves online. Confirmation of cancellation will be done by email or phone. We reserve the right to refuse service to clients who have cancellations or rescheduling of appointments 3 times in a row.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a procedure involve?
Your first step will be to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss your needs and the procedures which you are interested in. Maha uses gamma sterilized pigments made in the USA. It is extremely rare for anyone to have a reaction.
Maha will discuss the shape which would be most flattering for your face as well as the color which will harmonize with your skin’s undertones. Jamilla is an artist and is very skilled at blending pigment for a client’s skin tone. She will show you some before and after photographs to give you an idea of how the procedure can transform and give youth to your facial features.
On the day of the procedure, Maha will spend much time determining the shape before she begins and she adjusts as she works with the client to give you the perfect shape for your face.
Maha will usually schedule 2 to 3 visits to give you the perfect result. During the second or third visit the color can be adjusted, made warmer or cooler if skin chemistry demands it. Maha works conservatively, so she will increase the width of the brow or eyeliner as the sessions progress. This can give a client time to adjust to the look of having their facial features refreshed with color.
What will my new permanent cosmetics look like?
Initially, the pigment in the brows will look dark for several days. Once the skin begins to heal it will lighten and soften.
Eyeliner will initially look very dark even though you may select a light color. The color will start to lighten in several days. As your body goes through the healing process, for some clients tiny raised areas will form where the pigment was applied. This is what makes the pigment appear dark. As the layers of skin start to slough off, they cover the pigment so that it may appear that the color is faded or gone. After those layers completely slough off, the underlying pigment can be seen.
Will permanent cosmetics change or look bad as I age?
Permanent cosmetics will fade gradually over time, so there will not be an obvious change in your applications. The color will fade and when you return for a touch-up you can also change the color (within reason) as you age.
Maha never recommends “wide, winged eyeliners” because as the eye ages you could end up with what looks like a hook at the ends. Natural is always the best way to go! With permanent cosmetics the goal you want to achieve is to wake up looking refreshed, not like you are going out to a party. If your goal is a dramatic look, then Maha is not the practitioner for you.
Will permanent cosmetics be suitable for dark complexions?
Yes, permanent cosmetics can benefit any woman of any age or complexion. Darker skins are particularly good candidates for any procedure.
Can I keep my own brow hair?
Once you and Maha have decided on the best brow shape, any hair within that shape can stay and will only make the work look more natural. Any hair outside the shape can be waxed or tweezed just as you would normally do with your normal brow maintenance.
Are permanent cosmetics really permanent?
The cosmetics implantation technique deposits color pigment into the upper reticular layer of the skin and is considered permanent because it cannot be washed off. Unlike traditional tattoos performed on the body, permanent cosmetics professionals do not use traditional tattoo ink (dye). Permanent cosmetics pigment is more delicate and designed to work with the skin’s undertones and to mimic hair. Every person’s skin is different in regarding pigment retention. Factors which effect longevity of permanent cosmetics are: color selected, age, thickness of skin, scarring of skin, use of skin care products, injectables, laser treatments, medication and sun exposure. You will need periodic refreshing of color, depending on how light the shade of implanted pigment, as well as factors mentioned above.
A General Color Retention Guideline is:
Blondes and light taupe shades may need to be refreshed every 6 to 12 months.
Mid-tone Browns may need a touch-up every 9 to 12 months.
Dark Browns may need a touch-up every 9 to 24 months.
Very Dark Brown and Black colors may need to be refreshed every 6 months, especially if the client has pink to ruddy skin undertones. It is a fact that clients with pink to red undertones will pull gray or even blue-gray. Even if Maha uses a very warm colored pigment, the color could possibly pull gray-blue over time if you don’t have frequent touch-ups. This is the nature of the skin chemistry which Technicians can only control with frequent touch-ups.
Special note about pigment retention for those individuals with Alopecia or Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia, and those with Trichotillomania: Over the 23 years of being in practice, Maha has recognized the special needs of those with Alopecia conditions. Clients may need extra visits to complete the project. Also, clients should get more frequent touch-ups.
Alopecia: Once the brows are completed the brow color can look “ashy” due to the thickening of the epidermis.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia: The client may have some areas that will not take the pigment due to the scarring nature of their condition.
Trichotillomania: There is usually a lot of scarring around the hair follicle due to pulling. Therefore, the crispness of the look of the hair stroke cannot be guaranteed and some areas may not take at all.
*Please note — if a technician tells you only need one visit to complete your procedure and you will not need a touch-up, then he/she is not being truthful. Run!
What if I am planning to have plastic surgery?
Many women choose to have to have eyeliner done before face lifts so they will look better during the recovery period. If you are considering a brow lift, wait until after the healing process before having your brow procedure.
What if I am using Latisse? Can I still get an eyeliner procedure?
It is very important to stop using Latisse at least 2 months before having a permanent eyeliner procedure. In some cases Maha may refuse to work on a client who has had Latisse if their eyelids are thin to begin with. Do not start to use Latisse until at least two weeks after you have completed your final procedure.
I had an unsatisfactory eyeliner procedure done elsewhere, can Maha fix it?
Sorry, but Maha will not do corrections of bad eyeliner procedures which usually look like blobs of color which have migrated due to work done by an inexperienced or unskilled technician.
What if I have lash extensions?
Maha requires that they be removed before she starts the procedure.
I had an unsatisfactory permanent cosmetics brow procedure done elsewhere, can Maha fix it?
In most cases Maha can significantly improve your bad brow procedure, depending on how much time you want to invest and whether or not your skin is scarred. Correcting bad work is never going to give you the same beautiful brow as Jamilla could have created on virgin (untattooed) skin, but certainly an improvement is possible.
If tattoo removal is required Maha will refer you to a professional laser technician.
When someone calls and say they “only need a touch-up of work done elsewhere” the client may not realize that a “color correction” is often needed and not a simple touch-up. A consult is important to assess the situation. Before your consultation, please send a photo via email so Maha can assess the situation.
What is the difference between Micro Blading and Permanent Cosmetics?
Maha does not recommend Micro Blading! Micro Blading is incising the skin with what is basically a small blade. The micro blading technique was originally developed by tattoo artists who perform body/skin modifications, aka intentional scarring. It is often done by brand new technicians who do not have the experience to control the depth of the blade in the skin while working. This past year many people have taken a two-day micro blading course and try to practice “under the radar” of licensing by health departments. These unlicensed technicians are basically committing fraud, as they claim micro blading is not tattooing or micropigmentation, but in fact they are putting color into the skin with a blade which falls under the health department laws regulating body art and tattoos. Maha frequently sees clients who have been scarred by this method. So please check your technician’s state licensing before considering any procedure.
What is the difference between the Soft Hand Technique and the use of a Digital Instrument to perform the procedure?
Maha uses a state of the art German-made digital instrument by Nouveau Contour. It is the Rolls Royce of such instruments. Some technicians use a hand method marketed as “Soft.” The name implies a more gentle technique or procedure, but the name is a misnomer as it is not a softer or superior method than the one used by a digital instrument.
Clients who have had procedures done elsewhere with the hand method have remarked that Maha treatments are far smoother and more comfortable. This makes sense because the human hand is not a machine and cannot replicate the exact stroke at the exact depth in the skin consistently. This is an important point, because if you do not get consistency you can have skipping of color or risk having the technician going too deep or not deep enough, which gives a poor technical result.
“Every week I see clients with blobs of color, especially around the eye area, due to migrating pigment done by the so-called “Soft” hand method,” says Maha.
The hand method was fine for ancient cultures that had no alternative method, but today there is a superior method of implanting pigment.
Is the procedure painful?
Maha uses the strongest topical anesthetics available, developed by Linda Dixon, M.D. The sensation to pain will vary between clients. Once the topical anesthetic takes effect, many clients report that they feel no discomfort during the brow procedures. Some clients report the eyeliner procedure tickles.
Is Permanent Cosmetics expensive?
Not if you look at long-term cost and effect. Micropigmentation actually costs little compared to lifelong daily make-up expenses. Permanent make- up doesn’t run or wash off! Consider it a beautiful investment in yourself.
Maha practice consists of nearly 1/3 of services which are corrective procedures from bad work done elsewhere. When you go bargain shopping for the lowest price, the work you receive may be reflective with unsatisfactory results. Your face is too important to chance having such serious work done by a technician who does not have the experience, training or artistic talent to achieve the best result.
The consultation is a half-hour appointment which may include a patch test and photographs.
Prices are quoted at your consultation.
Are there safety issues that I should be concerned with?
All procedures performed adhere to strict OSHA standards for safety and sterilization. Maha takes a yearly Blood Born Pathogens exam.
Here is our safety protocol:
Pre-sterilized disposable needles which are opened in front of client
Pre-sterilized disposable pigment cups
Gamma sterilized pigments used. No tattoo inks used.
Barrier film on all communicable surfaces
New treatment table paper used for each client
Disposable needle containment system
New gloves between client procedures and throughout your procedure
Distilled water used in disposable paper cup
New wipes, cotton pads and cotton swabs
Hospital grade disinfectant for tables, lamps, instruments and surfaces
Face mask is worn as well as disposable apron/ gown