DOES IT WORK IRL?
Microblading your brows
Exactly when I first decided to attack my eyebrows, I can’t recall. I do remember the tool, though. I borrowed my mother’s tweezers and plucked my thick, dark brows with great alacrity, even piercing my skin to access the stubbly hairs threatening to break through. I was a teenager, it was the 90s, and plucking your brows until they resembled a curved line of crayon was de rigueur. At university, I had my left brow pierced, along with my nose, lip, nipple and belly button, and by the time I came to my senses and took them out, I was left with scars and half an eyebrow. As the years passed, I consistently drew my brows on. Benefit’s brilliant brow range helped me do a decent job on the right one, but there was no faking it with the left. From a distance, they matched; up close, it was obvious I’d coloured in my bald skin. So, when I heard about microblading – a technique which, done well, can resemble real brows – I was curious. Tiny precision hair-like strokes are created using a special tool. Pigments are then implanted into the channels created by the microblades. Basically, it’s like a semi-permanent tattoo. On your face. Which is why I sought out Karen Betts, widely considered to be the UK’S top permanent make-up artist. Karen regularly works with those who’ve lost facial features through illness or trauma – recent WH cover star Katie Piper is one of her clients, as is Gail Porter, who lost her brows to alopecia. Arriving at Karen’s Harley Street clinic, I’m nervous, but she puts me at ease. And true to her word, the treatment isn’t painful, more uncomfortably weird. Your eyebrow area is numbed with cream so the process doesn’t hurt, but the sensation feels like it should, and isn’t exactly pleasant. Still, it’s over in 30 minutes. I’ve said I want a natural look, as I often go without make-up, and Karen has warned me that the brows can look bigger and up to four shades darker before they settle down. But I’m still taken aback by my reflection, and the soothing balm I apply three times a day for the next week makes my brows resemble two black slugs above my eyes. But day by day, the slugs retreat. After a week, people are telling me how well I look. Without make-up, I appear more polished – a slick of mascara is all I need to look like I’ve made an effort. Microblading is one of the best beauty treatments I’ve tried, and I’ve tried many. The results are long-lasting (annual top-ups are recommended, though) and after years of feeling self-conscious about my DIY brows, it’s really boosted my confidence. While those dark, bushy brows I took the tweezers to are long gone, they’re resplendent on the face of my threeyear-old daughter – and no, she won’t