If you would have asked me a year ago (or even a few weeks ago) if I’d ever get my eyebrows microbladed, I would have called you crazy. The idea of getting a tattoo of any kind on my cherubic face makes the right side of my lip twitch. “Wow, her eyebrows are jacked,” is the last thing I want people to say when they look at me.
Your brows say a lot about you – at least in my opinion and I don’t have any. For some reason, I inherited my mom’s super thin eyebrows while my sister got thick, full, perfectly shaped brows. It’s not fair that I spend money on threading, brow gel, castor oil and brow pencils for my brows to not grow an inch.
After waking up one morning and looking in the mirror, I realized that I was tired of not having any eyebrows. I wanted to explore options and by options, I mean microblading. For those who aren’t too familiar, microblading is cosmetic tattoo art for your face, more specifically your eyebrows. While microblading specifically may not work for everyone, luckily it’s semi-permanent, but if you’re looking for something a little less strenuous in time, try considering a brow lamination and tinting session.
My cousin is the only person I know personally who microbladed her eyebrows. I asked for her counsel including pain level tolerance and what to expect afterwards. The place that she went to had closed because the woman moved away, but it was fine because what may have worked for her brows may not work for mine. I started doing my extensive research on Black-owned eyebrow-specialization joints in New York City and that’s when I came across Browstress. This Brooklyn-based brow place had all the bells and whistles on their site, and their Instagram made her work look flawless and natural – sign me up!
After extensive research and correspondence with the founder, I made a consultation appointment and microblading appointment the following week. Though I could’ve gotten them done on the same day as my consultation, I wanted to really take my time to decide whether or not I wanted this semi-permanent tattoo on my face.
Monday morning rolled around and I made my way to the establishment located in downtown Brooklyn. The location was easy to find, so I gave that some extra brownie points. I walked into the Dumbo studio painted white and was welcomed by the sound of alternative R&B and the smell of blue sage. This was my type of scenery. I was welcomed by the founder, Krystal Cummings, who sat me down on the couch adjacent to the register to get a better sense of what I was looking for. We talked briefly about her inspiration behind Browstress and how she was inspired by finding alternatives for a family member who was suffering from hair loss as an effect of cancer diagnosis. For my consultation, she and I verbally worked through the look I was trying to achieve while figuring out what was the most realistic shape for my light, sparse brows.
She laid me down on the table and stenciled a quick mockup onto my face of the shape that would be best for my face. After approving what would be the best look for the next day’s semi-permanent adventure, she ran down the basic rules of preparation maintenance: no ibuprofen, no alcohol consumption, no aspirin, no working out for five days after getting my brows done, and no caffeine. All of those I could do, but I was definitely looking forward to sneaking in a glass of wine after my kickboxing class. Whatever, I was supposed to go on a detox anyways and maybe this was the push I needed.
I woke up the next morning to wash my face with the Aveeno Cleansing Pads that Zonnique put me onto in our interview a couple of weeks ago. When I splashed my face with water from the suds, I took a look at what would be my naturally non-existent brows for the last time.
I came back to Browstress prepped and ready for my big day. After signing a waiver and her walking me through key aftercare steps, I was ready. She laid me down under a ring light to apply the numbing cream, which at first I thought was just a way to mentally trick my mind into thinking it won’t hurt, but it worked. Like, I mean it really worked. After thirty minutes of letting it sit on my face, it was time. She wiped the cream off of my face and I was waiting for her to go in with the darkest brown shade on my brows, but I didn’t feel anything. It felt like an outer body experience: I heard a needle making its way across a brick wall, but I didn’t realize that was the sound of my skin breaking. Holy sh*t, it worked.
This isn’t bad. I could do this. I didn’t expect to feel absolutely nothing. This is – f*ck! Okay, that one actually hurt.
That was my stream of consciousness. The little-to-no pain I experienced was tolerable. On the rare occasion that I did feel it, Krystal reapplied a bit of it and I was back to hearing my skin breaking instead of feeling it. The entire process took about an hour and fifteen minutes, including the outline, 30 minutes of numbing, and the application. Once she was done, I went to the full length mirror only to stare at myself in awe. These were perfect and everything I ever wanted. They look like the eyebrows I should’ve been born with had I gotten my older sister’s genes. As the numbing cream was wearing off, my eyebrows felt weird like I had a billion open cat scratches on my face. It didn’t hurt unbearably, but it definitely stung – and it’s still stinging. Nothing I can’t handle.
Once I got home, I took a Q-tip and went over my brows in lukewarm water and lightly applied the ointment to my brows. In my bathroom light, these look bomb! Overall, my brows look perfect, I feel so confident about my brows (because it’s an insecurity I’ve been suffering from for years), and I wouldn’t have imagined going anywhere else than Browstress in Brooklyn. Ladies, book your microblading now with Krystal and you won’t be disappointed!