Looking for fuller brows, Liz O’Reilly conquered her fears to try the latest in microblading technology at Dessange Paris Bahrain.
It’s no great beauty secret that eyebrows frame the face and if you naturally have reasonably thick, well-defined and shapely brows, you can count yourself blessed. But many of us suffer from over plucking, a strong sign of misguided youth trying to emulate our celebrity heroines and fashion icons. Others simply have sparse or misshapen brows or something that, to us, just doesn’t look right.
That’s the case for me. Though I’ve never been an over enthusiastic plucker – or threader or waxer for that matter – I’ve always felt my eyebrows are just too far apart on an already, in my opinion, overly wide forehead.
I am very fair. The sun, and, dare I say, age, have taken a toll on my naturally red hair. And, in recent years, I’ve noticed my usually light brown brows taking on more than a hint of almost white, making the gap between them seem more pronounced than ever.
Of course, there are various ways to get around this, such as tattooing. But, to be honest, I’ve seen some hideous examples of this – the spectacle of women with giant dark slugs plastered across their browlines would surely deter any reasonable person!
So, I’ve always been a pencil girl. However, therein lies a problem. I can start the day with perfect-looking, manicured brows but, thanks to a combination of high humidity, very dry skin and more than a little gentle glowing from the heat, they don’t stay that way for long.
I have been looking into the technology of microblading for quite some time, so when an invitation came to try the process from an establishment as prestigious as Dessange Paris Bahrain, I jumped at the chance to put my eyebrows – and, indeed, my whole face really – into their very capable hands. On arrival, I was shown to the changing rooms and donned the uberfluffy, luxuriant white robe (of which my colleague, Fernanda, always waxes lyrical) and was taken into the spa area where microblading specialist, Uulkan Samieva, introduced herself and immediately applied numbing cream liberally on both my brows, encasing them in thin plastic wrap to enhance and speed the 30-minute numbing process, before sitting with me to describe what was to come.
Microblading is a form of cosmetic, semi-permanent make-up performed using a manual (not a machine) disposable handheld tool, composed of very fine needles resembling the shape of a blade, to hand draw each individual hair and then implant the pigment into the skin.
Uulkan inquired about my desired shape, which I had already sketched, and explained that she would first map out my new brows using fine thread coated with pencil pigment. She would then make one pass over with the ‘blade’ to make the initial cuts to form the feathery strokes that so strongly resemble individual hairs. Then, after applying more numbing cream, she would make a second pass to implant the pigment.
She showed me the colour she had chosen which, hallelujah, was very, very close to my natural shade. Then I settled on the bed and she proceeded to measure the correct position – nostril up and then string taken outward via the arch to the tip – for my new brows. The effect when seen on my skin looked very similar to a technical drawing and confirmed that I was indeed somewhat lacking in the central area.
I had some qualms about the shape of the inner corners, requiring rounded inner edges rather than square, but Uulkan swiftly brought her trusty pencil and showed me how she would adapt the shape to my preference. And then, we were ready to start.
I must admit, I am not a particularly brave woman and having suffered the agony of eyeliner tattoos some years ago, I was kind of dreading this part. But, I honestly need not have worried.
It would be dishonest to say the blading sensation was pleasant but it certainly wasn’t anything like I had expected. More like the snapping of an elastic band on the wrist and over so quickly that I barely registered it. In fact, the application of the second coat of numbing cream before the next session, was much more uncomfortable and, again, since we were quickly onto the pigmentation round, the stinging did not last long.
The pigmenting felt as mild as the initial blading and I was actually able to relax, which was a great surprise to me. Literally, before I knew it, it was time to face the music – or, in this case, the mirror.
I experienced a minor wobble; you know that moment when you’ve had a professional hair or make-up session and are desperate to see the outcome but are almost too scared to look? Well, that’s how I felt. The eyebrows are such an important part of the face and it could have gone horribly wrong – perhaps I over or under estimated the colour, maybe I would hate the shape. I will, now, admit that I’d purposely kept my bangs long in anticipation of disaster and those thoughts flashed through my mind in the matter of seconds it took for Uulkan to hand me the mirror.
And the result? What can I say? Wow, just wow!
Even with the blading and colouring so fresh, I could immediately see I had finally got the brows I’ve always wanted and honestly couldn’t have been happier.
At work the next morning, my colleagues, who had been pre-warned of the dire consequences of laughter, were fulsome in their praise saying what a big difference my new eyebrows make. At dinner with a friend a couple of days later, she asked what I had done. She knew there was something different and I was looking better but, so subtle was the effect, that she couldn’t put her finger on it – exactly the reaction I was looking for.
Maybe you will think I am going over the top here, but I can truly say I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY NEW BROWS. The tiny blade strokes actually do look just like real hair. Even now, two weeks later, every so often, I catch a passing glimpse of myself in a mirror and am amazed I now have eyebrows that are visible and shapely, even from a distance. And yes, I did get that haircut a couple of days later, so now I can show them off with pride.