Microblading, Semi-Permanent Makeup, Eyebrow Tattoo, whatever you want to call it, or whatever your local practitioner advocates, these types of eyebrow treatments are becoming more and more mainstream and accessible by the day.

I first had my eyebrows microbladed 2 years ago and even for such a short time ago, it was relatively unheard of. Now, with the influx of Instagram posts, and with courses becoming easily accessible to a wider audience, semi-permanent eyebrow ‘looks’ are almostbecoming the norm.

On one hand this is welcome news; prices become lower and access becomes more convenient. But, on the other hand, when treatments like this grow so quickly in popularity, the standards and regulations often take a little bit of time to catch up. Currently, you do not need a qualification in Beauty Therapy (i.e an understanding of the skin structure) to do a course in any style of permanent makeup application. To be totally honest, this didn’t bother me too much back when I had my eyebrows done before, it was more important to me that my practitioner had a steady hand and an eye for detail! (which she did!). However, when I went to visit Samantha Trace and try out her ‘feathering’ technique for a ‘fluffy brow’ look, she discovered that I had been scarred in my previous treatment!

I was shocked but realised it made sense; I’d had my eyebrows ‘topped up’ a year after first doing them and on this occasion, they faded differently- more of a bleed of colour than a fade. I assumed it was just how it went after a top up and that the first treatment would always give the sharpest finish. I was wrong.

I’d also been hearing of practitioners advising against Microblading in favour of the tattoo pen for better, long-lasting results and to also avoid the risk of scarring, with the phrase “if you keep cutting the skin in the same place you will scar” becoming a familiar line.

So, who better to quiz about this than Samantha Trace, with her hands-on knowledge of all styles of semi-permanent makeup, but more importantly her 18 years of beauty & skincare experience andqualifications? In fact, Samantha is qualified to Cosmetology level (this is just below Dermatology level and incredibly relevant in her field). Yes, unfortunately, Microblading can scar you, BUT, it is only the practitioner, NOT the technique that will scar you. For example, Samantha asked me “if you were to get a paper cut in exactly the same place, once per year, would it scar you?” No, it wouldn’t, and that is as deep as the stroke of a microblade should go. This is the epidermis level. The epidermis consists of layers of skin that work their way to the surface before shedding as dead skin cells. The ink applied to these fine ‘cuts’ sits in position until the layer it is in arrives at the surface and sheds away (usually around 1 year).

If, however, the ‘cut’ is made too deep – into the dermis layer of the skin – you will scar, which is unfortunately what happened to me. The ink does not remain neatly in this area either, so you end up with a much less defined ‘hair stroke’.

This, of course, can be avoided by someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the skin structure, someone like Samantha Trace (who also happens to be incredibly lovely and bloomin’ good at what she does!).

I went to see Samantha at the uber cool, Blush and Blow salon in Parsons Green to try out her signature ‘fluffy brows’; I’m a fan of the natural look at the best of times but particularly when it comes to eyebrows – I want my eyebrows to suit my face with andwithout makeup!

After dropping the bombshell about the scarring of my eyebrows, Samantha reassured me and totally put me at ease about my treatment – she is so nice but also has that gentle authority that tells you you are in safe hands.

The treatment took around 1 hour, at times it was painful but when it got uncomfortable, Samantha would just apply more anaesthetising, numbing cream (which btw, she is certified to administer, unlike a huge percentage of less qualified practioners. And PLEASE never buy anaesthetic cream off the internet – there is a shocking amount of very real looking but potentially, very damaging fakes out there). At the end of the treatment, my brow shape and style were perfect! They were just a little darker than normal but that fades after 1 week.

The key to the ‘fluffy brow’ is lots of different length ‘hair’ strokes in different directions, this, along with the ultra-fine finish of the blade (which can’t be achieved with the tattoo pen) and the absolute skill and precision of Samantha’s  hands(!) gives an unbelievably natural finish, even I struggled to differentiate the ‘tattooed’ hairs to the real ones at first!

Post treatment, you need to keep the eyebrows completely dry, which is harder than it sounds – although Samantha does provide you with some very Insta-worthy eyebrow shields for the shower! She also gives you with a blend of her own special balm to moisturise the brows with, preferably at least twice per day to stop itching and flaking. And that’s it! Perfect ‘fluffy brows’ that last on average 1 year! (Please note, first time ‘bladers’ may need a top up after 1month). This is honestly, one of the best, high impact – low maintenance treatments, you could have – as long as you are in the right hands of course!

Samantha Trace Microblading Treatment, £400

Blush and Blow, 197 New Kings Road, Fulham, London SW6 4SR

Tel: 020 7736 0430

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