PEI

Not your grandma's tattooed eyebrows

Permanent eyebrows are back and more natural than makeup tattooing of the past, thanks to a more refined process called micoblading, now being offered in P.E.I. by a handful of aestheticians.

Something called microblading creates more natural-looking, semi-permanent brows

'No fussing' with her eyebrows anymore is the reason Samantha Rioux says she recently had her eyebrows tatooed with a microblade. (Submitted by Jenepher Reynolds )

Permanent eyebrows are back and more natural than makeup tattooing of the past, thanks to a more refined process called microblading, now being offered in P.E.I. by a handful of aestheticians. 

Instead of a tattoo gun, which can be a bit of a blunt instrument and injects ink deeply, microblading uses a razor-thin blade to insert dye under just the first few layers of a client's skin. In the right hands, eyebrows filled in with a microblade can look incredibly natural. 

"You are drawing hair-by-hair onto the brow with a fine, fine, fine blade, dipping into tattoo ink for every stroke," said Charlottetown aesthetician Jenepher Reynolds, who owns About Face Cosmetics.

'Quite new' to East Coast

"In the East Coast it's quite new," said Reynolds, who's been microblading for just a few months. She notes aestheticians in the rest of Canada have been using the process for a few years, and it's old news in Asia.

The process is semi-permanent, aestheticians point out, because microblading ink is not as tattooed as deeply as traditional art tatoos, so the eyebrows will fade over two to three years. 

Jayce Clarkin's client had sparse eyebrows after undergoing chemotherapy, so the results of this microblading were very rewarding, she says. (Submitted by Jayce Clarkin/Blush Aesthetics)

So if eyebrow trends change — and like makeup, hair and hemlines, they continually do — you're not stuck with a consistent look, or forking out for tattoo removal.

"The colours are matched to the client," said Jayce Clarkin of Blush Aesthetics in Charlottetown, who also recently began offering microblading. She first tattooes one custom colour to match clients' hair and skin on their initial appointment, then fills in brows with a different shade a few weeks later after skin has healed "for a 3D look." 

'No fussing'

"I work out every day and train clients at my personal training studio and the idea of not having to fill in my brows or sweat them off was a big factor," said Samantha Rioux, a recent client of Reynolds.

The pain of microblading, Rioux said, is minor — "like someone was scratching you with their nail." The first appointment can take up to three hours, with the second round at about an hour.

And the cost, at about $350? "To have my brows be just the way I want them with no fussing, and having the results last up to two years is totally worth it!" Rioux raved. 

There's a dramatic difference in the before and after shots of a client microbladed recently by Jayce Clarkin at Blush Aesthetics. (Submitted by Jayce Clarkin/Blush Aesthetics)

"People are so into brows right now," Reynolds points out. With eyebrows that are permanent, "it's one less thing to do in the morning!"

Reynolds doesn't have her own eyebrows microbladed, she adds, because it's impossible to do it on herself.

What's next? Eyeliner and lipliner done with a fine, microblading type of process is now being seen in Canada, Reynolds noted. 

About the Author

Sara Fraser

Web Journalist

Sara is a P.E.I. native who graduated from the University of King's College in Halifax. N.S., with a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) degree. She's worked with CBC Radio and Television since 1988, moving to the CBC P.E.I. web team in 2015, focusing on weekend features. email sara.fraser@cbc.ca