With fair, average thickness eyebrows that are by no means spectacular in their natural state, it’s no secret that I’m partial to a nicely structured, defined brow, and have tried semi-permanent make-up, various salon treatments and an assortment of powders and pencils over the years in search of a statement result.
So when Sian Dellar came onto my radar I excitedly checked out her Instagram feed to inspect her artwork. Award-winning Sian, who works at www.permanentmakeup-specialist.com in London’s Harley Street, trained with leading semi-permanent make-up artist Karen Betts and uses the latest microblading (or eyebrow embroidery) technique for super realistic results.
Unlike other semi-permanent eyebrow procedures which use a machine, microblading is manual – a very fine blade deposits the pigment into the epidermis of the skin. Because the colour is implanted closer to the surface of the skin’s outer layer, the strokes appear crisp and fine.
As the pigment is formulated to match your original eyebrow colour, it’s the perfect method for those who don’t want harsh, unnatural results. The delicate, hair-like strokes blend perfectly with what you already have, no matter how thick or thin your eyebrows are naturally.
And if your eyebrows are sparse or you’ve suffered hair loss due to alopecia or trichotillomania, this is the procedure for you.
With mixed feelings due to my previous experiences, but having been very impressed with Sian’s work, I was keen to see what microblading could do for me.
Having your eyebrows ‘tattooed’ isn’t a walk in the park – and if you’ve ever had a body tattoo you’ll know what I mean – but a good numbing cream helps minimise any discomfort. Some people feel a scratchy sensation while, according to Sian, others even fall asleep – personally on a scale of 1 to ten I would give the ouch factor a 6, but it’s only a split-second 6.
The appointment began with a chat about my eyebrows; what I liked, didn’t like and wanted to achieve. On my wishlist – a structured brow with not too much of an arch, and, although my brows were fair, I still wanted them to be a bit darker and more standout, ideally a cool, mid-brown.
Sian said she already had a shade in mind, and then pulled out her ruler to measure my brows, taking an almost scientific approach to the job. This is to ensure that each eyebrow is the correct measurement on either side. I love attention to detail and have never had this done before, so it was an interesting experience.
She then applied some numbing cream and we were off. Apart from being less uncomfortable than my previous experiences it was also a lot quicker – from start to finish the appointment took around an hour in total.
When I looked in the mirror I was delighted with what I saw: fuller, perfectly shaped brows which were defined but not too dark.
The healing process takes about a week, with the application of a healing balm twice a day. Again, this was completely hassle-free and while Sian had warned that my brows may itch while healing took place, this was minimal. She also told me that as the crust flaked off (again this sounds a lot worse than the reality), the colour would fade, soften and lighten around 30-40% as the skin rejuvenated, leaving a super natural result.
For me, this was the only downside of the procedure – the resulting shade. While I could not fault the shape, they were not quite dark enough for me, and in some lights still appeared quite fair.
Luckily I was booked in for a top-up appointment a month later, so hopefully Sian could go in a bit darker second time round; after all, it’s easier to add than take away colour that’s too dark.
I voiced my concerns on arrival and Sian, seemingly unfazed by my request, got to work. Again the appointment was over in a flash, and an inspection in the mirror revealed refreshed, newly defined brows.
A month or so later and my brows have fully healed and settled into their new identity. I still feel they could be a little darker but the shape is perfect and this alone saves me time in the morning, as all I need to do is dust a little eyebrow powder through them.
Semi-permanent eyebrows with Sian cost £495 – this includes a top-up appointment approximately one month after the initial treatment. Despite the cost, I would save up and have it done again, especially as Sian offers clients discounted rates for maintenance up to 24 months later.
For other blondies considering the procedure, it might be a good idea to take along a visual reference or two (just like when changing your hair colour) so your eyebrow artist can see exactly what you are aiming for.