Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Permanent makeup-Eyebrows

My own natural brows, cleaned before my 'new' brows were drawn on

In the clinic with the brows drawn on by Karina
In the clinic immediately after the treatment

Before and After comparison

2 hours after the treatment out for dinner

The next morning-no redness, swelling, irritation etc

3 days after the treatment

5 days after the treatment

I made the decision to get my eyebrows tattooed sitting in Cairo airport waiting for my flight back to Dubai having had a busy but successful work trip there at the beginning of March and actually made the phone call whilst sitting in the departures lounge.

I hate my brows.   I think a groomed brow looks amazing-polished and put together.  My brows are sparse and short due to zealous over plucking as a teen-definitely a piece of advice I would give to my teenage self would be to leave those brows alone!! 

I chose to go to Tracie Giles salon in Knightsbridge because I was going to be in London, I have followed Tracie on twitter for a while and because I knew she had a good reputation.  I could have had it done in Dubai but the permanent makeup industry here is very small and in it's infancy but also geared much more to the Arab and Indian sector.

When I called to make the appointment I was offered 2 options-2 technicians, 2 different price levels given their seniority and experience.  I went for the senior technician as I was quite nervous and wanted to give myself the best shot at getting the best result.

I arrived at Tracie's clinic in Knightsbridge and was relieved that it was quite an informal setting given it's prestigious surroundings.  I was asked to complete a routine health questionnaire and then was introduced to Karina my technician.

Karina was lovely-groomed, friendly, softly spoken and confident.  We started by talking about why I was doing it and what I wanted to achieve and Karina explained the difference between a 'tattoo' and permanent makeup.  Karina explained that with a tattoo, the ink penetrates deep into the skins epidermis and under the skin we all have different pigmentations-blue, yellow and green.  This is why on people who have had tattoo's for a long period of time the tattoo takes on a blue or green tinge as the ink penetrates deep into the epidermis and mixes with the skins natural pigmentation and comes to the surface.

Permanent make up doesn't go any further down than the first layer of the skin so you won't end up with the skins natural pigmentation showing through the skin in years to come.

Karina then asked me what sort of brow 'look' I wanted and I told her my concerns. 1-that they were uneven 2-that they were very short and didn't frame my face  3-that I had no arch.  I showed her some photos I had brought of eyebrows I liked and she said that they would be very suitable for my face shape.

Karina then explained she would draw the brows on so I could see how they would look and we could tweak them until I was happy before she would then tattoo them on.  She warned me that the drawn on brows would be darker than the actual brows but that this was just about getting the shape right.  When I was happy she would begin the procedure.

Karina cleaned my brows and then started to draw my brows on freehand and this freaked me out a bit because I had thought she would use measurements to ensure they were symmetrical.  I asked her if she would be using measurements and she said she could, but that not everyone's face was absolutely round or oval and that exact measurements could mean the brows didn't sit right on my face.  She told me if I wasn't happy when she had drawn them on that she could use measurements.  She didn't say it to me directly but something about her tone just implied 'trust me'.  And I did.  And when I looked in the mirror my brows were perfect-exactly what I wanted.  The right thickness, shape and length.  We didn't need to do any tweaking at all.

Then Karina explained she would mix the colour for my brows and would then begin the procedure.  She told me that I would probably need 3 layers of colour and that she was likely to play on the safe side with the colour as this is a 2 step appointment process where any tweaks to the colour can be made at the second retouch appointment.  She explained it's easier to go slightly darker if I wanted to than go lighter.

The 'needle' that Karina uses looks like one of those pencils I had at school where you click the lid and the lead comes out.  I believe this is what's known as a digital pen and it vibrates as well.  Karina mixed the colour (again freehand) and then used the nib of the needle to pick up the colour and apply it to my brows. 

Karina had told me the procedure should not hurt but to expect some discomfort during the first layer of application.  She applied an anaesthetic cream to numb the area before she began.  I don't consider myself to have a particularly high pain threshold but I would not say this was 'painful'.  Mild discomfort yes, some areas hurt more than others due to the way your nerves are lined up along the brow and the right side was more uncomfortable than the left.  Oh and I kept thinking I wanted to sneeze!!  I actually didn't sneeze in the end but Karina said this was normal because she was touching nerve endings.  The second layer didn't hurt at all, the third layer did a little-in some places it almost felt like someone was placing pressure onto a bruise.  But that was all.  And it only took Karina about 45 minutes. 

I was absolutely delighted with the final result when I looked in the mirror-I felt like I finally had the eyebrows I wanted and wished I had done it far sooner.  My brows were slightly red and stung a little bit but nothing where I would need to take a paracetamol.  In terms of aftercare Karina gave me a vaseline type cream to apply twice a day for 5 days to stop the eyebrows from drying out.  She also recommended that I didn't get them 'wet' as in going swimming etc for 24 hours and avoided heat like saunas for 48 hours.  In terms of make-up she told me to just apply round the brows and not over them for 3 days.  She also told me the colour would soften and fade over the next 5 days.

I've experienced no problems whatsoever with my brows-no itching, swelling, bleeding, irritation or swelling.  I've applied the cream religiously.  When I am not wearing make up I feel infinitely more confident and groomed (this could also be as I am wearing eyelash extensions as well at the moment).   The only tweak I would make is perhaps getting the ends of the brows a bit thicker as although they are the exact length I want they are quite thin.  The colour is perfect though.  To be honest I am constantly looking at them

Over the past 5 days they have softened and faded a little and lost that quite 'sharp' brushstroke effect.  I've had great feedback from friends who say they look so natural.

Karina was so nice, so professional, so knowledgeable, so calm and put me completely at ease.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Tracie Giles clinic and Karina to anyone.

This is an expensive procedure but does not require a lot of maintenance.  To maintain them a colour refresh is recommended every 12 months.  I paid £790 to have my eyebrows done by Karina and I think it was worth every penny.

For more northern based ladies I would recommend Jaimie-Lee Hallett who is a freelance technician based in Warrington.  Jaimie and I met on twitter probably a couple of years ago and I have been following her progress and training under Nouveau Contour and really admire the work she has been doing.  It was actually a picture of Jaimie's work I took to show Karina of what I wanted.

The picture I showed Karina of what I wanted-courtesy of Jaimie Lee Hallett of Confidence Beauty Permanent Make Up

Tracie Giles is located on the 1st floor of 25 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London and can be contacted on 0845 838 0299

Jaimie-Lee Hallett can be contacted on 07709 338763 or you can see more examples of her work and the treatments she does on her Confidence Beauty Permanent Make Up facebook page.


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