The Tweakment Tart: Is Microblading Life Changing Or A Bit Of A Con?

And on a scale of one to unbearable, how much does it hurt? Polly Vernon finds out...

Microblading: Tweakment Tart

by Polly Vernon |
Updated on

I am embarrassingly suggestible, and so it was that, when I got a random email with the subject line:

Do You Want Meghan Markle’s Eyebrows?

I’d clicked open, written: “No, but can I have Megan off Love Island’s brows?”, pressed send, and booked myself in for a session with Harley Street semi-permanent make up artist Sian Dellar, before I’d even had time to register that what I signed up for, was getting my face tattooed.

Microblading is a tattooing technique in which a small blade is used to apply ink to the skin, as opposed to the more usual needle, which means it’s lighter, subtler, and particularly adapt at replicating the fine, feathery lines of single hair strands, multitudes of which can be combined to make ones brows look proper luxuriant. Microblading is an improvement on early eyebrow tattoo techniques, which can, let’s face it, all go a bit marker pen on a Barbie doll.

Nature gave me a pair of substantial brows linked by a bum fluffy monobrow. This was a ball ache when I was a teenager, and fine brows were tout la rage, got easier as brow trends changed / got chunkier, and I became acquainted with the possibilities of getting them regularly, professionally shaped; but then Megan Love Island tips up, with her cosmetically enhanced mega brows, and I find myself feeling suddenly, indisputably, inferior of brow.

'Does everyone keep asking for Love Island brows?' I ask Sian Dellar – who’s one of those precious, unshowy industry secrets, a pro who’s been quietly practising her art for years – and she says 'Yes. Yes, they have,' then promises me brows that might not be Megan-enorme, but will certainly be thicker and a little bigger.

She numbs me up with a little gel, draws on a guideline new brow shape with eye pencil over my existing brows, then shows me what she’s proposing.

It is beautiful. It is my brows, but 30% better.

'DO IT DO IT DO IT NOW!' I yell, than lie back on her tissue-lined couch, so that she may begin.

It takes about an hour, in all. Dellar works on each brow at a time, scritching and scratching with her teeny tiny micro blade, before applying pigment. Does it hurt? Well – yeah. Nowhere near as much as a real tattoo, the blade doesn’t penetrate as deeply as a needle; but it’s still very, very scratchy. I am hard, so I don’t flinch or cry – perish the thought – but I’m nonetheless rather relieved when she stops. Then she applies the colour, and Lord, does that smart!

But eventually, she shows me the result, and like childbirth (I expect), all my pain is forgotten the moment the end result is beheld.

'But… But… They’re beautiful!' I whisper, unable to tear my eyes away from the reflection of my gussied-up face. They are though: subtle and strong and performing some kind of little secret face lift function through improved definition.

I go back in a month for a touch up (which hurts a lot less). They last nine months, to a year, and they cost £595, which is a hella lot - but utterly, utterly worth it

Would I spend my own money on it?

This - like so many of the things I test, trial and try - was a freebie. And I am a spoiled be-arch. But that’s not the point here. The point is: Would I pay for it myself, if it weren’t free?

Yes! A thousand times yes! I mean, I’d feel sick handing over my debit card, I’d lie about how much it cost it to my boyfriend (probably by admission, he rarely notices my face in sufficient detail to register any potentially expensive alterations), I’d lie to myself about how I’d definitely totally offset the cost with assorted other savings (on coffee, wine and ankle boots mostly) but: yes! I would do it, and I would not regret it

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