Rana Good is the founder of Naïra NYC. A writer for publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Coveteur, Mens Journal and others, she created her own platform celebrating women of color.
Having beautiful full brows is still very much on trend, and if you aren’t naturally blessed with them, microblading can help you achieve that look for a long period of time. Rather than filling in your eyebrows with a pencil every day, microblading provides a semi-permanent solution that can withstand rigorous exercise and the elements. Some microblading before and after photos show what a huge difference the process can make.
Curious about microblading? We spoke to New York City salon owner Mish Lim of Mish Aesthetics about what it entails and also how the industry has evolved to include nanoblading and powder brows.
How did you get into microblading?
Mish Lim: It’s actually an interesting story! I went to school in Binghampton and studied marketing and management, eventually, I worked for a law firm doing marketing. I got my brows done and was like “I can do this too”. I had already been doing makeup on the side and took a class to learn how to do brows. I started having clients on nights and weekends and eventually quit my job.
What is microblading?
Technically microblading is permanent makeup. At Mish Aesthetics we do microblading but it’s no longer the preferred method, we actually do nanoblading which is the updated version of microblading. We also do ombré brows and combination brows.
What’s the difference between microblading and nanoblading?
Nanoblading is done with a machine and you create very small hair strokes. With microblading you also create hair strokes but sometimes microblading creates a little bit more scar tissue so it doesn’t last as long or hold as well. With the nanoblading machine, you can implant the ink a little more evenly, so it has the same look but it’s a little more advanced. I explain to clients the difference to customers, sometimes they’ll still want microblading but most of the time they’ll go for nanoblading.
What’s a popular look right now for brows?
When I started, people weren’t that interested in microblading but with the rise of thicker brows over the years, interest has really grown. When I first got my brows done people would ask “what did you do?” but now people have a solid understanding of the service. The industry is definitely growing.
How long does microblading take to heal?
The scabbing and healing process takes one to two weeks but you can see full results after 40 days.
How long does microblading last?
Microblading lasts for one to five years depending on your lifestyle; for example, if you sweat a lot, if your skin is oily or if you exfoliate the area a lot, then it won’t last as long. The process for brows is done in two steps, first, there’s the initial procedure and then a six-week touch-up. After that, it lasts anywhere from one to three years and my clients come for a touch-up. If you do nothing, they will probably last for a total of five years. Some factors that make them fade are being in the sun a lot, for example, when I’m on vacation and tanning that’s when they’ll fade.
Sometimes people freak out a little after getting microblading, after about a week because it forms a scab and is still pretty dark as the color hasn’t set in yet fully. It’s similar to getting a tattoo since you open the skin, it needs to heal. You can wash your face during this time but not your eyebrows until scabbing comes off. It’s not the end of the world but try your best not to get them wet. Nanoblading and ombré both last a little longer than microblading which is around three years.
How much does microblading cost?
Here at Mish Aesthetics the microblading price ranges from $650 to $850 and the procedure is around 2.5 hours. Touch-ups are around $150 to $550 depending on how long you wait. A touch-up usually takes 1-1.5 hours and really perfects the brows.
What’s the pain level of microblading?
I don’t think it’s very high, we actually don’t pre-numb the client. We do provide numbing during the microblading procedure but most of our clients say it’s very tolerable and feels like a scratch. It really depends on how the artist performs it and how heavy-handed they are.
Who’s a good microblading candidate?
Someone who doesn’t have very oily skin, combination skin is fine, ideally your pores are not very enlarged. For oily skin we can do ombré brows which is a powder brow, that’s good for all skin types. Ombré fades from light to dark with fewer little hair strokes — in the beginning, it looks very harsh but then it heals to a lighter tone.
What’s the best time to get microblading?
Ideally not in the summer because you’re more likely to be sweating, in the sun, and swimming.
What’s trending right now brow-wise?
Right now, the trend for brows is not a high arch, but a straighter and fuller brow. A more natural look is in right now.
What’s next for your business?
At Mish Aesthetics we teach courses every month, training other artists. In New York, you need to get a tattoo license to do microblading to make sure you don’t give people infections and you use sterile needles.