Microblading – I’ll do it!
Throw away your eyebrow pencils! The Citrus Rooms run MicroBlading clinics creating a semi-permanent perfect brow – I’m on my way!
The beauty industry is one of the most fast paced industries, I can’t keep up with the latest techniques and fads and the line between a beautician and a cosmetic surgeon, whilst they are still poles apart, are moving a little closer together. The procedures that beauticians are getting involved in, in their quest to keep us looking like film stars, is getting more complex and increasingly technical.
Gemma is the owner of the Citrus Rooms and brings with her over eighteen years experience in the beauty industry. The salons won best Beauty Salon in the Muddy Cambs Awards 17 and were Runners Up in the Cambridgeshire Business Awards for Best Customer Service – they genuinely like people. Gemma is a brow guru – she is quite literally obsessed by them and when she suggested, over more than one glass of wine at the Muddy Awards drinks that she could help improve my wonky brows, I didn’t let her forget it!
WHAT IS MICROBLADING?
MicroBlading is a semi-permanent eyebrow procedure – its aim is mostly to create very fine natural looking hair stroke eyebrows to fill in thin, sparse brows, correct brow irregularities (most of us have uneven eyebrows) and can even help with alopecia.
The St Neots salon is located on Huntingdon Road, just up from the new cinema complex and restaurants. There’s plenty of parking behind Marks and Spencers and don’t be deceived by the front, it’s a busy street so the windows are purposely masked to hide what’s going on inside.
Step inside and there’s a whole different vibe going on.
St Ives on other hand is tucked down the pretty Cromwell Mews which you’ll find at the far end of the high street towards Waitrose – that’s the best car park to use. In the mews you’ll find a hairdressers, coffee shop and a large florists as well.
The two salons differ in size but both have a bright and zingy feel to them – no surprise with a name like that. The theme runs through all the salons with lime green, yellow and orange dotted around the interiors combined with a natural feel. The wood in the St Ives salon is soon to be carried through to the St Neots hub also. The treatment rooms are all named after citrus fruits and the aromatherapy oils wafting round the rooms all follow that trend.
St Neots is a buzzy salon – Gemma was keen to follow in the NY trend of social beauty so for those on the go there’s the brow bar – brows are big here and HD brows are on offer also. If you’re wanting to catch up with your mates over a coffee and have a pedicure there’s the throne seats – it’s all the rage on the Real Housewives of New York (*cough* only watched it once – honest!).
There are private treatment rooms offering privacy and seclusion for relaxing facials and massages. They’re not the biggest but they’re tucked away and I think this place is ideal for booking a few treatments – a facial and a manicure, moving around the different zoned areas of the salon.
Pop over to St Ives and it has a different feel, it’s more peaceful and secluded. Bijoux but perfectly formed, it’s spread over two floors – the salon offers the brow bar, hand and foot lounge as well as dermalogica treatments. Gemma runs MicroBlading clinics at both sites – whichever is more convenient.
Banish those slug eyebrows that you’ve drawn on with a blunt pencil with 30 secs to spare before the taxi arrives, (oh, just me?!). Gemma is all about eyebrow correction and she’ll design perfectly shaped eyebrows in line with your facial features. Better still as it’s semi-permanent you can go swimming, workout at the gym, sunbathe and wear a hat without worrying about your eyebrows rubbing off.
There is a mathmatical calculation where brows are concerned, they need to start at a set angle to the eyes and end at a similarly complicated point. The raised brow gives the illusion of lifting the area beneath the eye down to your cheekbone and tightening it. It’s not a facelift but you’ll be able to check out my results at the end of the post.
MicroBlading is when tiny lines (more like paper cuts) are made and a pigment is applied with a tool. The cuts do not go too deep; they only go through the first few layers of the dermis so it’s not a deep bleeding type cut. Not wanting to get too gory but I had expected to see some blood as the cuts were made but there’s hardly any.
I got one of Gemma’s willing beauticians to take a few videos as this is the best way of demonstrating what happens. I will be the first to admit that I’m a complete wuss when it comes to pain, I pass out at the site of needles and as you can see I’m as happy as a pig in mud– no smelling salts required.
I’d had an initial consultation the week before when Gemma had done an anaesthetic and pigment test on my skin and we’d gone through a fairly rigorous medical form to make sure that I was able to have the treatment. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding then this might have to go on the back burner for a while.
On the morning of your appointment I’d wash your hair and go the gym (if that’s your thing). It sounds silly but after the treatment you can’t get your eyebrows wet for a few days so there’s loads of faffing around with showerheads and getting sweaty at the gym isn’t a good idea either. The appointment is booked for an hour and a half but don’t panic – you’re not at the mercy of Gemma’s scalpel for all that time.
- The appointment begins with a consultation to ascertain what your concerns are and Gemma offers advice on how she thinks your brows can be improved. She’ll draw the new shape in with pencil to make sure you’re happy with it
- Anaesthetic cream is applied which takes a few minutes to begin to work.
- This is the toughest part. Gemma makes around 15 scratches (I think that is a more accurate description) on each brow. I’d be lying to say you can’t feel it but it’s easily bearable.
- Further anaesthetic is applied into the cuts and then sit back and have a cuppa for around 20mins whilst it gets to work.
- Gemma applies the pigment to the brows as the video shows. The anaesthetic does numb the brow a little, I found it worked better in the centre of the brows and was more tender towards the centre and edges.
- Stage 1 is complete.
- The eyebrows must be kept dry over the next three days or so until they have totally healed. You’ll need to apply cream morning and night, and also during the day if the brows are getting dry – so there’s a little TLC required.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
I’d been warned that the initial results could make me go ‘OMG’ so I wasn’t too shocked by my ‘big brows’ but the mini-mudders said they found me more scary than normal! However I was promised that my slugs would reduce in size and colour over the first three days as the pigment that had stained the eyebrow wore off and true enough – Gemma was right. The photos show me before and then through days 1-3. The end result – I love them.
I’ve included a really close picture for those that want to use a magnifine glass – I’ve reduced the size of the image otherwise you might be having nightmares for the rest of the week.
The proceedure isn’t fully over yet, I will need to return to the salon in the next 2-3 months to have the second application applied (this is included in the overall price). This will last an hour but again a large part of this is waiting for creams to work. At this stage Gemma will touch up any areas that I feel need attention but more importantly she will see how the pigment has reacted to my skin – sometimes it needs to go a little lighter or darker.
The treatment will last anywhere between 12-18 months when it’ll need to get a coloour refresh. The cost of MicroBlading including the two treatments and consultations is £225. That seems a fairly significant investment but break it down it works out at around £18.75 per month and you’d spend more on that on an eyebrow tint without such impressive sculpturing results. Getting the coloure refreshed is £100. For anyone booking MicroBlading, they’ll receive a complementary eyebrow wax, recommended a few days prior to the treatment, to get the brows tidy and in great shape for the proceedure, just quote Muddy.
Citrus Rooms, 16 Huntingdon St, St Neots PE19 1BG, Tel: 01480 216256 and 12 Cromwell Mews, Station Road. St Ives. PE27 5HJ, Tel: 01480 492192, citrusrooms.com