Being a teenager in the 1990s and early 2000s meant that when you waxed or plucked your eyebrows, the more you took off, the more on trend you were. Think of the many celebs who boasted such looks, such as actress Pamela Anderson, musician Brandy and model Kate Moss, to mention a few.


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Brandy as Cinderella via @friizzymcguire.

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Fast-forward to the present day and trends dictate the fuller the eyebrow, the more polished you’ll look. And those who overplucked in the past are paying for their sins. Like myself.

I wanted to hide my eyebrows because they were sparse and unevenly shaped. I often expressed deep admiration for my fuller-eyebrowed friends and family.

On one such day, I told my beauty therapist, Kym-Casey Stafford, that her brows were amazing. She put it down to microblading. I had a vague notion of the procedure and lapped up the information she shared, including the name of the lady who did her procedure, micropigmentation specialist and somatologist Tanja Leppan.

What is microblading?

Microblading, says Leppan, is a form of tattooing. “It is where I use a hand-held tool with a sloped needle and draw hair-like strokes with the tool and pigment to mimic natural hairs in your brows,” she summarises.

“The result is natural, more defined, beautiful brows, and it can last between one to two years.”

Who should get it done?

If you, like myself, want fuller eyebrows, this is for you. “The procedure is recommended for people who want more defined, but natural brows, who have over-plucked their brows, who want more symmetry, who wants to tweak their shape slightly and for people who have little to no natural brow hair,” she advises.

But those who have oily skin, big pores, prefer to wear a lot of make-up, or those who have old traditional permanent makeup should not get microblading done, Leppan says. “It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have diabetes type one, people who are undergoing chemo, or have eczema on the treated area, and those who are on Roaccutane or Oratane.”

The process

It is critical to see a good technician, Leppan warns. “If microblading is done too deep or incorrectly, the colour can look ashy/blue, the strokes look blurry and thick and scarring and inflammation can happen.”

My microblading session began with a mild aesthetic rubbed onto my brow area. After 30 minutes, Leppan and I consulted on the shape and length, after which she started to fill in the outline she had drawn. The aesthetic help dull the pain to a manageable level. Healing took about a month after each of the two session – a follow-up session is required after the first one, about six weeks later.

READ: Shape your eyebrows like a pro


I was really eager for my brows to fully heal. The process can test your patience, and as the scabs fall off, the patchiness can be jarring. Initially your brows will appear thicker and darker, and lighter just after the scabs fall off. Eventually though, the colour evens up and is restored.

“I supply my clients with everything they need to take care of their brows,” Leppan says. The pack includes cleansing liquid, a soothing skin balm, cotton wool rounds, earbuds, and a chocolate.”

The cleanser, gently applied with the cotton wool; and balm, lightly rubbed on using an earbud, is applied twice a day until the scabs are gone. “You can still apply makeup around the brows – the swelling/redness will be minimal and will usually go away after 24 hours.”

Nowadays, I am not inclined to hide my eyebrows and I look at the procedure as an investment in myself.

See the before and after images below:

Images courtesy Tanja Leppan

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