I wish someone would have warned me when I was younger just how important two narrow lines of hair would eventually be to me. I especially blame my Grandmother. Beautiful and fabulous, her brows were a sparse reminder of overplucking to follow the beauty trends dating all the way back to the ’30s. So when I reached the age where I realized it was time to wrangle my own arches, I really should have known better. I should have known that less is not more. And I really should have known to leave them in the waxing hands of a professional.
Basically, I should have just left well enough alone until I knew what the hell I was doing.
But, like most things in my life, I tore into my brows with wild excitement. Now to be fair, they weren’t awful. But rather, I think I just assumed that all brows were created equal, which was a major rookie mistake. I also assumed that by being Italian, and therefore having enough hair on my head for two people, that my brows would follow suit and just continue to grow in waves. It was an exciting thought.
It was also a very stupid one.
Because they didn’t.
Instead, I was left with two sad strips of hair that were so sparse that trying to shape them into anything would be the equivalent to the old guy with a few hairs on his head. And lets them grow really long. And then wraps them around his entire head.
So instead, I did the only natural thing I could think of. I started filling them in. It was an art I became obsessed with. And quite good at. And with that, I sealed my own fate of a lifetime commitment to eyebrow pencils, powders and dip brow. Anastasia would later become my best friend in life. And I would never, ever be able to go swimming on a first date.
I had gone from bushy to bare to prisoner.
But first, let’s rewind to about a year ago when I first noticed an ad about microblading. I remember looking at the “before” picture of one sad shapeless brow. Followed by the immediate panic of my own brows (Were they okay? I think I may have accidentally touched my right brow earlier… Is there a smudge? Are they still on fleek? I should do a quick mirror check to confirm…).
And just to put things into perspective, when your brow obsessed, or rather, obsessed over your lack of brows, those questions will flow through your mind probably 30 times a day. Maybe even 60 if you have a date that night. And the first time you sleep over your new guy’s place and have to wash your face before bed? It’s like the Walk of Shame, except you’re only walking from the bathroom to the bed.
But then (after confirming my brows were, in fact, still perfect) I saw the “after” picture….
At first, I felt the same familiar pang of jealousy I usually reserve for Angelina Jolie’s brows. And lips. I mean honestly- how is one woman so perfect?? But back to the point. Because then I just felt skeptical. Surely it’s photoshopped. How in the world is that even possible?
(Unless you’re Angelina…)
But then I felt… hopeful. Because when I clicked on the ad, I was taken to a website where literally rows and rows of before/after photos were posted, just waiting to show me this was in fact no joke.
It was Microblading.
Also know as the semi-permanent process of tattooing tiny individual hair-like strokes that look so real that it’s almost unreal.
Now because I’m a grown ass woman who has learned her lesson about going ham on anything involving my brows, I started doing my research first. And the more I read, the more I was convinced that this was my solution. I started once again fantasizing of perfectly shaped arches that were dramatic, yet realistic. Fantasizing about a life with brows that didn’t wash off. Or dictate the start of my day. Or add another 10 minutes to my already too long ritual of getting ready.
Only this time- they could actually be mine.
But there was still one thing that stood in my way: I needed to see microbladed brows on someone. In person. I needed to get all up in their grill and really see this miracle up close. On someone who was just like me, and got dealt a shitty hand in the brow department. And had spent every day of their life since religiously filling in their brows, whether they were leaving the house that day or not.
I needed to see them on someone who understands that good brow game is life.
And as fate would have it, that person would turn out to be my best friend, Corrine Dale.
Now, Corrine happens to be in the beauty industry, so you already know she’s not entertaining anything but the real deal. So when she told me about her appointment, I immediately confessed my interest in the whole procedure. I pulled up the original ad and together we admired brow after perfect brow. And it was a little less than a week later that I would see Corrine’s new perfect brows. In person. Up close. All up in her grill. Amazed.
It was kinda like discovering Santa Claus was, in fact, real. Except it really was real. I was seeing them with my own eyes.
And exactly one hour later my appointment was booked.
And it was exactly one week later that I myself was walking into Salon 2510 to meet with Jenn Lintzenich– who I have now dubbed The Brow Queen. Located in St Pete, this charming salon was everything I had pictured. Clean, chic and comfy. She greeted me with a warm hug and instantly I was at ease. Because no matter how much research you do, the thought of doing anything permanent is scary. But her confident and professional energy erased any doubt that may have still been lingering.
Of course, I arrived with my brows filled in as usual, though slightly darker. I just felt it was important that she see me the same way I’ve grown accustomed to seeing myself. Or, rather, my brows. Plus, I knew she would measure my face to mark where my natural brow should start and stop. And I was curious to see just how bad of a job I’ve been doing all these years. To my amazement, I had been dead on.
ABOVE: An example of how to find your natural brow shape.
ABOVE: Measured, marked, and outlined. The actual area to be microbladed will be entire area inside the dark outer line.
But more importantly, it meant that if she was going to follow my natural brow, they were going to look pretty much the same. Only a hell of a lot more natural.
The measuring process probably took the longest out of my two hour visit. As it should. Because it’s not so much a process, as it is an agreement between yourself and the artist. A level of expectation. There should be a clear understanding of what you expect your final result to be, yet a reasonable one. With my current brow situation, or lack thereof rather, I was pretty much a blank canvas. But I was also very set in my brow ways. I knew what I wanted, and came armed with screenshots to back my vision up. But I was also open to the possibility of my expectations being unrealistic. At the end of the day, your artist is someone who is trained and licensed to do what they do best, so their opinion should not only be welcomed, but taken seriously.
Fortunately we were on the same page, so there was nothing left to do but get to work.
The next step was to apply a topical numbing gel to work its magic. Because its microblading. Which means a needle will be involved. So there’s no need to ask if it’s going to hurt. But more on that later. Because while the gel was slowly numbing away, we had another important decision to make- Color. This can be a difficult decision for many reasons. But the most obvious being your hair color. Because what it is today, may not be what it will be tomorrow. So while I’ve been living the blonde life for about 5 years now, my natural hair color is black. Yet, I’ve always filled my brows in with light shades of brown. So together, we decided that a 50/50 mixture of dark and light brown would be perfect. The idea being that we would rather start off lighter, and go darker if I felt the need during my touch up visit a month from now.
ABOVE: Numbing gel with plastic on top for absorption.
And then it was Go Time. My shape was drawn, my color was mixed, and my brows were numb. All in one hour’s time.
I laid back on the table, took a deep breath, and braced myself for the worst. Not because I thought it would hurt like hell, but because I hate needles. And I had this picture of a giant tattoo gun in my head. Instead, she leaned over me with a tool that was no bigger than a pen. And no louder than the sound one would make when clicking it open to use.
But best of all??
No pain. I mean, everyone is going to be a little different in this area, but I would say one a scale of 1 to 10, the majority of the procedure was a 1 for me. Maybe 20% of it a 2. And another 5% was a 3. At one point, I’m certain I could have drifted off to sleep for a few minutes. And why not? I was in good hands, having a procedure done that I would almost consider life changing.
After about 30 minutes, she had me get up and take a look. Not just because I was curious, but to see if there were any tweaks I thought might be needed.
Honestly, this was probably the scariest part of the whole thing.
I had to close my eyes before standing in front of the mirror. Because I knew that when I opened them, it was either going to be one of the greatest moments of my life, or one of the worst. If I opened them, and they were awful, then it would mean it really was too good to be true. That, once again, there was no Santa. And I would be confined to my brow prison again.
I held them closed for one more final second…
And then… I slowly opened my eyes, prepared for whatever was waiting. At first, I was confused. And then… surreal. Because for the very first time, I knew I was looking at a reflection that would never again be a source of anxiety. A reflection that would no longer require time and effort before presenting it to the world without shame. I would wake up to that reflection. That other people would wake up next to that reflection. Because it was no longer simply a reflection. Or a screenshot. Or a wish.
It was me.
No Dip Brow required. Or mirror check to confirm.
This is me…
ABOVE: Both pictures taken immediately after. No redness, swelling or pain.
I didn’t cry. I thought I would, but I couldn’t. I was too happy to cry. I also needed to focus and really look at the face that would now be me. I saw only a few minor tweaks, which she had already pointed out. It just took standing up and looking at me from a different angle to confirm. Again, we were on the exact same page.
I jumped back on the bed and closed my eyes, ready to begin the final step. The Chainsmokers started playing in the background and I began to hum along. And enjoyed the experience of what would be the final brow to ever land on my face by hand.
In a month, I’ll go back for my final visit. It will take that long for them to heal. Which is just another way of saying the pigment is going to change a lot over the next few weeks. It’s been a about 6 days, and they already appear lighter. Though it’s hard to tell with the scabbing- a natural reaction to any kind of tattooing. The most annoying part of the whole experience has been keeping them dry. Turns out, you’re not allowed to get them wet for the first ten days, or it can affect how the pigment sets. So if you’ve ever grown bored with the mundane routine of washing your face, this could be just the kind of challenge to keep things exciting.
And while I fully intend on writing a second part to this after my final visit, I will go on record now and say with 100% certainty that I have absolutely no regrets. And the experience itself has a lot to do with that. So if this is something you’ve been considering, or even merely thought about, it’s definitely worth a consultation. Because while the internet is great for research, you’ll get the best answers one on one.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Florida, or even if you’re visiting the area soon, make an appointment with Jenn. Like, now. You can see more of her work on Instagram by following her HERE. Her enthusiasm and passion for the industry are reasons enough. But her overall skill and natural talent makes her the best in the area.
Or, give her a call directly for more information, or to book an appointment:
And, of course, feel free to comment with any questions- I’m happy to answer them!
So for now, I think it’s important to end Part 1 by agreeing that of course natural is beautiful. But beauty comes in many forms, and can be determined only by the eye of the beholder. But there is truly nothing more beautiful, or more amazing, than the body you have been gifted. Treasure it. Take care of it. And appreciate it. All of it.
But the key word here is “your”. Meaning that however you choose to express yourself with your body is your right. It is the greatest instrument you will ever have, and should be adorned accordingly.
So adorn away.