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Microblading Artist Renee Lee On the Dos and Don’ts of the Hottest Brow Trend

If you got a little pluck-happy in your teens or just want to achieve bushy perfection like brow deities Cara Delevingne or Lily Collins, there may be a remedy for you.

Microblading has made its way into the headlines these past few years, most recently when actress Bella Thorne documented her microblading experience via Snapchat (what else?). Speaking from experience: Microblading can completely switch up your beauty routine, saving you time and sparing you from frustration over sparse, misshapen brows. The right brows, after all, can change everything about your look.


A photo posted by Renee (@browsbyrenee) on

But unlike the eyebrow tattoos of yesteryear, microblading is an advanced technique where minimal amounts of ink are delivered onto the skin via blade, tiny stroke by tiny stroke. The end result? A much more natural look—feathered, and a softer apperance that won’t reduce to strange blues or greens as time goes by.

The Klog got to sit down recently with highly sought after, New York- (and sometimes Los Angeles-) based microblading artist Renee Lee to learn more about the method, how to sniff out a trained microblading artist that you can trust, and whether or not you may be a good candidate to save those brows.


THE KLOG: Hi! How long have you been doing brows? What were you doing before?

RL: I’ve been doing brows for about 3 years now. Before that I was a Makeup Artist for 12 years and still do that on occasion.

THE KLOG: How would you describe microblading to someone who’s unfamiliar?

RL: Microblading is a semi-permanent makeup technique in which the pigment is deposited through a blade that consists of nanoneedles. This tool is used to draw in each “hair” one-by-one, then the pigment settles into the hair “etch.”

Once healed ([the process] takes approximately two weeks), the hairstrokes will last on average anywhere from 8 months to a couple years, depending on the individual’s skin type and lifestyle. The hairstroke technique was born out of a desire to create a more natural effect as opposed to the old-school tattooing method, which can look very “drawn-in” and contrived by some standards. By using various techniques, a very realistic, dimensional-looking “3-D” brow can be created. Thus, the popular coined term 3-D brow is now synonymous to microblading.


A photo posted by Renee (@browsbyrenee) on

THE KLOG: Too many people think about older generation, semi-permanent brow tattooing and think of old ladies with blue/green, faded brows. What are the advantages of microblading over other semi-permanent options for brows?

RL: In my opinion, the semi-permanent factor of microblading lends it a more realistic effect simply because of the fact that it is sitting more superficially in the skin. The color has less skin mass to project through, lending it a “crisper” look. How it fades has to do with the type of ink being used, however.

I use the industry standard: LI Pigments, used widely by the most well-known permanent artists in the world. Combined with skillful artistry, microblading can create a much more natural effect than old-school brows.

Also, because it is inherently mimicking brow strokes, it’s also more versatile. For example, people with no hair, some hair, scars, asymmetrical brows, etc., can use microblading to “blend” existing hairs into the new strokes. The process can be modified depending on the needs of the individual. It is also popular among men because of its natural and undetectable look.


A photo posted by Renee (@browsbyrenee) on

THE KLOG: Sooooo… does it hurt? What would you compare the sensation to?

RL: No, it does not hurt. I find my client’s comfort of utmost importance, so I take the time to thoroughly numb before and throughout the procedure. Many of my clients report little to no sensation. Occasionally, for very sensitive individuals, there may be more sensitivity, in which case I just apply more numbing product. That’s all it takes. It’s comparable to a plucking/tweezing sensation or nothing at all once the numbing completely takes effect.


THE KLOG: Who makes a good candidate for microblading?

RL: Almost anyone can be a good candidate for microblading: those with young skin and mature skin, thin and thick skin, alopecia sufferers, cancer survivors.

Those that may not be ideal, however, are those with extremely thin sensitive skin that simultaneously suffer from rosacea, as this causes excessive bleeding and dilution of pigment, which results in poor retention. Also, those with extremely oily skin may find that the line will blur and thicken.


THE KLOG: How long does it last? How often should it be touched up?

RL: The procedure will last, on average, anywhere from 8 months to a couple years, but most clients find themselves getting a touch-up at the 8-month or 1-year mark to upkeep the integrity of the new brow.


A video posted by Renee (@browsbyrenee) on

THE KLOG: What’s the most common mistake you think people make when it comes to their brows?

RL: I think the most common mistake is either neglecting them or over-doing them. Many people are so frustrated by their brow situation that they either ignore it altogether or they overcompensate by overdrawing them in. I think it’s worth paying a visit to a professional, even to learn how to keep them properly groomed–because it affects the rest of your face significantly!


THE KLOG: Let’s say a client comes to you with the world’s most overplucked brows—can they be saved?

RL: Absolutely! This is all in a day’s work. I see this every day. This is precisely what microblading is great for.


THE KLOG: What kind of research should people do when searching for a microblading artist? What should people look for?

RL: People should look for credible artists with proper permanent makeup training that are up to code, are insured, and operate a legitimate business. Lastly, they should focus on stylistic desirability and decide on an artist only when they are satisfied with every single photo in their repertoire.

Oftentimes the photos displayed are out of context due to confidentiality and only a portion of the face is revealed, which can warp and misinterpret the actual brow shown. There are unpredictable variables to consider with photos as well (i.e. lighting, angles, filters, photoshop, etc.), which can throw the image off.

When you meet your artist face-to-face, request to see full-faced photos of other clients. The individual should be happy to present them upon request. Even if you have decided on an artist and do not feel comfortable moving forward in the middle of an appointment, do not hesitate to vocalize the request to postpone the appointment. Any professional that prioritizes his/her client will honor this request. It’s your face!


A photo posted by Renee (@browsbyrenee) on

THE KLOG: Anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t covered?

RL: Yes! Do yourself and the artist a favor and read every single page of his/her website before going in for your appointment. The information is there at your disposal for your benefit. It will save both of you a lot of time and trouble. You will know how to prepare, what to expect, and how to follow-up. The clients that are well-prepared and well-informed are usually the happiest ones because they get what they want because they know what to expect!


To learn more about Renee Lee and microblading, visit her site or see more of her artistry on Instagram at @browsbyrenee.

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