By now, you’ve heard of eyebrow microblading, and we’re sure you’ve balked at the high price of the procedure. But Charlotte gets her eyebrow microblading in Korea and it costs her a fraction of the price of microblading in the US! Read her story below.
I inherited short, stubby eyebrows from my dad (thanks, Pops). Thus, my first foray into makeup in junior high was an eyebrow pencil, which I used to attempt to elongate and/or draw-on a non-existing brow. The pencil undoubtedly helped to frame my face, but it wouldn’t last. By mid afternoon, I’d accidentally smear the brow, or I’d realize it was drawn unevenly—the list of what-could-go-wrong was endless.
Fast forward to 2008: I was living in Korea and constantly envious of the many women (and men) who had even, well-groomed eyebrows. I knew something was up, because their brows looked too consistently good to be drawn-in every single day.
So after some sleuthing, I discovered that their secret was microblading: a technique that temporarily tattoos eyebrows onto the skin. This detailed process allows the artist to draw (or tattoo) individual hairs one by one, resulting in a very natural look. It’s truly amazing, and leaves you with perfectly-shaped eyebrows that require absolutely no work. The only con is that microblading only lasts about a year or two, and requires touchups.
Even with all the glowing reviews of microblading, I had been skeptical of considering eyebrow tattoos, because my grandma had tattooed hers and it was not only unnaturally dark, but looked like one solid shape with no dimension. And with time, it even eventually ended up turning a blue-ish green on her skin—yikes! But microblading is a completely different technique, and after some more research, I decided to go for it!
Why I decided to get my brows microbladed in Korea:
Although there are many talented microblading and eyebrow tattoo artists in the US, I decided to do it in Korea because microblading has been popular there for well over 10 years so they have really skilled artists, and there is an obvious price difference.
My friends in the US went to salons that cost $600-$800 for the initial session, with retouching costing upwards of $200. Plus, sometimes it took them months or even a year to book the artist of their choice. In Korea, the really reputable artist I went to charged less than $200 (with no tip!), with retouches only costing $50.
The artist and I discussed my ideal eyebrow shape and look for about 30 minutes. I shared with her photos of how I would naturally draw in my brows and described the look I was going for. Just for context, here’s what my brows looked like without any makeup or microblading.
After we decided on a shape, she applied a numbing cream onto my brows and cellophane over them to keep me from accidentally touching it. I waited for over 30 minutes for the numbing cream to do its job.
After wiping off the numbing cream, she drew in the shape and style. She was so precise; it took her over 30 minutes to do this. Of course at this time, I was giving her a lot of feedback on the shape.
Then she started the actual microblading process. The numbing cream prevented me from feeling anything. All I could hear was the gentle scrape of her tools and some slight tugging and friction in the eyebrow area. It didn’t actually hurt, but I did feel some pressure. There was no blood, because this technique involves not cutting into the skin but just depositing ink into the very surface level of the skin.
After she microbladed one eyebrow, I gave her some feedback on the shape and the look and she adjusted from there. There were several rounds on just one eyebrow, so it ended up being a very time-consuming process. No complaints here, though! I’d rather have someone know exactly what they are doing, and with frequent feedback, since these would be my brows for the next year.
After it was all complete, my brows were a bit sensitive and raw, but overall there was no pain. The final look was much darker than I expected, but the artist reassured me it would fade quickly and so I would probably need a touchup next time I was in town. Here’s what they looked like right after:
Within three days, the darkness subsidized and I was really happy about my new, natural looking brows! I can actually leave the house without drawing them in or being paranoid about them. Sometimes I’ll touch them up with an eyebrow pencil if I’m looking to get really dolled up, but other than that, they’re good as is. Microblading is one of the best things I invested in and I can’t wait for my next touch up!
P.S. Here’s what my brows look like today, four months after the microblading:
My recommended microblading shop in Korea:
I suggest going with a Korean-speaking friend to help you make reservations and translate your needs to the artist! Allow 3-4 hours for the entire process.
Still on the fence? Try the Etude House Tint My Brows Gel. Brush on the gel and let it sit for a few hours (or even overnight!). The gel will temporarily stain your brows for up to seven days!