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If you’re considering having your eyebrows microbladed, perhaps for the first time, you’ll no doubt be a bit apprehensive about where to go. After all, microblading is called “semi-permanent” makeup for a reason, i.e. the results are intended to be long-lasting. This, of course, is great if your eyebrows have been done well but if they’ve been done badly… not so much.
It’s always tricky picking the right microblade artist as there are now so many to choose from. A decade or so ago, they were few and far between but nowadays there are quite literally dozens and dozens AND DOZENS of them in every county/state across the globe!
One of the problems is that it’s difficult to know at first glance how long ago someone trained. It could be weeks or it could be years. And yes, experience really does matter. Although some newly qualified artists are naturally gifted and can produce great work right off the bat, this is the exception rather than the rule. What this means is that the overwhelming majority of semi-permanent makeup practitioners that are new to the business will need plenty of practice to hone their skills… And it could be you they want to hone them on.
With this in mind, here’s a short list of things to look out for (with a few red flags) if you’re struggling to pick the right microblade artist for you.
1. Price – Be wary of cheap prices and special offers
We all love a bargain so it may be tempting to go for those special microblading deals when you see them offered on a website or on social media. They’re usually cheap for a reason. It could be that the artist is newly qualified and needs practice. It could be that they’re not very good and struggle to get new clients because of this. It could be that they’re not properly qualified. It could be a whole lot of other things but, to cut a long story short, you normally get what you pay for in life. Microblading is no exception.
2. Training – Is the person well-qualified… or qualified at all?
Point number one dovetails nicely into this one as the two are often connected. Make sure you ask to see relevant qualifications if they’re not on display in the clinic you visit. Most reputable practitioners are usually proud to publicly display their qualifications and if not, will happily show them to you on request. So, be extremely wary of anyone who is cagey about showing you these as it’s possible that they don’t have any at all. And in case you’re wondering, the answer is no; being qualified is not a legal requirement to perform microblading in most countries although you may not be able to get insurance if you’re not – another red flag.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that training courses vary immensely, with some only taking a couple of days to get “qualified”. These courses are cheap for a reason and don’t lead to proper certification. For example, some local councils in the UK insist on level 4 certification to practice in a salon; you simply can’t attain this in a couple of days.
3. Before and after examples
You’ll no doubt have seen some of the “microblading gone wrong” microblade disaster pictures and stories that float around on social media and in the newspapers (e.g. here, here and here). We’ve all seen these types of images of unsightly bodge jobs that really need to be rectified immediately. Although we all feel empathy for the individual concerned, it’s difficult to convey in words how utterly distraught someone will feel if it happens to them.
To avoid becoming another tragic tale, always look on the artist’s website or social media platform for genuine before and after pictures to see the quality of their work. You’ll quickly be able to get a fair impression of what they’re capable of achieving. It goes without saying that this is a good benchmark of what you can expect.
This is a big one. An artist or clinic will often have reviews on their website from happy clients. However, one thing to be aware of is where the reviews have come from and if they’re genuine. Are they just written text with the name of the alleged author underneath i.e. could they be fake/made up? Are they from review sites where a business has to pay to use the service? If they are, it’s worth bearing in mind that some of these sites are easy to manipulate and post fake reviews to. After all, if you think about it, the review site is charging the business to use their service so obviously want their client to be seen in the best light in order to keep their custom.
In reality, there’s one review platform that stands out because it’s really difficult to manipulate – Google Reviews. If a clinic/artist gets a bad review, it can’t be removed. Only the person that left the review can remove it. This is about as bulletproof as you can get and the only way to fake it is to have dozens of friends leave fake reviews for you. Fortunately, this rarely happens and Google also has clever features and algorithms that can spot suspicious/fake activity and if they catch you in the act, they can remove your website from their listing. Most businesses realise that this isn’t a risk worth taking.
This is a trickier one as you may not know anyone who lives near you that’s visited a local microblade artist. If you do and they’ve had a good experience, then great, at least you have a reputable place to fall back on if you can’t find anyone else you like. Although not always possible, referrals are one of the best ways to find an excellent semi-permanent makeup artist.
6. Outline marking
All reputable microblade artists will outline your eyebrows before they actually do any work. There are several reasons for this. The first one is that it’s crucial that you, the client, can see and choose the size and shape of the area you want to be done. For example, some people like thicker brows or a deeper curve than others. It’s a personal choice that only the client can make. Ultimately, it’s what the client feels most comfortable and confident with that’s most important. Any artist that says they’re going to “freestyle” your new brows should be avoided regardless of how good they say they are. Although it may turn out OK, working with an outline prevents mistakes and also prevents the artist from going beyond the boundary line you’ve set.
7. Pushy or rushed practitioner
Carrying on from the point above, if you visit a clinic only to find that the microblade artist is trying to dictate what’s best for you, then you should run for the nearest exit. Unfortunately, there are a few artists with rather large egos who generally adopt an “I know what’s best” attitude when dealing with a client. This overbearing personality can be intimidating so it’s important to stand your ground. Many reputable microblade artists will often get new clients who come to them following a session somewhere else where they’ve been pushed into agreeing to a certain look that they didn’t want. Please bear in mind that microblading is a lot harder to undo than it is to do!
8. General clinic hygiene and overall impressions
This last point is perhaps a bit more generic but nevertheless, it’s still a good yardstick to apply to any clinic offering any type of beauty treatment. The owner’s attention to cleanliness and hygiene is usually a really good indicator of their overall level of professionalism. A dirty, messy or disorganised workspace is a bad sign and can often reflect a more slapdash approach to client care overall. Even if this isn’t the case and the space looks fine, you may still have niggling doubts that you can’t quite put your finger on. This can be on a more subtle, intuitive level but you should still trust your gut feelings. If something just doesn’t feel right, this probably isn’t the place for you.
Hopefully, this post has helped you in some small way to avoid becoming another microblading gone wrong story and assist you with finding the right microblade artist for you – Good luck in your quest!