It’s been said that eyebrows are one of the only things on our bodies that get thinner as we get older, and while that’s a funny observation, there is some truth to it. Our hair follicles age just as we do, and thinning hair can also be due to hormones, thyroid issues, nutritional deficiencies or skin issues. Past over-tweezing or over-waxing could be contributing factors to this as well. This can permanently damage the follicles causing permanent hair loss. Brows frame the eyes and really make a big difference in the way we look.
While there may not be one magical solution, there are some things you can do to help. An easy way to start is to stop tweezing for a couple months and just let the brows grow in. After eight weeks, go see a professional esthetician to have your brows shaped and cleaned up. This requires a good deal of patience, but it can potentially be worth your while. A much more complicated and expensive solution would be an eyebrow transplant – yes, that is a real thing! Here are some affordable options that won’t have you going to any extremes:
1) Use a brow growth serum. One of the solutions is use a brow growth serum that will stimulate the follicles to grow new hair. You have to consistently apply the serum every day for the first few months, but after that, you only have to use it every few days to maintain the growth. The only downside is that when you stop using it, your brows will go back to the way they were before you started using it.
2) Get your brows tinted or use a tinted brow gel. You may have more hair than you think, but you just can’t see it very well! Brow tinting by a professional esthetician lasts around 4-6 weeks and can really make your brows stand out. There are also tinted brow gels that you can apply every day, kind of like a brown mascara for your brows.
3) Permanent makeup. Last, but not least, there is a much more permanent solution in the way of cosmetic tattooing. Brow tattoos have come a long way since the old days and can look very natural, whether it’s tiny strokes to simulate hairs or a powdery dusting of ink to simulate a soft makeup look. Your skin will determine which technique is better for you. Be sure to look at the artist’s portfolio, and try to look for someone that uses a device rather than a hand tool (known as microblading). The device will cause less trauma to the skin, allowing for quicker healing and less chance for scar tissue. Even though it fades relatively quickly (1-3 years), it is still pretty permanent, so don’t ever cheap out on your brows! Studios (including myself) offer consultations so you can meet the artist, ask any questions, and discuss what your goals are.
As you can see, there are quite a few alternatives to having to draw on your brows every day! These options will help you save time and are worth considering if you’ve never tried them before. Now put the tweezers down and call schedule with your esthetician today!
This summer I trained in a new technique for tattooing hair-like strokes on the eyebrows. Up until then, I had done microblading and powder brows (see two posts ago for more information), and the machine I use for powder brows or shading (same thing) is the same machine I now use for hair stroke brows. Now, there are NO more hand tools, and NO MORE MICROBLADING! Here are a few reasons why:
1) SKIN TRAUMA. Microblading uses a hand tool with a row of tiny needles that you dip into the ink and scratch into the skin, essentially making tiny cuts and filling those cuts with ink (see photo below). If you cut the skin often enough (or sometimes even just once if you use too much pressure), you can create scar tissue.
The needle I use with the device is thinner than ONE of those needles above. It's .only 20mm, so it's very tiny. Some call it a "nano" needle. The machine causes it to move up and down very quickly (around 100 times/second), so instead of slicing the skin, it is puncturing it. Moving the fine needle very slowly in the brows allows me to create a stroke that mimics hair, just like in microblading; however, there is rarely any bleeding, and the healing is SO much quicker and easier. I have clients that have gone through both microblading and machine hair strokes, and they will tell you that it's a night and day difference! As an esthetician, I want to do what's best for the skin long-term, and create as little trauma as possible.
2) LONGEVITY. Even though it is still a tattoo/permanent makeup (and not semi-permanent), you can only deposit so much ink into a scratch with microblading. With the device, the needle injects the ink into the upper layers of skin due to the very fast up and down movement. This can deposit more ink into the skin, which means it will last longer and not fade as quickly.
3) SENSORY EXPERIENCE. I have now had at least three clients that I know of fall asleep to the machine hair stroke brows! After the initial pass and the secondary numbing, you shouldn't feel a thing, and the sound of the machine is like white noise. Definitely soothing compared to the scratching noise of the microblading hand tools, which can be very grating. The sound is one thing I remember that would often bother clients in the past.
Even though it has been really challenging to learn -- holding a vibrating machine in your hand while trying to move it as slowly as possible in a gentle curve, anyone? -- and more expensive, I wish I would have done brows this way from the beginning. Not to throw microblading under the bus, but having seen the differences between the two when it comes to the skin, it was a no-brainer to me to make the switch.
Schedule your free brow consult for machine hair stroke brows in Bozeman or Boise (Star) today!
I have been looking into offering this service for a while now. A service that will put a "lift" into your own natural lashes so you don't have to use a lash curler every day? Sold! Add to that tinting them to a nice dark black so you don't have to wear mascara for a little while?? Double sold!! However, I always want to offer my clients the best of everything, and when I wasn't finding what I considered to be good, quality ingredients to use so close to the eyes, I gave up. A month ago, I happened to stumble upon a small company that focuses on safe and high-quality products, and the more I researched, the more I liked what I was seeing. After a little more research, I decided to start offering this service!
The products contain no ammonium, thioglycolate, or thioglycolic acid. Their active compounds are made from natural sources with clinical proof of their stated claims. They don't bleach their keratin and use only cruelty-free and ethically sourced sheep’s wool as the keratin source. This treatment utilizes a combination of keratin, Pro Vitamin B5, and triple peptide growth factor to infuse each hair for outstanding results long after the treatment is done. I love is that it is not damaging at all to the eyelashes! I had tried lash extensions once and felt like they were, not to mention I didn't like having something glued onto my lashes.
Before I worked on my first models, I wanted to test it out on myself, and you can see the results below. (Of course I could only do one eye at a time, so you truly can see the "before" and "after"!)
I am also currently using the company's Triple Growth Factor Serum to help my lashes grow longer, fuller, and stronger. They say this triple peptide formulation complex naturally provides 3x more volume in less than a month and is clinically proven to provide an increase in volume in the diameter of each lash or brow hair by 40%! I have used other lash serums previously, so we'll see how this one measures up.
This service won't be for those who love the drama of lash extensions, but it is perfect for those of us that don't want to hassle with the expense and maintenance of those, seeing as you only have to do the lift every 6 weeks or so. I love the concept of helping your own lashes be healthier, and I love the feel of nothing on my lashes. Schedule your lift today, and ask me about the special I'm running during the month of August!
I am now offering options with cosmetic tattooing for the eyebrows!. One is microstroking (better known as microblading), and the other is powder brows or powder fill. Since not everyone is a good candidate for the microblading technique (hair strokes), a perfect alternative to that is powder brows. (See this article by the renowned Canadian artist, Tina Davies, entitled "Am I a Good Candidate for Microblading?" for more great information and photos on contraindications.)
Powder brows end up looking a lot like wearing soft makeup in the brow area. It can be quite natural and blend in with the hair you have, but it also helps to add density and fill in gaps. If you already wear makeup (powder or pencil) on your brows, then you will like the look of powder fill. The color is quite intense at first, but it lightens around 20-30% upon healing (see client selfie below).
The tool I use for powder brows is different from what I use for the hair stroke tattooing. I use a machine with a thin and flexible single needle that I quickly whip across the brow area back and forth, adding layers to create density of color. The pigment is also a little diluted, which adds to the effect. This leaves behind a series of tiny little dots or pixels that come together to make a very "powdery" look.
The powder technique requires less maintenance than the hair strokes and works well on all skin types. It still lends itself to a soft and natural look and can also be combined with hair strokes for a fusion of the two techniques. Contact me with any questions or to schedule your brow appointment today!
Eyebrow microblading, microstroking, brow embroidery, feather touch, hair strokes, 3D brows, HD brows? It's all the same thing! There are many names for the same technique, but it is most commonly known as microblading. However, this name implies that there is a blade being used, and that is most definitely NOT the case! This manual method of tattooing or permanent cosmetics in the brow area uses a hand tool that contains a row of very fine needles:
These sterile, single-use needles are dipped into pigment, and then using gentle pressure, the artist scratches them into the skin, creating strokes that mimic brow hairs. The pigment should be implanted into the same depth of skin that any other tattoo is, but since there is such a low concentration of pigment, it will fade much more quickly.
There are machine methods now that can offer similar results, but not all needles are created equal. Some artists use a thicker needle that leave thicker strokes, and when not done correctly, they can leave blots/dots at the base of the stroke. For the most natural look, either make sure it is the manual hand method, or if done by machine, look for the word "nano" (this will be the smallest needle size).
I personally prefer to call it microstroking, but whatever you call it, make sure that the artist you choose is certified, skilled, and clean. Do your research, look at photos of their work, and book a consultation to get to know their style and vision for your brows. Remember, this service is not for everyone, and at the end of the day, it is a tattoo. Don't EVER book a service just because it is the cheapest -- your face deserves better!
Did you have permanent makeup done on your brows 5, 10, or even 20 years ago? Several times since then? Bad eyebrow tattoo job? Do you have a small body tattoo that you would like to get rid of?
Tattoo Remoov is a NON-LASER tattoo removal system that combines a device with 88 tiny and tightly configured dull needles that hover over the skin with a solution that does not contain any lactic acid, glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, chlorine or saline. The action of the Dermo Power device undulates and warms the skin, causing the pores to "open", and the water-based oxide solution attracts the iron oxides from the tattoo ink/pigment and draws it out.
The number of removal sessions varies depending on your age, tattoo age, depth of tattoo, pigment or ink used, and skin type/thickness. Contact me today if you are interested in treatments at a discounted rate by being part of my pilot program to build a portfolio of case studies and photos!
Seeing what the name of my business is, I figure that a good place to start this blog is with the essentials! The skin is our body's largest organ at around 20 square feet, as well as the fastest growing one. As a barrier, it protects us from germs, regulates our body temperature, and provides us with the sense of touch. Its many layers are home to valuable resources that assist in all of these functions and more.
What you see on the surface are dead skin cells (lovely, I know). New skin cells are constantly forming and moving up towards the surface, which is a process that takes from a couple weeks (when we're young) to a month or more as we age (which is why we estheticians recommend monthly facial appointments). This leads us right into the first "essential" of:
1. EXFOLIATE. If you don't exfoliate your skin, it will not be happy. If you have oily or breakout-prone skin, the buildup of dead skin cells and oil can trap bacteria in your follicles (pores), causing acne. If you have dry skin, your skin will stay dry and dull since any moisturizer you use cannot penetrate past the dead skin cell buildup very well. However, be GENTLE with your exfoliation! Exfoliation is important, but being aggressive with a scrub or anything else is not good either. Depending on your skin, you could exfoliate every day with a microfiber cloth or serum with buffered acid, a few times a week with a sonic skin brush, or once a week with an enzyme. Figuring out what works best for your skin -- manual exfoliation versus chemical exfoliation -- is the key as well as moderation.
2. CLEANSE. Wash your face twice* EVERY night! It's fine to splash water on it in the morning if that's when you shower, but it is SO important to wash the day off your skin before allowing it to rest and recover at night. Be gentle with your cleansing as well. For some, using a microfiber cloth with water is better than a cleanser. If you ever find that your skin feels tight or dry after cleansing, you are using the wrong cleanser, and it is stripping your natural oils. Try something else!
*If you don't wash it twice, then use a toner after you wash it once as a second cleanse.
3. MOISTURIZE. Whether it's with oils, gels, lotions or creams, everyone needs to hydrate their skin morning and night. And the best way to use a moisturizer is to apply it while your skin is still slightly damp. Even if you are oily, you still need some hydration, and the right one may even help balance some of the oiliness. Pick the right moisturizer for your skin -- your esthetician can help you with that!
4. SUN PROTECTION: Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. Sunscreen is truly the #1 anti-aging product out there! An SPF of 30 every day, rain or shine, whether you work indoors or out is one of the best habits you can get into. Better yet, use a sun protection powder or mineral makeup with SPF as a two for one! When I take the dogs for a walk, I know I look incredibly goofy with my big brimmed hat, but one of the great things about getting older is you don't care as much what people think! I slather sunscreen on my face, arms and hands, pop on my sunglasses and know that my skin will stay looking younger -- and hopefully I will avoid skin cancer as well.
5. SERUM (optional for specific skin problems). I still get pimples even though I'm into my forties now (makes me still feel so young, yeah!), so I use a serum to help prevent breakouts and gently exfoliate my skin. If you want to correct sun spots, acne, dryness, or wrinkles, use a serum that's targeted to help whatever issue(s) you are looking to fix (in addition to getting regular facial treatments too, of course!). Serums should always be applied after you cleanse but before you moisturize.
Last but not least, keep it simple. I know that if my routine was overly complicated, I would not stick to it very well. I have contacts to remove, teeth to floss and brush, and I want to get to bed without having to do five more things at night! Love the skin you're in and show it some TLC. It deserves it for all it does, and you will be glad you did!