What is microblading? And, crucially, is it worth it? Eyebrows: they're essential in framing your face and making your eyes 'pop'. Having gorgeous eyebrows is never more important than your wedding day, when you want to look the best version of yourself. There are quick-fixes aplenty, in the form of gels, creams and pencils, to substitute for sparse brows and uneven shapes. But if you're serious about your brows, and you want a semi-permanent but miraculously natural solution, let us introduce you to microblading.
So, just what is microblading?
Microblading is essentially an eyebrow tattoo. But don't let
that scare you: microblading is, more precisely, a form of
semi-permanent tattoo that's applied using a mini scalpel and tiny
needles rather than a traditional full-on tattoo gun. Gone are the
days of coloured-in, one-dimensional brows that sit on your face
like slugs, what microblading is brilliant for is keeping
your brows look extremely natural (and in keeping with the 'no make
up, make up trend'). The pigment is applied into the skin in fine,
hair-like strokes to mimic natural hair growth - you'll have a hard
time spotting a microbladed brow versus a natural, bushy brow from
a distance - and lasts up to 18 months.
What happens when you get your eyebrows microbladed?
A good technician, like Sian Dellar (from £495, permanentmakeup-specialist.com) will give you a thorough consultation to map your brows before touching them. They'll get their rulers, protractors and pens out and mark on your head exactly where your perfect eyebrows should be. It's a good idea to take with you photographs and styles of brows you like (and don't like) to rule out any chance of misinterpretation - your definition of 'thin and sleek' may be totally different to someone else's. Make sure you're happy with the shape you've agreed when your eyebrows are marked on your forehead - if not, don't be shy to speak up.
Does microblading hurt?
A numbing cream is then applied to help bear the microblading pain - which can be a little eye watering at times - but the result is totally worth it. Brides engagement editor Alyson Lowe braved going under the micro-knife in search of perfect eyebrows with Sian Dellar. She says: "I'd always been relatively happy with my naturally dark eyebrows, but I wanted to get a more defined shape and increased depth, so decided to give microblading a whirl. After applying a numbing cream spending a good 15 minutes sketching out my ideal brow shape (a ruler and compass was involved), Sian set to work. Microblading is uncomfortable - the initial strokes of the scalpel feel akin to a cat's claw being dragged through your skin - but after topical anaesthetic was applied, I couldn't feel a thing."
The healing process
The microblading healing process will take a little time (a few gruesome scabs are normal too) and most experts will recommend a touch up around a month after the initial application. "My eyebrows really scabbed over about a week after my first treatment. I'd definitely recommend getting microblading far in advance of your wedding to allow them to fully heal" says Alyson. What's more, you won't be able to get your face wet for a full 10 days after microblading. Time to book in for blow-dries and stock up on face wipes!
The top-up treatment
After a few weeks, your eyebrows will have fully healed, and
it's time for the top-up treatment to fill in any gaps and go over
the existing strokes. It's crucial to remember that microblading is
very much a two-stage process - don't freak out until you've got
the final-final results a month after your top-up. You'll be left
with thicker more lustrous brows that, crucially, won't need a
moment's attention in your morning makeup routine. Depending on
your skin type (dry skin holds the tattoo better), you can expect
your microbladed eyebrows to last around a year. "After my final
treatment, I was left with the eyebrows I'd been after. They're
thick, fluffy and look totally natural. All I do in the morning is
set them with a dash of clear mascara, and I'm good to go," says
Microblading still a relatively new trend in the beauty industry but it lives up to the hype. And for brides before your wedding, it might just be the best £500 you spend.
Going on holiday for 7 days doesn't have to equate to gaining a similar number of pounds. If you've been sweating it out at the gym/bodypump/pilates studio and don't want to let it slip and put on weight while on holiday, panic not: put in some savvy planning and the only thing that'll be heading south is your aeroplane. Keep reading for our essentials tips for how to stay seriously fit on holiday.
Walking has all too long been neglected as a form of serious exercise, but don't underestimate the effectiveness of it as LISS cardio (that's low intensity steady state - the long-lost cousin to much-lauded HIIT). LISS cardio has little effect on fat burn until you reach over 30 minutes - but keep strolling after that magic tipping point, and it works wonders. Aim for 20,000 steps a day, ideally on a varied terrain, and enjoy that cocktail smug in the knowledge that you've spent all day toning your touché on the pavements.
Be realistic about the hotel room workout
Ever gone away with the good intention of jump-squatting before the breakfast buffet and planking away a hard afternoon's sunbathing, to find that it just hasn't happened? You're not alone. Be realistic about what you can do (and what will have the inclination to do) on what could be little more than a coffin-sized patch of floor. If you do one thing, train your abs: crunches, leg raises and planks in all their variations are the most realistic piece of training you can achieve. Aim for 10 minutes a day, every day (consistency is, as ever, key) to feel noticeably more toned by the time you're back in the departure lounge.
"I haven't got my kit" is an excuse that should be left in the PE changing room where it belongs. Pack your lightest top, sports bra and shorts alongside a resistance band. This golden piece of kit is best used around your thighs while squatting to mimic the effect of holding a weight and hooked under your feet and held in your hand for bicep curls. The best part? It folds up to take up the same precious suitcase space as a pair of socks.
Plan & prepare
Of course, the easiest way to keep up that 4-times-per-week religion is to book a hotel with fitness facilities in the first place. But, we're not just talking about a dingy basement with a couple of dumbbells and a treadmill decorated with cobwebs: scout out a hotel with a gym that you will actually want to use. Reward your dedication with a dip in the pool or steam room afterwards - after all, you are on holiday, right?
What is a CC Cream? Colour Control, Colour Correction or Complexion Corrector, whatever you call it, CC creams are focused on one thing: correcting colour. Read more »