How to get high impact brows with this pioneering microblading treatment
Tempus reviews the Karen Betts' permanent make-up treatment that’s changing the face of brow shaping
When it comes to the subtle cosmetic tweaks that can transform your daily look, there's nothing quite like perfecting the arch of your brow to make you feel red-carpet ready even while tackling the least glamorous of tasks. And one of London's leading advocates for eschewing dramatic cosmetic transformations in favour of less invasive permanent make-up treatment is Harley Street's Karen Betts.
Betts pioneered permanent make-up treatments when setting up her clinic more than 20 years ago, and today she and her team are still developing new treatments for her illustrious clients – including television personality Katie Piper and model Elen Rivas. And now Tempus.
Having researched the remarkable impact of microblading – which uses a fine needle or 'pen' to draw on individual strokes where hair is sparse – I was excited to discover how this two-hour treatment could bring my brows back to life after years of over-plucking and noughties pencil-thing styling.
As soon as I entered Karen’s studio I was made to feel welcome and at ease, warmly greeted by her assistant as I filled in the requisite forms. During my consultation with Betts, we talked through the exact look I was going for, and I was struck by her thorough understanding of the aesthetic I was aiming for. As for the treatment itself, Betts first added a guide using an eyebrow pencil, tweaking the look until I was completely happy, before applying a topical anaesthetic cream to numb the sensation from the fine blading.
Using a specialist handheld facial tattooing machine, Betts began to make small incisions to my brows and apply the colour of the ink we had chosen – a warm, medium brown. The duration of the treatment varies from person to person, but as a guide, it usually takes one hour. The sensation is similar to an electric toothbrush being held against your skin – I was aware of vibrations, or scratching, but there was no real discomfort despite my initial apprehension and low pain tolerance.
Once she was happy my eyebrows were exactly to my specifications, her work was done and it was time for the big reveal. It’s important to be aware that, immediately after the treatment, your brows will appear 40-50% darker than the colour chosen during your consultation. It can seem fairly dramatic, but don't panic – it will begin to fade after three to four days. A 30-60 minute top-up appointment is required four to 12 weeks after the first treatment, to ensure consistency.
Though microbladed brows are low maintenance, there is some aftercare to be aware of. I was provided with a soothing balm to apply to my tattooed brows four times a day for the first week, in order to speed up healing, and under strict instructions not to get my brows wet for the same period. Itching, redness or swelling can occur in that time too, though it is completely normal. For me, the first few days of itchiness was the biggest draw back to the treatment, but it's a small price to pay for my dream brows – the difference was immediate, with friends and colleagues commenting on how blue my eyes looked, and I was delighted to know this impact will last for up to a year.