When it comes to beauty, it’s often true that we always want what we weren’t naturally born with, and that would certainly explain my lifelong obsession with full, shapely brows. Back in junior high, when pencil thin brows had a short moment in the sun, all my barely-there brows needed was a quick visit with the tweezers to be on-trend. However it didn’t take long for me (and the rest of the world) to wise up to the fact that almost everyone looks fresher with a fuller brow, and I’ve been filling mine in with every manner of pencil, powder, wax, and wand ever since.

Filling in my brows every day generally gave me the look I was going for (I even posted a before and after here to prove it), but recently I’ve grown tired of having to use a product to give me my “natural” look, plus when I’m rushed or tired in the morning, it can be next-to-impossible to get both brows evenly filled. So of course my ears perked up when I started reading about some new semi-permanent ways to get the full, lush brows of my dreams, no eyebrow pencil required!

First up? Brow extensions from a local brow salon — the only one I’ve heard of that offers this service since it hasn’t really caught on yet. But I was more than willing to be among the first to try it! During the 75 minute treatment, the aesthetician first shaped my brows, then used tweezers to dip tiny individual synthetic hairs into a glue which she then applied to my skin. The results? It looked great and super natural!! The downsides? I couldn’t get them wet for 24 hours (which made it nearly impossible to wash my face), had to avoid letting shampoo or conditioner touch them indefinitely, and they really only lasted about a week before the hairs started to fall out and I had to start filling in with my trusty pencil again. For the $100 price tag and lengthy application, I quickly decided that this was a treatment that would only make sense for very special occasions.

But would I give up on my semi-permanent brow dreams so quickly? Never! I’d been hearing about a magical-sounding treatment called Microblading, and a few mouse clicks revealed that my dermatologist’s office was performing it on patients! I set up a consultation immediately.

Microblading uses (don’t freak out) a hand-held tattoo pen with a unique blade that creates incredibly fine precise hair strokes. I always thought that “permanent makeup” tattoos looked stamped on and, well, clownish, but I found out that the permanent makeup world has come a long way when it comes to looking natural, plus with microblading, the pigment is placed more superficially in the skin, so results only last a couple of years (good for brows, since styles come and go.)

I booked my appointment with aesthetician Amber, than excitedly waited the 2 weeks for my date with my dream brows. First thing to mention: it hurt like hell. I’m not going to lie, microblading is not for the faint of heart, and I literally had to play mind games with myself to take the pain (and this coming from someone who has undergone two childbirths.) But I’m a believer that you can do anything for an hour, especially since these results are so long-lasting and would shave several minutes off my getting-ready time each morning. Another thing, Microblading is pricey: my appointment, plus one touch-up (which was needed), was $800.

The final verdict? It was all so worth it and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. My brows look naturally full and perfectly shaped all the time, I feel like I can wear less makeup because my brows make me look more polished, and this summer I won’t have to worry about them “coming off” during pool parties! I’d love to hear if anyone else has gone to great extremes for their brows: what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what other crazy things you guys have done in the name of beauty!

featured image via listal

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