Our beauty expert on microblading and hybrid tints to get brows in tip-top shape
I never thought much about eyebrows until I lost them all during chemo, which is amusing now that rarely a week passes without someone initiating a conversation with me about them. As a people (beauty-loving people, that is), we are obsessed. A particularly intense bout of brow fever entered my family last year when my sister’s friend got microblading done.
“She’s transformed,” my sister exclaimed. “We have to get them for Aoife!” Aoife is our other sister, who has a difficult brow history. Like many women, she went hard on them with the auld tweezers as a teenager and they never really recovered. For a long time we weren’t allowed to talk about it, such was the touchiness of the subject.
Una was right. Microblading is the perfect treatment for a person with such a history. The procedure entails the light tattooing of individual hair strokes, giving people with sparse brows the appearance of fullness. When done well, the results are spectacular — even the most discerning eye would gloss over them, assuming they were natural. The results last 18 to 30 months, depending on the skin type, with touch-ups along the way.
Like so many beauty treatments these days, the process is not inexpensive. Prices start around €250, but can go close to €1,000, depending on where you go. There are excellent people doing this treatment around the €500 mark, and given its semi-permanent nature and highly visible results, I think it’s worth spending some money on. Shop around, make sure you look at lots of photos of their work, and go for someone with experience.
Of course, microblading is not appropriate for everyone, as both Una and I, high on Aoife’s transformation, found out when we looked into it for ourselves. If you have the brow hairs, it’s probably not necessary, and a tint may be the better option.
Most of us are familiar with a basic tint, but when she was rejecting me for microblading (fair enough, tbh) Kim from Dublin Makeup Academy told me about Hybrid Tint, which was new to me. I love a tint, but with brows as fair as mine, I need to get it done once a week, which is tiresome. “Who has the time?” I whinged at Kim, and she talked me down from my brow ledge by explaining that Hybrid Tint gives you results which last around six weeks. I tried it, and it really does!
Once my brows were tinted, I was able to put aside most of my brow products, and instead have been able to use just one to fix the hairs into place. I brush a hold product through the hairs before using my finger to flatten them down, giving a laminated effect.
My favourite at the moment is Refy’s Brow Sculpt (€20 via brownthomas.com), which I mentioned last week. It holds the hairs brilliantly and doesn’t feel heavy or flakey.
I am desperate to try Schwarzkopf’s Got2B Glued 4 Brows & Edges (€5.99 via boots.ie), which has been getting rave reviews across the internet but it is constantly out of stock — I’ll report back once I manage to get my hands on it.
I still absolutely love Soap Brows (€16.99 via duoireland.com) too, which has just launched a ‘strong’ edition of the product for extra hold.
You may have heard about Profhilo, an injectable skin treatment, on the grapevine. But what is it and what does it do? Profhilo is an injectable form of hyaluronic acid. As you probably know, hyaluronic acid attracts and holds moisture in the body, so when it’s right at the surface of the skin the result is plumper, more radiant skin, with more even texture. This treatment is suitable for the face, neck and hands, and results in a more natural look than other injectable treatments.
MAC Face and Body Foundation has been a crucial part of most makeup artists’ kits for decades now. A lightweight fluid foundation, this product evens out imperfections and balances the skin tone, without looking heavy or unnatural. The product is sheer and hydrating, but also long lasting, making it a dream for using on the body when you’re getting it out for a special event. Recently, the product was repackaged as MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body foundation (€32 via brownthomas.com), and some fans feel there has been a change in formula, despite the brand insisting that it’s the same. I still think it’s a great product, formulation change or no formulation change.
YSL’s Nu Bare Look Tint (€32 via boots.ie) is light and has a water-cream texture, meaning it is sheer but buildable. As with all skin tints, the aim of the product is to even out the skin tone and improve the look of the skin without masking it, and I think it succeeds. It leaves a dewy finish, which looks fresh and youthful, but those with oily skin may wish to set it with powder to make it last longer. Thanks to its skincare ingredients and hydrating nature, this product would work really well on mature skin or people with dry skin.