So after a lot of research, I chose to get them done at Brow Beat Studio and had them done by Tennille. They were running a holiday special: $349 for the service (plus a touch up in six weeks) as opposed to the normal $549. Both pricey options, yes, but we both knew this one-time price would really save my sanity in the mornings and I would no longer have to pay for the brow duo and angled brushes to fill my eyebrows in. The thing is, I didn't want to be (or look) fully glam all the time; I just wanted to look natural and be able to go out of the house without makeup and still look like a 30-year-old woman and not a young girl.
Here is a picture of me sans makeup just so you know what I was working with:
I went in two days after Christmas and Tennille was so professional and thorough. I am such a weenie when it comes to pain, and so I was very nervous. She put some lidocaine cream on my eyebrows to start the numbing process, then sat me down and we chatted for a while about what I liked/didn't like about my eyebrows, what I was hoping for with the Microblading, and even what I was thinking (I showed her pictures of Jessie James Decker because that girl has some amazing eyebrows!). I watched a PowerPoint presentation that told me more than I ever wanted to know about Microblading -- and it even included pictures of bad Microblading vs. good Microblading, which this obsessive girl actually appreciated.
Once the consent forms were signed and the lidocaine was ready to come off, she laid me back in the chair and started the measuring and drawing process. This took a very long time (which, of course, I didn't mind and honestly appreciated how thorough and precise she was -- I mean, she was dealing with my face!). She made me approve this and then made a few tweaks based on my feedback before she got started with the actual Microblading process.
The first round of the Microblading wasn't too bad. On a scale of 1-10, it was probably a 6, and about an 8 when she got below my eyebrows since that area is so sensitive. But, she explained to me what she was doing every step of the way and would even count down how many strokes she had left. It was definitely a little weird hearing the needle drag across my skin, but it didn't take longer than 10 minutes per eyebrow, if that.
Once the first round was finished, she applied the "Color Bath" and I had to sit there and let it sink in for about 10 minutes or so. It was hilarious and looked like a three-year-old took to my face with brown paint.
Once the Color Bath was done, she wiped it off and did the second round of Microblading, which was just touch-ups and finishing strokes. This took about 30-45 minutes to ensure they were even and had the exact amount of strokes per side. (This round barely hurt at all; maybe a 2-3 on a scale of 1-10.) Again, I appreciated the precision and attention to detail. She then applied another Color Bath, wiped it off and...
Here is my before (left) and after (right) for reference:
It was a little weird not being able to get my hair wet for three days (and even then had to take a bath for the full seven days after so as to minimize getting my face really drenched). I also had to wash my eyebrows with a special soap she gave me and could only pat them dry -- and then had to wash the lower half of my face in an awkward way for seven days). Tennille also warned me of all this during the consultation, but it was also strange to see the process your skin/eyebrows take over seven days: the first day was great; the second day, they get significantly darker and thicker looking (and mine even turned a little red tint); and then days four and five were fine; and then they started to shed little fuzzies on day six; and then day seven they were great.
But, to me, the pain and the inconvenience was really worth it and I'm very pleased with Tennille's work! I go back for a touch-up next month and then they're supposed to last roughly about two years.
If you have any questions about this process, I'm an open book!