May 19, 2019

My Microblading Experience at Studio Sashiko (Before/After Pictures)

I've never really liked my eyebrows -- prior to microblading, they were kind of sparse and looked weird with no product on them. Like many other girls my age, they were over-plucked in the mid/late-2000s (thankfully they grew back) and in recent years I finally figured out how to fill them in but it's still been annoying, especially when they wiped off if I got wet or sweaty. Nothing worse than having half an eyebrow!

I started hearing about microblading a while back and was incredibly intrigued by the process. It seemed like just the thing I was looking for: tiny hair strokes are "tattooed" on (it doesn't go as deep as a traditional tattoo), leaving you with natural-looking brows for 1-3 years. I talked about it so often that my husband offered to pay for me to get microblading for my birthday 3 years ago (he literally wrote "eyebrows" on a piece of paper and handed it to me as my present)... but since I'm scared of needles and pain, it actually took me until now to finally cash in on my birthday gift.

Once I finally mustered up the courage, I booked in with Savanna Dillon at Studio Sashiko. It's a bit of a drive from Vancouver to Langley where they're located but Studio Sashiko is pretty famous in the microblading world and I was willing to travel for the best. This is a semi-permanent face tattoo, after all!

I started the process at the very end of December and now that it's complete, I can honestly say it was worth it. I love not having to do my brows anymore and I feel more "done" even when I'm not wearing any makeup. Savanna did an amazing job creating individual hair strokes where none existed before and I've had so many compliments on how natural they look (no one has known they were microbladed until I told them).

5.5 months after first session and 10 weeks after touch-up (no brow products used)

Since I spent so much time considering whether or not I wanted to try microblading and it's also an expensive process (some places offer cheap deals but in my opinion, it's worth it to pay more for quality so you know you'll be satisfied at the end), I made sure to document my path to perfect brows for the blog. It's funny looking back at pictures of my original brows because I kind of forgot what they looked like!

PROCESS AND HEALING

As I mentioned earlier, Studio Sashiko is located about an hour drive from Vancouver in Langley but it's a really open and welcoming space. Savanna made me feel comfortable right away with her warm personality and took the time to explain what she'd be doing. I'd also already stalked her Instagram account so I was familiar with her work and knew I liked it (highly recommend checking out your artist's social media beforehand).

Although it's a 2 hour appointment, the actual time spent microblading is not that long. In fact, most of my appointment was spent drawing and deciding on the eyebrow design and waiting for numbing cream to work. Thanks to the aforementioned numbing cream, I couldn't really feel the needles but there were a few sensitive points where there was some sharp pain. Overall, it was totally bearable. Savanna did a couple passes (numbing cream + microblading) before we were done.

Top: natural brows / Bottom: immediately after first session

Top: natural brows / Bottom: immediately after first session

The first day was probably the most painful... once the numbing cream wore off, my eyebrows felt really sore. You have to dab the tattooed area gently 5-7 times a day for about a week with lukewarm water and a disposable paper towel. This removes any plasma and oil build-up and prevents scabbing. There was a bit of blood when I dabbed on Day 1 but it went away by Day 2.

I was sent home with some detailed care instructions and a little pot of barrier cream that I was to apply with a cotton swab for 2 full weeks. The card also had this really cute meme on the back that described the general healing process.


Overall, I'd say the timeline was pretty accurate to my experience. The soreness was gone by Day 2. I didn't find my brows looked particularly dark & thick as they healed, as per the card, but I suspect this is because I have dark hair (they probably would look very dark if you're a blonde). My brows started to feel a bit itchy around Day 4 and flaking didn't start until Day 8.

Here's what the flaking looked like on Day 10:

Day 10 Post-Procedure

On Day 12, I started to feel concerned because my left eyebrow pigment looked completely gone. However, the full healing process takes approximately 6-8 weeks. Because the skin is constantly regenerating and naturally exfoliating, the colour does actually "bloom" later on and take on a new strength.

TOUCH-UP

A touch-up is highly recommended about 8-12 weeks after your first session. I know it might be annoying to have to go back and potentially pay more (the touch-up session at Studio Sashiko costs $150), but it's really important. It gives the artist a chance to assess how your brows have healed and fill in spots that didn't "take".

The process touch-up session was very similar to my first session and took about the same length of time. I noticed the after result was a lot darker than it had been after my first session since the new strokes built on the previous strokes.

Top: healed, 10.5 weeks after first session / Bottom: immediately after touch-up

Top: healed, 10.5 weeks after first session / Bottom: immediately after touch-up

In terms of healing, I also found it to be a lot easier this time around. The flaking was significantly less noticeable, likely because of the base colour already being there.

5.5 months later, I am still SO happy with my new brows. You can see the healed result didn't stay as dark as immediately after the touch-up since I know some people are concerned about having really noticeable brows. I'm not sure how long it will be until I have to get them redone but I care for them by avoiding using any abrasive/exfoliating products on the area (e.g. retinol) and applying sunscreen to protect them from fading/prolonged sun exposure.

April 7, 2019

FOTD: Everyday Makeup from Revlon

The kind folks at Revlon sent over some new products for me to play with a while back and the combination really makes for the perfect fuss-free everyday makeup. Not only that but a lot are from the ColorStay collection which is super long-wearing.


There's nothing easier than a creme eye shadow if you want to put something on fast and the ColorStay Crème Eye Shadow in Creme Brulee is the type of shade you can wear with pretty much everything. It's a shimmering champagne that on my slightly tan skin tone gives just the slightest hint of colour. Since it's budge-proof, it could also double as a base for powder shadows if you feel so inclined. The packaging comes with a little brush in the lid although I personally prefer to apply creme eye shadows with my fingers. I finished my eyes with the ColorStay Eyeliner in Black (not my fave -- I find the texture really hard and the colour doesn't go on smooth at all) and Volumazing Mascara in Blackened Brown (this is an average mascara but I didn't think it was particularly volumizing on my straight, sparse lashes).

On my face, I'm wearing the ColorStay Makeup for Combination/Oily Skin in Medium Beige. Love that there's a formulation for my skin type! The foundation isn't cakey although it doesn't stay perfectly matte on me, especially on the t-zone (always my problem area). Likely due to the SPF 15, there's also unfortunately a bit of flashback. I took my FOTD photo with my ring light and I swear it makes the foundation look a lot lighter than it does in person, so that's something to consider if you're wearing this one out at night. To create a bit of dimension, I used the Galaxy Dream Holographic Highlighting Palette which I have previously reviewed.


My favourite product of the bunch is what I'm wearing on my lips: the Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in Pink IRL. It's soooo nice! I originally thought it was going to be like a Lancome Juicy Shaker but those are a lot more sheer and glossy. This product has a sort of creamy formulation that feels hydrating on the lips and the colour payoff is great. This particular shade is a perfect everyday lip colour. I also love the sponge tip applicator and that fact that it smells like vanilla - yum!

March 18, 2019

Spring 2019 Beauty Faves

The weather is finally turning (this week it's supposed to go as high as 17 °C!) and Spring is officially around the corner. What better time to review some of my current beauty faves, especially since they're all products that will be taking me into the new season?


My absolute superstar #1 fave that I used all Winter long is the StriVectin S.T.A.R. Light™ Retinol Night Oil. I first shared this back in October as part of my #LDBeauty recap and have been using it ever since. In short, it is AMAZING and I don't think I'll ever be able to live without it going forward. It's the only retinol that has made a significant difference in my skin texture, especially on my forehead and chin which are areas I've been trying to deal with for quite some time now. The oil feels super luxe and absorbs quickly.

To help my StriVectin retinol oil and other serums sink in, I've been using my Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller. I was first introduced to the concept of facial rolling at Glow Dermal Therapy (I started getting professional facials in the lead-up to my wedding and continue going every so often for "maintenance" purposes), and I've noticed facial rolling seems to be all the rage right now. No surprise why... I just can't get enough of that cooling sensation!

I always apply sunscreen under my makeup but I've always struggled with the concept of re-applying throughout the day. Do I remove my makeup and do it all over again or do I put sunscreen on top of my makeup? Both options aren't great so I was super excited when I discovered this Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist with SPF 50. You can spritz it over your makeup to refresh your UV protection and it doesn't mess up anything. I take this on all my trips and it was so useful on my recent trip to Kauai.

To maintain my post-Hawaii glow, I've been spritzing on St. Tropez Bronzing Water Face Mist. The naturally derived DHA tans your face in a very subtle way and the tropical scent is incredibly refreshing.

Keeping on that tropical note, I've also thrown out all my other deodorants and am exclusively using Kopari Coconut Oil Deodorant. It's aluminum-free, vegan, and paraben-free, and it smells soooo good. I love everything coconut so this is right up my alley.

Last but not least, Slip Silk Scrunchies (I prefer the skinny version since I don't have a ton of hair) Made from pure silk, they've been saving my hair from breakage and creasing. I often wear a high ponytail for the gym and they actually keep it up instead of slipping too, which I thought was  kind of surprising since they are made of silk which is a slippery fabric.

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