beauty

"A very honest review of getting my eyebrows feather tattooed."

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told I couldn’t make it as a beauty writer by an editor, I’d have about… three dollars.

Which is three dollars too many, because it means three times in the last six months I’ve had furrowed brows, confused eyes and the occasional head shake as I explain to my particularly unsupportive colleagues that NO I don’t really know how to moisturise, yes perhaps my foundation is a shade too dark and oh, um, can I skip the whole primer thing?

Apparently no – a stupidly excessive call, but I digress – and so I’m hit with the inevitable: “You could never be a beauty writer.”

And here we are, jokes on them, and probably you, because today I’m writing about beauty. What a time to be alive. Assuming we all make it through.

You see, I got tattoos on my eyebrows, because I had hardly any eyebrows. In an era when eyebrows became the new lips, eyes and nose, I kind of accidentally got left behind. Sure, I owned an eyebrow pencil, but if I’m honest, I gave very few sh*ts about two strips of hair lining my eyes and was far more invested in the fact that at 23, I still didn’t know how to match my foundation to my face. And change a tyre, but that’s for another time.

So I visited the lovely Yasmin of The Arch Stylist in Prahran in Melbourne, got a few needles in my forehead and walked out with some definitive eyebrows.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Before

For further proof I wasn’t lying, and am also really awkward and annoying when it comes to taking photos of myself, here’s my before photo:

My eyebrows are there, but not really, and they sort of taper off towards the end into an abyss of, well, nothing. How fabulous. If you also needed further proof that I can't really match my foundation, there ya have it. (Shout out to my neck. Very tanned. Very good.)

Prior to your appointment, there's no coffee to be drunk, no alcohol to be consumed and no room for getting your eyebrows waxed/threaded/tinted 48 hours before which, not-so surprisingly, proved to be no issue at all.

Arriving

Yasmin has a pretty lovely bloody space. It's calming, which is helpful when you're turning up to have needles put in your forehead and you're not very good with needles.

We put on some numbing cream over the eyebrows, and Yasmin assures me there's always room to put more on if need be mid-procedure, but that she's never had anyone ask twice before. I wonder if I should tell her my pain threshold is about as low as my eyebrows are non-existent, but refrain from doing so, because I just know my nerves for the procedure will interfere with my comedic timing and no-one wants a clunky joke.

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Yasmin assures me the room for error with feather-touch tattooing is essentially non-existent. So many steps are taken, so many measures are in place, so many things happen before ink hits the skin that there's really never a question about her not delivering.

I feel minutely better, and then remember needles are to come.

During

Yasmin wasn't joking when she told me this was quite a process. I don't really know what I was expecting, her to wave her needle around like a wand, fill my brows in with a sentiment of 'sure, let's put a bit of that there' and send me on my way? Regardless, she was meticulous.

She measured both sides, and tweaked them four or five times. She then tested a few colours, and then the combination of a few colours, until we come up to the perfect shade. And then she changed the colour again, because she's a perfectionist and I quite liked that.

Swatches etc.

After

I was probably in my appointment for two hours, but would say less than one them was getting tattooed. As for pain levels, well, it didn't really hurt. And trust me, I ain't tough.

In fact, for the first part of the tattooing, I almost fell asleep. Yasmin said it's pretty common for her clients to fall asleep, especially the ones who were nervous. All that built up energy manifests into exhaustion once it escapes. I almost tried to fight her - what? me? nervous? - and then didn't bother, because perhaps my awkward excitable facade was exactly that.

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After care is crucial, or so I am told. As I write this, I'm on day five. No getting the brows wet, no makeup, no touching them is all in the manual. They did get a tad bit darker in the days to come, and are about to hit the stage where they start flaking off a little bit. All normal, I'm assured.

Dis me, day two. A little dark, and far bigger than I'm used to, but nothing outrageous like I expected. (And yes I exclusively wear active gear, no I haven't worked out since 2016.)

Verdict

I was genuinely surprised about a) how happy I was with actually having eyebrows and b) how many people noticed something had changed.

"You've changed, your face maybe?" is a line I'm still fending off for days to come. I don't know if it's a compliment, or backhanded one, or none at all, but one thing is obvious: eyebrows make a difference. I am so glad it took me 23 years to realise. Fast learner, eh?

In terms of cost, getting your eyebrows feather touch tattooed isn't cheap at first glance. Firstly, you want to go somewhere good. Really, genuinely good. I stalked Yasmin and The Arch Stylist's Instagram feed fastidiously before deciding to go, finding faith in the fact many-a-model go to her to get theirs done, and no model makes money from crap eyebrows. It's a flooded market right now, with many places offering the procedure. My advice? Research, research, research. Make sure they're good, because Yasmin was amazing.

Tangibly, prices can range anywhere between $500-$800, inclusive of the initial session and a follow up session four to six weeks later. It's a lot, there's no doubt about that, but it's worth considering how much you actually spend on eyebrow tint/waxing/threading per month. Considering the tattoo should hopefully last between 18-24 months, this could be a much better investment than your current set up.

As for me? Well now I just feel like an idiot for having no eyebrows this whole time. And silently judging everybody else for theirs. I'm a monster. Send help.

To check out The Arch Stylist, click here.

The eyebrow kit that will change your life.

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