This is a girlie post. One of the many things that women do to look good – eyebrow embroidery. Guys will cringe at the name, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. No, we’re not sewing our eyebrows.
Eyebrow embroidery is a technique that replaces our mother’s old school eyebrow tattoo. Basically for the sad Chinese girls, like me, with little or non-existent eyebrows. Be it genetics or over-tweezing, we all want to have perfect eyebrows that are not drawn on.
Eyebrow embroidery is almost like a manual tattoo process, but using henna instead of tattoo inks. There apparatus used is actually a bunch of needles stuck together to form a small angled blade looking thing. Dipped in henna colour, the beautician pokes into your skin to “colour” your eyebrow. Because it’s henna colour, it’s not permanent or harsh-looking like tattoo ink. The effect lasts about 2-3 years.
I have been doing eyebrow embroidery for the last 10 odd years. Over-plucking and genetics means I have (almost) non-existent eyebrows. I’ve done embroidery 4 times in my life so far. The first time being with an on-call home beautician and subsequently with Bluunis (previously known as Ultimate Impressions). I prefer the team of specialist at Midvalley, but due to time constraint, I end up at their Sg Wang Plaza branch for the 2nd time.
Pricing for Eyebrow Embroidery
The price of eyebrow embroidery have changed over the years. I used to do it for only RM200 including one touch up. Now, Bluunis’ package is RM 350 for eyebrows including 2 touch ups.
After reading much about it, I have also decided to do eyeliner embroidery. This is basically your eyeline (not eyebrow) at the top and bottom eyelid, where your eyelashes grow. Yep. I was told that it was truly painful – a friend of mine couldn’t stand the pain and refused to go back for the touch up sessions.
For the top eyeliner, you can choose between 3 different thickness – regular, medium or thick. I chose the medium one. The package came up to around RM 528 for both top and bottom eyeliner. You top up RM 100 per thickness.
The Process of Eyebrow Embroidery
After the colour from my last eyebrow embroidery started to fade and got thinner, it’s time for me to do it all over again. This is what my eyebrows look like before the process.
At first, they will draw your eyebrows on for you. They will tweeze (pluck) it, shape it and draw the desired shape on with an eyebrow pencil.
This is when you get to consult them and modify the shape, thickness, balance, etc until you’re satisfied. This is the MOST CRUCIAL step. Once you’ve confirmed this, they will prep you for the embroidery session.
It has been such a long time since my last embroidery, so the colour has faded so much on my eyebrow that it looked non-existent. (Please pardon the unkempt eyebrows. I left the tweezing to the beautician.)
You are prepped up on the facial bed in a tiny room. They will open up a new needle in a sealed plastic packaging, and show you that they do not re-use their needles. If you’re afraid of pain, they can administer a dose of numbing cream for you. As I’ve done it before, coupled with the fact that I enjoy pain… I went without.
Personally, I think it feels like tweezing your eyebrow… REPEATEDLY… ON THE SAME SPOT… AGAIN AND AGAIN…
The embroidery starts and takes about 15 minutes or so. They dip the needle in the colour (oh, you can choose a colour yourself, if you don’t trust the beautician to match it with your hair colour) and start poking the colour through your skin on the drawn eyebrows.
Some people compare the pain to an ant bite. IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE AN ANT BITE. If it does, that’s one helluva HUGE ant!
As you can see, my eyebrows look kinda red. Well, it is also slightly swollen. Also, if you feel that it looks thin, that’s because your skin tightens with the “scarring” or “cut”. it is a needle “cut”, so to speak. Don’t worry, once it heals, and your skin stretches back to normal, it will not look as thin.
It all sounds painful. Well, my pain threshold is rather high, so it was OK for me. Some of my girlfriends who shave their eyebrows instead of tweezing cannot stand this pain of embroidery. So, it really differs from person to person.
After the eyebrows are done, the beautician moves over to prep for my eyeline embroidery. Because the eyeline is a much more sensitive area, the numbing cream is a MUST!
They applied the cream on my eyelids and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then, they cover it with some clear plastic (I don’t know why) and does this one eye at a time.
Once 20 mins is up, the embroidery process starts. – they start to poke on your eyelids and lower eyeline with the needle and colour again.
I couldn’t take any pictures at this point. I was concentrating on not squirming, and not tearing. This is not pleasant!!! Your natural reaction when someone is poking your eyelids with a needle is to want to flinch, blink or squint. When you do, the cream gets in your eyes and it stings!!! You will want to rub it, but you can’t, then you start to tear and possibly squint some more. This lets more cream into your eyes and you tear some more. Arrggghhhh… frustrating!
Honestly, it was rather painful. If you can tolerate the pain (which I can only do if I concentrate really really hard), you still have to worry about not blinking or fidgeting. I don’t like things in my eye – especially poking things. I had huge problems wearing contact lenses for the longest time. So I flinched a lot throughout this process.
I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone. Think hard about your pain tolerance and how much you’re willing to suffer for beauty, before you decide to go for eyeline embroidery. Eek.
My eyes look a bit swollen and red for a couple of hours after. They provide you with some cream to care for your embroidered area to help with the healing and moisturizing. They’ll advise you not to soak it in water and avoid eating shellfishes for a few days.
I suggest you go home immediately. You will look a little weird walking around or shopping with red, blotchy eyebrow and eyes.
What happens next?
Like a tattoo, or like a cut in your skin, the embroidery will turn into a scab after a few days. You are NOT to peel it away. Use the provided cream and allow it to fall off on its own.
This is how it looked like a month after the first session of embroidery (eyebrow and eyeliner). After 1 month, the embroidery peeled off and looked extremely faded. Look at the below above… They also botched up one side of my eyebrow. It’s uneven and completely faded.
As I mentioned earlier, I prefer the Midvalley Bluunis beauticians. Sorry, girls, I can’t remember their names.
In my second session for touch up (which is included in my package), I had a different beautician attending to me this time and I prefer her. I go through the same process all over again for my eyebrow and my eyeline. I have also asked for a deeper colour since the “Natural Brown” colour they used the first time looked red on my skin. I have also asked for them to make my eyebrows thicker and re-adjusted the balance.
I have one more touch up session to go. I am rather happy with how my eyebrows and eyeline look today, but since the touch up session is a part of my package (all paid), I shall go back to get the colour touched up so it can last longer. After the touch up, it looked way…. better. Although the eyeline seemed a little light and thin for my liking, it created the illusion that my eyes are “awake” even when I have no make up on. It doesn’t look fake at all, but very natural indeed.
Sorry for the picture with make-up on. But I will try to update this blog with a picture with no eye make up after my next touch up session, so you get to see how it really looks like.
You can call Bluunis to make an appointment for your “Brownaissance” (aka Eyebrow embroidery) session at the nearest branch to you through their website here. To me, they’re the best and most experienced in this field. Alternatively, you can try the same thing at Empro - but personally I have yet to see great work from people who tried Empro.