Hybrid Brows with Ink + Arch
Before I dive in, let’s get a few things out of the way. Did I ever think I would get a face tattoo? Nope! Am I insanely happy I did? YES! Is Robyn ridiculously amazing at what she does? Absolutely! Waking up with my brows done not only makes getting ready in the morning easier, it also adds to my self-confidence! I’m sure there are a few people out there that may think that is shallow or petty, but I was not happy with my natural brows. Even after filling them in with makeup, they were still really uneven and sparse. If there’s something that you’d like to correct, don’t listen to other people’s opinions on if it is worth it or not. YOU DO YOU!
Microblading and cosmetic tattooing has become increasingly popular, and earlier this year I started to seriously consider having it done. I connected with Ink and Arch owner Robyn on Instagram and LOVED her work, and we decided it was time to get me in for an appointment! Booking with her is easy – just head to her website and click the button that says BOOK NOW. You’ll be able to choose your procedure, view available dates and times, enter discount codes (I’ll be sharing one for 20% OFF!), and BOOM – your session is booked! You’ll also get appointment reminder emails and texts prior to your session.
Robyn’s gorgeous studio is located upstairs inside Epic Med Spa in Geneva, IL. The space is super modern, well decorated, clean, and inviting. And Robyn? She is seriously the sweetest! From the moment I booked my appointment, she was incredibly professional and open to answering all of my questions. She has completed a ton of training and regularly attends continuing education sessions, so I was totally confident her in abilities.
When I arrived for my first session, I filled out a questionnaire that helps Robyn learn a little bit more about your skin and anything that might affect the procedure or your results. She’ll ask about the shape, coloring, and overall look you are going for, and make suggestions for the type of brow you may wish to have done. I opted for a hybrid (microblading and machine shading) ombre brow! Next, she’ll measure the structure of your face and begin to outline the shape of your brow with a pencil. She let me look in the mirror several times and was totally open to making little tweaks I requested. Anyone that can deal with my Type A personality is great in my book, and I loved how detail oriented she was!
I have to admit, after she was done drawing them on, I was a little nervous. I was literally about to have my face tattooed!! Also, because I wasn’t used to having fuller (and properly shaped) brows, her markings seemed a little intimidating. I felt like my brows were going to be huge and uneven. DON’T WORRY THOUGH – they will not be as full as the drawing makes them look, and they aren’t uneven – your brows BEFORE were and it just looks a little different at first. Don’t freak out.
Next, you’ll recline back in the chair (she sets out a bottle of water for you and some Kleenex in case your nose or eyes water) and she numbs your skin in your brow area. While you are numbing, she preps all of her tools and custom blends a color that matches your skin and hair tones. Her microblading tools are completely disposable, and for machine shading, everything besides her tattoo machine (which is covered) is thrown out. Like I said, she’s incredibly professional and makes sure everything is safe and sanitary for you!
She’ll start the microblading process, which creates distinct hair strokes in your skin. After she creates the strokes, she’ll let the ink sit on them for a bit and you kind of feel like Groucho Marx. It’s totally fine – they WON’T stay that way lol! It is a little scary looking, though. After she cleans your skin again, she’ll add additional numbing cream if necessary and begin the shading process. I’m sure you’re wondering at this point if all of this hurts, right?! I have other tattoos, so I knew what to expect in terms of potential pain, but this was surprisingly easier! Her numbing cream works wonders, and I only thought it was mildly uncomfortable at times. Again, Robyn let me look in the mirror throughout the session and made a couple tiny adjustments I requested. She is so patient and wants you to love the result!
At the end of your session, your brows will look much larger and darker than what you had wanted. This is completely okay – they are inflamed from the process (making them look larger) and will heal 50% lighter than what you see, so don’t panic. I know I’ve said that a lot so far, but because you aren’t familiar with the process, you’ll have little episodes of worry. IT’S FINE!
Robyn gave me a little to-go bag with everything I needed to help my brows heal as well as all my after-care instructions. Your brows need to dry heal, so follow her instructions to perfection so you don’t mess up your results! This means not getting them wet or sweating! You’ll also need to apply ointment as directed and care for them while you sleep (aka sleep on your back during healing). They may be inflamed and sore for a day or two, but it isn’t bad at all. I just put an ice pack on them to help reduce a little bit of the swelling.
Your brows will start to scab after a few days, and it is important to let them exfoliate naturally. For me, the exfoliation process (when they look patchy and flaky) only lasted a couple of days. I just wore a hat if I needed to go anywhere or meet with clients! Over the next couple of weeks you’ll notice several color changes – they’ll lighten, and then darken again. This is normal, and you can wear a little makeup on them to even them out if needed!
I scheduled my second session with Robyn (which is included in your initial appointment fee) about 10 weeks after my first! My brows had a great shape to them at this point, but were definitely a little patchy! Everyone heals a little differently due to their skin type, so that is the whole point of a second session – to even them out and finish the look! The process the second time around was the same – she’ll clean and exfoliate the area, mark you, numb you, add hair strokes, add ink, and shade in your brows! I knew what to expect this time, so I wasn’t alarmed by how my brows looked throughout the process or fearful of how they were going to turn out.
Again, I followed Robyn’s after care instructions to a T! I let them dry heal, applied ointment when necessary, slept on my back, and avoided any sweating. The exfoliation process was quick again, and I just wore a hat for a couple of days. I’m now seven weeks healed from my second session and GUYS – I LOVE THEM! I haven’t worn ANY makeup on them and am obsessed with how great of a job Robyn did. She is SO talented!
A FEW TIPS:
Bring your cell phone to your appointment – you’ll be laying back most of the time and will have a few breaks when the ink is sitting on your skin, so you’ll want to keep yourself occupied.
Wash your hair before your appointment so that you can avoid having to do so again for a few days. You don’t want to risk getting them wet in the shower! Come up with a styling plan ahead of time so you have some options. Wear your hair straight the first day, dry shampoo and curl the next, and then maybe wear your hair in a messy bun on day three. Don’t forget to utilize hats during the exfoliation process!
Also, don’t plan on wearing a ton of makeup at first. Keep it simple with some tinted moisturizer, eyeliner, and mascara. The less makeup you wear, the less you’ll have to wash off, and the less chance you have of getting them wet.
When you sleep, aim to sleep on your back! Keep yourself in that position by adding a few extra pillows on either side. I’m a side sleeper, so this was a little challenging, but I didn’t want to irritate the area near the tail of my brow and affect my healing.
You can’t sweat during the first 10 days (otherwise the hair strokes might blur and the ink will get messed up under the skin), so plan to keep things low key. I did a lot of walking, core work, and light stretching!
Once you resume your normal makeup routine, always cross over your brows with a Q-Tip at the end of your application process. Any residual foundation or powder on them can make them look faded.
Robyn offers cosmetic procedures for your eyes (lash enhancement and eyeliner) and lips (color) too, as well as additional brow options and corrective work. I cannot say enough about her quality of work, and I’m planning to do my lash enhancement with her next!
So are you ready for 20% OFF your first service with Robyn?! Use code LAURA20 when booking your appointment online! Such an amazing deal!! If you have any questions about my experience, don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for my amazing brows, Robyn!