All about Brows

Elfreda McGowan is back with us today with a post all about semi-permanent eyebrow makeup. If you’re going to be starting chemotherapy soon, this could be something you might want to investigate. Find out all the details below…

 A lot of people going through cancer that I’ve spoken to really worry about the loss of their hair – they book in with a wig specialist and give a great deal of thought and money to dealing with the imminent loss of their crowning glory before they start chemotherapy. A lot of women are side tracked by this and then are unprepared for the loss of their eyebrows and how they may feel without them. Generally the loss of their eyebrows only dawns on them after treatment starts and they are unprepared for the fact that with each chemo treatment their brows will get thinner and eventually disappear.

We live in a society where thick luscious brows are much sought after, considering they frame your face and can open up the entire eye area and make your face appear more symmetrical, giving a polished look without having to wear make-up. Pencilling them in during treatment to fill in gaps suits some people, but others find the hassle of this too much, as getting it right every time and drawing on similar eyebrows daily can be hard to master, even with stencils. While other women are happy to go beautifully bare, others find the idea of having no brows very distressing, so I’m here today to shed some light on semi permanent eyebrow makeup. Although the idea of semi-permanent make up, often described as a kind of tattoo, scares some people, it shouldn’t be painful and can really look fabulous when done well. So when is it best to get it done? Is it safe? How much does it cost? Is there anything else I need to know?

Before any microblading or eyebrow embroidery procedure can commence, you will have a consultation with the eyebrow technician who will use a removable pen to draw on eyebrows and come up with a shape that looks natural and like a better version of your own. Although it is safe to have them done up to four days before chemotherapy starts (it’s always advisable to check this with your oncologist or oncology nurse if you are worried about any risks associated with chemo-induced neutropenia), it’s even better to book in for your eyebrow consultation as soon as you know you will be having chemotherapy.

Getting your eyebrow treatment before chemotherapy starts, and while you still have your own brows, will allow the technician to capture the shape and length of your own eyebrows and discuss any changes you would like or improvements to be made, before you lose the shape.

Microblading or eyebrow embroidery are types of semi-permanent make up, they are techniques of using a tool with a blade to make tiny life like hair strokes with pigment that lands in the upper layers of skin, locking in the pigment for beautiful brows, people are often afraid there will be pain, but this is very minimal, and although not usually needed, most salons have special numbing creams which can be applied prior to treatment and the pain really isn’t much worse than a plucking sensation.

The brows generally last about 18 months to 2 years, and it takes two to three sessions depending on the type of treatment you go for and where you go, spaced at about four week intervals to lock in the shape and colour, and have the semi permanent effect.

Most salons offering this treatment have a price that includes the top up to get the brows to a semi permanent state, which can cost anything up to €480 paid in instalments. Although this seems fairly pricey, it’s a way of getting the brows you’ve always dreamed of, and will be something less to deal with during a very hard time, especially if you are an eyebrow fan. If you want to keep the brows indefinitely, this is possible by topping up at intervals recommended by the salon you attend.

If you leave it quite close to commencing chemotherapy, you will probably have to leave your second session until after chemotherapy, so this is another reason why it’s a good idea to book in earlier so you can lock in the full semi-permanent effect.

Other things to think about are to go to a salon that insists on a patch test, go to a recommended salon, word of mouth is a great thing and semi permanent make up is very popular now, so it’s generally quite easy to find recommended salons all over Ireland and read testimonials. You can also ask to see portfolios of previously done eyebrows. Steer clear of any salons offering these kinds of treatments for unbelievably cheap prices, it’s a very professional treatment that takes about two hours and a highly trained therapist who uses high grade pigments, and you may pay the price of a badly done brow if you try to cut corners.

Some salons that come highly recommended for these techniques are:

Up To My Eyes in Greystones, Co. Wicklow

Butterfly Effect in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

The Brow Studio in Malahide Co. Dublin

Browtique in Co. Cork

In June of 2017, Elfreda found out she had breast cancer, it was a terrible shock but she faced it head on! She has completed chemo and radiation and is still receiving the drug Herceptin until October 2018. Elfreda is a professionally trained make-up artist and beauty therapist, she has vast experience in makeup and beauty and broadened and refined her skills working in salons in Dublin and London. She has worked as a makeup artist for well known brands, most recently, Georgio Armani, and also works freelance, taking part in shoots, weddings and other special occasions. Her passion for all things make-up and beauty-related, and love of helping people feel good about themselves, has her very excited to be able to share her knowledge with the readers of Happy Magazine.


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