Hi! I’m Amanda. I’m 24, a Canadian grad student, and a lover of makeup, skincare, haircare, and more. I started this blog in 2013 to act as a resource for people with dark skin like mine looking for product reviews. My writing focuses on beauty, but I also enjoy writing about mental health, sex, and other lifestyle topics
I feel pretty comfortable saying that the makeup industry is bigger than ever – new products are being released every single day. As a blogger and makeup lover, I always want to try the latest and greatest, but some products are just my ride or die. These are some products that I just keep repurchasing because nothing ever parallels my love for them. Dedicated blog posts are linked for in-depth reviews and swatches!
Tarte Shape Tape in Deep //Tarte had that situation last year with exclusive shade ranges – and then one of their reps said they released mostly light shades because people are light in the winter, but some POC are not ever light, OK Tarte?), and it changed my opinion of them. Admittedly, Shape Tape started out with a non-inclusive shade range – this used to be the darkest shade they made – but they have since received enough social media back lash that they’ve had to expand shade ranges just to stay afloat, I think. Hopefully future releases are more inclusive, because I think the industry is moving that way. In any case, this concealer is full coverage, not cakey on my combo skin, and just generally wonderful.
MAC Prep & Prime Peach Lustre //An OG. My ride-or-die. I may dabble with other colour correctors, but I always come home to this one. The consistency works on my oily sections and my dry sections, and the shade of orange is so good on my skin year-round. Plus, that brush-tip? Such an easy, quick application.
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask// I reach for this baby when my lips are at their driest, whether that’s overnight or during the day. It’s sticky, yes, but it’s also incredible. I’ve tried their agave balm, but this is still my fave.
Essie Topless & Barefoot Nail Polish // Essie accidentally became one of my fave polish brands for nudes and pale pinks. This is maybe my third bottle of Topless & Barefoot – I think I bought my first in high school. I reach for it in the summer, in the winter, when I don’t know what to put on my nails, when I have a job interview…the list goes on.
ABH Dipbrow in Ebony // This iconic product has changed my brow game. I buy a new one once or twice a year. It’s grown with me, showing its true versatility as my artistry improved. Also I went swimming in it last summer and the brows remained intact.
ColourPop Lippie Pencil in BFF3 // I don’t know that I’ve ever talked about this one! This is one of those unsung hero-type products, hanging out in the background of my makeup life, reliably there whenever I need it. She’s a deep rosey brown that looks amazing on her own, under glosses (Fenty Glossbomb with this is perfection), or paired with a matching lipstick. Where she really shines, though, is making super-light nudes work on dark skin.
Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara //Every time I talk about a mascara, I say the same thing – my lashes are so straight that they point down and will not hold a curl. My solution is to curl my lashes, use a light layer of this waterproof mascara, curl again, and then use my mascara of choice. This separates my lashes, doesn’t build too much volume or length, and – most importantly – holds a curl. Look at the packaging – can you tell she’s loved?
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara //I first heard about this mascara on Reddit – people were complaining that it’s always sold out, and for good reason. When I found it, I had to have it. There are a few Lash Princess formulas, but I’m not interested in trying them because this one is perfection. Lengthening, volumizing, not too wet, a conical bristled brush that allows precision – it’s my dream mascara. And so inexpensive!
And there you have it: the absolute staples in my collection that I just keep repurchasing, no matter what else comes out!
If you’re new to the brow product world or married to your pencil or powder, a brow pomade is a pigmented paste that you paint onto your brows with an angled brush. ABH Dipbrow is a staple in the genre and a bestseller, but Kat Von D recently released her 24 Hour Super Brow Long-Wear Pomade, and I had to try. This post will primarily focus on comparing these to because they’re the two currently in my rotation, but I will also briefly recap my thoughts on the ColourPop Brow Colour (Black ‘n Brown) and Benefit ka-BROW! (in 5 and 6) to see how they stack up.
Kat Von D’s Super Brow comes as part of her new brow collection, which features pencils and powders if those are more your speed. Even better, she also included a bunch of colourful brow shades – pinks, blues, reds, and purples – if you’ve got fantasy-coloured hair, like wearing wigs, or just want to switch things up. The packaging is beautiful – typical KVD – but I find that the jar’s lid is a little bit lightweight for my liking. The plastic of the outer rim is thin and tends to warp and buckle slightly when closed in a way that makes me wonder if air is getting in. Compared to ABH Dipbrow’s glossy, rigid plastic lid, the packaging feels a little cheap.
But it’s what’s inside that counts. In KVD I got the shade Walnut. It’s worth noting that all the natural brow shades seem to lean really warm. This is odd to me because brow hair (and mine especially) tends to be a little on the cooler or ashier side, but Walnut is a workable match.
The product itself is super creamy – like, super creamy – and super pigmented. This means that it goes on with some serious impact, making it perfect for Instagram brows. The downside is that, thanks to ultra-pigmented creaminess, it’s hard to get a look other than sharp, sculpted, Instagram brows with this stuff. I’m not knocking this trend – I love Instagram brows – but I sometimes like a softer look. If you often like a softer look, this formula might not be for you.
Dipbrow, on the other hand is stiffer but still pigmented, which I find gives me more control. You can see, with Dipbrow on one brow and Super Brow on the other, that the Dipbrow side is a little bit softer – this has to do with the slightly cooler colour (Ebony) as well as the formula. I do like both results, but I still reach for my Dipbrow more.
What about ColourPop and Benefit, you ask? ColourPop’s pomade is really easy to work with – the stiffest formula, and easy to blend with natural-looking results – but I found that it dried up in the pot relatively quickly. The same goes for Benefit’s ka-BROW! – really easy to use with an almost powdery look on the skin, but it dries up to an unusable texture within a few months. Dipbrow doesn’t do this – I can use up a whole one, and probably buy a new one once or twice a year. Of the four formulas, KVD’s is creamiest and toughest to work with, but it also gives the most Instagrammy, sculpted results if that’s what you’re after.
ABH Dipbrow is my happy medium – I’m hoping that between my descriptions and swatches you’ll be able to find yours. I’ve personally chosen to return the KVD pomade because I’m unhappy with it, but also because of Kat Von D’s recent announcement that she is anti-vaccines. Vaccines have helped to make diseases like measles and mumps less common. Herd immunity – the reduced spread of diseases because the majority of the population has been made immune through vaccination – protects immunocompromised people who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. Because of Kat’s dangerous, selfish, and misinformed beliefs about vaccination, I cannot in good conscience support her brand in the future.
It’s been a while since I talked about how I style my curls, largely because I used to do those updates on YouTube because video is more conducive to showing you all exactly how I do things. Since I no longer make YouTube videos, I decided to talk product details and give an overview of my routine here, and show how I do things over on my Instagram Story Highlights. It’s my first time doing this kind of two-part post – hopefully it works out!
The background info: I started wearing my hair curly regularly 4 years ago and had tons of heat damage. I gradually started doing the Curly Girl (CG) Method, which is a great place to start. I now have a modified CG routine (you’ll see that I use a brush and sometimes I diffuse, both of which are CG no-no’s) using entirely DevaCurl products. I swear this isn’t sponsored, they just work really well with my hair. My hair is roughly a 3b pattern, low porosity, and not currently colour- or chemically-treated.
I wash my hair once a week and do a wash-and-go every time. I start with a pre-poo (literally pre-shampoo) to help work through the tangles. I’ve been using DevaCurl Wash Day Wonder lately – I used to detangle with conditioner, but this stuff is even better because it has so much darn slip. This needs to come in a litre bottle –I’m very fond of my litre bottles as you can see. They make me feel safe and secure, like I’ll never run out of my faves
Wash Day Wonder lets my Wet Brush melt through tangles. The CG Method suggests using only fingers to detangle, which I did when I had tons of heat damage, but my hair is more resilient now, so gently using a brush (when wet and with product in it!) doesn’t damage it.
Next I wash and condition with the Decadence line. I started using DevaCurl’s original line, but when Decadence came out, it was a game-changer. My hair loves that coconut milk and heavier formula – it reduced my hair’s frizz level significantly by upping moisture. I wash with No Poo Decadence, and condition with One Condition Decadence. If I’m planning to deep condition – which I usually do – I either only use a small amount of conditioner, or skip conditioner altogether.
A post shared by A M A N D A (@amandaglowgettr) on May 25, 2018 at 7:11am PDT
Recently I’ve been deep conditioning with Melt Into Moisture Mask – I got three deluxe sample sizes when they were Sephora’s 100-point perk, and you bet I’ll be buying a full size when they’re done. It smells phenomenal and makes my hair super moisturized and shiny. I also really love the DevaCurl Deep Sea Repair Mask, but my understanding is that that has protein in it, and I sometimes like to give my hair a break from protein to avoid overloading it. As a side note, I also deep condition with heat using my Hot Head thermal deep conditioning cap, which you can see in action on my Insta Stories.
After I rinse out my conditioner with cold water, I blot out excess water with a microfibre towel or head wrap, then run my brush through it one more time. I find that a brush through wet curls helps them clump together and form curls rather than frizz, but everyone’s hair is different, so experimentation is key!
Next, it’s styling time. Up until this week I’d been using a bit of One Condition Decadence as a leave-in, but DevaCurl read my mind and made my dreams come true with Leave-In Decadence! It’s supposed to be ultra-moisturizing and lightweight – so far so good! I paired it with my usual gel, which is – of course – DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel. Gel is my fave for controlling friz and giving hold. Worried about the crunch? That’s called a curl cast, and I scrunch that out later, y’all!
Next I use these weird lil’ double-prong clips for a trick I learned in the Curly Girl Handbook but that was fully explained to me at DevaChan in NYC. I use these clips to clip my roots with a slight bend to them, so my hair doesn’t dry flat against my head. This gives me more volume right from the root when my hair dries. DevaCurl makes some, but ya girl is cheap and got like 100 of them on Amazon.
Then I air dry for as long as possible. Sometimes that’s 4 hours, sometimes it’s 20 minutes, but the longer I air dry, the better my hair turns out. If necessary, I finish up by diffusing with my Dyson dryer, and in a pinch, I can take my hair from soaking wet to completely dry with it in 20 to 30 minutes.
Once my hair is dry, I pull out the clips, scrunch out the crunch, and fluff as needed.
And that’s it! That’s what works for me on wash day. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram Story Highlights, for details on how I use everything I talked about. I’d love to hear about how you take care of your own waves, curls, or coils, or any questions you have!
Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed is one of my absolute favourite highlighter formulas…and I love highlighter, y’all. They have a wide and ever-expanding shade range. When they dropped the shimmer bomb that is Chocolate Geode on us this past month, I had to have it. Because the formula is well-known and well-loved, I thought I’d also take this opportunity to share my Becca highlight collection with you all.
Chocolate Geode is a beautiful gold highlight that’s most comparable to Becca’s Topaz. Although they’re similar in that they’re both gold, I’d describe Chocolate Geode as both warmer (more orange) and more of a metallic, poppin’ highlight. They’re both so gorgeous on my dark skin, and based on Becca’s promo photos, it’s gorgeous on depper complexions too.
In terms of my Becca collection, this is what it looks like so far.
Top, L-R: Champagne Pop, Opal, Bronzed Amber, Topaz Bottom, L-R: Blushed Copper, Rose Gold, Chocolate Geode, Jaclyn Hill Palette (Prosecco Pop & Champagne Pop)
Champagne Pop features twice, as a single and in the Jaclyn Hill Palette. Prosecco Pop is both a brighter and cooler gold than Chocolate Geode. Opal was the first Becca highlight I ever used, and a bit frostier than I normally go for now, but gorgeous when I want a more dramatic look. Bronzed Amber is super soft and subtle, and gives a natural, understated look. Topaz, of course, is a favourite – gold highlight looks so pretty on dark skin with warm undertones like mine.
Blushed Copper is now marketed as a blush, and I think that’s more accurate – I use it as a blush topper to get a really high-impact, glowy look. Rose Gold most reminds me of Bronzed Amber in formula and performance, as it also gives a pretty soft and subtle look.
Powder highlights are my jam, and Becca makes some really incredible ones!
Every so often, a product comes along that ignites the Pokemon urge in me. The Stila Glitter & Glow and Shimmer & Glow Eyeshadows are that kind of product for me: I’ve gotta catch ’em all.
I’d been curious about the Glitter & Glow Eyeshadows for a while. With a liquid formula and a lipgloss-style applicator, they’re a super easy way to wear glitter. They recently expanded their range of glitters, and also added some liquid shimmer shadows to their lineup.
The shade Enchantress is a very pale rose gold with silver glitter. It doesn’t have a ton of pigmentation – even though it has some, I’d say it’s best layered over a similar powder shadow. Pigalle is a member of the Shimmer & Glow
fam, and is a deep burgundy shimmer.
Both have some extraordinary staying power. My eyes are hooded and my lids are oily, which means that shadows often crease on me. These shadows, though, stayed crease-free for about 6 hours, which is super impressive.
I wore Enchantress with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette. The soft rose and bronze shades in the palette worked with it nicely. The look definitely has some sparkle to it and I wore it to a friend’s party on a night out, but I’d also wear it during the daytime for sure. I dabbed it on the center of my lid with the applicator, then pressed it in with my finger, and this method worked fine.
Pigalle is a shade that’s just a hair outside my comfort zone and I’m so happy I tried it. It’s a beautiful deep shimmery burgundy and as soon as I looked at it, I thought it would pair beautifully with the deep reds and pinks in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette. This one, I dabbed on with the applicator, then blended out with a synthetic brush. I also used Love Letter from ABH MR to blend out any harsh lines into the crease.
Overall, these two products perform super well and make me want to get more shades!
If you know me personally or have been following my blog for a really long time, you’ll know that I’m a pretty decent baker and cake decorator – I even took a course for it. Now, if you follow my Instagram, you’ll know that I made some super cool funfetti unicorn cupcakes over Easter weekend.
It was my first time working with gum paste to make decorations, and my first time making funfetti. They turned out so gorgeous and delicious that I thought I’d share my recipe, process, and everything I learned on this unicorn adventure.
I used Crazy for Crust’s Perfect Funfetti Cupcakes recipe as a base for the cake, but made some modifications that made all the difference. I added extra vanilla for over-the-top vanilla realness. I also whipped softened butter with the sugar rather than melted butter, because sugar aerates softened butter and gives a super fluffy cake – melted butter or oil can leave cakes a bit dense. The buttercream recipe is my own, based on trial and error from my cake decorating days.
The Best Unicorn Funfetti Cupcakes
Funfetti unicorn cupcakes with gumpaste decorations and swirled buttercream frosting. They’re as delicious as they are beautiful. Perfect for special occasion or kids’ cookies.
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs (large)
2 tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk ((I combined 3/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon white vinegar))
1/2 cup sprinkles ((I used Easter-themed sprinkles, but you can use whatever you like))
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
4-5 cups icing sugar ((Amount will vary based on the moisture content of your butter.))
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp meringue powder
milk ((as needed))
Food colouring of choice
For the decorations:
1 package Premade Wilton Gumpaste or Fondant
Food colouring of choice
For the cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners in tins – I used gold metallic ones.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip your butter until pale and fluffy. Add in sugar and whip more. This step is crucial – the sugar aerates the butter, which leads to fluffy (rather than dense) cakes. You cannot over-beat at this step – longer is better!
Add eggs one at a time. Beat until incorporated. Add vanilla extract.
Alternate adding your dry ingredients and buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated.
Fill liners 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until springy in the middle. A toothpick or cake tester will come out clean. Let cool while you make the frosting and decorations.
For the buttercream frosting:
Whip butter until pale and fluffy. Add first cup of icing sugar.
Add vanilla. Beat until incorporated. Add 3 more cups of icing sugar. If too stiff to pipe, add a splash of milk; if too runny to pipe, add more icing sugar. (Amount of icing sugar you need will vary based on the moisture content of your butter.)
Separate frosting into 3 bowls. Colour each bowl of buttercream a different pastel colour. Smudge the frosting in 3 long lines on a large piece of plastic cling wrap. Roll into a log.
Prepare a piping bag with your favourite frosting tip – I use the Wilton 1M for almost everything. Place the log in your frosting bag and pipe onto cupcakes.
For the unicorn decorations:
To make the horns, roll two small white pieces of gum paste or fondant into long, even logs. Twist together. Cut at desired length and stick a toothpick in the centre. Let set.
To make the ears, roll white gum paste into a flat sheet. Cut an oval shape using the edges of a piping tip. Colour a small amount of gum paste pale pink, then roll it into a flat sheet. Cut a smaller oval using the edges of a smaller piping tip. “Glue” both pieces together using water brushed on with a pastry paintbrush. Squeeze the top and bottom to get an ear shape.
To finish cupcakes, insert toothpick of the horn into the cake and perch ears in the frosting. Top with sprinkles or edible shimmer dust.
I’ve walked past Naturally Vain on Bank Street in Ottawa countless times. I was pleasantly surprised when they reached out with an offer to try out some of their products – I do enjoy discovering the fun products Ottawa has to offer!
When I opened the package they sent, it smelled like Froot Loops – and it was easy to see why. The Fruit Looped Bath Bomb smells exactly like the classic kids’ cereal. It sat in my apartment for a while until I made time to take a bath and try it out and we would catch whiffs of Froot Loops all the time. I wish I could find a candle or air freshener with this scent!
When this bath bomb hit the water, things were a little different. The Froot Loop smell all but disappeared, and the scent pulled super citrusy in the bath. It turned my bath water a dark orange colour and fizzed for an impressive 15 minutes or so, which is the longest I’ve experienced with a bath bomb. I’d definitely pick up more from them!
I like to mask while in the bath, and luckily, Naturally Vain sent along their Dead Sea Mud Mask to do so. This mud mask is supposed to clarify and detox the skin, getting rid of unwanted dirt and oil. I have such a love-hate relationship with this mask – it felt really good on the skin, but I “broke out” the day after using every time I used it, with little whiteheads rising to the surface in areas I had closed comedones. I’m inclined to think that this was the mask doing its thing, drawing impurities to the surface. My skin looked super good by day 3 post-mask, and I keep going back to it for exactly that reason. It’s worth noting, though, that the mask has a very strong, earthy scent that I don’t love – this is fine, because skincare isn’t supposed to smell good.
Post-bath, I like to use a lip scrub. The Blue Raspberry Lip Polish is different because it has a shea butter base rather than a light oil, like most other scrubs I use. This means that it’s solid to start and melts as it warms up. It’s super moisturizing, but this melting-on-contact action means that the scrubbiness gets diluted a little bit. I wish that this were just a little scrubbier, but it gets the job done with a bit of elbow grease.
Finally, what I think was the prettiest product I tried: Queen of Hearts Soap. Naturally Vain has some freaking cool and innovative soaps – Mary Jane is exactly what you’d think, It’s Your Birthday looks like birthday cake, and Pink Lemonade makes me want lemonade just from looking at it. They also seem to have a rotating selection of soaps, because Queen of Hearts seems to have sold out for now. In any case, it’s got a nice balance of fruitiness and floral, thanks to citrus, cherry blossom, hydrangea, apple, and peach. It gets me clean without stripping my skin and leaving it tight, which is great.
If you want to give Naturally Vain a try, you can shop the site through my affiliate link to support me.
This post contains PR samples sent to me for consideration by Naturally Vain. It also contains affiliate links, from which I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through them. Nonetheless, all opinions are entirely honest and my own.
It’s no secret that ABH make some amazing shadows – their singles and their palettes are usually one of my favourite formulas. The past few palettes – Prism and Subculture – really weren’t my thing for a variety of reasons, but the announcement of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette got me really excited. I put the launch date in my calendar and ordered it ASAP, and when she arrived, I was not disappointed.
Whereas Subculture was marketed as Modern Renaissance’s grungier and moodier sister, that was more like a distant cousin. I think Soft Glam is the real sister. They work so well together, and fulfill similar needs – I see them both as versatile everyday staples.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of this palette is the amount of overlap with other palettes. It doesn’t just overlap in purpose – there are actual repeated shades. I’ve done my best to cross-reference with my own collection and the rest of ABH’s repertoire. Between single shadows and other palettes (including Modern Renaissance), 7 of the 14 shades are repeats. I repeat – half the shades can be found in other palettes or as singles.
Norvina has said that she didn’t want to create super similar palette-exclusive shades when existing shades would work, and I appreciate that honesty, but I kind of wish there were less overlap – like maybe 5 repeats instead of a whopping 7.
I also wish there were a few more shimmers, but the shimmers that are there are all lovely. The shade selection is phenomenal in terms of primer-setting, transition and crease colours. The addition of a gorgeous, metallic rose gold would make this perfect, but I achieve this same effect by mixing Rose Pink and Bronze.
I especially love Glistening on the lid, Orange Soda and Burnt Orange to set primer, Sienna and Rustic as transitions, and Cyprus Umber in the crease. I can confidently say that I’ll use every shade in this palette.
My favourite look to create with this has been a super easy halo eye with Cyprus Umber all over the lid, Noir to darken inner and outer corners, and a mixture of Rose Pink and Bronze for the spotlight-effect in the centre.
Overall, I’m really happy with this palette and have been reaching for it often! It’s definitely worth a swatch next time you’re in store.
Monthly favourites are a challenge for me because I’m pretty boring and tend to wear the same things from day to day. The fact that spring is – supposedly – around the corner has me trying new things and rediscovering old loves, which definitely calls for a favourites post!
MAC Extra Dimension Blush in Sweets for My Sweet // I’ve written about these blushes before. The formula is absolutely incredible if you like glow on the cheek as opposed to shimmer. I wear them year round, but I love Sweets for My Sweet for a nice springy pop of colour.
Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel // My boyfriend and I went on vacation back in February and I brought this along as a daytime moisturizer. The sun and heat had my skin both oily and dehydrated, and this was perfect – I finished it shortly after we got back. I’m considering picking up a full-size!
NYX #thisiseverything Lip Oil // Although I have a lot of lipstick, most days I wear a balm or a gloss. This is nice because it keeps my lips moisturized in the moment, gives a hint of rosy colour, and plenty of shine. The only drawback is that I notice my lips are usually extra dry the day after I use it.
MAC Dazzleshadow in Cool Beams // I picked this up back when MAC had a sale this month (side note, I’m still not used to MAC having sales). It’s a glitter shadow, but it’s still got colour to it and is really easy to work with. I’ve been pairing this with the ABH Soft Glam Palette and Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes, and I love that it’s an easy way to incorporate glitter into everyday looks.
Wet n Wild Photofocus Concealer in 845B Dark Cocoa // I’ve liked this for a while, but I really realized what an essential it is for me this month because it’s almost done! I’ve been wearing this instead of foundation on low-key makeup days because my skin’s been quite good this month – I’ll just dab some on my cheeks and around my mouth, blend, set, and go.
Boho-Inspired Tassel Earrings from Vintage Glory 22 // I don’t always include fashion-y things in my favourites, but I couldn’t not include these. I got them from Vintage Glory 22 at 613flea this month, and I’ve been wearing them non-stop. On days where I wear my hair up or half up, it such an easy way to look like I put more effort into my outfit than I actually did. Tassel earrings are so cool!
So, I recently got my eyebrows microbladed, and I wanted to take you all on for the ride. Strap in, folks, because this is going to be a lengthy post.
Microblading is a permanent makeup procedure during which a hand-held tool is used to create tiny, hairstroke-like cuts in the skin and fill them with ink. It typically lasts between one and three years. I’ve always been self-conscious about my eyebrows – it might seem like a silly thing to be self-conscious about, but they’re faint and sparse with no inner/front part and a minimal tail. I’ve always wanted fuller brows, and my artist, Ivonne Sanchez of Faces By Ivonne, delivered.
My brows without any makeup, before microblading.
On the day of my appointment, I was so nervous – I was worried it would hurt, I was worried that they wouldn’t look natural, and that they wouldn’t heal well on my oily skin. Ivonne is so kind, attentive, and knowledgeable. Her studio is immaculately clean but bright and comfortable, and that did a lot to put me at ease.
She actually spent the first 35-ish minutes of my appointment mapping out my brows, meticulously ensuring symmetry and a shape that both suited my face and that I was happy with. Then, after a healthy helping of numbing cream applied topically, the procedure began. As everyone says, the scratching sound of the skin being cut is pretty awful. It was also decently painful, but once the first pass was complete, Ivonne added more numbing cream, so things got less painful and more comfortable as it went along.
A few hours after microblading
When she was done, I was absolutely astonished by how natural they look and how she mimicked the natural growth pattern of my eyebrows. Thanks to Instagram, I’ve seen good microblading and not-so-good microblading, and Ivonne’s work is really impressive!
On Day 2, I felt some slight tightness and soreness when making facial expressions. Blotting is part of the aftercare, and I experienced some slight colour loss and crustiness each time I blotted. Things were also starting to look quite dark. It was on the second day that my boyfriend saw them in person for the first time, and he couldn’t believe how realistic they looked!
Day 3 is scary u guys. They got SO dark, but because Ivonne went over aftercare and what to expect, I wasn’t all that concerned. The lines thickened up a bit, too, because scabs were forming. This was the first and only dry-healing day, and things felt pretty tight and itchy.
By Days 4 and 5, things were looking very dark and a little bit crazy, I won’t lie. On Day 5 in particular, the scabs began to crack and flake just slightly, starting with the tails. When the tails flaked off, it looked like I had absolutely no colour, and I even had some light pink patches under where the scabs had been. Again, this is normal, and I tried not to panic!
By Days 6 to 8, I was desperate for my brows to peel more substantially. I wanted them to be healed, and felt like everyone was staring at my thick, dark, greasy-with-aftercare-ointment brows. They were starting to crack and peel very slowly. Based on other people’s experiences, I thought they’d be fully peeled and healed by now, and I was a little worried that I was doing something wrong, so I sent Ivonne a message. She said that everything was okay, and that taking longer to peel might mean that I’d get better colour retention. I also heal really slowly (think Wolverine, but the opposite), so that might be a factor too.
It wasn’t until Days 9 to 11 that I finally got some substantial peeling. What was most interesting about these days was that, since the tails peeled way back on Day 6, the colour had already come back there, and I could see hair strokes!
Now, just over 14 days in, my brows have completely peeled. I imagine the pigment is still settling in there, but I’m so happy with them. At about the two week mark I started filling them in again with my ABH Dipbrow. Yup – I still fill my brows in. I didn’t want them microbladed on as bold as I normally fill them in because when I’m not wearing makeup, I still want to look like I’m not wearing makeup, you know what I mean? I wanted an extremely natural look, and I wanted to still have the option of doing full-on-Instagram-brows if I want to. And when I do fill in my brows, it’s SO much easier than before because I just follow the shape that’s already there rather than trying to create a new one.
I do have a touch-up appointment in a few weeks just to touch up any spots where there was loss of pigment, but I’m so incredibly pleased with them. Because my skin is combo/oily, I was concerned that things would heal blurred – which is a real possibility with my skin type. There’s some blurring rather than clearly-defined strokes towards the middle of the brow, but it still looks really natural – kind of like I just got a fresh brow tint, but without the quick fading times! The lines on the tail are incredibly crisp, which is nice because I didn’t have much hair there to begin with. Despite the pain and the peeling and impatience, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, and will recommend it to anyone who asks!
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