I have no eyebrows. They are shapeless, thin, and downright ugly. I would spend money on shaping, tweezing, waxing, threading, but nothing ever seemed to work. The only time they would look decent is when I would get them professionally done by a make-up artist, and honestly, who has the time to do that everyday? Also, there are so many bells and whistles involved! I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler let alone try and outline an eyebrow.

I was in an eyebrow funk until my dear friend, Lorin Carlino informed me about 3-D eyebrow embroidery. I immediately conjured up images of needles, patchwork and 3-D glasses and couldn’t grasp what this was.

Eyebrow embroidery is also known as cosmetic tattooing, semi-permanent makeup, pigment embroidery, 3-D eyebrow embroidery, or micro-blading. It’s very common in Malaysia and Singapore and has slowly been gaining traction in the U.S. Semi-permanent pigment is pushed into the surface of the skin with a fine blade to mimic the growth/look of existing hair and create natural looking brows based on your preference. The technician draws in your dream brow prior to the procedure to ensure the shape/style the customer desires.

Lorin sold me on this and I made an appointment at Tina Lee Skin Care in Chinatown. This is NOT a fancy spa. It’s tucked inside the Hair Le Pell Salon in New York City’s Chinatown (18 Pell St / 212-966-8740)

Tina Lee

The procedure is simple:

  • Recline in a chair while Tina fills in your brows to your liking.
  • She applies numbing crème and within 3-5 minutes begins filling them in with the little blade and ink.
  • Pain: I have a high tolerance for pain so it didn’t bother me. It literally felt like someone taking a hairbrush and twisting out knots from your hair. It was uncomfortable. I’ve had friends who cried (yikes). It’s very dependent on each person. BUT regardless, it’s a 10-30 minute procedure depending on how much you have to fill in AND it’s totally worth it (ever hear Pain = Beauty) because once it’s complete and you see how perfect your brows are, you will forget any discomfort you had.
  • Recovery: Again this is dependent on the person. Tina gives you an herbal topical solution to use the next 10 days. It moisturizes and seals in the semi-permanent ink. It has a very herbaceous smell. I use it at night before bed. I had no down time. Some people may experience redness for a day. Your brow area will be tender for a few hours after. That’s about it.
  • Maintenance: this lovely procedure lasts up to a year. Tina suggests clients return within 3 months of original application to fill in any spots. Most clients go for a year/year and a half before starting over again.

This has truly been one of the best beauty investments I ever made.