As a response to the recent headlines of a mother who experienced a horrible microblading procedure, Microblading Artist & Owner Tina Davies spoke out against the backlash, shedding light as to why these horror stories are actually happening.
Article written by: Tina Davies
"Microblading gone wrong is all over the media right now.
We’ve seen this trend getting worse, and with the increasing mainstream popularity of microblading, we’ve noticed horror stories are also becoming more and more frequent and even viral.
Last week was a particularly bad week for microblading. I think by now we’ve all heard the story…
A single mother goes to have a microblading procedure in the hopes of attaining fuller, perfected eyebrows, only to wake up the next day with horrifying results. Her skin actually became so irritated that it peeled right off her face, causing her both physical and emotional trauma that she is still reeling from. Her skin literally fell off her face.
This issue is so prominent, that the term “botched microblading” is the second suggested term on google when you type “botched m”
It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
If you are looking for a microblading procedure today the chances of getting a bad experience and being exposed to health risks are higher than finding a pro and getting a high quality treatment. The combination of artists accepting clients that are not good candidates and the extremely high volume of new artists entering the industry after getting only 2-3 day training courses with limited education is contributing to a dramatic upswing in microblading horror stories.
Now more than ever, clients should be hyper-vigilant when selecting a microblading artist.
If you are looking for a microblading procedure and you want to limit your exposure to health risks and increase the chances of a great outcome we’ve got you covered. The list below is a guide for how to find a high quality artist. This is not suggested best practices or nice to haves… this is the absolute bare minimum requirements. If anything is missing from the list (and you like your skin attached to your face) - DO NOT BOOK a procedure.
1. Book a consultation and site inspection
Instead of relying on Instagram or website reviews, take the time to pick up the phone and call the artist and book a consultation. This is particularly important if the artist is not a direct referral. The consultation will give the artist a chance to understand your needs, assess your skin condition and provide answers to your specific questions. Plus, you’ll be able to do a site inspection at the same time to view the working conditions. Look for an environment that is tidy, well-lit, pet-free, and sanitary. Most states and provinces also require a sink to be in each procedure room. An unsanitary environment is a huge red flag when someone is making incisions into your skin.
2. Tools and equipment inspection
It is essential that all microblade needles the artist uses are sterilized. This is usually a basic requirement of the local governing body. Sterilization markings should be indicated on the packaging. No sterilization markings being a big red flag.
Make sure the artist mentions sterilization or educates all clients on their process for ensuring sterilized blades, needles and handles. You should also see a sharps container and watch that used tools be deposited into the sharps container. The SPCP advises that one-time use disposable microblade tools are the safest for both the artist and client and reduces the risk of cross-contamination in the work area. You should also watch that the artists uses a new tool for every microblading procedure and that she/he opens a new package. Unfortunately, a lot of artists re-use their handles and in some cases even re-use microblade needles.
3. Copy of training certificates Before booking an appointment or sitting in an artist’s chair, make sure they display their training certifications and any other permanent makeup/microblading courses they've taken, either in person or online. If you're unsure and don’t see this information displayed anywhere, ask the artist if you can see their credentials. Due to the recent surge in popularity of microblading and the lack of regulation for training, there are so many new artists out there who have not been properly trained, which highly increase the chances of client complications with the procedure. In addition to looking at the training certificate, it is also a good idea to see who provided the training and gauge the reputation of the trainer as many trainers have only 6 months of experience or less.
4. Blood-borne pathogen completion course You may need to do some digging and research for this one, but when someone is going to perform any type of microblading procedure like this, it’s important to do your research and ensure that your artist is well-educated. If the artist has completed this necessary course, they shouldn't have a problem presenting it to you.
5. Seeing Previous HEALED Work At the end of the day, even microblading artists who are certified and use sterile needles may still be new to microblading. Make sure to always do your research on the artist’s previous work and read any and all reviews on the experience, healed results, and interaction with the artist.
Remember this rule of thumb: “immediately after” pictures show art, “healed” pictures show skill.
6. Gloves You may think this one is obvious. Ensuring that an artist is wearing gloves throughout your procedure is a given. But it’s critical that those gloves that are touching the open wounds on your face haven't been contaminated by touching reusable objects in the procedure room such as lights, mirrors, phones, or worse yet - by another client. Microblading artists that are educated in the transmission of blood-borne pathogens understand and are acutely aware of not touching non-disposable items with contaminated gloves. The tiny cuts that are made on your eyebrows during a microblading procedure are very susceptible to infection. If an artist is seen not taking proper precautions, think twice before booking your appointment with them.
7. Disposable Environment Does the artist live in a disposable universe? Do they dispose of all microblades, handles, needles, gloves, and everything else that may be contaminated immediately after they no longer need them? Well-educated and professional artists will dispose of all needles INCLUDING handles to reduce the risk of transmitting disease or infection. Beware of artists that re-uses handles in order to save a few bucks. This is a widespread issue. Companies that sell handles and needles typically sell 25 needles for every handle.
8. Aftercare and Follow-up Appointment During your consultation, it is good to take note of what the artist’s typical protocol is for microblading aftercare, and follow-ups. Does the artist give you an ointment and send you on your way? Or do they take the time to sit down and explain aftercare, and why it’s important.
9. Do You Qualify for the Procedure We recently wrote an article called “Am I A Good Candidate for Microblading”. We wrote this article because not everyone is a good candidate for a microblading procedure. Reasons for this can vary depending on your skin type or medical conditions you may have, including medications or supplements you may be taking. Either way, this is something both clients and artists have a responsibility to research prior to any procedure so that they both understand that results may not be optimal. For more information on qualifying yourself or clients for a microblading procedure, please see our blog post here.
10. Business License, Annual Health Inspection Report, Insurance
As a client looking to have a procedure like this done, it’s your responsibility to do your research on artists in your area. If you have determined that the microblading artist and their space meets the standards listed above, there is no reason that a microblading procedure can’t be an amazing experience that adds convenience and self-confidence to your life. If you are diligent enough to ensure that artists are well trained, and are following best-practices, the chances of your procedure going smoothly and successfully will increase, leaving you with awesome results that you love! Caveat Emptor!"
Such a beautifully written article. It couldn't have been said better. Thank you, Tina!
Perhaps the biggest fallacy of the modern medical world is the way autoimmune is diagnosed and treated. It's like the Wild West, with lots of guessing & experimenting. Personally, I don't want anything to do with that confusion.
On a journey to find real answers, I came across a very important person who taught me 4 very important things about autoimmune & mystery illness:
1. It is not your body attacking itself or turning against you.
2. It is not because you spent too much time in nature this summer & got bit by a tick.
3. It is not because you aren't being true to your heart & soul. Emotional healing may be a part of your journey but it is not WHY you are sick.
4. It is not your fault in any way, shape, or form aside from the simple fact that you were born into this world.
What autoimmune is, is very misunderstood.
But where science fails, faith does not.
With roughly 50 million Americans suffering with autoimmune conditions, it is a god send to have a human like Anthony William, aka Medical Medium, taking the stage to explain what no one else is able to.
Anthony has helped me understand the root cause of autoimmune & mystery illness, describing it as a state of suppressed immunity due to pathogenic & toxic overload on the body. Many of these conditions are unique to this century on the planet.
He explains that modern medicine is not yet able to detect the viruses at play within the liver, thyroid, & even the brain; viruses like Epstein Barr, HHV-6 & Shingles. Common viruses of the human experience that can be triggered from dormancy after a blood infection to wreak havoc later in life.
Because modern medicine can not detect the levels at which these pathogens are operating, doctors too often conclude that the body must be attacking itself.
Anthony explains that the body is not attacking us. On the contrary, it is protecting us.
This vital piece of information is missing from the mindset of millions who feel like their bodies have turned against them.
But this isn't true. I believe there are answers that exist beyond what the eye can see.
If you are one of the millions who have been told by a well-meaning doctor that your symptoms are "all in your head" (simply because they don't know) or that your body is attacking itself, please know that there are answers available to help set yourself free from chronic illness.
Why It Matters What’s In Your Tattoo Ink
How Tattoos Impact Autoimmune Conditions (+ what you can do about it)
Finally Healing Acne
With microblading being such a hot trend, training courses are popping up all over the US and Canada. But, as most things in life, microblading is a Buyer Beware situation.
When microblading is done by an artist that has integrity, proper training, and experience, it is a very safe application with few potential side effects.
However, like any tattoo, it is a serious procedure and you want to have your bases covered.
Microblading is an art form that takes years of study through trial and error to perfect. Most trainings being offered right now are 1-3 days long. Practice models are not always offered, as these courses can even be taken online.
This leaves students to practice on their own terms without supervision in concern to blood borne pathogen awareness.
In the US there are very little FDA regulations on any type of tattooing. Anyone can attend these courses regardless of their background in the health or beauty industry.
Check Portfolios & Credentials.
It is a regular occurrence in the industry to see new artists stealing more established artist's photos to use on their website for marketing purposes. It's important to ask questions beyond what the eye can see. Questions such as:
How long have you been microblading?
How many clients have you worked on?
Do you have client references?
Have you ever made a mistake? How did you fix it?
Do you have access to someone who can help if there is a mistake you don't know how to fix?
Do you have Blood Borne Pathogen Training?
What is your clean-up procedure like?
Are your tools/pigments disposable?
The last thing any of us want is to feel intrusive, but again this procedure is a serious one. An artist that takes their work seriously will respect your concerns.
To be polite, be sure to ask questions like this before scheduling an appointment, not the day of.
Health Risks Involving Inks
Internationally, there is raised concern over heavy metal impact on the body from tattooing and permanent makeup. If you have an autoimmune condition or other health concerns, check out an article I recently published on the topic by clicking below:
My hopes are that this insight has been helpful for you while researching microblading. It is such a life enhancing service, when done correctly.
We are always wishing the best for you and your brows!