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Lena Dunham Documents Her Own Microblading

I promise it sounds more violent than it is

03.23.17
Lena-Dunham-Microblading-Vogue-Man-Repeller

This morning, Vogue.com published a Lena Dunham piece featuring everything you could ask for in an essay: a quirky grandmother anecdote, a haunting middle-school memory, some brow philosophy (🔑) and an in-process video with a satisfying Final Lewk.

The subject at hand is microblading, a.k.a brow tattoos. Maybe you’ve never heard of this, or maybe you’ve combed meticulously through the “1.5 million mentions on Instagram” at 2 a.m. in a delirious state, not that I have. (A lot of the posts are cause for concern, by the way, so pls be careful with your tender, brow-loving heart.)

Microblading, per Lena, with whom I’m on a first-name basis, is, “a semipermanent tattoo where small amounts of pigment are placed under the skin using a sharp and flat handheld tool … by experts who take pains to draw in each missing eyebrow hair for an effect that resembles a trompe l’oeil arch.” She writes that she heard about it last summer in the reception of her doctor’s office and became obsessed with the idea.

Lena, like many women, has a brow history punctuated by tweezer-induced tragedy. “I’d create a superthin shape using my dad’s dull tweezers,” she writes, “then use a pencil of some sort (lip- or eyeliner; who really knew the difference?) to fill in what God had not gifted me.” The results were the outcast of brow shapes, lopsided sperms, and a consequential “20-year saga” with her eyebrows. (This sounds familiar…do we need to start an after-work brow circle to air all these out?)

A face tattoo was obviously going to solve all her problems, is a sentence I never thought I’d write, but here I am. Before we go on, please watch and take notes:

“A mere 40 minutes later, when I finally sat up, I was too stunned to speak,” says Lena. “On my face were two perfect brows, the same hard-to-capture brown as the hair on my head, multidimensional, thick in all the right places, giving my face a grounded seriousness I had been wishing for since that day in the bathroom almost 20 years ago.”

I have to admit I was trepidatious at the outset of this article; I almost couldn’t read the words because the image of my old neighbor’s thick, uneven eyeliner tattoos had overwhelmed by vision. But damn, she looks real good, doesn’t she?

While it seems reckless to immortalize a beauty trend on one’s face, it’s hard to imagine eyebrows like these going out of style. But also like: ’90s brows happened and everyone was v desperate for That Thin Look, so I don’t know who to trust anymore. Would you consider microblading? What about other permanent makeup? My ears *did* perk when I read that Dominique Bossavy, the women who did Lena’s brows, also tattoos “flushed-pink lips.”

But…OMG. What if it looked bad?! Discuss.

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic via Getty Images

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  • YES. I had an appt for this in January and then I spent my money on other dumb stuff so I decided to wait closer to summer (aka decided to wait closer to my birthday hoping someone will gift me the procedure. HI MOM!!). I’M PUMPED. Nothing could be worse than what I have going on right now in my natural state. I’ve been drawing on brows for like 13 years (i pull them out, cute habit) I’m ~over it~ and ready to give this a whirl. LIFE WITH EYEBROWS THAT DON’T WASH OFF. wow.

    • Clairebear

      If it weren’t for a Seventeen article about how to achieve Kate Winselt’s bushy eyebrows in Titanic, I would have suffered a similar fate to Lena Dunham. She has a similar complexion and hair/eye color to me.

      • Mary Weehunt Goff

        I did it and love it. Very little time in the morning to touch up.

  • Adrianna

    I look at old photos of my eyebrows and cringe to think that that’s what I thought looked awesome at one point.

  • Suzan

    It’s semi-permanent, that’s the beauty of it! They will fade over time, so you can pick up on any new eyebrow trend 😉
    I’d definitely consider micro-blading… however my brows are not very bushy, but also not thin enough that I could justify the cost to myself at this point in my life (I pencil them in a little bit almost every day though).

  • Lucy

    so confused and obsessed at the stylist putting a blanket over her ???

    • Meg

      The place I go to for eyelash extensions puts a blanket over me and I pass tf out! I think it’s to relax you 😌

  • starryhye

    I’m super intrigued by microblading! This service has been popping up where I live, but I’m a little hesitant. I feel like it needs to get a little more popular in order for me to get reliable feedback. Also, I gotta save up b/c it’s spendy!$$

  • Bo

    Finally, a Lena Dunham headline where she isn’t being a jerk to anyone

  • So thankful that my dad forced me to stop with the tweezer and let them grow out as a teen.

  • chouette

    She looks great. I feel extremely fortunate that a love of vintage combined with laziness allowed me to survive the early 2000s with eyebrows in-tact.

  • Lacey Bergevin

    Doing my brows are literally the worst minutes of my day. if i wasn’t such a chicken i would totally do it, but i don’t want to look them to look too fake.

  • kitmcc

    Does anyone know how much this costs (roughly)?

    • Millie Lammoreaux

      I’ve seen prices from around $350 to $600ish, which usually includes a couple of follow-ups, too.

      • kitmcc

        Thanks!

    • Fat Monica

      check groupon for cheaper, Ive seen as low at $160

    • Lil

      In LA, about $500.

  • Carla C

    she looks absolutely amazing!!!… Its alarming because I immediately think about Kat Von D when I think of tattoo’ed-on-the-face… but I also think its specifically what Lena asked for and the spot that she went to. I have a patch on my right eyebrow that is LITERALLY the only thing I fill with pencil and now the wheels are turning…..

  • Kelly

    I feel like I hear about this all the time in Australia. I’m kind of obsessed with the idea, but not enough to drop the dough.
    My eyebrows are good, they are just not bushy. I’d love to thicken em up a bit.

  • it looks great and natural! but what happens when your hair turns grey? hmmm…

    • Anne

      It’s only temporary 🙂

    • liv

      You can also get your eyebrows tinted to match if they start to grey. I used to work at a spa and eyebrow and eyelash tinting was very popular among the older ladies. But, as Anne said, it is only temporary (the semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos) so you can probably have them color corrected if you choose to touch them up years down the line.

  • Liza

    I’ve been doing this for years. I loooooove it!! I don’t know why more people don’t do it, my lady in NYC (Amy Kernahan) is so talented. I do it every few years, because it does fade and I love when it looks strong. I made the mistake of shaving part of brows when I was a wee teen and I had been penciling and hiding that forever.

    This is one of those things, like laser hair removal, that people imply is only for high maintenance people — but I think it’s for lazy people. Think of the time saved! And the embarrassment saved from not smearing my brow powder up my forehead when I sweat a little!

    Also the unspoken bonus: it’s a gorgeous template for my own plucking of strays, etc. I recommend 100% (as long as you find someone skilled!)

    • Fat Monica

      holy hell shes expensive!!!

      • liv

        I don’t think this is a procedure that you want to take the cheap route on. Semi-permanent makeup on your face, and other forms of permanent/semi-permanent changes to your body (elective cosmetic surgeries, etc.) are not the times for you to bargain hunt.

  • Jenelle

    I desperately want to do microblading!!!! I’ve been searching for a place in DC to do it and I want to make sure I go to the best place obviously since this will all be occurring on my face. My mom never let me tweeze or wax or thread my eyebrows, and thank god because they’ve honestly been the same since I was a child, which is pretty sparse – they do not grow. They’re not non-existent but I’ve been filling in my brows since I was 14 (a good 17 years now) and while I’m not aiming for Cara Delevigne or Lily Collins-esque brows, I just don’t feel like filling them in every damn day for the rest of my life so I think this is a genius procedure.

  • Kyra

    I love that she did this! I’ve been following her and her struggle with her eyebrows for a few years. Which seems weird, but I have the same struggle-I didn’t pluck them to death but I’m rather accident prone and burnt some of mine off in a BBQ mishap (they’re still there but very short and thin). I’ve been looking into micro-blading for some time now and this just reinforces my desire to do it!

  • Michelle

    MR Team! Do you guys know where to do microblading in NYC that’s on an acceptable price range?! This totally inspires me to take the plunge but need recommendations pretty please!

    • Fat Monica

      samesies. I tried Groupon but still very expensive

  • Meg S

    I kind of need this. One of my eyebrows is shorter than the other and could use some filling out. I use pencil to make up for it, but i feel like it’s super obvious.

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