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