Brow aficionados these days have undoubtedly come across the ever-so-popular microblading solution—which involves getting semi-permanent tattoos to fill in patches—to achieve fuller arches. While I’m usually game to try literally any such treatment that pops up (I’m looking at you, vampire and vagina facials!), face tattoos have always felt a little too hardcore for me. So when a microblading tattoo pen (with zero actual tattooing required) came across my desk, I raised an arch in intrigue.
Iconic Beauty Microbrow Tattoo Pen ($9) is meant to give you that microblading effect without the permanence factor—AKA a makeup bag version of the treatment that requires zero tattooing. That I’m down to try. “Microblading pencils are great for people who need to fill in bald spots in the brows who aren’t comfortable or confident using a classic brow pencil,” says Molly R. Stern, a celebrity makeup artist. “My preference is a hard formula pencil which can be feathered and look very natural. The microblading versions deposit more color, which generally have a stain and cover more area in one stroke.”
To see what the pen, which has four teeny tips to mimic hairs, could do for my brows, I swapped it for my usual brow gel. Now, disclaimer: My brows aren’t super patchy to begin with, but the pen did a great job emphasizing what I’ve already got. I started in the inner-corner of my brow and began dragging it across skin, noticing that my brows looked much fuller as I did so. As I approached the arch, the pen allowed me to define it more than a typical pencil or gel because each stroke looks like tiny hairs. Towards the tail, my brows get thinner, so I need more fullness there—and the pen didn’t let me down. Flipping it so that the hairs tailed down, I created a few strokes that I swear could’ve been mistaken for my real brows.
As I gazed into the mirror afterwards, my arches looked darker and thicker. To add to the brushed-up, fluffy effect I prefer, I glossed over them with my brow gel and wound up having more lush-looking brows than ever before. My faux microbladed brows lasted the entire day, too. All in all, consider me a newfound devotee of microblading pens—so I can live an even fuller brow bush life than I ever realized was possible.
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