Bridal Beauty Prep #2: Getting My Eyebrows Semi-Permanently Tattooed (A Top-Up With Karen Betts)

My personal insecurities have never extended to my nose or my boobs or anything that’s prevented me from wearing what I want or having the confidence I need to get on with my day, but they do involve having eyebrows that naturally look like they’re not yet fully grown. Those hairy bits above my eyes have never been in the best of shape (even pre-plucking they were always thin, uneven and didn’t quite reach the end!) but the stress of final year exams at Uni lead to much of them falling out and never re-growing. Ever since they’ve been a bone of contention: I’ve gone from ignoring them and hoping for the best, through to picking up the skills needed to draw them on effectively, to longer-lasting treatments that take the faff out of my morning routine. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself has been getting my eyebrows microbladed; it’s amazing what beautifully drawn brows can do for a girl’s confidence, and the overall look of her face. Looking back at my passport photo from 2009, I look like I’m permanently in a state of shock – I can’t wait to be able to change it for an image of me looking less like a cartoon character and more like a respectable woman in her 30s!

As my Big Day gets closer, one of things that was top of my list from a beauty prep perspective was to get my brows re-tattooed with the woman who undoubtedly is the best in the industry. Karen Betts pioneered permanent cosmetics in the UK over 20 years ago and continues to be one of the industry’s leading experts; clients travel all over the world to her UK based clinics, knowing that her experience and technique is second to none. Not only does she specialise in cosmetic tattooing, Karen is also a leader in medical tattooing who works with breast cancer, cleft lip, hair loss and severely scarred patients to give them the confidence boost they need: this is a woman who knows exactly what she’s doing and provides only the best results. I trusted her 18 months ago to get my brows in order, so there was no doubt that I needed to pop back for a refresh ahead of my wedding day.

Although it’s not entirely pain free, the ease of semi-permanent brows makes the mild discomfort and expense totally worth it in my opinion; the whole appointment takes less than sixty minutes, with Karen initially drawing on the brow shape she thinks would work best so you can ensure you’re 100% happy with the results. After you’ve agreed and amended any element necessary, anesthetic is applied and Karen uses a blade to administer the colour in around three layers; the first for me is always a little uncomfortable, but once the anesthetic kicks in you can barely feel a thing. What’s unique about this technique is that it allows individual hairs to be drawn on in differing thickness and with the colour that’s a perfect match for your own tone; the result is an incredibly natural one that’s undetectable unless you get right up close – most of my friends and colleagues have no idea my brows aren’t real!

As for the after care, after a few weeks of maintenance which isn’t dissimilar to getting your ear pierced (no direct cleansing of the area and applying a hydrating balm multiple times a day to aid the healing process,) the result is a perfectly constructed brow that lasts up to eighteen months. The brows will gradually fade over time, but you’re encouraged to invest in yearly top-ups (half the price of the original treatment) to ensure a long-term result that really makes an ongoing difference. I love not having to worry about drawing in my brows or them looking too fake, especially on no-makeup days or when on the beach; even when I’m creating a heavy makeup look I just need to wipe away excess foundation from my brows using a cotton bud and top-up if I want the colour to look stronger. When it comes to my wedding day (and honeymoon) I’ll feel confident knowing my brows will be looking hawt as hell in all the pictures – and all I have to worry about is my lipstick smudging, not my brow pencil. That’s worth a few minutes of discomfort and a little expense in my opinion, no question about it.

Have you ever considered getting your eyebrows semi-permanently tattooed? Is there anything that holds you back or makes you nervous, apart from the price?

The photos below were taken immediately after and show a mess of makeup, but you get the idea as to how precise the result is – and how much difference it makes to the face.

Read the first in my series: ‘How To Get The Most From Your Hair Trial’

Thank you Karen for proving my treatment and top-up free of charge.

See my first feature on getting my brows done with Karen Betts here. Prices range from £295 to £895 depending upon the level of artist carrying out the procedure. Find out more on the Karen Betts website:


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