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How good is your pain threshold

Written by Farrah Storr on July 12th, 2016.      0 comments

The concept of getting eyeliner TATTOOED on your eyelids has always struck me as wholly unnecessary. The pain! The cost! The potential for it all to look a bit Prisoner Cell Block H once it discolours and turns a shade of green that Farrow & Ball would undoubtedly call 'algae'! Why bother when you can add your own delicate flick in just a few seconds?

I'll tell you why – because things have changed. Firstly, it's called microblading nowadays. 

I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like a far less terrifying ordeal. Teeny-tiny spots of vegetable dye are applied to the outer edges of your eyelids with all the precision of an Impressionist painter. The result is the subtlest hint of colour that emphasises your eyes in a way I have never been able to achieve with a kohl pencil.

I mention the vegetable dye because this is ink that doesn't, I'm reassured, turn green (unlike the stuff poured onto the eyelids of women everywhere a few years back, which was actual tattoo ink). That means when it fades – which it does after around 18 months – it won't change colour.

The price has dropped, too (a couple of years ago we were talking around £1,800; now that's closer to £400). If, like me, you're a demon for fancy designer eyeliner, that's not far off what I would spend on products in two years anyway. 

So there I was, at 37 years of age – seduced. I'm busy. I'm also terrible at applying eyeliner. I rub my eyes a lot, too. Semi-permanent eyeliner under the gentle auspices of microblader extraordinaire Sian Deller seemed like a good idea.

Sian works from a pristine white room on London's Harley Street and is the best advert for her work. (Rule number one: look closely at your practitioner. Seriously, this is one of those rare opportunities in life when it's OK to stare, because whatever they have had done is probably what they deem 'good work'.) Sian had the slightest trace of ink around her bottom and top eyelids, as well as her lips outlined (not my thing, but it made her already pillowy mouth look plump and bountiful).

She starts by showing me pictures of past clients. There are blue eyes with pale grey eyeliner, green eyes with bitter chocolate liner, and dark brown eyes, like mine, with the teeniest slick of black liner on the top lids only (which is what I went for). Yes, you can go for an Amy Winehouse style if you so choose, but the best work is the subtlest, as Sian will tell you.

What's great is that Sian will apply the liner and then ask you to come back in six weeks' time. This is important because: a) the liner fades a little after first application (this is a good thing by the way – I was a bit shocked by how thick mine looked. After a few days it's receded by about 50%. b) Most people are a little meek in their initial consultation, but six weeks later, bolstered by compliments and the fact they look awake for the first time in five years, go for a slightly more dramatic effect.

And that's it. Literally. You lie back, close your eyes, think about what you've eaten for the day or, in my case, plan your bathroom renovation, and then you're done. Well, kind of. I do have to tell you about the pain. It hurts. A lot. My pain threshold is usually pretty good and, although Sian applied numbing cream, it was, well… agony. I was told it would feel like the end of a cotton bud (minus the cotton wool obviously) being scraped across my eyelids. It didn't. A Stanley knife is more like it. Not quite what I was expecting on a Monday evening.
 
gallery-1466356713-eyebrow-microblading-before-after-437

Because of this, my eyelids were swollen for a couple of days. Yes, I was given a sort of Eight Hour Cream to administer every morning and night, but if you're going to have this done I'd put any important social plans on ice for a few days after.[Microblading before and after]COSMOPOLITAN UKOf course, now you've got this far in the article, you're going to want to know if I would have it done again? The answer is yes. It's taken precious minutes off my morning make-up routine and it looks good – really good. I'm too chicken to go back and have my lower lids done, but that's just me. And in 18 months when it's faded into oblivion? Well, I'll be right back on Sian's couch. But maybe I'll have had a stiff drink first.

£395; Sian Dellar Semi Permanent Makeup Specialist, 1 Harley Street, London; 020 7717 9665; permanentmakeup-specialist.com. 
 

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