There are so many new beauty services out there, and my brides are constantly asking if they are worth doing, when they should do them, and how they work. Today, I am talking about lash extensions, eyebrow microblading and laser hair removal. Lucky for you, I have tried them all and can speak from first hand experience.
Tattooing eyebrows have been around for a long time (think faded blue brows on our aunts and moms!). Technology has advanced a bit here, and now tattooing the eyebrows is a semi-permanent process called microblading. They are semi-permenant because they don’t penetrate as deep into the skin as a normal tattoo, and will fade in 1-2 years.
Microblading is the process of making small strokes on to the skin with the ink and mimics your eyebrow hairs for a natural look. There are also other techniques called ombre or powder brows that will fill them in more. I did a mix of microblading and ombre because I didn’t find microblading filled in mine enough.
After first session: Fresh and dark! Lightens considerably after.
After touch up: Filled in the blanks from the first session.
All healed: Lightened up and looks just like I drew on my brows with a soft pencil.
Why you should do it
Imagine waking up and not having to draw in your brows, or taking a dip in the pool or sweating from sports, and not having to worry if your brows have started smudging. This semi-permanent technique will last 1-2 years, and is a big time saver for your everyday makeup routine. Girls with really sparse or thin brows will benefit from this the most. Also did you know guys get them done too?
Pain level = 7/10
The microblading itself was not painful, especially with the numbing cream applied. However, the ombre technique uses a tool very similar to a tattoo needle (but on your face!) and definitely stings!
Just like after a normal tattoo, you will have to refrain from sports, sweating and water for about a week while it heals fully. Plus you will need a touch up about a month after the first session, plus healing time. If you are looking to get this done before your wedding, consider getting this months beforehand.
Where I go
I got my eyebrows done at Tho Brows. I loved her stroke work on Instagram and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on how natural my brows look.
Laser Hair Removal (and Laser Facials)
Oops no photo here! Too much skin for the blog 🙂
Laser hair removal has been around for a long time too, but laser technology has improved, so it lasts longer and takes fewer sessions to complete. The salon I go to uses a medical grade Cutera Xeo Laser. This type of laser is found in hospitals and dermatologist/specialists’ offices, and is not what you’d typically find in a neighbourhood spa with groupon sessions that are 10+ sessions.
Ensure you find a salon with a medical grade laser service. It should only take 5-6 sessions total for total hair removal. And believe me, you want as few sessions as possible as it stings!
Why you should do it
Why wouldn’t you do it is the question!? Head to your wedding night and honeymoon hair and fuss free. Not only that, but it lasts your whole life (note pregnancy may change the permenancy of the hair removal, as your hormones change).
Pain level = 8/10
Some areas are more painful than others, and unfortunately I picked all uncomfortable areas to try it on (brazilian and underarm). The pain never builds up, but it is a constant warm prick that will have to cover the whole area you want done. It almost feels like a quick and sharp needle prick.
Right after the sessions you will notice immediate hair removal and slower growth. Because the sessions need 5-6 weeks in between, it could take up to 7-8 months to complete a full cycle of laser hair removal sessions. If you are planning to have this all completed before the wedding and honeymoon, plan well in advance!
Also do not do any laser hair removal sessions 4-5 days after your period, as your hormones effect your pain tolerance (I learned this the hard way!!).
Bonus – Try a Laser Facial:
Try a laser facial for pain-free deep cleansing of skin imperfections, sun spots, pigmentation or for tightening. The same laser is used but not as intense a level as used for hair removal. One session takes about 20 minutes, and there is no downtime afterwards. This is great to prep your skin leading up to the wedding and for the honeymoon.
Where I go
I got my laser hair removal done at SP Laser Centre. These ladies are super gentle and have made a seemingly uncomfortable experience very comfortable.
Left: Lash extensions getting put in; Middle: Finishes lashes close up; Right: Lashes and brows all done!
Lash extensions are all the rage right now, as a way to have the long lash look without the fuss of putting on strips. It does not come without it’s own fuss though. Keep in mind that it requires a 2-2.5 hour sitting to put them on, regular maintenance and refills every 2-4 weeks.
Why you should do it
Wake up and go without the need to do your makeup! Your lashes instantly brighten up the face and open up the eyes, and most girls don’t wear a lot of makeup as a result. With your lashes and eyebrows done, you really won’t have to worry about anything else.
Pain level = 3/10
Truth be told, there is no pain involved in the lash extension procedure. However, I do put 3/10 because it does require a long sitting to get them done, and a bit of maintenance which isn’t for everyone.
Lash strips or lash extensions? A lot of brides ask if they should get lash extensions done or do lash strips. I would recommend the lash extensions for pre- and post-wedding activities, like engagement parties and rehearsal dinners, and for your honeymoon. However, for your wedding day you may want to have a fuller look on your eyes, and the lash strips are better for this. If you did a fuller look for the lash extensions, you’d be stuck with that full look for a few weeks, and it can get pretty heavy on the eyes. Also the makeup that can be done around lash extensions can be a bit limiting (no mascara and eye makeup is hard to remove around it), so definitely check in with your makeup artist if you are unsure.
Where I go
I got my lashes done with Clair De Lune Lashes (located out of L’une Beauty Boutique at Carlaw/Dundas). She’s super gentle and I highly recommend her!
Rebecca Chan is a Toronto wedding planner and day of wedding coordinator providing sophisticated planning for the style-savvy couple. Whether you need planning assistance or wedding day coordination, Rebecca can help you create your dream wedding day. Contact her today, she'd love to hear from you.