Review by A2: Microblading at The Brow Studio in Melrose Arch


What did I review?

Eyebrow microblading.

What is it?

Microblading or eyebrow embroidery is a manual method of semi-permanent makeup. Results can last anywhere from 1-3 years, depending on different factors affecting the procedure. A touch up once a year is recommended to retain the shape and saturation of the pigment.

It is done manually, using a very fine blade to deposit pigments into the epidermis. Because we’re impacting colour closer to the surface, the strokes appear crisp and very fine. There is no “spilling” under the skin.

Where did I go?

The Brow Studio situated in Melrose Arch – see their contact details at the bottom of this review.

The team aim to help eyebrows at any level of “disaster”. Whether it’s shaping, tinting, or tattooing you need. Brow Specialist, and owner of The Bow Studio, Samantha Divaris, obtained a Masters in Health and Skincare Therapy from the renowned Beauty Therapy Institute in Cape Town, her qualifications include both national and international accreditations including SAAHSP, CIDESCO and ITEC. Being a self-confessed perfectionist, she developed a passion for eyebrows early on and has spent the last 13 years helping the eyebrow “needy”.

Other treatments offered: permanent makeup/micropigmentation, lash lift & tint, semi-permanent makeup/microblading, lash extensions, semi-permanent mascara, manicures and pedicures.

Have a look at their before and after photos:

What do you need to know before booking an appointment for microblading?

Do your research on the clinic/salon/technician you plan to visit. Ask questions like: how long having you been doing this, where did you train, who trained you, can I see your before and after photos of clients (ones that are 3 months post treatment), what inks do you use, where do you buy them from, research them online etc…

Educate yourself on the treatment and ensure you are visiting a trained technician who will not cause you harm. As with any “aesthetic” treatment, people see it’s becoming popular and think they can jump on the train and land up causing a lot of damage to customers. There are some truly terrible things and infections that can happen on your face if you go somewhere untrustworthy.

What is the treatment process?

Apply Emla numbing cream

Tweezing and cleaning up hairs

Measuring and mapping out the new eyebrow shape roadmap

The actual microblading

Have a look at this video of my treatment

Is it painful?

For me it was more painful than I expected. I found the anaesthetic cream (Emla, which can be bought at Dischem) which I applied just before arriving for the treatment wore off once we got started, but then again my threshold is not great at the best of times.

The first treatment wasn’t so bad and I managed okay with a stress ball. But, the second treatment was around my menstrual time and Oh. My. Word. I didn’t loooove the feeling, but I could bear it. However, it did improve when Sam applied an anaesthetic-serum-like substance during the treatment which helped to take the edge off.

My results?

My brows immediately afterward

My brows the next day

My brows one week after the first treatment – before and after comparison


How many treatments do you need?

Two – one as the initial microblading. And the second is needed for touch ups within 4 to 6 weeks after your first treatment. The process is considered incomplete without the touch up.

The reason the second treatment is absolutely crucial to have for touch ups is because it is difficult to predict how well the skin will retain the pigment.

Post-treatment care / do’s and don’ts / what to expect post-treatment?

You’ll find that the skin in your brows will feel sensitive. The next day they look so dark, it’s as if someone coloured your brows in with cokey, but they do fade significantly over a two-week period.

Some other pointers which are NB to follow:

  • No touchy touchy of the brows. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Put those grubby paws away! Dirty hands can cause infections and affect your healing.
  • Do not get the brows wet. Meaning no excessive sweating, steamy showers, saunas, swimming etc.
  • Sleep on your back, or try not to let anything touch or disturb brows while you’re sleeping.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and aspirin before and after treatment – this thins your blood and makes you bleed more.

My tips?

  • Wash your hair the morning of your treatment
  • Because you can’t get your brows wet at all, I suggest washing the bottom half of your face as normal over a basin. Then use a water-less cleanser with a cotton pad for your nose, eyes and around your forehead (not on your brows). I used Bioderma and Avene water-less cleansers for this with some cotton wool (can find these brands in Dischem).
  • Don’t waste your time trying to shower and cover your brows. Rather bath for seven days (and wash your face as per above before bathing)
  • If you can go seven days without washing your hair, great. If not, use dry shampoo for the first few days to keep it fresh. Thereafter wash it in the bath and be careful of the brow area.
  • Have the treatment done at least two to three weeks before going on holiday or an event.

What else can you do with Microblading?

Microblading your hairline is becoming increasingly popular for evening out small balding patches along the hairline.

Who is it for?

This method is ideal for anyone wanting to enhance the look of their eyebrows. The results are natural looking, hair-like strokes, regardless of the amount of hair present.

People suffering from alopecia, trichotillomania or any other condition that causes hair loss benefit greatly from Microblading, as well as people who simply aren’t happy with their eyebrows.

Who is not for?

You are NOT a suitable candidate for this procedure if:

  • Excessively oily or sweaty skin the semi-permanent tattoo will “feather” in these skin types)
  • Pregnant
  • History of chronic Keloids or Hypertrophic scarring (only chronic cases – Caesarian and other surgical scars do not count)
  • Diabetic (require doctor’s clearance)
  • Chemotherapy (consult your doctor)
  • Viral infections and/or diseases
  • Epilepsy
  • Pacemaker or major heart problems
  • Organ transplant
  • Skin irritations or Psoriasis near the treated area (rashes, sunburn, acne, etc.)
  • Sick (cold, flu, etc.)
  • Anti-wrinkle injectables (botulinum toxin) 10 days to two weeks before procedure
  • Roaccutane in the past 2 months (Roaccutane, Oratane or Accutane)
  • Heart conditions, uncontrolled high blood pressure, poor general health or are currently taking antibiotics or Aspirin.

How much does it cost?

*As at Nov 2017*

Costs will vary depending on where you go.

At the Brow Studio it costs R1800 for your 1st treatment. R800 for the touch-up (which MUST be booked within 4 to 6 weeks – the process is considered incomplete without this).

Then R800 per touch-up treatment which is advised annually.

*Any of their brow and lash treatments can be accompanied by a nail or foot treatment, mani or pedi, should you be pressed for time and need everything done at once*

Get in touch with The Brow Studio


Book online:


Phone: 082 928 0088


Physical address: Shop 11, The High Street, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg (opposite Jamie’s Italian)


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