Is expensive microblading worth it? I tried it for a year and here’s my report.
Microblading is a procedure that deposits ink mimicking brow hair in your skin, through blade strokes. Done properly, it results in full, natural-looking brows that last a year with proper care.
Momoi Supe is the Vicki Belo of microblading. Among his clients are celebrities Nadine Lustre, Angel Locsin, Kim Chiu, Coleen Garcia, Sue Ramirez, Lovi Poe, Alice Dixson, Amy Perez, plus three Misses Universe—Margie Moran-Floirendo, Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray.
Sharon Cuneta was so pleased with the results that she reportedly treated Momoi to dinner. He also does guys’ brows, such as Tony Labrusca’s and IC Mendoza’s (he was the one who told Lifestyle to check Momoi out).
At Strokes Eye Beauty Studio (formerly Strokes by Momoi Supe), the procedure is now called “Brow Sculpting” to distinguish it from the microblading/brow embroidery services offered in every corner.
The branches have a clean, premium look created by Momoi, also a licensed interior designer who graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines Diliman.
While the studios are conveniently located in malls, booking can take long if you want Momoi himself to do your brows (P25,000).
Other (slightly cheaper) options are Keithly Wong (P20,000) and Sean Clores (P16,000). If you want to splurge, you can have both Momoi and Sean sculpt your brows (P28,000). Price includes one touch-up.
In 2018, I went to the Greenbelt shop for my overgrown brows. Topical anesthesia was applied while I was having Keralift treatment for my lashes (another story). After an hour, Sean sat me in front of the mirror, trimmed my brows, created an outline with a pencil and brow compass, and had me check them. All good.
The prep was like having a facial.
Momoi came in with an assistant and started blading. Does it hurt? Yes. A bit. I could also smell my blood. (If you’ve had deep microneedling done on your face, that’s more painful.) The whole inking, blading and tinting took an hour.
After the last layer of numbing cream, blood and pigment were wiped off, my fresh brows were revealed and wow, were they pretty.
The final step was 15 minutes on the Photolite Therapy bed to prevent infections (plus P1,000).
I asked Momoi about the dos and don’ts. Can I go to the beach? Can I use sheet masks? Can I use brow mascara?
“All of those are okay after the brows heal, which takes two weeks,” he replied. “Beach is okay but you have to use the gel sunscreen. Brow makeup is not advised; you might not need it anyway. Avoid oil-based products,” he said.
Momoi handed me a chic after-care kit which included Browcare Fast Healing Gel, Browcare Vitamin Sunscreen Gel and waterproof bandages (plus P1,000).
So no oil cleansers and face oils, but my biggest problem was that I had super oily skin.
The morning after
Freshly bladed brows should not be wet for three days, so bathing was tricky. It was like having a pet Gremlin. I washed my hair upside down with bandages on my brows, and diligently used the gels.
Momoi warned that the brows would get darker as they healed, and could get itchy. Mine thankfully didn’t look like they’d been Sharpie-d on, had light scabbing, and were okay after a week. After-care is a commitment so I used the products till they ran out, just to be sure.
“Kilay is life” has been a battlecry of women, and having microbladed brows meant they would literally wake up like that. Compliments gave me confidence and put me in a good mood. No matter how gray my day went, my kilay were always on fleek.
My inked brows have powered through chlorinated pools, steam baths, clay and bubble masks, and traveling through all four seasons.
Talking about makeup in parties (it happens), I’ve met girls in their 20s with brows done by Momoi, although his regulars are ladies in their 30s-40s.
During my visit, Momoi turned a doctor down who was insisting for a touch-up. “Bakit ayaw n’yo ako gawin?” she cried.
“Buo pa, doktora,” Momoi explained.
Happy to report, too, that my brows are still fine after a year, just minimal fading.
So are your brows worth your Christmas bonus? If you can afford it, yes. One pays for proper brows done by professionals. It would be a great way to slay in 2020.
Strokes Eye Beauty Studio: Greenbelt 1, Makati City; Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong; Ayala Malls Vertis North, Quezon City; One Uptown Residence, Taguig City; @strokesbeautyph