Is Nanoblading right for you?

About 9 months after I had my last microblading treatment (you can read about my microblading experience in full here) my eyebrows had considerably faded, to the point where I was back to using product in them each day. It was time to get booking in the next round of procedures. But this time I wasn’t 100% certain that the same procedure was the right thing for me and my awkward ass skin. So I did a little exploring to see what other options were out there.

During my research stumbled across nanoblading, which I thought could be a good technique to consider.

What’s the difference?

Nanoblading involves a tattoo machine making precise brow strokes, but these can be applied in various different directions to produce a fuller and even more natural looking result. With microblading the hair strokes are applied using a manual needle (i.e. No machine to power it) but the strokes only go one way. It still gives a more realistic look, but is restricted due to technique.

My new brow kween

For my next round of treatment, I went to see Lesley Wilks. I was impressed by her website and treatments lists in the first instance (she also does LVL and dermaplaning which are other treatments I want to explore this year) however after my initial consultation (and a wee bit of Instagram stalkin) I discovered that she has quite the client list! As well as many loyal locals she regularly travels to give treatments to celebrities, which recently included Scary Spice herself, Ms Melanie B.

I think all this means I was in pretty good hands!

I want to make it clear that I have no issue with my previous brow lady whatsoever,I didn’t return to her for 2 reasons. Firstly, because she doesn’t do nanoblading and I wanted to explore this as a alternative to a simple top up, secondly because she only works part time and her hours are simply not compatible with times I can be free around my current job.

Initial consultation

Lesley invited me to her salon for an initial consultation a few days after reaching out to her for advice, and we had a pretty in depth chat. I told her all about what I’d had done before, why I felt it didn’t 100% work for me and what I was hoping for from my new next round of procedures.

I found Lesley both very reassuring and honest – she explained what she thought would stand the best chance of working for me this time around, however she was also very clear that this came with no guarantees as ton how my skin would take to it, whether hairstyles would remain perfect and how long the pigment may last on skin before further procedures may be required.

From this consultation, we concluded that nanoblading would indeed be the best route to take, and booked the treatment in for 3 weeks later.

The transformation

After microblading and before nanoblading

I was warned in advance that the discomfort level was a teeny bit higher with this procedure, so I was given a few minutes of pre-numbing cream to help ease this. I look so pretty…

During the treatment my eye area kept flickering involuntarily which could have hindered the straightness of the strokes, but luckily it didn’t seem to. I could have opened my eyes, and at times it felt like they were just going to fly open, however I was paranoid about seeing what was going on (there was really no need to be worried and the tattoo gun was above my eye line and I wouldn’t have seen anything)

After treatment 1

As you can see they look pretty full and textured, this is because of the multi-directional strokes nanoblading can create. Lesley also did add in a few microblading strokes to help create depth to the overall look.

Pain-wise, nanoblading nicks a little more so can be a little more painful before numbing. If you have a low pain threshold like me, you’re going to need to find a way to go to a happy place and breathe through it at points, but it’s bearable. The sensation and noise also feels different – like a bee buzzing around you and a vibration the same as any tattoo gun feels.

Aftercare and healing

As wit microblading you’re not supposed to get your brow area wet or sweaty for the first couple of weeks after the treatment. During this time I also made sure to sleep on my back so that I reduced the risk of areas rubbing away during the scabbing process.

You’re not going to believe this, but I managed to f**k it up within 24 hours. I completely misheard Lesley’s instructions, and gave them a firm but gentle wipe with a damp cotton pad the following day before applying tattoo nourishing jelly (which is really good btw). I wasn’t supposed to do that! Luckily paranoid me had already sent a little video to Lesley to ask her how I was doing, to which she politely but firmly told me to never do that again and just use the jelly. Shit.

I genuinely thought I’d effed up good and proper here, but luckily it wasn’t a problem. Lesley very kindly let me pop in on Day 5 so that she could have a little look at them and give them a good firm clean for me. That way, I could leave them to heal for the next 5 weeks until I saw her again.

After 6 days

Treatment 2

(I’m a bit rubbish and forgot to get proper photos of this stage)

Because my skin had taken to this treatment much better than microblading there wasn’t much additional work needed in the second appointment – the left tail needed some redefinition as it had faded more (this is the side I sleep on so I thought that this might happen as it did with microblading) as well as the bulbs with that being a problem area. Because I’m quite cool toned and that’s how the colour had taken on my skin, Lesley used a slightly warmer shade to add a bit of extra depth.

For the aftercare treatment this time I got a creamier formula that was like moisturiser to apply sparingly for the first few days after the procedure. After that it was just the usual keep ’em dry for two weeks and then go about normal business.

After treatment 2 with 7 weeks healing

What’s the verdict?

They’re blooming brilliant! The colour is stronger and the overall shape has been redefined. The bulb section has held so much better than it did with microblading, although the defined lines still don’t seem to want to take in this area they still look better than they did before. I definitely struggled with pain more during this procedure because of my low pain threshold, but I’m prepared to tough it out again for the end result.

So, is nanoblading for you?

Possibly. I’ve learnt that no one procedure is right for everybody – we all have different skin that changes and accepts/rejects the things done to it differently. Just because it’s cool and looks fire on one person doesn’t mean it will on anyone. It could be the best option for you, or one of the many others could be a better fit.

Cost

I paid £395 for the procedure and 1 top up, which was £50 more than I paid for microblading (1 treatment and up to 2 top ups). This was paid in 2 installments – £100 in advance at the consultation to secure the first appointment which was non refundable, the remaining £295 was paid at the end of treatment one. There was nothing to be paid at treatment two.

I perceive there to be more work involved in the nanoblading procedure, both in terms of the amount of strokes made and the additional placement precision, so I was happy with this small uplift in cost to get a better result.

My advice if you’re considering more percent brow solutions

  • Visit a reputable practitioner that offers a variety of procedures. If you have choice you have options, and if you have options you’re going to stand the best chance of being pleased with the result.
  • Be open an honest in discussing what you want from your procedure – how you want the end result to look, details of any previous experiences etc. This gives your practitioner the best chance of recommending the best way forward.
  • Ask questions and make sure you 100% understand exactly what you need to do before you leave the salon. Write them down and say them back out loud to be clear.

Thanks for reading,

J xx

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