Posted on: April 18, 2019 at 10:16 am

Long gone are the days of over-tweezing, waxing, and threading. It’s the late 2010’s, baby, and having your eyebrows on fleek means keeping them full and well-shaped.

While many women opt to color in their brows with eyebrow pencils on a daily basis, microblading is also a popular choice. But as one Kansas City woman learned the hard way, it’s not without its risks.


42-year-old Jami Ledbetter booked an appointment last November to have her eyebrows microbladed. Microblading is a form of tattooing in which a trained esthetician uses a hand-held microblade to transfer semi-permanent pigment just beneath the skin. The effect is several realistic-looking eyebrow “hairs” that can give a person’s face a fresh look. Microblading can last 2-3 years before fading.

Unfortunately for Ledbetter, the microblading artist she hired was not well trained, and she was left with such poor results that she appeared to have four eyebrows.

“It just looked like I was really surprised,” Ledbetter told ABC News. She went on to say that her boyfriend at the time broke up with her because of her eyebrows.

Desperate to fix the mistake, Ledbetter ended up turning to Kara Gutierrez, a licensed and insured tattoo artist, who specializes in permanent cosmetics and tattoo removal. After several sessions, using a solution called LI-FT, which lightens the pigment in her skin, Ledbetter’s eyebrows have almost returned to their normal appearance. However, she’s left with a bill of over $1,000 to pay for her tattoo removal procedures. She hopes sharing her story will cause others to use extra caution when selecting an esthetician for microblading services.

Related: Painful domestic abuse scars become strong and beautiful tattoos

Safety Information for Microblading

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the color additive substances of pigments used for cosmetic procedures, including microblading and tattooing. Someone considering microblading should look for a licensed esthetician who is accredited with either the American Association of Micropigmentation or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) and can show several examples of their previous work.

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Like other forms of tattoos, proper after-care is essential for safe healing and to achieve the desired results. Your microblading artist should guide you through proper after-care steps, which generally include:

  • Gently hand-washing the area using antibacterial soap and water
  • Limiting the use of moisturizer
  • Avoiding swimming and long showers for 7-10 days
  • Avoiding putting makeup on the brow area while it is actively healing to keep the area as clean as possible.
  • Not picking at the scabs.
  • Avoiding direct sunlight or tanning for at least 4 weeks after the procedure.
  • Not using facial scrubs or peels for at least 4 weeks after the procedure.
  • Not sleeping on the face for at least 10 days after the procedure

While the risk of infection is generally avoided by choosing a well-trained tattoo professional whose work environment and tools are completely sanitary, it’s important to be aware of the signs of an infection. Symptoms of tattoo infection include:

  • fever, especially over 102°F
  • prolonged or severe pain, redness, and swelling
  • sores that contain or release thick, white or yellow fluid
  • muscle aches and pain affecting the whole body
  • extreme or unquenchable thirst
  • hard, red, raised bumps or wounds
  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting

Related: Man Dies After Swimming With New Tattoo



Emese Graham
Health Expert
Emese believes women's health, mental health, and spiritual health really matter, so she jumps at the chance to bring those conversations to light. In her spare time, Emese enjoys finding challenging workout videos on Youtube (because gyms are hard for introverts), and she's all about getting creative in the kitchen and making recipes a little different every time - who needs measuring cups?

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