PhiBrows by Michelle Cullen
Can you believe I have no products or tint on my brows in the photo above?
I have been so excited to write this post ever since the first time I tried this treatment. It immediately became a must have, as soon as I saw another Youtuber talking about the procedure with her perfectly-framed, beautiful brows; and I knew I had to try it. On the day that I finally had the treatment, PhiBrows swiftly became my most favourite beauty procedure.
Now, while I do love to play with makeup, most mornings, I barely have time to execute the kind of look I would normally like to do. And brows eat up a few minutes of the routine because, well, it’s important get them perfect. So the possibility of skipping that step for a while is what sent me over for an appointment with PhiBrows by Michelle Cullen. And, as you’ll see, I’m SO glad I did.
Michelle Cullen is a renowned PhiBrow artist, her creative ability makes her one of the best in her field, while her gentle and kind nature makes you feel very at ease and comfortable. The glowing reviews on her Facebook page and her incredible before and after photos affirmed my decision to book in with her. One of the photos posted sealed the deal for me: the woman was a cancer survivor, and her eyebrows had fallen out and never grown back. Like me, she filled in her brows every morning — until she visited Michelle. Michelle offers cancer patients complimentary Phibrows treatments through the ‘Pay with a Smile’ scheme.
Continue reading below for all of the steps involved and what you can expect from your treatment and I hope that perhaps you become a converted PhiBrows lover like Moi.
PhiBrows are essentially a semi-permanent tattoo for your eyebrow, using Phibrow technique Michelle rebuilds your brows by creating tiny realistic hairstrokes to give you a beautiful, fuller brow. The shape of eyebrows is calculated according to facial morphology and golden proportion (phi 1,618). The strokes look a lot like actual strands of hair, which help you create fuller and more natural-looking brows. A colour pigment is matched correctly with your eyebrow hair colour; the pigment is custom blendable, it fades well and doesn’t discolour.
My PhiBrows were done in two appointments (or actually three, if you count the consultation that I chose to pop in for first). During the consultation, I had a reassuringly long chat with Michelle about the sort of thing I wanted. We held a mirror up and she pointed out the shape of my arch, where my brows started and finished and patches where the hairs were sparser than others. The photos above are my natural brows: no powder, pomade, or pencil. As you can see, there are some hairs there, and I’ve always liked their natural shape. PhiBrows are perfect for those who want to fully reconstruct, define, cover gaps, or fill-in over plucked brows. Michelle applied a patch test to my skin and I booked in for the treatment.
I arrived for my treatment with no dye or products on my brows, Michelle likes to match to your natural brow colour. It takes around 3 hours, involves you lying down with your eyes shut for the most part and quite frankly, taking a few hours to do absolutely nothing. The first hour Michelle’s drawing the shape in with removable pencil. That’s the longest part and the most important step. During this time, the best customized shape for every client is chosen. Before the microblading begins, a topical numbing cream is applied to the area to minimize discomfort. It doesn’t hurt and there is absolutely nothing to worry about.
I took one look in her handheld mirror and I couldn’t believe it. I finally had the brows I always wanted, and I was baffled as to why more women don’t know about this procedure. My brow colour looks vibrant, Michelle explains that my skin will heal and the colour will fade naturally. Michelle’s attention to detail with my brows was incredible. It’s subtle, but stronger and denser eyebrows give my face new depth and dimension, and make me look groomed even without make-up. Phi Brows with Michelle Cullen will cost you €250 for the first treatment and €100 for top-up (top-up six weeks later is required). But waking up every morning with perfect brows may totally be worth it.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Does it hurt?
It’s not painful but it’s uncomfortable. Michelle numbed the area beforehand to prevent discomfort. I found that the screeching noise was the biggest problem for me. Michelle told me to try imagining the sound as buttering a slice of toast and it eased my anxiety away completely.
Do they use anaesthetic?
Michelle used a numbing cream and it began to work immediately and I was completely numb after around 15-20 minutes.
How long do they last?
12 to 18 months. If you don’t touch them up again after 12 to 18 months, they’ll fade slightly depending on your skin-type and metabolism.
How much do Phi Brows cost?
€250 for the first treatment and €100 for top-up (top-up is required).
How can I book?
With your new brows cleaned and perfected, you will be handed an aftercare leaflet to take away. The guidelines are fairly common sense, but always good to remember.
- Clean your brows by swiping across them with a cotton pad and some cooled boiled water (every two hours for first two days, next ten days after morning, afternoon and night)
- Apply your aftercare cream after every single clean to condition them
- Avoid contact with your brows and water for ten days. They can only be subjected to a gentle clean using a cotton pad.
- They can also not be subjected to steam or sweat (intense exercising or sauna etc) for ten days.
- Avoid exposing your brows to excessive sun to prevent them from fading.
- Try not to rub your brows.
- Don’t use any brow products.
A touch-up is required eight weeks after your first appointment. Generally it takes two sessions to get the full effects. There are a number of factors that affect how well you retain pigment. (Oily skin doesn’t hold onto ink as well as dry skin). On my second appointment, Michelle went over original strokes to darken them, tweak the shape, and build up sparse areas by layering thinner strokes in between.
It’s remarkable the difference bolder brows can make. I found my attitude towards make-up changed completely – I could try stronger lipsticks, bolder eyeliner – or just do nothing and still feel “done”. Michelle Cullen went above and beyond today to give me the perfect brows. Symmetrical, groomed and a perfect colour match. Up close, it’s impossible to tell my ‘Phi Brow’ hair from my real ones. She’s an absolute professional but fun to be around, the time flew while I was having the treatment. She explained everything thoroughly and checked in with me the whole time to make sure I was happy! I’m so happy with my brows and will be recommending!
I cannot wait to hear your thoughts on the treatment! Have you had this treatment before, or are you going to try it now? I can’t wait to meet more of you PhiBrows converts!