When I was 26 I developed a condition known as Alopecia, an autoimmune condition that attacks the hair follicle and results in hair loss. In my case I eventually lost all the hair on my head, my eyebrows, eyelashes and most of my body. This extensive type of Alopecia is known as Alopecia Universalis. There is currently no known cause or cure for Alopecia. It was a horrible thing to go through at first and took a lot of adjusting to. But like anything traumatic we are faced with we have the option to let it get the better of us or to learn to live with it. I chose the latter and cosmetic tattooing helped me a lot in maintaining a positive attitude and self-image and confidence. When I lost the hair on my head I bought wigs and wore them, scarfs and hats. This allowed me the opportunity to disguise Alopecia and feel beautiful and have fun with my look.

Kimberley

Before eyeliner tattooing and no eyelashes. Eyebrows tattooed

Losing my eyebrows

But when I lost my eyebrows 6 months into having Alopecia I felt even worse than when I lost my crown of hair. Having no eyebrows really detracts from framing the face and I felt like an Alien when I looked in the mirror and felt that I was turning into a ghost. I would draw my eyebrows on but it was very difficult to build a shape with no outline to draw from and the pencil would rub and smudge off during the day and I’d be back to where I started – eyebrowless. I found it really depressing and found a cosmetic tattooist working from a hairdressers. I walked in with my caterpillar eyebrows drawn on and she straight up said she would not be recreating them! My natural eyebrows are a lovely shape and much thicker and natural than cosmetic tattooing. But I trusted in the tattooist and let her create what she knew would look best.

I did not receive an anaesthetic the first time I got my eyebrows tattooed – she just used numbing cream. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I had my little sister’s hand to hold during the 1 ½ to 2 hour procedure and thank God it had only been under a year since giving birth to my daughter because I think my pain threshold was higher due to this. I was impressed with the results although I would have liked them a bit thicker and less arch. The tattoos cost around $800 I think and I didn’t get them redone for 3 -4 years as that’s they had begun to fade significantly and I wanted to build them up with more shape and fullness. I went for my second eye tattoos at a different clinic to the first. She was very skilled and trained in her job. Numbing gel and an anaesthetic was applied to my eyebrows. The anaesthetic in this spot hurt like hell, an aching, throbbing sensation that it almost unbearable, but worth the minute of pain having the needles to make it painless for the hour and a half it takes to have your eyebrows tattooed.

Kimberley

Kimberley with lip and eye liner tattooed

Andrea gave my eyebrows a little bit more fullness and shape and filled in my arch a bit. The result was an eyebrow shape a bit closer to my natural shape and one that I plan on building on even more when I book into to have my next eyebrow tattoos as it has been around 5 years since the second ones and they have faded to purple! Purple or not I would highly recommend anyone who has either over plucked their eyebrows, been through chemo and lost them or who has Alopecia, very fair eyebrows or not much brow to get their eyebrows tattooed. The brows are the frame to our face and without them the windows to our soul, our eyes, get a bit lost. Eyebrows, like eyelashes, are the eyes accessories. They are my metaphorical wings. No pain, no gain! Speaking of no pain, no gain, unfortunately Alopecia eventually attacked my most beautiful asset, my wonderful, thick, dark, curled eyelashes. I hated this so much. I am mostly an a la natural kind of girl. I don’t wear makeup often – I prefer messy buns to blow drys and leggings and baggy jumpers over skinny jeans and clingy tops.

Having to apply makeup every day to my eyes to disguise my bald eye was annoying and disheartening. I never got used to looking at myself without eyelashes. Even when my good friend told me I looked like a beautiful angel. The makeup would smudge and run. I couldn’t swim without getting serious panda eyes.

Inadvertently, when I was seeing my practitioner to get lip fillers my eyebrow lady popped in and I mentioned I might want to get my eyebrows redone as they were fading to purple. I had no makeup on this day and she insisted that I get the eyeliner done instead. The frame of the brow is already there she said, and it’s the eyeliner that needs doing to give the impression of eyelashes. Which, by the way, if you have no eyelashes, is exactly what eyeliner, especially with a cute little wing, does. Hallelujah! I took Andreas advice and booked in to get my eyeliner tattooed.

Kimberley

Close up of Kimberley’s eye liner tattoo

Eyeliner tattoo changed my life

I researched pictures to find the style I wanted and waited apprehensively until my appointment arrived. Yes it was painful, no I didn’t have an anaesthetic. A numbing cream was applied but I hate to say it barely works. The top eyelids hurt more than the bottom. It took around 1 and a half to two hours and required a lot of meditative breathing. And once it was over I was so amazed and overwhelmed, emotional and satisfied and relieved I had a little cry. This one was a life changer. It totally changed my life. I can be carefree and makeup free if I want to without looking like an Albino and I can feel normal. Not that normal is always aspirational but in the case of eyelashes I was never normal, I was exceptional. And it ran that way with and without them. I love my eyeliner! Andrea recreated the look exactly like the picture and two years on they are still black and beautiful. Plus my top eyelashes have grown back, not as thick or long or as dark as they once were but I can wear mascara and they look beautiful. If you feel you look good it will make you feel good. There is no shame in that. Am I vain? I don’t know, but I do know that life is better with my eyebrows and eyeliner tattooed. And I feel more confident with no gaps in between my teeth. I’m going to invest in laser teeth whitening and more composite resin to build up my two front teeth that are affected from grinding. I’m going to get more lip fillers. Hopefully a breast reduction {even though I am a size 12E, my doc said my boobs aren’t that big they’re just saggy!!!!!}, I am on a waiting list.

Word of Caution:  Many tattooists are sourcing local anaesthetics over the internet as they are only allowed to use EMLA and they have no training in doses and uses.  It is not know what the drugs are and even more scary:  sterilisation, chances of HepC etc. The tattooist in this articles works in a doctors surgery, and the RN administers the local injections for pain.

 

 

Kimberley

My name is Kimberly. I am a 34 year old mother of 1. I love beauty and fashion and express this the most in my job as a singer on stage. I have Alopecia, an auto immune condition causing hair loss, and find beauty enhancements are great in boosting my confidence. I love reviewing and sharing my experiences through PSH as it’s a perfect forum and resource to educate and get informed on all things beauty in our modern world!

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