In hindsight, I should have cancelled that...
In hindsight, I should have cancelled that appointment at the moment that my intuition told me that something was not quite right. I had thought that I had done my research and took great care to pay attention to the photos and reviews that were provided by people, but I guess that a part of me had hoped that people would not be so unscrupulous about something so...permanent. Warning sign #1: My emailed questions were only partly answered. No before care or precautions were mentioned. Did not even confirm if I had an appointment or not.
Warning sign #2: She had wanted me to sign the papers that indicated that I had approved the shape and colour of the brows (We had not even started anything yet.) I had hesitated on this and marked them, but did not circle "Yes" or "No" as requested. Because of this, I chose to use an alias name to sign the papers.
Warning sign #3: She had assured me that I can see the result of one brow after first pass. The truth: I never was given the opportunity to see any of it until the very end.
Warning sign #4: Because of this, she ended up giving me brows that were too dramatic and "angry looking." The hairs were made too densely and too close together to make it natural. Despite the presence of the freehand stencil that she drew on, she had somehow ignored it and made the result thinner and more arched up than agreed upon (she had even told me that my original brows were the perfect thickness and to not go thinner) It was amusing that she had lined up before and after photo on Facebook, so that you could easily see that she she did not follow her own stencil, but still continued to praise her own work as if she did.
Warning sign #4: No aftercare kit was provided - just a piece of paper. (May not be a deal breaker though.)Touch-Up Appointment (advertised as included)
Warning sign #5: She failed to respond to my follow-up email to book a touch-up appointment.
Warning sign #6: After no response for 1 month (I know, I know), I texted her using throw-away phone number #1. She responded quickly and said that she would send me the date that night - but failed to follow up with an appointment. Did not respond to the follow-up text the next day.
Warning sign #7: I called her up the next day using throw-away phone number #2. She had responded in a cheery manner at first, but demeanour seemed to change ever so slightly once she realized that we had communicated previously. Booked me in anyway.
Warning sign #8: Came to her place (home based business) for the touch-up appointment. Did not respond to my text or call using throw-away phone number #3, nor did she come out to meet me. Never did get the appointment after all.It has been over a month since my appointment, and I think that I like my brows overall. There were some spots where a little bit of filling in would be nice, but otherwise the overall shape and colour were fine. I had kept one hair as a control to see if I would have liked the colour that she had given me, had I left it alone - and it was just too dark for me. Dark haired women: do not ever have a specialist convince you to match the hairs on your head - it is much more natural if your brows were created just slightly darker than your original brows. While I did ignore my gut feeling throughout this, my mind had at least the foresight and the research beforehand to keep it from being an absolute disaster. Thanks to another person on this site, I was able to draw out a good portion of the ink using a saline solution and a q-tip at the end of the 4th day and then applying a scar gel to help it heal properly. The "hairs" became lighter and slightly less defined, but acceptable. (This was after hiding away from everyone for 3 days. People were looking at me weird.) I was also able to get in contact with other clients - who had told me about their horror stories and that she had been blocking and / or ignoring previous customers for follow-up appointments. Anyone who had communicated with her on Facebook had been blocked (which prevented them from posted negative reviews to warn others.) Those fortunate to get follow-ups and have their faces posted on the website happened to be friends / family / friend of friends or family. I had never voiced any of the problems that I had with the brows to her or have been anything less than cordial in my dealings with her, which made it even more mind-boggling that she would act this way. She had previously posted photos from other sites and claimed it to be hers (I did not know it at the time.) - considering that she had previously practiced in Winnipeg and Toronto, why did she not provide any of her own from there? Were her "work" and her disreputable business methods the reason why she no longer lives there? Why was she so willing to burn bridges as a newcomer here so quickly? How does she expect to get more work if her previous clients are unhappy? I personally was interested in the LED and laser that she had offered - but decided to wait until everything was done before asking. Guess it will not be an option now
My Journey So Far...
I had kept a photographic daily log of my microbladed brows. To me, it was something to refer back to and see the transformation of my brows as they healed. I am ever so thankful for the RealSelf community because the trials and tips that they shared - and would like to do the same for others as well.
First 3 days: I was informed that my eyebrows will appear very dark and feel tender as they were healing. They were nearly black (She used a mixture of dark brown and black pigment to create my colour) with a halo of pink skin around them. Nothing was applied to them, and they were kept as dry as possible. Used cleanser on my face, but took great care to avoid touching my brows. They stayed about the same colour with no scabbing in sight. Every time I had passed by a mirror, all I could see were my brows...and then the rest of my face. Distressed, I hid them from everyone during that period of time using hats or turned my head away when speaking.
End of 4th day: No change. One small scab on my right inner brow. Did not "love" them, as she had assured me. Decided to see my family. (I had not even told them what I had done.) They all gave me the strangest look throughout. One of them finally told me that she had missed my old brows. That night, I took a saline solution and carefully dabbed the wet q-tip over my brows. This removed some pigment from the skin. I kept going until they were the colour of my brow hairs. Once done, I added a scar gel by Derma-E to allow them to heal. (Using petroleum jelly-based products or almond / coconut oil may cause them to look greasy - and me to break out, as I was very prone to this.) The strange angry looking, asymmetrical, sharply angular brows that she gave me were now in the shape that I wanted all along. The after-care sheet that she gave me made a vague mention that an isotonic saline solution can be used 2 to 3 times a day (during? after?) the 5 day healing process (5 was a number that she had not mentioned. Why did she keep on mentioning 3?).
Rest of Week 1: Scabbing was induced. Skin was red in and around the brow. Colour was good. The "hairs" that she had drawn to fill in the inside corner of my brows mostly did not stay - but that was fine, as they were made too close to the nose to begin with. Continued applying scar gel 2x a day and keeping it dry otherwise.
Week 2: Skin started to flake. Still remained red. Brows started to fade and look patchy. Certain areas of pigment started to hang off of my face, but I had left it be in hopes that the colour would stay. Continued applying scar gel 2x a day and keeping it dry otherwise.
Week 3: Skin still flaky in certain areas. Fading had mostly stopped. Some of the areas that had pigment hanging off did not come back - some colour had remained, but the "hairs" did not. Looking much more like my brows, but better. Stopped using scar gel, but continued to keep it dry and avoid having any cleansers (or anything else) touch them.
Week 4: Aside from a couple of small bald spots where there was no hair (mine or microbladed), my brows looked great and natural. Still continued to keep them dry and away from cleansers and other liquids. Thought that I was due for a touch-up, so I contacted her by email, text, and finally by calling. Getting a hold of her was nearly impossible. Once I was able to book an appointment and arrive on site, she did not respond to anything that I had sent her (one text, one call). I had talked to other unhappy clients beforehand, so I came there knowing that there was that possibility that she would flake out on me.
Overall, I have enjoyed the fact that I no longer have to fill them in with a pencil or powder. They look like my brows, but better. I would have loved that touch-up to make them more permanent...but they have been mostly fine without them. Plus, my happiness with them was more due to my due diligence, rather than hers - so perhaps it was for the best. Mind you, I have some brow hair before this, so I only needed some "hairs" to make them look less sparse. Those who had barely any probably would not have fared out so well.
I feel kind of weird posting photos on a public site - but can do so if it helps others.
The Plot Thickens...
Interesting. Other clients have started to post less than positive reviews on her Facebook page. They are confirming what I had dealt with as well. Cass is now saying that she is charging $100 for the touch-ups. Odd that she had not mentioned it before (see previous photo evidence).
I am infuriated that she chose to never mention this to me by email, text, nor phone. In fact, when I had asked if I needed to bring anything, she said..."Nope." Did not even try to see if I was willing to pay extra - and just left me waiting at the front of her home for 20 minutes while not responding to my one text (to let her know that I was 8 minutes early) and my one call that went straight to voicemail (to see what was going on.)
Will see what happens next.
Some Photos of My Healing Progress
Here is a small glimpse of my brows and the healing progress. Warning: the camera quality is atrocious because I had been using a front camera phone for a while before realizing that my tablet was better.
Notice that when she made my brows, she took the after photo at an angle (possibly to hide any imperfections that she may have made.) She had made one side higher than the other. She had also decided to ignore her stencil of the shape that we had agreed on and make her own style of brows freehand. As a result, my brows were too angled and thin for my facial features. I looked (and felt) so angry, especially since she had praised me for having nice brows before.