What is Microblading?

Microblading with Shading created by Andrea Pickford in our Warrington based salon

Microblading with Shading created by Andrea Pickford in our Warrington based salon

Hey, how are you? Thanks for dropping by, it’s been a while I know, and I’ve been meaning to write this for ages, so here I am, I’ve eventually got round to answering some of your regularly asked questions, and one of those is ‘What exactly is Microblading?’

So what is all this hype is about this thing called ‘Microblading’ huh?

Well, let me inform you guys and gals.

Microblading, which is also known as eyebrow embroidery, is a form of semi permanent cosmetic tattooing. (The best thing since sliced bread in my opinion).

Are you one of those who over plucked in the 80’s and 90’s? Hands up! (Yes my hands up too), I started to seriously over pluck my eyebrows into those lovely little ‘Nike’ ticks that we so lovingly fashioned in 1995 (the peak of their success) until the follicles of those hairs died and said ‘well she obviously wants ‘Nike’ ticks as eyebrows for life then’. Erm, no no NOOOOO…. I really don’t! But well, it was too late!!!

Yes that’s you too, I hear you say.

Well, I’ll totally let you into my secret! I discovered Microblading around 6 years ago now when it had only really just come onto the scene in the UK, and I thought right, I’ve needed to sort my brows out for ages now, I’m having myself a bit of this Microblading! So off I went (after doing lots of research - very important) I found my artist. Super excited, I didn’t have a clue what to expect, I just knew I was going to have fabulous brows.

The process was slightly uncomfortable for a short while ( I then had a numbing solution applied - ah bliss!), any slight discomfort was so very very worth it. Wow guys, it sounds dramatic but it changed my life, so much so that I wanted to make people feel as amazing as I did and change their lives too, so off I went to train in Microblading!

So my journey began.

I have been Microblading for almost 3 years now and have created hundreds of fabulous brows and (hopefully) changed lives too. The process can sometimes be daunting for some as they really don’t know what to expect but I always like to do a free consultation prior to the appointment so that I can go through what’s involved and how we will achieve your end results and put any concerns you may have, to rest.

So, Microblading is done using a handheld, single use (some are autoclavable, but mine are disposed after use) tool. The blade, so to speak, is not really a blade as you would imagine it, it is actually around 10 small needles, (the size of acupuncture needles) all placed together to form the Microblade. This is dipped into pigment and then a hair stroke is gently scratched into the skin and the pigment is implanted into the epidermis layer of the skin. Prior to the procedure starting, we spend around 45 minutes to an hour accurately mapping out your new brow shape. This is done by using your bone structure, eye placement and the golden ratio to produce your fabulous new brow shape. I get you to check, then double check you are completely happy with the brow mapping and shape, before we do anything, everything we agree on together, nothing is done without your say so!

Happy? We dot the new brow shape on with a surgical marker so not to lose the shape and remove any hair which is sitting outside of our new brow shape. We’re now ready to create those beauties!

The procedure in total (including brow mapping and aftercare) takes around 2-2 1/2 hours depending on which method of Microblading we have decided would be best suited to you.

We offer 3 methods of Microblading, which include, Microblade Hairstroke, Microblading with Shading and Nanoblading (for more info on each method head to our Contact Page and give us a shout http://www.andreapickfordmakeupandbeauty.com/contact/ )

Nanoblading by Andrea Pickford in our Warrington salon

Nanoblading by Andrea Pickford in our Warrington salon

Using the Microblade, individual hairstrokes are created (what we call the first pass). Most artists apply a topical numbing solution. After this has been applied there is minimal discomfort if any at all, just sit back and chill (some even have a snooze - yes really!). The second pass is then done and if your not having shading, you’re very almost done. The brow is saturated with pigment using a small swab and left for 5-10 minutes then wiped off and VOILA, beautiful new brows that will change your life.

How long does Microblading last and is Microblading suited to all skin types?

Another question that I get so regularly asked!

Microblading can last between 1 to 3 years dependant on your skin type, the aftercare you give them, sun exposure and certain factors like hormonal imbalances etc. We always advise a yearly colour boost to maintain them and keep them fresh and crisp, but if you decided against this you would generally be looking at 1 to 3 years.

All skin types are not suited to Microblading, no unfortunately. It’s rare I have to turn someone away but generally very oily skin tends to not hold the pigment very well, and would be better suited to the Machine Method or Permanent Make Up, which will be coming to our salon in January 2019 to include Ombre Machine Method Brows (please message us for more details). Also things like pregnancy and breastfeeding is a big no no with Microblading too. If you are concerned about anything though, please call us.

So what do you reckon? Are you ready for your fabulous new Microblade brows? Our Microblade Clinic is based in Warrington, Cheshire, please call us on 07759320708 to book your free consultation. We would love to answer any question you may have, we’re always here to help!

You can head over to our facebook page www.facebook.com/andreapickfordmakeupandbeauty to read our reviews and check out more of our work and our instagram www.instagram.com/andi_p_mua

Thanks for reading

Much Love Andrea xxx

Tips For Prepping Your Home for Your Wedding Day by guest blogger Alice Robertson

Photo by  Redd Angelo  on  Unsplash

Photo by Redd Angelo on Unsplash

The average cost of a wedding in the United States for 2017 was $25,764, according to Cost of Wedding, yet this figure does not include the cost of the dress or the honeymoon. It does, however, include event locations and rentals, purchases of services from professionals, and the service providers themselves, such as caterers, DJs or bands, and invitations. Planning your own wedding can be a great way to save money, especially if you have your wedding at home or use it as a staging area for guests, but you’ll need to have a plan to maximize your efforts. Weddings are stressful enough, right?


Below are some low-cost, high-impact ways to prepare your home for your wedding day.

First Things First

Formulating a plan is the first step. How many guests will you invite to your wedding? Will you use your home as the location of your wedding, or will your home provide guests a place to stay? Knowing how you’ll use your space can help identify what issues need addressing and how you’ll budget your resources. Have you identified certain projects that will require a skilled craftsman? Do you have friends or family who can help stage your space? Getting a handle on what you want for your wedding will go a long way in how you’ll plan.


Outdoor Wedding

Choosing to have your wedding in your backyard allows you to pick your own wedding date, have complete control of your space, and write your own rules. Venuelust offers a comprehensive list of things to consider. Once you sort through the logistics of managing your guests, take a good look at your space. Can you spruce up your backyard with some pretty potted plants or repurpose flowers that are already in your garden? Did you decide to serve your guests outside?

Providing creative lighting or way-finding signs will help move guests toward the altar. Building an arbor or pergola to use as an altar or help give direction to your guests is a relatively low-cost and aesthetically pleasing wedding consideration. Professionally built trellises cost between $400 and $900 for materials and labor while prefab models are more affordable and range from $10 to $100.

Prepping Inside

Whether you’re readying your house for the wedding itself or for your reception, there’s much to consider. Are you hiring caterers? Are there enough restrooms for your guests? Avoid getting overwhelmed by creating a big picture party plan. Better Homes & Gardens walks you through some key elements to consider including strategizing, cleaning, and areas to focus on. They even offer a handy seven-day planner you work from. It’ll feel so good to check those boxes. Your cleaning will be factored into your larger plan, of course, and should allow several days to decorate your home. Is your home large enough to host your wedding and party indoors? The Spruce offers some fun ideas on how to decorate a wedding on a budget. From floral topiaries to DIY tin can lanterns, there are a multitude of ideas for any wedding theme and budget. Enlist the help of your family and friends for help making your decorations -- in fact, make it a pre-wedding party. If you start early enough, you may find your pre-wedding get-togethers enjoyable rather than stressful.

Whether you’re planning an indoor or outdoor wedding, choosing your home as the venue can be equally stressful as it can be cost-effective. The key to a successful event is to thoroughly plan ahead, work toward that goal, track progress, and breathe! Keep moving forward and you will get there.


''No Mother, this is a 'Rural Vintage Festival Style' Wedding''

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It was Spring time when my Messenger 'pinged' and Leanne's message came through. After quite a few years of not seeing each other it was so lovely to hear from her and such a great pleasure for me to accept Leanne's request for me to do hers and her bridesmaids hair after she saw one of my posts on our Instagram www.instagram.com/andi_p_mua

Myself and Leanne used to work together as Veterinary Nurses around 12 years ago. I had to follow my calling to be a hair and make up artist but Leanne went on to become one of the very best in her field. I shared Leanne's love for all the injured animals no one wanted and so couldn't wait to meet her collection of 'fur babies' on the morning of her wedding.

Leanne had visited the salon a few weeks earlier for a trial run with her bridal hair. She produced pictures of Ferne Cotton on her own wedding day, with soft Boho waves. I think I would've been disappointed if she hadn't chosen this style as it was so 'Leanne' and what I'd been expecting all along. I hear you questioning 'is it not boring to be so predictable on your wedding day?'. Well, no I don't think so, I think it guarantees you will feel at your most comfortable and there's less worrying about whether you should wear your hair like this or like that because you feel you should look different on your wedding day just for everyone else and not for yourself, be totally true to yourself, that way they'll be no regrets.

On the run up to the wedding, Leanne graced us with her presence on a few occasions, which of course was an absolute delight, and we were excited to get the wedding prep underway. The first treatment under Leanne's belt was a Crystal Clear facial to remove those dead surface skin cells and reveal glowing skin, perfect for getting her skin ready for smooth and flawless make up application.    We were then treated to a mother and daughter visit just a couple of days prior to the wedding and what a pleasure it was to spoil them both and to hear about 'the stress' that was yet to come with dressing the venue, Dunham Massey Village Hall, on the Friday afternoon. 

We applied NSI Balance Gel to Leanne's nails so we could give them a bit of length by sculpting the gel on and then topped them off with the perfect bridal colour of the CND Shellac range 'Naked Naivete'. Leanne's mum was by this point totally relaxed after having her manicure that all the stress Leanne was throwing at her were just bouncing off her like water off a ducks back, ahhhh whatever Leanne!!! It was quite amusing to watch :)

The morning of the wedding was a warm and sunny one and as I knocked on the door I heard Leanne shout something to someone. I was surprised to see that Nathan was still there ''OMG what are you still doing here?'' Being the trendy and modern day couple that they are, as I stepped through the door I was able to meet the two main men in Leanne's life. Hubby to be was still there frantically running around trying to pack the last bits into Finn's baby bag before leaving to go and get ready at his mums, and Finn was hiding from me behind his mums legs. He reluctantly gave this strange lady he'd never met before a kiss and a 'high five' then happily went off with his daddy so mummy could chill and start with all the prep.

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So from Finn hiding behind his mums legs I stepped into the conservatory to find a cat so tightly squished into the corner of the room trying to avoid eye contact with me, I shouted, 'Leanne, this cat's so far up the wall I'm worried!' the reply was ' Oh that's just Biscuit Baby, he's a little weird!'  A little? Bless him, and only Leanne could insist he has to be called by his full name, not Biscuit, but Biscuit Baby, love it!  It was clear our lovely Leanne had been rescuing the fur babies no one else would take, she's a special one, this one!

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It started to get busier as I unpacked my hair kit, bridesmaids Holly and Millie arrived along with the cutest little flower girl Hebe. I loved creating the bridesmaids loose waves which I did with a curling wand, and then plaited from the front to the back and finished off with the most stunning dried flower comb I've ever seen which were designed and made by www.folkydokey.co.uk.

Bridesmaid gifts were lovingly given, including little treats like Jo Malone fragrant soaps www.jomalone.co.uk and Charlotte Tilbury palettes www.charlottetilbury.com.                            You could see Leanne's bridesmaids had been carefully chosen, Holly has been Leanne's best friend for many years and Millie was soon to be Leanne's new baby sister, the love for them both was a special one!

Dan Hough soon arrived to start the very important job of capturing this very special day with his magical skills of photography (this guy can seriously do his job!). After 10 years of being in the bridal hair and make up industry, you'll find I'm always eyeing the photographer to see if I've worked with them before, and it was definite myself and Dan recognised each other, and it was made clear when we checked our Facebook to realise we had both previously 'liked' each others business pages www.facebook.com/danhoughphoto and www.facebook.com/andreapickfordmakeupandbeauty

As the morning progressed more and more people began to arrive, and further up the wall Biscuit Baby went until he decided to go and seek refuge in one of the bedrooms upstairs. Mum, dad, and sister along with friends who had kindly offered to video every special moment of Leanne and Nathan's day, began piling in and suddenly everything started to become real.

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The flowers soon arrived and what a beautiful sight they were, again exactly what I would expect Leanne to have but I would never have been able to imagine the pure beauty of how they had been so carefully chosen and put together to create something that was 'so Leanne'. The special eye for detail was outstanding. The talents belong to Charlie's Flower Boutique of Rixton in Warrington, Cheshire.

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It was such a pleasure to to see such excitement from everyone that had just arrived, especially Leanne's mum and dad. They had arrived with bunches of roses, red, orange and yellow. Leanne had decided that she wanted to use cream petals as confetti but there just wasn't enough, so a quick call to mum and dad as they were on route solved the problem. They weren't able to get the cream roses but as you can see from the picture the colours of red, orange and yellow complimented the wedding theme perfectly. Talking about wedding themes, when Leanne's mum arrived she continued to comment (to Leanne's dismay) that the wedding was very 'Shabby Chic' (how very dare she!!!), Leanne was quick to correct her 'No Mother, this is a 'Rural Vintage Festival Style' wedding'', I bloody love it, I've never heard of it before, but I love it!

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Finally Leanne took her turn in the hot seat of hair magic, the make up had been completed by Leanne's bridesmaid and soon to be sister in law Millie, and the finishing touches to her hair were now underway.

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My favourite moment of all was the big reveal of Leanne's flower crown by www.folkydokey.co.uk, it was truly stunning. A fresh flower crown had also been made by www.charliesflowerboutique.co.uk for gorgeous little flowergirl Hebe, who had been so well behaved all morning, maybe except for the moment we found her spoldging her cheeks with blusher, too cute!!!

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Leanne's flower crown was placed and the butterflies began, it was time for all the girls to head upstairs to get changed.                                                                                                            Leanne's dress had been lovingly and expertly designed by Kate Beaumont www.kate-beaumont.co.uk, with a V neckline both at the front and back and finished with a beautiful row of pearl buttons, a true representation of Leanne's style.                                                        

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The bridesmaids stunning 'vintage' style sage dresses were from the one and only www.asos.com, it still surprises me at weddings when the most beautiful bridesmaid dresses are almost always from Asos, it just shows you don't need to worry about spending an arm and a leg on all those bridesmaid dresses after all! Hebe's pretty flowergirl dress was from uk.monsoon.co.uk.

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This is where I departed, kisses and well wishes were given to a very stunning and very 'rural vintage festival style' bride. The transport would soon be arriving in the form of Leanne's bosses VW Camper Van, obviously there's no other way to travel.

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Leanne and Nathan were married at St.Margaret's Church in Orford, Warrington and then they all headed to Dunham Massey Village Hall for lots of drinks, food, fun and dancing in a big red bus.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at Leanne and Nathans wedding pictures which were so creatively taken by www.danhoughphoto.com, his style of photography totally complimented the wedding and he captured every moment as it was, you can see the love from everyone, the joys of the day, and what can only be described as true love between two beautiful souls!

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Comments on this blog would be very much welcomed, cheers chucks :)