On the eve of Saturday, 25, February 2017 more than 450 guests joined Ronan and Storm Keating for the annual Emeralds & Ivy Ball, which took place at the Battersea Evolution Centre. The ball, which is now in its 11th year, has raised more than £7 million, since it had begun, in 2006, to support the Marie Keating Foundation and Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Awareness Roadshow.
I wanted to look fabulous for this event, so I went all out concerning hair, makeup, and nails. It was that time again to get pampered at Cucumba – Poland Street. It had been a while since I visited this beauty hotspot, more commonly known as The Urban Pit-stop. I had a pedicure and shellac treatment having opted for two colours as part of the latter – ‘Anticipation’ and ‘Dangerous’ which were combined together. It was suggested to book the first appointment for my treatments one of which I had not experienced before. My eyebrows were out of shape, so they were in desperate need of a tidy especially for a black-tie ball with expected Vips and high-profile celebrities due to attend. One of Cucumba’s leading beauty therapists, Shere Khodaie, informed me about a semi-permanent make-up treatment called Micro Pigmentation when she threaded my eyebrows once before. I have been threading my eyebrows for years which you have to commit to every four weeks, at least. Shere, who is also the founder of Sol World of Beauty, specialises in micro pigmentation and micro blading. I took her advice on board. She shared a few tips in regards to the benefits of having Micro Pigmentation. For one, I would not need to thread my eyebrows so frequently which, in the long run, would save me time and money. Furthermore, my eyebrows would have a semi-permanent shape according to my personal preference. Considering there were more pros than cons to having this treatment, the time felt right to give Micro Pigmentation a try. The treatment lasts around two hours – the other reason why we commenced the appointment early. To avoid falling asleep during my treatment, I ordered two cappuccinos on route to Cucumba – one for Shere and me (without any cream on top to remain healthy and to keep the calories off in preparation for The Emeralds & Ivy Ball). After a brief catch-up, we were ready to begin the procedure.
First of all, Shere applied lidocaine cream to each eyebrow before the treatment to make the treated areas numb. This application is advisable if you are more susceptible to pain, not that the treatment was painful in any way, but rather, you may experience a mild feeling of discomfort. Shere then covered each eyebrow with cling film which she then removed after 20-minutes. To shape my eyebrows to my preferred style, Shere used a Provoc eyeliner in black. At this stage, it is important to be specific about the eyebrow shape you desire to make any necessary changes immediately. If not, once the procedure takes place it may be difficult for the therapist to revert to the original shape. Once I inspected my eyebrows fully to ensure I was happy with their enhancement, Shere and I felt confident to proceed to the next stage. For the latter, Shere used a 3-needle cartridge which was soaked, initially, into jet-black ink by BioTouch.
The ink was matched to my eyebrow colour so as to achieve the most natural look as possible. The Micro Pigmentation procedure itself involves micro hair-strokes applied to each eyebrow using a very fine blade to deposit the most suitable micro pigment cosmetic colour into the epidermis. It takes approximately 20-minutes to treat each eyebrow. Shere consistently applied cream throughout the treatment to increase the numbing effect. At one point, Shere added a drop of red micro pigment to the black ink. I proceeded to ask why out of curiosity. Shere explained this was necessary to make the ink jet black albeit seeming dark enough. At this point, I was worried my eyebrows would look too dark. My features are quite soft, so I wanted well-defined eyebrows to compliment my features not giant caterpillars to draw attention to themselves.
Once the procedure was over, Shere added more cream. My initial reaction was of surprise when I looked into the mirror. I did not recognise my face due to my eyebrows having stood out so prominently. I thought they looked too dark at first (perhaps not like caterpillars – a slight exaggeration) but distinctive in a way that would take a bit of time to become accustomed. Shere explained that my eyebrows would naturally look darker after the treatment due to the micro pigment being fresh which needs about 72 hours to settle properly. Therefore, I could not apply any makeup on the treated areas to prevent infection. The results were immediate and last 12-18 months. I experienced no swelling or pain during or after the treatment. My eyebrows had looked freshly made by the time I got home. I felt like I was channeling my inner Cara Delevinge. I then messaged Shere to say I was happy with my new ‘statement’ eyebrows because they framed my face well. It was just a matter of time before I fully appreciated the transformation.
Shere took immense care when carrying out the procedure ensuring I felt comfortable. My top-up is due in a few weeks. Only one top-up is required to make any final adjustments to the treated areas and to help maintain the colour. Apparently, 10 to 15% of drawn strokes disappear after the first treatment so if hair-strokes have faded too much it is advisable to have a top-up 4-5 weeks after the initial treatment. The maintenance treatments also depend on an individual’s skin type and lifestyle. Nonetheless, the treatment lasts 12-18 months. That said, Micro Pigmentation is worth every penny. It may set you back £400 at first, but in the long run, you would have made a worthwhile investment. I have a special promo code for all my readers. If you quote #satisfactionguaranteed20, you will receive 20% off all treatments at Cucumba until the end of April 2017.
Shere made my first Micro Pigmentation experience one to remember.
“Micro Pigmentation encourages hair to grow back if you have weak hair follicles. It gives a nice shape” says Shere.
Ultimately, Shere helped me to achieve my desired goal which was to stand out with conviction at The Emeralds and Ivy Ball. Such a great event in support of two amazing causes: Cancer Research UK and the Marie Keating Foundation.