What is Microblading
Chances are, you have heard of microblading, shadowing, or permanent makeup. Come to find out, they are not one in the same- but we will touch on that later in the blog. Microblading creates brush like strokes on your brow bone with a tool with 10-12 needles at the end of it- creating a micro cut and filling in with ink color that is matched to your skin and hair tone. This is not permanent (as it does not go as deep as a tattoo) and usually lasts 12-18 months, depending on your maintenance and care. Shadowing creates a softer look compared to microblading and tattooing (permanent) goes deeper into the skin and typically is not accompanied with the hair strokes and is more of a solid eyebrow.
I first became interested in microblading in 2014. I am far from a makeup artist and I love procedures I can invest in that take my morning routine time down. I started going down the rabbit hole of permanent makeup and microblading and found a plastic surgeon’s office that offered it from a medical aesthetician in Columbus. I told her what I wanted, showed her pictures of several eyebrow inspirations, and we set up my appointment after my consultation. Unfortunately I had no idea what the difference in the different offerings was. She drew my eyebrows where she would be adding the ink, matched my ink color, measured everything to make sure it was perfectly symmetrical, and the process began.
Unfortunately what I received was permanent makeup and not microblading. It didn’t look bad and I really think it worked for my face structure. I did think it was strange that it never faded like I thought it would as I knew microblading was semi-permanent but I just chalked it up to always wearing a hat when I went outside so maybe it kept it’s color better. In 2019, after we moved to Iowa, I wanted to get my color a little more brown as I noticed it had started to fade (after 4.5 years). I, again, thought I was getting micorblading done and in reality, it was just more of the same- permanent makeup.
After having Oakley in August 2020, I noticed my eyebrows were turning extremely grey and ashy. I found another woman near us in Iowa and my intent was simply to just get more color put back on top of my eyebrows. By the grace of God, I found someone who actually knew what they were doing and what they were talking about. I walked in and she immediately told me that she could correct the color of my eyebrows over 6 months to get the color back to somewhat normal so we could add color on top of it to actually get the look I originally wanted in 2014.
Thankfully, I listened to her. I went through 3 rounds of ink removal and color corrections and the amount of ashy color that was removed from my eyebrows was actually insane. We allowed 2 months in between each session to ensure the brows were healed before trying to pull more color out and before trying to tint what was left behind. My 4th session (early May), we were finally able to add the color and brush strokes I wanted.
I am a fully paying customer and always will be. If you live in Iowa and feel your brows may have been botched- you can always email me for my referral. She is also opening a new salon in the Woodlands, TX. My email: email@example.com. If you suspect you have had a bad eyebrow job and you do not live in the area- you should do research on someone who specializes in corrective tattoo removal.
Today at my appointment, I went through all of the questions I receive from my Instagram followers as so many womens are either 1- wanting to get it done but want to avoid going to a bad place or 2- feel like they have went to a bad place and want to get theirs corrected as well.
What to Look For
When looking for a reputable person to add something permanent to your face, they should come highly accredited. They should have: a license in permanent makeup, a tattoo license, a license by the state, a facility license, and their website should have reviews, testimonials, and before and afters. You should also be educated on what you are actually getting!
What to Avoid
My eyebrow specialist recommended to avoid anyone who uses groupon, runs specials, and avoid anyone who doesn’t show you what needles and equipment they are using on you. It is also not legal to run a nail salon in the same area as permanent makeup.
Maintenance is quite simple when the correct method is used. My healing is a dry heal, meaning I do not add anything while my brows are scabbing except for vitamin C oil in the morning. Additionally, a hat should be worn whenever you are outside (regardless), but especially to protect the pigment in your new eyebrows. Touchups are offered at 4 weeks as well if needed!
It is recommended to not get your brows wet for 14 days following the procedure. For me, I still work out and lift. My eyebrows and face do not sweat so this isn’t an issue for me. I also take care when washing my face at night to ensure my brows do not get wet while they are healing. I am in no way saying to lift when you are healing- just simply sharing my experience!
I hope this helps everyone in their eyebrow journey!
I don’t think it’s much of a secret that women are all about making their lives easier by having to do less in the morning- eyebrows being micro bladed, permanent tattoos such as eyeliner and lipliner, and of course- eyelash extensions!
My Lash Extension Experience
I started getting lash extensions late 2018 and absolutely loved the look of them! I loved not having to apply mascara and feeling “put together” even without any makeup on! That being said, I absolutely hated the cost and the time commitment every 2-3 weeks. I was spending at least $100 every fill and $150 for a new set every few months. Plus, the 2 hour appointment every single time. Not to mention, you couldn’t fix them yourself and had to wait until your next appointment to get anything fixed.
During 2020 and the pandemic, my lash tech was closed for months so I decided to remove my lash extensions. I also was having a hard time laying on my back the further I got into my pregnancy and was having a hard time laying still for that long, I had to switch from side to side which was killing my hips and back. I knew that if the time commitment was too much before having a baby, there would be no way I would want to drive an hour round trip and spend the hours in the lash chair with the baby at home. So, I decided to start looking at alternatives!
What I Have Used
I won’t lie to you, my lashes have never been long or curly or full, by any means. Which is where the appeal of lash extensions came into play. After my extensions came off, my natural lashes were almost non-existent. I don’t care what anyone tells you- lash extensions destroy your natural lashes.
Serum– I wanted to first get my lashes back to a healthy length before I tried finding anything else to try to give me the appearance of extensions. I loved this serum and used it for almost 6 months!
Magnetic Lashes– once my natural lashes were starting to look fuller and longer, I decided to try magnetic lashes. I absolutely loved how easy these were compared to strip lashes. The only problem I had with them was how hard it was to get the magnetic liner off- you had to use a specific makeup remover.
Strips– If you like strip lashes, this are the best ones I have found. I love the look of strip lashes but I am not skilled enough to apply them properly every single morning.
What I Am Using Now
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been using (and loving), the lashify system for a few months! This is the best system for the look of lash extensions WITHOUT the cost of the time commitment. I have video tutorials on my “lashify” highlight on my Instagram (@sarah_bowmar) if you want a visual of how quick they are to apply. They also have amazing resources on their website and their YouTube.
I am a fully paying customer but did reach out for a referral code and for full transparency, I do make a very small commission if you choose to use my referral link! If you do, I am eternally grateful. It allows me to continue to do what I do (blogs, film content, answer questions from their customers, etc)! It means more than you know!
I started by ordering the control kit which includes your first 2 sets of lashes, the metal applicator, the gloss, and the two sided adhesive. I think this is a great way to learn the system and you get a lot of cost savings by ordering the kit compared to ordering everything individually. One thing I didn’t realize, you are going to want to order the melt away and the pre cleanser- these have to be ordered separately.
Using the melt away to properly remove the lashes is the best way to ensure they do not damage your natural lashes. My sets last me 5-7 days and I sleep in them- I am also a face sleeper. The application does take a few tries to get down but again, I have it filmed on my Instagram if you want to watch it!
You can absolutely reuse the lashes after one application but I do recommend removing the adhesive by applying the melt away to the base of the lashes- the same place the adhesive is applied- to remove all of the dried glue and then also using the cleanser on the base before applying more adhesive if you plan to reuse the lashes.
My favorite size of lashes has been the D14 and D16. I have tried several E and EE sizes and did not like the short length on them. The D’s are longer but less volume which is perfect for my eyeshade. The lashes are $25 and you get 12 lashes per cartridge. I only use 4 lashes on each eye so the cartridge gives me at least 2 uses (between new lashes and ones I can salvage from the previous wear). Which equates to $12.50 per week for my lashes, which is much better than the $100+ I was sending every 2 weeks.
The adhesive, gloss, cleaner, and melt away last at least 6 months as well which makes the entire process that much more affordable. The company also has a great rewards program if you have an account, I already have earned enough money for 2 free cartridges of lashes!
I hope this helps everyone out there! I am so happy to have found this system and I hope it helps you as well!
A lot of people ask how we manage all that we do! If you aren’t familiar, my husband and I own and operate a dozen different companies in several different industries. Yes, we have an amazing team behind us but it takes an enormous amount of organization, planning, and scheduling to stay on top of everything that we do.
I posted a new blog a few days ago that I think everyone reading this blog post could benefit from, and it’s called Time Chunking.
If you are anything like me, you probably have 100 different tabs open in your head at all times. I have even more open now that I am a mother to an almost 6 month old. Believe me when I say- the tools listed below have been a life saver for me and my mental sanity!
Additionally, here is my most recent post on time chunking
2021 has brought on a whole new level of organizing for me. I no longer keep things in my head and my planner comes with me everywhere I go. I am constantly writing down ideas, appointments, things I need to remember, etc!
I am actually obsessed with high quality, multi colored pens and these are the best ones I have found. Each color means something different in my planner and it helps me visualize my day so much better than just a single color pen!
I refused to buy into the Alexa hype for years and now I am kicking myself for it. Being able to have Alexa write a note on my phone, set a timer, etc has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to staying in the “chunk” of whatever I am working on. I also thought they were like $300. Turns out, the echo dot is less than $40!
We all know the 2pm slump. You don’t want more coffee but you just need to focus and recharge for the rest of the work day. Look no further than our nootropic- SHARP! If you would like an extensive breakdown of the product, I have it linked here!
And there you have it! My top 4 products to remaining productive in 2021!
We are not meant to multi-task as humans. Sure, you can walk and chew gum at the same time but neither of those activities requires much brain power. Can you talk on the phone and write an email about a totally different topic at the same time? Chances are, if you have attempted this, you have either starting typing what the person on the phone was saying or vice versa.
I was able to obtain my undergrad in marketing in 3 years and MBA in marketing in 11 months. How? Time chunking! A skill I picked up my first year of college thanks to a random conversation I was having with one of my fellow members in our marketing and management business fraternity. I became obsessed with the skill and have been utilizing it ever since.
What is it?
The concept is fairly simple- chunk your time and focus on that one task before switching gears and moving on to something else. If you have a task that you know will take you 35 minutes, writing this blog for example (between content, proofreading, meta data, SEO, categorization, editing blog image, alt image text, etc), I do not sit down to write and then look at my emails 5 minutes later. If I did, I would have to get back into blog writing mode, find out where I left off, remember my next point, and so on.
Chunking helps accomplish larger tasks without small interruptions. At first, it’s helpful if you leave your phone at a distance so you can’t get distracted by it. I also find that it helps to have instrumental music on to avoid silence and not letting your mind wonder to the next task at hand.
I do recommend using a planner and block off time during your day to focus on your daily tasks. I also love using different colored pens for specific tasks to help my brain stay organized. It also may help to set your timer as well if you know a task will take you 30 minutes. You may find that it takes you 1/2 the time or less when you are focused on one thing and one thing only at a time!
There is also an amazing book on time chunking if you would like to dive into it more!
I am so excited to share this blog post with everyone! I have been wearing hair extensions since May 2018 and I absolutely love them! I get questions daily about them so I wanted to have an all encompassing post that you can reference to if you are interested in getting hair extensions!
Cost will vary based on amount of wefts needed, length of hair desired, color for blending, and other various treatments you wish to have (smoothing, de frizzing, etc). Where you live plays a huge role in this as well. For reference, I have 22 inch hair, 2 rows and a mini (which is 16 wefts of hair total), color, and get smoothing treatments. My install (which includes the hair aka the most expensive part) is $1800 with tip. This also includes a blow out and style. A full install takes about 7 hours.
The best way to get an estimate is to set up a consultation with the salon you are interested in!
Maintenance, again, depends on you! Move ups on the extensions are needed every 8-12 weeks depending on how often you are washing your hair and putting your hair up as this pulls the beads quicker. I personally can go 12 weeks in between move ups. All move ups include a blow out and style. On move up days that I do not need color, price is about $400. On appointments I need color, price is about $500. A move up without color takes about 4 hours and a move up with color takes about 5 hours.
In between washes I use this oil to keep my hair healthy and the extension hair healthy as well.
I lift 5-6 days a week and do cardio 3-5 days per week depending on my goals. I sweat a lot but on my scalp but blow drying in between the wefts make the world of a difference. I also will do crown washes where I wash the top of my head above the first weft if my scalp becomes too itchy. I also use two different dry shampoos, an aerosol on days I style my hair and a powder on days I do not.
My hair has never been healthier since getting extensions. I have to put so much less heat to my hair that it keeps it that much healthier. Damage usually occurs when the method used is not done properly or if someone is not certified that is installing extensions.
I have had two different methods done, NBR from May 2018 to June 2019 and then IBE since then. I personally prefer the IBE method as it is smoother, less headaches after install, and easier to sleep on!
What to Look for in a Salon
Finding a salon is the hardest part when it comes to extensions. You need to find a salon with stylists who are not only great at color and styling but also amazing at extension installs. How do you find one? Go the method’s website you want to have installed (I would recommend IBE) and they have a salon locator on their website. Ask for the legit certifications- they should be on the wall on display.
I also recommend looking at their instagram and reaching out to the clients they are posting for their recommendations. You also should ask where they are sourcing the hair from and if the wefts are hand tied or machine tied. I have hand tied covet and mane hair. Other brands my salon recommends are salt strands and JZ styles. The hair itself, as mentioned above, is the most expensive cost. Hair should last about a year if you are taking great care of it (if it’s dark). Blonde hair lasts about 6-9 months (again, when colored and cared for properly).
Extensions aren’t just for length. Many women get them for volume and fullness and short hair women get them often!
I highly recommend thick hair bands if you are wanting to put your extensions in a pony tail or bun.
I truly hope this blog post helped! I know when I first started doing research on salons in my area, I was completely overwhelmed and am so grateful to have found the salon I go to! If you are in the central Iowa area, I highly recommend checking out my salon: Virago!
It seems every single day on social media I am seeing a GoFundMe for someone’s pet who needs life saving surgery that they cannot afford. My heart breaks for these pets and the pet owners. I am very grateful to have been introduced to pet insurance as soon as I rescued my first cat, Tom. What is pet insurance? It’s virtually the same thing as people insurance.
What to Look for
How does one find pet insurance? Easy! Ask your vet which carriers they accept. They will also probably have a preferred carrier that they can recommend to you as well. It is recommend to get pet insurance as soon as you can as they do not cover pre-existing conditions in animals, just like how you cannot get home insurance as your house is on fire.
The cost of pet insurance varies from pet to pet, cats are much less expensive than dogs. A working, active dog breed will be more expensive than a small dog breed. Age also comes into play with pet insurance. You can pay monthly or annually. I do also want to mention that you pay for routine visits and then submit for reimbursement. Luckily we have not had to submit for major surgeries but I do think the process for that is different than routine appointments. You can submit claims via the internet which makes it very convenient as well.
If your vet accepts it, we use VIP through Nationwide. I love that is is insurance through a national coverage insurance company and a very reputable brand with their other insurance offerings. They also offer three different plans with a variety of coverage to fit your budget! We are not affiliated in any way, simply happy customers!
I have been sitting at thee vet where a woman couldn’t pay for her animal’s medical bills and she sadly had to put him down on the spot. That horrific memory has made me such an advocate for pet insurance and I hope this blog sparks your interest to insure your pet if they are not already!