After a botched microblading procedure left her with off-center, unattractive eyebrows, a Missouri woman is warning anyone considering microblading for themselves to do their research on the person doing it.
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Jami Ledbetter told WDAF-TV she was excited when, for her birthday in November, her daughters gifted her a $250 Groupon for microblading -- a procedure in which a person's eyebrows are tattooed with small needles or a tiny blade. The Kansas City woman was born without eyebrows and was looking forward to the procedure.
But the results ended up horrifying her. She was left with crooked eyebrows. Ledbetter was so embarrassed that she only went to work, the grocery store and back home, she said.
“I was devastated,” Ledbetter said. “I was even dating a guy, and he stopped dating me at that point.”
Ledbetter tried going to another microblading technician to get her brows fixed, but she said the second procedure only made her look worse.
Finally, Ledbetter was referred to licensed tattoo artist Kara Gutierrez. She specializes in permanent cosmetics and tattoo removal, and has been fixing Ledbetter’s brows since February. The old ink has to be removed at eight-week intervals, Gutierrez said.
“It took everything in me to hold back tears because this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Gutierrez said.
Under current Missouri law, microblading is considered "semi-permanent" and therefore isn't subject to much regulation, the news station reported. Makeup technicians must get a certificate, which can be received in a matter of days. State Rep. Nate Tate said the training doesn't always include education regarding sanitation and blood-borne pathogens.
The state of Kansas, however, requires makeup technicians to have 1,200 hours of training, at least 50 completed procedures that can be verified and an apprenticeship, among other qualifications, according to the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.
After hearing stories such as Ledbetter's and seeing microblading become more and more popular in Missouri, Tate has introduced House Bill 71. The bill would change the definition of a tattoo to include microblading, making the procedure subject to more scrutiny.
"I'm not terribly in favor of more regulation when it comes to businesses, but in this particular situation, whenever you're actually puncturing the skin, we need to have some more training," Tate told WDAF-TV.
Ledbetter said she hopes her experience will encourage others to do research on the makeup technician doing their microblading. The woman who gave Ledbetter her original microblading is no longer in business.