The Regimen

Melanie Brown on the dangers of sun and sugar and her major love of microblading




For the aesthetician and owner of Colorado-based salon, A Billion Lashes, skin care is an art.

Melanie Brown on the dangers of sun and sugar, and her major love of microblading

Melanie Brown lives and works in the Denver area of Colorado where, because of the altitude, UV radiation is 25% higher than at sea level, so she’s uber-conscious about protecting her skin from the sun. But what she really loves talking about is microblading.

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Melanie Brown on the dangers of sun and sugar, and her major love of microblading.

You run a salon that specializes in lashes and brows. What led you to choose that specialty?
I'm very artistic. I feel lashes open up a woman’s eyes and, if lashes are done correctly, make her routine simpler. She can get up wash, do her skin care regimen and not have to wear much makeup.

I also do the brow microblading. Whether it's just part of aging, or too much tweezing, or thyroid or cancer issues, we lose our brows. Microblading is a great way to fill gaps and make the brows symmetrical again.

We use the Golden Ratio. Everything’s balanced off your nose, and we take little tiny rulers, and pencils, and we draw your brow artistically, and then we take our little blades and we open up the skin and create like a hair stroke. We go in the direction of your natural hair brow pattern and match with permanent cosmetic colors to your existing brow hair and to your skin tone, and we push the color into the skin. It's usually two treatments. In the microblading world there is a lot of really specialized training going on, and it's really beautiful work, and looks super natural.

What advice do you give your clients for their skin?
I live in Colorado and it’s incredibly dry because we have so much sun, so I constantly recommend exfoliation. And definitely we all need sunscreen. I find that so many women coming in don't use sunscreen every day. We need it on our face and on our hands, as we’re out driving in our cars. Everywhere. All the time.

How important are sunglasses to protecting the eye area?
My eye doctor told me that he is seeing a rise in skin cancer on the inside of the eyelids. So we definitely want to protect with a hat and sunglasses.

I’ve been in Colorado for twenty years. When I was little I lived in Phoenix, Arizona. We also had a home on a lake so I’ve had a considerable amount of sun in my life. I’m always wearing sunscreen and I wear a hat and sunglasses. I think the sooner we start using sunscreen every single day, it so helps with the aging process. I suggest everyone wear sunglasses even if it's mildly cloudy out.

I have a collection of sunglasses. I have three or four pairs in my car. I think my daughter and I collect Ray Bans.

Melanie Brown on the dangers of sun and sugar and her major love of microblading.

Do you have advice for caring for the skin around the eye area?
Good eye creams are really hard to find. I used a lot of different products over the last fifteen years, but Vivant has changed my skin completely. I use the Wink Eye Rejuvenation Cream.

I also think the Vivant Skin Care Propeel is a great way to smooth out eye wrinkles. A little bit just around the eye area, very gently with a Q-tip. It’s really effective for a woman who’s done Botox around her eyes.

(Note: Vivant's Propeel is professionally applied and available in salons only.)

Other than product, what do you think has the most impact on the health of your skin?
Water. Drinking water, and not overdoing it on the caffeine. We have to think about diet, the stress that we're going through, everything. Too much alcohol. Too much sugar. These things are really bad for our skin. I think our skin kind of tells all.

How about sleep?
Definitely, sleep is important.

What's the most challenging thing about your work?
Probably that there are so many products to choose from. Women can stick to one line of skin care and get amazing results and, if they stay to one line, that they will actually get better results than they will mixing their products.

Top Advice: Exfoliate. Pay attention to the pores.

Crucial Care: Sunscreen. Sunglasses.

Years in the biz: 15

Morning Routine: Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser, 3% Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Toner, one of the Vivant serums, depending what my skin is needing, Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15.

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