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Microblading mistakes happening in Arkansas

Hear from one woman who says her results were disastrous, and learn the questions you should ask before you go under the blade. Watch Channel 7 News Wednesday at 10 p.m. (KATV photo)

Thick, full eyebrows are all the rage right now in the beauty world. To get the look many women are turning to a new trend called microblading. The before and after results can be impressive, but some in Arkansas have been doing it without a license, which the Arkansas Department of Health says can be dangerous.

Microblading is a permanent cosmetic procedure where the technician makes tiny hair-like cuts on the skin that are then filled with ink. Each stroke is essentially a mini tattoo that ends up looking like more eyebrow hair.

Kara Franco of North Little Rock says she was excited to win a free microblading session in an online raffle.

"I'm like I've seen her pictures. I've done everything I need to, I'm comfortable with it,” Franco said.

Franco says when she went in for the procedure, a stencil was drawn on her eye brows of what they would look like, but after the tiny hair-like cuts were made on her face and ink pressed into it, Franco says it didn't look anything like what she had approved.

"She wiped the ink off and that's when I could see the marks and the shape of it and it was shaped pointed like almost touching like a unibrow and I mean I had a heart attack,” Franco said.

Franco now believes the before and after pictures she saw online weren't actually eyebrows done by the artist.

Macenzie Peirce owner of Mack Rae Permanent Cosmetics, who didn't originally do Franco's eyebrows, but is now fixing them, says her impressive before and after photos have been stolen before.

"So people are getting tied into oh this looks amazing but it's not even their work and they're telling people they can do it but they can't,” Peirce said.

Franco heard about Peirce's skills and training from a number of happy customers and went to her for help.

"It was awful. She had to cake make-up on for six weeks to cover them before she could see me,” Peirce said. "I corrected them with a color lift and then I just had to cover them with a lot of nude tattoo ink."

Pierce says just because someone has a license for something doesn't mean they're good at it.

"I think you should always do your research if you're wanting something that's going to be on your face,” Peirce said.

The artist who did Franco's eyebrows refused to go on camera, but told Channel 7 over the phone "Franco was coming in to be a model who would be practiced on."

Franco says that's not true. She showed Channel 7 the Facebook post where she was simply told she'd won a contest

“Do you think she was practicing on you,” Reporter Elicia Dover asked. “I do. I do,” Franco said.

While Channel 7 confirmed that artist was licensed, the Arkansas Health Department says they've had problems with others practicing without a license.

They sent out a memo to cosmetologists reminding them that microblading is a tattoo and falls under body art, which is a totally separate license. Katie Wirges, director of the state's body art program says your artist should have a body art license on display.

"They have to complete 375 hours of training in no less than six months, no more than 24 months,” Wirges said.

The Health Department provided Channel 7 with a few complaints against unlicensed artists and showed us Facebook posts from last July of one unlicensed artist advertising microblading.

The artist even had a Groupon deal running, according to the Health Department's records.

"This is one that got cease and desist letter. Called the North Little Rock police, and I contacted Groupon to ask them to remove the post because they're advertising for something illegal,” Wirges said.

Even though the Health Department told the person to stop, just this week, microblading was still listed as a service on the artist's Facebook page.

Channel 7 visited the salon and saw a large advertisement for microblading right on the wall of the shop where she had just moved into a month ago. Pricing for microblading was also listed on the wall.

We did not see any microblading tools.

"So maybe she stopped. but I mean it's a lucrative business,” Wirges said.

That artist told channel 7 on the phone that she’s never microbladed anyone in Arkansas. She said she was the victim of an out of town training course visiting Little Rock and says she was told after a $3,000-dollar class she could mircorblade in the state. Wirges says if you're interested in training, check with the Health Department first.

"They're upset because they've spent that money and they've done the work and done the time. But unfortunately that's the Arkansas law,” Wirges said.

Those before and after pictures on the artist's Facebook page, she confirmed is not her work.

The artist in question moved out of the shop after we visited. She tells me she will not post those signs advertising microblading when she moves into her next place.

As Franco tries to restore her face back to normal, she says her case is a good reminder you have to be extremely diligent when it comes to this procedure.

"I never thought I would go through something like this and to some people it's not a big deal, but it was my face. It was a nightmare. It was horrible,” Franco said.

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