We all have our little insecurities and those body parts we worry about; even supermodels fret about cellulite, a wonky nose or those inevitable spots that pop up around that time of the month. Although a survey amongst women would inevitably show up concerns around bums, tums and boobs, for me the big issue has always been my brows. Before I discovered the power of a full and
perfectly-arched brow, I spent years trying to make the rest of my face
work with only a smidgen of hairy goodness; there was always something not
quite right. After I was well and truly educated on the benefit of a
decent eyebrow pencil and the artistry associated with plucking, I’ve
never looked back – a full and even brow can totally change the construct of a face. Over the last few years I’ve been filling in my brows with a selection of pencils, gels and waxes on a daily basis to ensure a more youthful and ‘complete’ look, but as soon as I’m makeup free I definitely start to feel self-conscious; if there was one product I’d take with me to a desert island, it would undoubtedly be an eyebrow pencil. My fine lines and eye bags don’t bother me that much, and nor does my slightly greying messy hair, but my sparse and odd-looking brows really take me back to that awkward unsure teenager who worries what everyone around her is thinking. So it was time to do something about it, in the form of semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos from leading industry expert Karen Betts. The moral of the story? You don’t have to settle for what your mumma gave you. 

Semi-permanent makeup isn’t anything new. Eyebrow, lip and liner tattoos have been around for decades, but importantly the technology and techniques used until recently have been incredibly basic; this has lead to somewhat dodgy results (we’ve all seen them on Bodyshockers!) which have given the whole industry a bit of a bad name. I experienced semi-permanent makeup back in 2013, but the experience was lengthy and painful – unlike the enjoyable, quick, professional and pretty much pain-free approach I experienced at leading Harley Street expert Karen Betts’ practice last December. Karen Betts pioneered permanent cosmetics in the UK over 20 years ago and continues to be one of the industry’s leading experts; clients travel all over the world to her UK based clinics, knowing that her experience and technique is second to none. Not only does she specialise in cosmetic tattooing, Karen is also a leader in medical tattooing who works with breast cancer, cleft lip, hair loss and severely scarred patients to give them the confidence boost they need: this is a woman who knows exactly what she’s doing and provides only the best results.

The ease of semi-permanent brows makes the mild discomfort and expense totally worth it in my opinion; there’s nothing quite like practically skipping onto the street knowing that your eyebrows are totally on-fleek! Surprisingly the whole procedure takes less than sixty minutes, with Karen initially drawing on the brow shape she thinks would work best so you can ensure you’re 100% happy with the results. After you’ve agreed and amended any element necessary, anesthetic is applied and Karen uses a needle to administer the colour. Although the first round was a little uncomfortable, once the anesthetic kicked in I could barely feel a thing – so much so that I almost fell asleep for the remainder of the treatment. Within thirty minutes Karen had finished perfecting my brows and I was on my way; for such a big impact on my face, I was surprised at how speedily (yet still thoroughly accurate and considered) the whole experience was carried out.

After a few weeks of specialist care (which involves no direct cleansing of the area and applying a hydrating balm multiple times a day to aid the healing process,) the result is a perfectly constructed brow that lasts up to eighteen months. The brows will gradually fade over time, but you’re encouraged to invest in yearly top-ups (half the price of the original treatment) to ensure a long-term result that really makes an ongoing difference. I’m not too fussed about spending hundreds on highlights, massages or holidays, but my brows are an area I’m willing to make an ongoing investment in – because I know what a huge difference it makes to my confidence. I’m a firm believer in making a change if you need to, or refusing to settle if you’re uncomfortable with something; far too many of us just put up with things in our life and wonder why it never gets better, so it’s about time we stopped.

One of my friends had a nose job about ten years ago and in all honesty there was nothing wrong with her cute little snout at all; however, she was so self-conscious about a little bump on the end that she went under the knife to fix it. Although we could barely tell the difference afterwards and loved her just the way she was, for her it was a life changing experience that really was worth the thousands she had to save up to go through with it. Similarly, my aunt first had a boob job when she was in her early forties. After years of feeling like less of a woman for having barely an A-cup, she decided to take the plunge and opt for the silicone-enhanced chest of her Pamela Anderson idol. It’s not about what others think or about submitting to what society tells you is beautiful, but it’s about making movements to do what’s right for you – now and in the future. About five boob jobs and ten years later she’s finally settled to where she’s comfortable, but the important thing is that she made the decision based on her need for personal happiness. That’s what it’s all about.

We’re lucky enough in our society to have the tools to make a change if we want or need to. We no longer have to put up with our insecurities (whether that’s a small chest, crooked nose, receding hair line or pair of sparse brows,) and it no longer costs the price of a small flat to rectify those elements that we deem to be a personal problem either. Working within the beauty industry I frequently get made to feel like it’s a superficial world built upon appearances and insecurities, but the truth is that it’s as much about boosting confidence and providing the tools men and women need to feel better about themselves as it is about helping them to ‘fix’ issues they never knew they had. Karen Betts does a huge amount of good work for not only those of us that just want to make the morning routine a little swifter, but for those that have experienced hugely traumatic events that have left their body showcasing scars. From working with Katie Piper to restore her features after an acid attack, to helping cancer patients who have lost their brows following chemotherapy, this is so much more than just another beauty treatment; this is about making a difference to the way you feel on a daily basis. They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it certainly can buy you a fab new set of brows – and that’s almost the same.

I would thoroughly recommend Karen and her services and will definitely be back this time next year for a top-up.
Happy brows = happy Hayley.

(You can see some ‘before and after’ shots below of my brow treatment, and the intricate detail created. Please excuse the fact that my mascara and makeup ended all over my face!)

I received my treatment free of charge, but prices range from £295 to £895 depending upon the level of artist carrying out the procedure. Find out more on the Karen Betts website here:

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Beautylymin
    January 12, 2016 / 11:30 am

    Wow, big difference & well worth the money! Good brow days always make me feel more groomed, even if I'm having a no make-up day so this is definitely something I would like to try! xxBeautylymin

  2. Dagmara K
    January 12, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    The difference in your brows is amazing and they look perfectly natural! I agree that if some esthetic procedures makes you feel happier and more confident just go for it! xMummy’s Beauty Corner

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 8:39 pm

      They're so good aren't they! I wouldn't get them done if they looked obvious – but you would never know unless I said something.

  3. Pam Scalfi
    January 12, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    oh wow, so much detail! I'm working up the courage to have this done :DPam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      It's honestly pretty much pain free – and so quick. I was anticipating it to hurt and be uncomfortable for a long time, but Karen is speedy.

  4. Emily Jayne Phillips
    January 12, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    Wow, your brows look amazing and so natural! I absolutely agree that if you aren't happy and its within your power to change something, then why not go for it?!

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks Emily!

  5. Alexandra Aallexxy
    January 16, 2016 / 10:47 am

    I'm actually getting this procedure done next week, I'm a little anxious, but super excited at the same time. I've been contemplating it for a while, now I'm finally taking the plunge, I hope they look as natural as yours do. I actually haven't told any friends or family I'm getting it done, for fear of what they'll say, or that they might try to talk me out of it. But I'm doing this for me, so let's hope I love the results.

  6. Georgina Toms
    January 21, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    They are fantastic and your the first blogger I've seen to talk about this in depth. Enough to go through the basics of the procedure. I'm so interested in getting it done. Thank you for sharing your

  7. Caroline
    January 23, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    I had mine done a couple of years ago for pretty much the same reasons – insecurities. From years of over plucking I was left with pencil line brows and gaps where the hair had just stopped growing. It's definitely one of the better choices I've made to have it done. I think you have to have a level of trust in the artist, as to stay natural, but i know from asking mine that she prefers the natural look and hates having to go against it with some 'customers'

Leave a Reply


Looking for Something?