Microblading is one of the most popular beauty trend today. You see pictures of beautiful defined dramatic brows all over Facebook and Instagram. But, what is microblading? It is tattooing? Is it the same as microshading? You have mature skin, which technique should you choose? How much does it cost? I don’t offer microblading in my center, so I did some research. Hopefully this article answers a few of your questions.
Today’s microblading is being promoted as a semi-permanent process, and not a tattoo process. Cosmetic tattooing are different names for permanent cosmetics, permanent makeup, cosmetic tattooing micropigmentation, dermal implantation, microblading/microstroking, eyebrow embroidery, and long-time/long-lasting makeup. According to, the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP), they are all the same procedure. Whether they’re done with a machine or a hand—tool.
“Any time color is placed into the skin with any device, it is a tattoo process as defined by many well informed regulators, the medical community, and dictionary sources.” spcp.org
“It is the art and science of implanting micro-insertions of pigment into the skin. This can be done by either a machine or a hand-tool. “ American Academy of Micropigmentation
Microblading is a tattooing technique that consists of individual hair-like strokes that mimic tiny eyebrow hairs; creating a look of a natural eyebrow. It involves using a hand tool or wand with nine or more tiny needles, to create shallow cuts on the skin that allows pigment to seep and set in. When done by an experienced professional, microblade brows look very natural. The artist uses a microblading tool that creates small, hair-like incisions into your skin in order to make each stroke resemble natural hair.
During microblading the color only reaches the epidermal (outer) layer of the skin. The pigment particles do not reach the dermis. The pigment can disappear during the healing phase of the skin and during normal regeneration of cells at the epidermal level. So the pigments will fade away from the skin over time.
What should you expect?
After the procedure is completed, don’t be alarmed, the color will appear darker than the final result, which you will see in about 7 to 14 days. It looks darker because the color is in the top layers of the epidermis and will slough off during the healing process to bring up a softer and lighter color that appears much more realistic and more natural.
The shallow depth of penetrating pigment under the skin, makes microbladed brows the least permanent of all Permanent Makeup. It is the reason they require more frequent touch ups than other techniques. On an average expect to get a color boost in about 8-12 months.
Microblading is ideal for someone who:
- doesn’t regularly fill in their brows
- has over plucked brows
- wants a subtle shape enhancement
- want to save time
- has thin or patchy brows
What is the difference between Microblading and Tattooing?
The technique uses a super-fine pen to deposit pigment into skin. The pigment only affects the superficial layers of the skin. Where as, a tattoo is permanent. A tattoo procedure uses a machine to penetrate the pigment deep into the layers of the skin. “By definition and tattoo industry standards, color is tattooed/implanted into the dermis of the skin. “ spcp.org
In addition, microblading does not last as long as other eyebrow tattooing technique, because a smaller amount of pigment is introduced into the skin. Unlike a fully or solidly filled eyebrow tattoos.
How Long Does Microblading Last?
After the initial touch-up, it is possible for microblading to last anywhere from 12 months to three years. It depends on the way your skin holds the pigment. Your lifestyle influences how long your brows will last. You can lengthen the time by avoiding putting exfoliants close to your brows; such as retinol and glycolic acid. Also protect your investment with sunscreen, since UV rays will fade pigment. Microblading is less effective on oily/combination skin types than other methods.
Candidates with oily skin may have problems with microblading. The constant oil production can cause the hair strokes to heal powdery and diffused.
How much does microblading cost?
Microblading can cost as little as $500 and go up to about $4,500. Average prices vary, they are based on where you live and the artist expertise. A quality job could run somewhere between $700 to $1,500. Price should include the follow-up procedure.
Mature Skin and Microblading
Mature skin tends to be drier, therefore it will hold the pigment longer than a 20 something. But on the negative side wrinkles in the brow area can cause complications during microblading. You should seek out an expert artist who has experience with mature skin.
Some medications as well as long-term sun exposure can sensitive older skin, check to see if your skin can handle microblading before you commit.
Ask your artist for a delicate, more natural looking brow. You don’t want to look like Norma Desmond, (look it up kiddies, she was before your time). The trend today is leaning toward combining microshading and microblading to solve problems associated with microblading mature skin. The shading can add extra vitality to a thinning brow. (See shading and combo brows
This technique is also known as powder brows, mist brows or microshading. It was first developed in Asia, and it is becoming more and more popular in the United States. It also falls into the semi-permanent makeup category and it’s a little less invasive than microblading.
To create a soft, powdered effect that looks like eyebrow powder; a manual tool or electric hand is used. The microshading technique uses a stippling method with repetitive dots of pigment to create an airbrush effect.
Microshading has an advantage, it can be performed alone or combined with microblading to get a realistic look. Also, maintenance and healing results are better when compared to microblading.
Shading is that it can be combined with microblading to achieve a realistic look. See combo brow
Who is the best candidate for microshading?
- All skin types, including oily and drier skin types
- Woman and men who suffer from medical conditions
- Mature skin
- Anyone who wants brows with a thicker and filled in look
Ombré Powder Brows
Also known as: Powder, Mist, Microshading, Ombré shading, or Stardust brows
Ombré shading is semi-permanent technique done on the epidermis layer of the skin, to mimic the look of a “filled in” brow. The method creates a soft shaded brow pencil look with definition and depth. A popular trendy look posted on Instagram by makeup artist.
Once healed, the Ombré brow is fuller with a very soft finish. The inner corners look lighter and the rest of the brow is darker and more filled in, a more defined or dramatic look. However, they will fade 20-30% overtime.
Ombré shading works with most skin types, including oily or combination skin.
Ombré brows are done with a small machine that inserts fine dots of pigments evenly across the skin with an airbrush or shading technique. Gradually building up the color and defined shape.
How long does it Ombré last?
Ombré powder fill brows, use a more traditional tattooing method, with longer lasting results, and when a high-quality pigments is used, Ombré brows can last on average between 2 or 3 years. Making the lifespan a bit longer than that of microblading.
Results do vary depending upon one’s lifestyle, skin type, health and how well they take care of their brows after the actual procedure. Using a tanning bed or sun exposure without sunscreen effects how long they last. Some people get a color boosts about 12-18 month after the process.
Microfeathering is a form of microblading, and a technique pioneered (and trademarked) by Los Angles eyebrow expert Kristie Streicher.
Microfeathering take a little more effort to keep up. It typically doesn't hold up as well as microblading because "the pigmented stokes are much finer and natural looking," says Streicher.
Microfeathering will usually last eight to 12 months, max. The length of time depends on your skin type (oily skin does not hold d the pigment well), age, and skin care routine.
A natural blended technique that combines microbladed hair strokes and “powder fill” or shading technique.
Depending on the circumstances, microblading alone can look too light. The Combo brow is a little more defined and filled in than just straight microbladed brows, and a bit less solid and dramatic than the ombre powder fill.
The Combo brow is a great alterative for anyone who has dry skin, very thin and sparse eyebrows or mature skin.
This combo method works for all skin types, but it’s a better option for an individual with oily skin
Do your homework!
Your eyebrows are a focal point of your face — If you chose the wrong artist for microblading you will have to live with the results.
- Check out the artist online portfolio (before and after photos), Facebook and Instagram account.
- Read their reviews. Then talk to with her and make sure you like his/her approach.
- Insist on a consultation before the procedure. You are going to have those brows for a long time. It will also give you a chance to change your mind.
- Ask a lot of questions; like how long they have been doing microblading, their training and certification.
- Make sure the artist is CPCP (Certified Permanent Cosmetics Professional) certified or has a license or certificate from the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals or the American Academy of Micropigmentation, which shows that they've received the proper training. (see research material below)
- Ask the artist to draw on your brows first so you will see what it will look like before you commit.
- Be realistic! If the artist you researched thinks you are not a good candidate for microblading or microshading accept their expert advice.
Please Read This Before You Make Your Final Decision!
The New York Post, April 14, 2018
“But, along with the success stories, come reports of gruesome results: A slew of horrifying microblading mishaps have been popping up online, ranging from unflattering shapes and faded tinting to scary scarring and infection.”
Microblading Research Information
- The Society Of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals — spcp.org
- SPCP Guidelines Microblading Fact Sheet -
- Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals or the American Academy of Micropigmentation
- Common Questions Regarding Permanent Cosmetics
Review your state's regulations/statues for updated information.