Updated: Jun 20, 2020
What is Microblading?
Eyebrow microblading is cosmetic tattooing technique that is used to create or fill in eyebrows. A small handheld tool made up of several small needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin in hair-like strokes that mimic natural eyebrows.
These needles do not actually penetrate the skin; they simply scratch the surface of the skin and deposit pigment. Microblading for brows has become a popular trend. Many people with thin or over-plucked eyebrows see microblading as an easy option to obtaining perfect, natural eyebrows.
Other names for microblading include feather touch, hair stroke technique, 3D eyebrows, 6D eyebrows, eyebrow embroidery, eyebrow tattooing, and feathered brows. The technique may vary slightly depending on where you go and the style you are looking for.
No two people have the same face, so artists will have to do things slightly different for each client. It also depends on what you want your eyebrows to look like.
People who are looking for thick, bold eyebrows tend to go for the 3D microblading technique. The 3D method uses a stroking technique with a machine.
Those who may be looking for lighter, and more fine eyebrows typically opt for the 6D microblading technique. The 6D method uses blades rather than a machine. The outcome is a more natural looking eyebrow. The 6D technique is slightly more complex than the 3D technique.
What Are the Benefits of Microblading?
Having your eyebrows microbladed is a great solution for over plucked eyebrows or to simply darken and define your eyebrows. When I was about 17 my brow life hadn't quite arrived at level it is today. If I had known about the beauty of microblading I would have jumped at the chance long ago. It literally reduces the time it takes to apply makeup each day because your eyebrows will already be perfect and ready to go! Just image waking up to beautiful brows every day!
Microblading provides an alternative for people who have gone through chemo or suffered hair loss due to conditions like alopecia or even from aging. For those who have pre-existing medical conditions its good to contact your physician first to ensure the procedure is safe for you. See below a list of contraindications which would also prevent you from having the service done.
Microblading vs. a Traditional Tattoo
There are several key differences between microblading eyebrows and tattooing eyebrows. Ink is used for tattoos, while a specialized pigment is used for microblading.
As tattoo ink fades over time, it begins to have a blue-green tint to it. Pigment fades into a lighter version of the color that was originally used, so it stays looking natural. Tattoos fill in your eyebrows, and microblading creates more natural looking eyebrows.
Tattoos are permanent; once the ink is in the skin, it’s there forever. Pigment is semi-permanent because it is designed to fade over time. This allows people to change the appearance of their brows. Pigment has a more natural appearance.
Tattoos are more difficult to cover up. Having semi-permanent makeup allows you to make changes and do things differently.
Are You a Candidate for Microblading?
Skin type can affect microblading pigment color and how long it lasts. The same pigment color can look different on dry and oily skin types. Your results will be based on the health and quality of your skin.
You know your skin better than anyone else. Be sure to let your technician know if you have dry, oily, or a combination of both. If you are unsure, your microblading technician will be able to tell by pictures you provide them of your brows or by going in for a consultation.
It is important to understand how your skin may react to microblading. There are some conditions that may prevent you from being a candidate for eyebrow microblading.
People who are prone to keloids or who have a transmittable blood disease such as HIV or Hepatis are not candidates for eyebrow microblading. Since the skin is punctured during the microblading process, it is not a good idea for people with these conditions to undergo this procedure.
There are some contraindications to be aware of when considering microblading. If you have any questions regarding if you are a good candidate for microblading or not, ask your technician.
being under 18 years old,
pregnant or lactating women,
skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis,
certain prescription medications
It’s best to go for a consultation if you have previously had microblading or eyebrow tattoos. Sometimes old tattoos will need to be removed, while other times it may be possible to cover them up with the microblading process.
If you have an eyebrow tattoo that is too dark to be filled in or covered with microblading, you may need to have a tattoo removal treatment done. There are topical and laser options available for tattoo removal.
It may take multiple sessions for complete removal, so this will need to be planned before you can plan your microblading appointment.
If you have an older eyebrow tattoo that has faded, it is possible that it can be filled in or covered up with microblading. There are different techniques that can be used to cover up existing tattoos.
Your technician will be able to point you in the right direction based on what they think will look the best.
Here's some examples of brows that went through the tattoo removal process and then were covered up with a new microblading and shading service.
Does it Hurt?
Microblading is more uncomfortable than it is painful. There are options for making the procedure more bearable. People tolerate pain differently, but overall people think the momentary discomfort is worth the results.
If you have sensitive skin, you may find the microblading process slightly painful. Let your technician know if your pain becomes unmanageable. They may be able to do something differently.
Numbing cream is used during most microblading procedures to make it less uncomfortable. When it comes to what numbing cream is used for microblading, it depends on where you go. The most recommend numbing cream for microblading is a stronger topical anesthetic.
The number 1 numbing cream for microblading includes the ingredients benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine. Your technician will typically numb your eyebrows before the procedure begins and again after the procedure has started.
Safety and Standards
Microblading is very safe when it is performed by someone who is licensed and trained. You want to choose a technician who works in a clean and sterile environment. Every state has standards and regulations for beauty spas. Ensure your technician is following them.
Infection can be a huge risk, which is why you want to be sure you do your research and choose a reputable technician. Your technician should have a permanent makeup certificate as well as a blood-borne pathogens certificate.
Choosing the Right Artist
Choosing the right microblading artist can take some time. Microblading is not a procedure you want to rush into. You want to make sure your technician knows what he or she is doing.
It is also important to make sure your technician is licensed and certified. No one should ever perform a microblade procedure without the proper credentials. This includes having a blood-borne pathogens certificate.
Ask questions and make sure your artist can answer them. Your artist should be able to explain everything and answer any questions you may have.
Looking at your artist’s previous work will give you a good idea of what kind of work you can expect. Not only do you want to see before and after pictures of previous clients, it’s also important to look at pictures of the clients after their eyebrows have healed.
Many artists will have a Facebook or an Instagram page where they post photos of their clients. This is a great place to review an artist’s work. It is also a great place to see what other people are saying about their experiences with the artist. Princess Gabbara pointed out some great things to consider as well about the importance of finding the right microblading artist.
She stressed the importance of making sure the artist work you’re reviewing is really their own and not ripped from someone else’s portfolio. Making sure you select a reputable artist will help safe guard you from a bad microblading procedure gone wrong.
If you choose someone who doesn’t have a large clientele, they may not have much experience. This doesn’t mean they won’t provide you with great service. Sometimes new artist are in the process of building their portfolio which means you may be able to have the procedure done at a discount price by someone who is an imminent microblading Rockstar.
Word of mouth is a great way to learn about microblading artists in your area. People love to share their experiences – good and bad. Hearing mixed reviews will give you an overall idea of how a technician works.
Online reviews are a great way to find out how other people’s experiences were. Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram are platforms where people are likely to share their experiences. Read what other people are saying so you can select the best technician for you and what you’re looking for.
You can even ask other people questions about their experience through online platforms. Online reviews are where you can find out honest thoughts and opinions.
Before Your Microblading Service
The right preparation can make a big difference in your microblading results. You want to make sure your eyebrow area is healthy and not irritated prior to your procedure.
Some things you should avoid prior to your microblading procedure include:
getting a facial,
Aspirin, and Ibuprofen
Irritated skin will be further irritated by microblading. Taking certain medications that thin your blood will make the healing process much longer. If you are unsure, it is always best to ask first.
During Your Appointment: Designing and Mapping Your Brows
The microblading technician will begin by drawing, designing, and mapping your new eyebrows. This is the time to make sure you are happy with what the artist is doing.
Your artist will design your eyebrows based on the size, width, and depth of your face. You will have an opportunity to see what your eyebrows will look like before the procedure even begins.
Your technician will help you choose the best pigment color for you based on the color of your hair and your skin tone. The microblading pigments will lighten over time and will eventually need to be touched up.
If you are unsure, you may want to start with a lighter color. You can always go darker if you decide they aren’t dark enough.
Post Service: Aftercare
Following aftercare instructions is vital for proper healing and maximum results. How well you care for your fresh new brows will affect the healed outcome of your microbladed eyebrows.
You will have post-care cream to apply onto your fresh eyebrows. Apply this with a cotton swab. This cream will be the only thing that you can apply to your eyebrows for the next 10 days.
The best way to care for your fresh brows is to do nothing to them for 10 days. Avoid direct sunlight, sweating, or getting your eyebrows wet. Do not apply any makeup or chemicals on your eyebrows for 10 days. This will allow them to properly heal and retain their maximum color.
When you shower or wash your face, wash around your eyebrow area and avoid getting water directly on them. Using a cloth or a towel makes this process easier.
Your eyebrows may feel itchy, but don’t pick at them or scratch them. Picking at them can remove the pigment from the skin making the color not last.
You will also want to avoid working out or being in the heat because the sweat will create moisture on your eyebrows. Microblading does not require any down time, but you will need to avoid certain activities while your eyebrows are healing.
When to Get Microblading Touched Up
A touch up session is necessary between 4 and 6 weeks after the initial microblading procedure. This ensures the pigment picks up nicely so that your new brows will last for a long time. Over time as the pigment fades, you can decide when to have the process done again to make your brows darker.
When you go in for a touch up, your technician will be able to see if anything needs to be added or corrected after your eyebrows have had the proper amount of time to heal. Since more pigment is being added, it will extend the life of your freshly microbladed eyebrows.
After your first touch up, you won’t need to have them touched up again for 18 to 24 months or possibly even longer. Everyone has different preferences, so you can decide when you want to have them redone.
Where to Go for Microblading
Research the microblading technicians in your area. Review their previous work and determine who would be the best fit for you.
As microblading becomes more popular, more people are learning how to do it. More options are becoming available. You always want to make sure you are going to a reputable place with licensed and trained technicians.
Whether you have over-plucked your eyebrows throughout the years, suffering from conditions like alopecia or you are simply looking to add shape and definition to them, microblading could be the perfect solution for you. The microblading process will allow you to wake up to beautiful looking brows everyday by creating hair-like strokes that mimic the natural look of your eyebrows with the use of a specialized pigment.
The process is quick, and virtually pain free. Technicians use numbing cream to make the process more comfortable.
Do your research before choosing an artist to make sure they are licensed and trained. You also want to go to a salon or spa where the environment is clean and sanitary.
Once you have chosen an artist, he or she will guide you through the process of creating your new eyebrows – everything from the shape to the color. Make sure the artist you select is able to answer any and all questions you may have.
During the first 10 days of the healing process, be sure you don’t get your fresh eyebrows wet. You will also want to avoid working out, sweating, and direct sunlight. When you allow your eyebrows to properly heal, you will be extremely happy with your results.
Microbladed eyebrows don’t last forever, but you don’t have to worry about them fading into a blue-green color. The pigment that is used is created to fade into a lighter version of the same color. This is a huge advantage of microblading rather than eyebrow tattoos.
To ensure the maximum color and life of your microbladed eyebrows, have them touched up around 4 to 6 weeks after the initial appointment. Once you have had them touched up once, you won’t need to have them touched up again for 18 to 24 months (or possibly even longer).
Everyone’s skin is different, so talk to a microblading artist near you to determine if the microblading process is right for you.
What other tips might you recommend for anyone considering having the microblading procedure? Share your comments below.