Everything you need to know about Microblading

Microblading has taken social media by storm.  For the right candidate, it can be transformative, but not everyone is the ideal candidate for microblading.  I have come across a lot of misinformation on the internet regarding microblading so I hope that by reading this page, it will give you an honest perspective of what microblading is and hopefully that will lead you to make a more informed decision on whether or not microblading is right for you.  For pictures of my work, you can find me on instagram @permanentmakeup_pro

What is Microblading?
Microblading is a technique used in permanent makeup to simulate hairstrokes for eyebrows.  A hand tool with multiple fine needles are dipped into a pot of pigment, then implanted into the skin. When done right, the strokes should be placed in the direction of your natural hair growth pattern, with a gentle curve to each stroke so they blend with your existing brow hairs.  Immediately after application, your brows will look fuller with crisp hairstrokes.  Once completely healed, those strokes tend to blur out and render a natural, feathered appearance. 

Is Microblading a tattoo? 
Implanting pigment into the dermal layer of the skin defines a tattoo, so no matter which technique you use, be it microblading, conventional hand tool or machine, these methods are all considered a tattoo/permanent makeup.  To render a more natural look, the pigment should be placed on the very top layers of the dermis. 

Which skin type is best for microblading?
While there are always exceptions, people with normal to dry skin retain the hairstrokes best.  While people with oily skin heal with great results, the oils from the skin eat away at the pigment faster which means more frequent color refresher visits than those with drier skin.  While I often recommend clients with oily skin to opt for powdered brows that are applied with a machine, many clients want to be microbladed.  I have also found that clients with very thin skin are not good candidates for microblading.  It is very easy to cut too deeply on anyone, but especially on people with thin skin, causing the color to ash out too much.  For clients with thin skin, I recommend getting your brows powdered, as the needles penetrate the skin in an “up and down” motion, providing a less invasive application than slicing into the skin, which is essentially what happens when microblading.

Does microblading look more natural than the powdered technique?
Not necessarily.  I believe the ability to make brows look natural falls in the hands of the artist, not on the modality used.  There is a great amount of technique involved when applying permanent makeup; the artist must consider hand pressure, hand speed, speed of the machine, depth of needle penetration into the skin, color selection, the number of layers of pigment applied, the skin condition and type, etc….The artist must also consider what kind of shape is best suited for each individual’s face.  This is why I do not use stencils.  I like to view my client’s entire face and craft a set of brows that are unique to her face.  In microblading, proper placement of the strokes is also essential.  If the strokes are not placed in the direction of the existing hair growth pattern, they won’t blend in with your own brows.  
Decide whether you prefer seeing some hairstrokes (microblading), or more of a uniform, backdrop of color (powdered).  Please note that microbladed brows rarely heal perfectly crisp.  In fact, most hairstrokes blur out so once healed, while you can see some hairstrokes sprinkled throughout the body of the brow, most end up blurring out, rendering a feathered looking brow.  It is important to look at HEALED pictures of microbladed brows to manage your expectations for what the end result actually looks like.

How long does it take for my brows to heal?
There are many theories on the best way to heal a tattoo.  In my experience, dry healing renders the best retention in color and because the tattoo is exposed to the air, allowing it to breathe, it often heals a lot faster than when applying ointment during the healing process.  My recommendation is to dry heal your brows, but I will send you home with a packet of grapeseed oil based ointment incase you want to apply a thin layer each day to alleviate any itchiness that may arise. In general, most people heal within 10-12 days, but some can take up to 3 weeks.

How often do I have to come in for color refreshers?
Most clients come in for a color refresher every 1-2 years, however some come in sooner, and for others, it will be years before they feel like they need a touch up.  Please consider that all color, whether it is on your clothes, furniture, the hair on your head all fade with time and it is no different with permanent makeup pigments.  All pigments are formulated with either a cool or warm base.  As such, once all the colors that form to make the chosen color for your brows fade, the underlying cool or warm base will surface.  Once you start seeing hints of that base color pop up, you will know that it is time for a color refresher.  Other times, your body absorbs the color even before the base color surfaces, so if you feel the color has faded too much, you can make an appointment to come in for a color refresher.

With all this said, I believe microblading/permanent makeup can render beautiful results and eliminate the hassle of drawing in your brows every single day, not to mention a renewed sense of confidence in your daily appearance, especially on the days when you want to run your errands or go to the gym without any makeup.  Choose the right artist; one who understands both the science and art of permanent makeup and you won’t have any regrets about getting permanent makeup.

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