Let’s start with the basics: you know that microblading is a form of brow tattoo, and as such, it’s supposed to last for a while. You know that it’s not forever and that it gradually fades, but it’s expected to last about 18 months to 2 years.
But what you’re probably very curious about is what it will look like halfway through its lifespan. What will your 1 year faded microblading look like? Will your brows still look good? Will you need to do anything to them?
Let’s see examples of different ways microblading can fade by the 1-year mark, which factors determine the quality of old microblading, and how to handle potential negative cases.
Before We Get Into It
We have to explain that with microblading, just like with any form of permanent makeup, it’s all individual – how your skin will take pigment initially, the retention, the pace of fading, the quality of healed results.
Each and every case is unique, because every single one of us has different body chemistry and no 2 skins have the exact same properties. For this reason, it’s virtually impossible to predict exactly how your 1 year faded microblading can turn out.
Of course, you and your artist should do everything in your power to make sure everything is done right initially.
On your part, you need to choose a trustworthy artist, and follow all pre-care and post-care instructions.
On your artist’s part, they need to assess your skin carefully, their technique has to be immaculate, and so does the color matching. And if your skin isn’t great for microblading, they should point you in the direction of nano brows or powder brows.
If everything goes well initially, there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises months down the line. You can expect your 1 year faded microblading to look like it’s supposed to, with some variations, of course.
But let’s review all possible scenarios.
What Can Happen to 1 Year Faded Microblading
Here’s the thing – microblading was designed to fade. It’s supposed to get gradually lighter until it becomes invisible, to allow you to get rid of it if you decide you don’t want it anymore, or modify it to suit your features and style as time goes by.
For that reason, you can’t expect your 1 year faded microblading to look as fresh and crisp as it did when you just got it.
With this in mind, let’s see some different fading scenarios and explain what happened in each case.
Your Microblading Is Still Defined, Relatively Dark and True to Color
The best case scenario! Some people simply have great pigment retention, and their 1 year faded microblading still looks really good.
This is usually people with dry skin, who don’t expose their face to sunlight, don’t sweat too intensely too often, and don’t spend too much time in pool/ocean water. Using gentle skincare can also contribute.
More mature clients also tend to have better retention, as their metabolism tends to be slower.
You don’t need to get any touch ups just yet.
Image source: Instagram @nereidamurrieta
The Color Has Lost Some Intensity But the Strokes Are Still Defined
Also a positive scenario. If the pigment used was high-quality and the color was well-matched for your skin tone and undertone, the color will gradually lose intensity, but it won’t turn red or bluish.
This is normal and it’s fine – your artist did the job well. It just means you might need a touch up sooner than the 18-month mark. You can darken your brows back up with a pencil in the meantime if you feel like you need to.
Your strokes probably don’t look as crisp as in the first months, but if they’re not merging, blurring and spreading, they’re fine.
Image source: Instagram @addisonedgetattoos
The Strokes Are Very Faded
Some clients don’t have that great retention and their brows can be significantly faded after 1 year.
It may be their skin type (oily skin extracts pigment faster), their body chemistry (some people’s systems break down pigments faster) or their actions (harsh skincare, sunlight exposure, etc.).
Book consults with your artist. If your skin type is the cause of such quick fading, perhaps consider getting machine brows, as new microblading will probably fade away equally fast. If it’s your system, there’s not much that can be done.
But if it’s something you can control, just take care of your brows better this time around.
Image source: Instagram @brows.naked
The Color Has Turned
A common complication with brow tattoos is them turning color after a certain time. This can happen sooner or later, so it’s possible your 1 year faded microblading has not only lost intensity, but the color may have also turned.
The most common discolorations are:
This can happen due to pigment formulation or your body chemistry, but it’s most often the combination of the 2 factors.
Every brown pigment contains red, yellow and blue, only in different ratios. One or more of those components may fade faster than others, leading to a discolored residue.
The exception is cool, blue pigment – this discoloration can happen if the pigment was implemented too deep. If that’s the case, reconsider your choice of artist.
If the residue is light enough, this scenario is fixed with color corrections. Book a touch up and have your artist go over the strokes with pigment in the opposite shade, and your brows will go back to brown.
If the strokes have started blurring, color correction with powder brows is a better option.
But if the pigment is still very intense, you might need to either wait for it to fade further before correction, or get removal first. Generally speaking, 1 year isn’t enough for residues to fade enough to be covered with new strokes, but there may be cases.
Let an expert assess the situation.
Your Strokes Have Blurred
If the artist went too deep with pigment insertion, there’s a high chance the strokes will blur and your 1 year faded microblading looks more like shading.
This may look okay if the color hasn’t turned. But in most cases, the 2 complications go hand in hand. Your options are either cover-up and color correction with powder brows, or removal. In either case, make sure to find an experienced expert.
Alternatively, blurring may occur due to your skin being oily. This is a bummer, but the pigment will likely just fade away after a while. Consider powder brows as a better option for oily skin.
Image source: Instagram @refined_beautybyadriana
Your Microblading Years Down the Line
In general, if your 1 year faded microblading is going the way it’s supposed to, you shouldn’t have complications even after 18 months or past that. It will just get lighter and lighter, until you decide to refresh it.
But if it’s turned color, or if the strokes are already blurring, chances are it’ll only get worse. You can try correction or cover-up with powder brows, or, if the situation is beyond salvation, removal.
Learn more about microblading removal here.
Cover image source: Freepik