Microblading is a very versatile brow tattoo technique that can achieve a bunch of different effects. So what you might picture as the microbladed brow, the Instagrammable arch that comes to mind, isn’t the only style offered nowadays.
Due to the insane popularity microblading gained, artists all around the world have been motivated to experiment and develop new methods. So, now there are so many different microblading styles that it can cause decision fatigue in clients!
Here’s a short guide through the most popular microblading styles to help you decide which you want and what to ask for.
Microblading Styles Breakdown
Microblading was the first type of PMU treatment to revolutionize and modernize brow tattooing.
So the traditional, perfectly sculpted microbladed brow is definitely a staple, but most of the new microblading styles build on that and combine traditional manual microblading with machine brow shading – powder brows.
But for the purposes of this guide, we’ll sort every look that involves microblading under the microblading styles. Here’s a quick breakdown of each.
The natural-looking brow is probably the most popular out of all microblading styles. This is what most clients ask for – subtle, no-makeup eyebrows. Eyebrows that look like you didn’t have anything done, just have great brows naturally.
The shape is matched to the natural arches and measured according to your bone structure and eye placement. And the color is custom mixed to be indistinguishable from the actual brow hairs.
Small but very effective enhancements to fix the shape of fill-in sparse parts aren’t too obvious but are just enough to take your brow to the next level.
The most natural results are achieved by using very thin blades – nanoblades.
These blades are much thinner than regular ones, so they can achieve more delicate strokes. Very realistic results are why this advanced form of microblading became very popular very fast. So much so it even became a style on its own.
Image source: Instagram @zarabella_pmu
Thin Microbladed Brow
If you’re a big fan of thin brows – either because skinny brows are a trend right now or you have them naturally and don’t think thicker brows will work for you – thin microblading is totally possible!
A thin brow shape is achieved by focusing on the middle of the brow, where the strokes are most dense. Because thinner brows tend to have more prominent arches, most of the strokes are placed along the center of the brow.
This, however, doesn’t mean that arches are angular or over-emphasized. They should remain soft and shaped in a way that compliments the shape of your eyes.
And modern skinny brows tend to have a fuller front of the brow than the previous 90s version did.
Image source: Instagram @theolivebrow
Combo Brows – Microblading + Shading
For fans of the dramatic and defined brows but who still want the illusion of natural fullness, combo brows are the way to go.
The hair strokes are drawn with microblading, and then the spaces around them are shaded in with the powder brows technique.
This microblading style is focused on creating a subtle blurring effect rather than a harsh, drawn-in look.
And there’s even an ombre version of this. Which is, debatably, even more popular. The results are similar to what the Instagram brow used to be – lighter at the head and darkening as it approaches the tail.
This look is also referred to as combre brows – cute, right?
Image source: Instagram @bkcosmetictattoos
Messy brows have been a trend for a while now. So, if you’re a fan of this effortless look, this is a way to make it more permanent!
Microblading strokes are a bit longer, making the brows appear fluffy and thick. But the lines themselves are very thin, so, to cover a very small area, the artist needs to create a bunch of them.
They go in different directions, and it almost looks like the hairs are tangled which creates the illusion of volume.
Then, to add even more emphasis, shading is also added with the powder brow technique. This makes the brow arch appear thicker than regular microblading but not as sharp as regular ombre powder brows.
Breezy brows are great for people who already have thicker brows but just wish to add a bit of spice to them. This way they look done up all the time and there’s no wasting time on makeup every day.
Image source: Instagram @nadiabeautydiaries
Feather brows, also known as microfeathering, were definitely a huge trend among microblading styles a few years back, and they still have fans.
The name was inspired by their fluffiness – resembling a feather. The strokes are drawn longer and pointed slightly upwards so they create the illusion of a thicker brow arch. This gives off very laid-back vibes – defined but not perfectly sculpted.
A few stray hairs add to the realistic look of the brows but they are made to look as thin as possible.
Over time, artists started doing feather brows with PMU machines, with the nano brows technique, as machine needles can achieve thinner strokes than a handheld blade can.
Image source: Instagram @prettifystudioshamburg
Hyperrealism is a spin-off on microblading, most similar to feather brows. These two are similar in the sense that they fill both in the brows to ever so slightly alter their shape.
However, there are some key differences.
The outline of the hyperrealism brows is less distinct so they appear softer and fluffier. The effect is also much more realistic (as the name suggests) which is the whole point – messy, bushy, undone brows to the point the hairs look tangled.
While hyperrealism brows are related to microblading as they both add hair strokes, hyperrealism brows are almost exclusively done with a machine, so they’re technically a pattern of nano brows.
Still, an untrained eye likely won’t distinguish between the strokes of microblading and those of nano brows, so artists don’t insist on the distinction so much.
Image source: Instagram @jasmineevans.pmu
So, Which Microblading Style Should I Get?
Well, the answer to that is highly personal. There is no one superior pattern or style – it all comes down to personal preference.
So the best course of action would be to do some research on the style you prefer and book a consultation with your artist to discuss if it’s the right choice for your face shape and skin type.