Microblading Eyebrows: The Only Guide You Need

Quick Facts:

  • Natural, hair-stroke effect
  • Done with a manual blade
  • Lasts 12-18 months
  • Needs a 6-8 week touch up
  • Average price ca. $600
Microblading Eyebrows: The Ultimate Guide by PMUHub

Image source: Instagram @freya_vera

Last updated in January 2022.

Full eyebrows are by far the biggest beauty trend that is bound to stick around for a long time. But unfortunately, not everyone is born with perfectly shaped, lush eyebrows. There’s a solution though!

The eyebrow microblading treatment gives you the arches you’ve always wanted, made-to-measure, thick, defined, yet perfectly natural-looking.

In our ultimate guide to eyebrow microblading, we will thoroughly explain everything you need to know about this highly-requested cosmetic tattoo procedure. Keep reading for answers to all your questions on microblading eyebrows!

Click on the link to go directly to a specific step:

ABOUT MICROBLADING EYEBROWS

What Is Microblading Eyebrows and How Is It Done?

Microblading eyebrows is a permanent makeup technique similar to eyebrow tattooing, but far more advanced.

It is done manually, with a microblading tool – a blade consisting of several tiny needles – which is used to make thin incisions on the skin that look like natural brow hairs. They imitate the length, color, thickness and shape of the actual hairs.

Special pigments in the color of the natural hairs are then deposited into the skin, and the result is an illusion of thicker arches with a modified shape that best suits your face.

The results are very realistic and virtually unidentifiable, which is why this treatment is sometimes called 3D microblading.

Is Microblading a Tattoo?

Microblading is a form of eyebrow tattoo, but somewhat different from traditional tattooing.

Unlike the traditional tattooed eyebrows, which look unnatural and stay visible forever, as the inks don’t blend into the skin so well, microblading pigments are not formulated to look as bright and vivid as possible, but rather to recreate a natural look

Learn more about the differences between Microblading and Eyebrow Tattoo in our guide Eyebrow Tattoo vs Microblading: Key Differences

What is Microblading and How is Microblading Done?

Image source: Instagram @phibrows_by_ana

Who Does Eyebrow Microblading?

Microblading eyebrows is done by trained, certified, and licensed estheticians called microblading artists. In order to stay safe and healthy, and get satisfactory results, never go to untrained, self-taught artists who don’t have the mentioned credentials.

ABOUT MICROBLADING TREATMENT

How Long Does Microblading Treatment Take?

The whole eyebrow microblading treatment usually lasts for 2-3 hours. 

Consultations are usually needed before booking the appointment, and most artists book them separately from the actual treatment, a few days prior. They are usually no longer than 30 minutes. The artist will assess your skin type, ask you about any medical conditions you may have to see whether you are a good candidate for the treatment.  

They will also tell you how to properly prepare for the appointment (read more about that below).

What Does the Microblading Procedure Look Like?

The actual treatment consists of several steps that usually look like this:

STEP 1: Consent Form

The artist will ask you to sign a consent form, and perhaps some other forms. They may also ask for some information on your medical history. This is standard procedure. Some artists will ask you to do the paperwork while they are numbing the brows. 

STEP 2: Preparation

You can show the artist what eyebrow shape you want by bringing a photo of your dream brows or you can come in with the brow makeup you wear daily.

The artist prepares the area around the brows by threading the stray hair if necessary and cleaning the skin. 

STEP 3: Measuring, mapping, and outlining

Certain features of the brow area are measured, and an outline is drawn, taking into account your face shape, symmetry, facial features, etc. The artist will show you a pre-draw, what your eyebrow shape will look like after the treatment. Feel free to speak your mind and say whether you like it or you want it done differently. 

STEP 4: Numbing

The brow area is covered with a topical anesthetic, or numbing cream, which is left on for a certain period of time, usually 15 or 20 minutes. Bear in mind that some artists do numbing before outlining. 

STEP 5: Preparing the pigment

The artist chooses a pigment shade that will work best for your skin tone and blend in with the natural hairs. Sometimes, the artist will mix a custom shade.

STEP 6: The blading process

The artist makes fine strokes through the skin using a microblading tool, and covers them with pigment. If there is any severe discomfort at this stage, another layer of numbing cream is added to the area after the first pass.

STEP 7: The second pass

Another layer of pigment is added, for better retention. Some artists do more than two passes; it usually depends on the client’s skin. 

STEP 8: Cleaning, checking & photos

The area is cleaned, and the artist checks the results. They usually take photos of their work. 

Step 9: Aftercare instructions

You will be given aftercare tips to follow, to make sure your eyebrows heal properly. Most artists give their clients an aftercare kit with printed instructions.

STEP 10: Booking the touch-up appointment

Microblading is a 2-step process. The touch up needs to be done when the eyebrows are completely healed, so no sooner than 4 weeks after the initial treatment (usually after 6-8 weeks). Learn more about the touch up below. 

PMUHub Tip: Communication is important! Don’t be afraid to be vocal about your wishes, but do take the artist’s suggestions into consideration. You should ask everything you want to know about the treatment itself and the aftercare.

Is Microblading Painful?

Even though it’s a form of tattooing and the blading is involved, most clients claim that the brow microblading treatment does not really hurt.

Numbing gel is applied to the treated area, so the actual process is more uncomfortable than painful. It’s claimed to be just a bit more uncomfortable than tweezing your eyebrows, but it’s nowhere near as painful as getting a tattoo.

Note: Having eyebrow microblading during your menstrual cycle may increase your sensitivity, and your skin could bleed more, which can make the procedure more complicated.

PREPARATION FOR MICROBLADING

How Do I Prepare for a Microblading Treatment?

The most important step is to carefully research the estheticians in your area and choose the one that has a certificate, experience, and positive reviews. Never go to an untrained, uncertified artist.

Study their prior work. Before and after pictures of microbladed brows are very useful, since they give insight into the artist’s work. Of course, the best-case scenario is to get a recommendation from someone who’s had eyebrow microblading. Alternatively, look for online reviews.

Will I Have to Shave My Brows for Microblading?

No! The artist works around the natural hairs, so there’s no need to remove your eyebrows for microblading. They may shorten the hairs a bit, but they definitely won’t leave you brow-less.

Things You Should Avoid Before the Treatment:

  • Don’t go sunbathing or tanning for at least 7 days prior to the treatment
  • Try not to work out on the day of the treatment
  • Stop using retinol or Vitamin A products 1 month prior to the treatment
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, ibuprofen, aspirin, and fish oil supplements for at least 24 hours prior to the treatment
  • Don’t pluck or wax your eyebrows at least 1 week prior to the treatment
  • Don’t do any facials at least 2 weeks before the treatment
  • If you’ve had Botox or fillers in the area, wait at least 2 weeks

Preparation for microblading treatment

Image source: YouTube screenshot – World Microblading

MICROBLADING AFTERCARE

What Does Microblading Aftercare Entail?

Microblading aftercare is a very important step in the process. It usually lasts up to 2 weeks, after which you can discontinue the aftercare routine and let the brows continue healing on their own. 

During the aftercare period, it is important to avoid activities that will cause the brows to get soaking wet, such as swimming, long showers, going to the sauna, etc. It is important to wash your eyebrows regularly and carefully, with a little bit of sterile water and antibacterial soap and keep them dry afterward. 

Your artist will recommend either wet or dry healing. Wet healing means that you will be given a healing balm/ointment to apply on your eyebrows, after you clean them. Dry healing doesn’t include an ointment. In both cases, washing eyebrows is a must. 

Also, check with your artist which products are strictly forbidden and avoid using them. 

If you don’t follow the prescribed instructions, you’re not just risking ruining the results; you’re also risking your health, since you can develop an infection. 

Can I Wear Makeup After Microblading Treatment?

The treated area is very sensitive and prone to infections in the days after the procedure. So it’s forbidden to wear makeup on the treated area for about 2 weeks.

You are technically allowed to wear it on other parts of your face. However, since makeup can get to the treated area easily during application, wearing, or removal, it is risky to wear makeup at all during the healing period. 

For a comprehensive day by day overview + extra tips for all skin types head over to our Microblading Aftercare Guide.

Activities You Should Avoid After the Microblading Treatment

Image source: Instagram @browaddictllc

Extra Tip: If you have a special occasion or a big event coming up, plan the date of your eyebrow microblading treatment carefully! It will take about 6 weeks for everything to settle.

MICROBLADING HEALING PROCESS

How Long Does It Take for Your Microbladed Brows to Heal?

The healing process lasts for about a month. Here’s what to expect:

1st week after the treatment:

Your eyebrows will probably be swollen and look too dark at first, but over the course of the microblading healing period, they will settle into the desired shape and color.

It is vital you follow all the aftercare steps during the healing period. This is also the scabbing period, so be patient and don’t pick at the scabs no matter how itchy they get!

2nd week after the treatment:

After scabbing, your microbladed brows will start to look very light and you might feel as if they are disappearing. This is normal, since your skin is regenerating and naturally exfoliating.

There’s no need to worry – your eyebrows will regain the color after some time.

4-6 weeks after the treatment:

4 to 6 weeks after the treatment, your microbladed eyebrows might look a little patchy and uneven, which is why you need to have the mandatory touch-up.

The first touch up is done after the color has fully set in, which is no earlier than a month after the treatment, usually 6-8 weeks after the initial session. 

Its purpose is to fill in the gaps that may emerge during healing and fix anything you don’t like or want to change.

You will finally be satisfied with the look of your eyebrows after about 6 weeks.

For a complete day by day overview + what to expect during the healing process visit our Microblading Healing Process Guide

Microblading healing process: How Long Does it Take for Your Microbladed Brows to Heal?

Image source: Instagram  @naked.lounge

MICROBLADING TOUCH UP

When Should I Get a Microblading Touch Up?

Touch ups are an essential part of the microblading treatment.

The first follow-up appointment is non-negotiable. If you try to skip it, the final result might not be as good as you’d expected. Therefore, your artist should schedule your first touch up 4-8 weeks after the initial treatment.

This way, you will fix all the imperfections on your eyebrows if, for example, your skin hasn’t taken the pigment in some spots, or some of it fell off with the scabs.

Other touch ups are not mandatory. However, if you want your microblading eyebrows to last longer, you should get one when you feel like your brows are too faded. For some people, it will be after 9 months, while others won’t need it for up to 18 months. It depends on your skin type and your lifestyle. 

Keep in mind that if you have oily skin, your microbladed brows will fade faster, so you might need touch up appointments more often.

HOW LONG DOES MICROBLADING LAST?

How Long Will My Microbladed Eyebrows Last?

The estimated longevity is 12-18 months, after which the brows are mostly faded as the pigments are broken down by the body.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Microbladed Eyebrows:

  • Aftercare routine. If you don’t follow the aftercare instructions prescribed by the microblading artist, it will probably affect the retention, and they will fade very quickly.
  • Skincare routine. The lifespan of your microbladed brows depends on the cosmetic products you use, since certain ingredients speed up the fading.
  • Skin type. People with dry skin can expect their brows to last longer. People with oily skin might need frequent touch ups if they want to prolong the duration of their microbladed eyebrows.

To prolong your microblading, book a touch up appointment when you notice that your microbladed brows are fading, that they are losing shape and that you need to fill them with brow products. The longer you wait, the more work will be needed and you’ll pay for the touch up more.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Your Microbladed Eyebrows

Image source: Instagram @freya_vera

MICROBLADING SIDE EFFECTS

Is Microblading Safe?

Microblading eyebrows is generally considered a non-invasive treatment, and is safe for most people.

That said, it does involve the breaking of the surface of the skin, and thus carries certain risks, mainly the possibility of an allergic reaction to pigments, and skin infections.

Infections are not that common, but they can happen if the tools used are not sterile, or the pigments get contaminated on their way into the skin. They can also develop in the days after the procedure, while the skin hasn’t healed.

If you choose a certified artist who works with sterile equipment, and you follow the microblading aftercare instructions they give you, there is nothing to worry about!

Potential Side Effects of Microblading Eyebrows You Might Encounter:

  • Swollen eyebrows
  • Eyebrows too dark
  • Itchiness
  • Scabbing
  • Quick pigment fading (oily skin)
  • Irritations
  • Infections
  • Allergy

Can You Be Allergic to Microblading?

Unfortunately, yes, some people may get an allergic reaction to the treatment. If you are allergic to tattoo ink, it’s likely you will be allergic to PMU pigments, too, but this is not a rule, since PMU pigments are generally cleaner.

Also, numbing cream or the pigment itself get into the bloodstream and cause a more severe allergic reactions.

Some pigments contain Paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is used in hair dye and which some people are allergic to. Luckily, there is a wide range of pigments available on the market, so warn your artist about the allergies and make sure they don’t use pigments with PPD.

A patch tests is always recommended, to check if you are allergic to a pigment or not. Most artists do them anyway, but in case you’re prone to allergic reactions in general, definitely insist on a patch test.

It is also vital not to apply any cosmetic products or makeup onto the brows right after the treatment, i.e. before the healing period is finished, because that can lead to an allergic reaction as well, and even infections.

Does Microblading Affect Hair Growth?

Microblading neither encourages nor prevents hair growth. Don’t be afraid you’ll lose your natural brows because of microblading – it is perfectly safe.

MICROBLADING REMOVAL

Can Microbladed Eyebrows Be Removed?

Yes, microblading can be removed. It is usually done if a person ends up with a botched microblading, or doesn’t like it anymore, or if the microblading hasn’t faded completely, and the persistent pigment needs to be removed before a new eyebrow tattoo treatment. 

The most effective removal treatments are:

Can Microbladed Eyebrows Be Removed?

Image source: Instagram @nora_phimaster

MICROBLADING COST

How Much Does Microblading Cost?

How much is microblading varies depending on your location, the competition in the area, as well as the popularity of the artist and the academy where they trained. The average price of microblading treatment is about $600, but it can go up to $2000.

Also, bear in mind that you will need to have the touch-up appointment once your brows have healed, and additional touch-ups afterwards, which are not necessary but can prolong the effects.

The first touch up is sometimes included in the price, since it’s obligatory, but some artists charge it separately. Other touch-ups are optional, and they are usually not included. Each of them costs around $100-$200, but the price depends on the artist.

BENEFITS OF MICROBLADING 

What Are the Advantages of Microblading Eyebrows?

  • It will save time
  • It looks extremely natural
  • It’s long-lasting
  • It doesn’t last forever, so you can modify the shape after it fades
  • It’s low-maintenance 
  • It’s waterproof
  • It doesn’t run or smudge
  • It fixes sparse brows
  • It’s customized to suit your face
  • It can create brows from scratch

MICROBLADING POPULARITY

Interest over time for microblading search term - Google Trends

Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given time worldwide. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.

As you can see on the graph above, the term ‘microblading’ doesn’t seem to have lost any popularity over the recent years. With minor fluctuations due to COVID-19, it keeps rather high positions on the Google Trends graph.  

MICROBLADING EYEBROWS – MAIN TAKEAWAYS

Microblading is the most popular form of permanent makeup for a reason.

It saves time, boosts your confidence, fixes any small brow imperfections you may be feeling self-conscious about. And all that without reapplying, running, smudging, or worrying about your brows for up months or years!

This treatment can truly change your life, but make sure you always go to a trained, certified artist in order to stay safe and get fabulous results. 

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