Microblading Eyebrows: The Ultimate Guide

PMUHub brings you the ultimate guide to everything you ever wanted to know about microblading eyebrows – a semi permanent makeup treatment explained in detail.

Microblading Eyebrows: The Ultimate Guide by PMUHub

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2019, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The beauty industry has brought us numerous new treatments that can improve our looks and our lives. One of the most popular PMU treatments is the well-known microblading eyebrows, the queen of eyebrows treatments. But what is microblading eyebrows?

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Full eyebrows are by far the biggest beauty trend that is bound to stick around for a long time. Brow arches are the most prominent feature of a person’s face, and they have the power to transform the features: draw attention to the eyes, add definition, bring out the cheekbones… Unfortunately, not everyone is born with perfectly shaped, lush eyebrows.

The microblading treatment gives you the arches you’ve always wanted, made-to-measure, thick, defined, yet perfectly natural-looking, so more and more women and men are getting the procedure.

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

ABOUT MICROBLADING

What is Microblading and How is Microblading Done?

Microblading is a semi-permanent makeup technique similar to eyebrow tattooing, but far more advanced. It is done manually, with a microblading tool – a blade consisting of 10-12 tiny needles – which is used to make thin incisions of the surface of the skin that imitate the lenght, thickness, and shape of the nautral 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.

Unlike tattooed eyebrows, which look unnatural and last forever, as they go as deep as seven layers into the skin, microblading pigments are inserted between the dermis and the epidermis, at a depth of only 0.08 – 0.15mm.

Want to find out more about microblading? Follow the links:

Microblading Cost

Microblading Before and After

Microblading Reviews

Microblading Salons

What is Microblading and How is Microblading Done?

Image source: Instagram / phibrows_by_ana

Who Does Microblading?

Microblading 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.

Who is the best candidate for microblading?

Image source: YouTube screenshot / Microblading LA

ABOUT MICROBLADING PROCEDURE

How Long Does Microblading Treatment Take?

The whole microblading treatment usually lasts for 2-3 hours, and it is divided into the consultation part, and the actual microblading part. Some artists book the consultations separately from the actual treatment, a few days prior.

The consultations look something like this:

  • You will have a chat with your artist and have to tell them what you want. This is the time to express your wishes about the shape and style you want, and for the artist to assess the best pigment color, so it blends well with your natural hairs, and works with your skintone. Don’t be afraid to be vocal about your wishes – you should be able to ask everything you want to know about the treatment itself and the aftercare – but do take the artist’s suggestions into consideration.
  • 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.
  • Then, the artist draws on the future shape of your brows with a pencil, so you get the idea of what they’ll look like. The artist can also draw on the strokes, so you get the idea of how dense they’ll be.
  • Finally, once you are satisfied with the look, the microblading process starts.

The microblading procedure itself lasts approximately an hour and a half.

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.

What Does Microblading Procedure Look Like?

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

STEP 1: Shaping the brows

The artist prepares the area around the brows by threading the stray hair and cleaning up the area.

STEP 2: Numbing

The brow area is covered with a topical anesthetic, or numbing cream, which is left on for a certain period of time. The time it takes for it to kick in varies from one product to another, but some take as little as 20 minutes.

STEP 3: Preparing the pigment

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

STEP 4: 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.

STEP 5: 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.

STEP 6: Implementing the pigment

A final layer of pigment is added, after which the eyebrow area is cleaned.

STEP 7: The touch up appointment

As skin heals, it is common for a certain amount of pigment to be extracted as the scabbing stage ends. Once the skin has healed and the pigments have settled, the artist fills in the gaps where the pigment hasn’t taken or healed properly.

Is Microblading Painful?

Even though it sounds scary, most clients claim that the microblading treatment does not really hurt.

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

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

Is Microblading Safe?

Although this type of eyebrow filling’s permanent, microblading 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 reation 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 skin hasn’t healed.

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

The chances of an allergic reaction to pigments are very low, but it’s important to do a patch test before they are inserted into the skin. Likewise, it’s not a bad idea to enquire about the type of pigment used, since some cause allergies more often than others.

Finally, there is a number of conditions that make microblading impossible for some people.

Is microblading safe?

Image source: Instagram / eyebrowdoctor

Who Isn’t a Candidate for Microblading?

Unfortunately, microblading isn’t safe for people who suffer from certain conditions:

  • People with diabetes
  • People with serious diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, or autoimmune disorders
  • People with any bleeding disorders
  • People who take blood thinning medications
  • People who’ve recently had Botox injections or fillers in the area (at least 2 weeks should pass before you get your brows microbladed)
  • People with viral infections or diseases
  • People who are going through chemotherapy
  • People with skin irritations or Psoriasis near the treated area

Microblading also isn’t done on skin that’s recently been tanned, and it’s generally considered unsafe for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.

If you’re not sure if getting microblading is safe for you, consult your physician.

PREPARATION

How to Prepare for Microblading Treatment?

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

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

Feel free to ask your microblading artist anything you want to know about the microblading procedure. They need to give you detailed information about the preparation and the aftercare.

Things You Should Avoid Before the Treatment:

  • Don’t go sunbathing or tanning for at least 3 days prior to the treatment
  • Try not to work out on the day of the treatment
  • Stop using retinol or Vitamin A products one 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 a week prior to the treatment
  • Don’t do any facials at least two weeks before the treatment
  • If you’ve had Botox or fillers in the area, wait at least 2 weeks
about microblading treatment

Image source: YouTube screenshot / World Microblading

AFTERCARE

What Does Microblading Aftercare Entail?

The success of the treatment and the attractiveness of the results greatly depends on how you care for eyebrows after microblading. So microblading aftercare is a very important part of the treatment. If you don’t follow the instructions given to you by your esthetician, you’re also risking your health.

Most artists advise keeping the treated area dry for at least ten days after the microblading treatment. Others, on the other hand, claim that washing your brows after the treatment is not forbidden, but it must be done in a certain way which is prescribed by them. You must remove the bacteria, but make sure to do that by gently washing your face and the treated area with an antibacterial soap recommended by your esthetician.

Also, check with your artist which products are strictly forbidden and avoid using them. After washing your brows, dry them by gently patting with a clean tissue. You will need to do this for at least a week.

Besides that, there is a list of things you need to avoid after the treatment.

Activities You Should Avoid After the Microblading Treatment:

  • Exposure to the sun
  • Swimming in the ocean or swimming pools
  • Sleeping on your face
  • Working out and sweating
  • Saunas or steam baths
  • Taking long, hot showers

Always be aware that you mustn’t touch your brows and remove the scabs on your own.

Following these steps as closely as possible is the only way to make your microbladed brows last.

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 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 it at all during the healing period. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid wearing makeup at all for about 2 weeks.

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

For a comprehensive day by day overview + extra tips for all skin types head out to our Microblading aftercare guide.

Activities You Should Avoid After the Microblading Treatment

Image source: Instagram / browaddictllc

HEALING

Now that we’ve explained what the microblading process is like, you’re probably wondering what to expect after microblading eyebrows.

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

The healing process lasts for about a month.

1st week: Your eyebrows will probably be swollen and look too dark at first, but after the healing period is finished, they will start getting 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 2 weeks, 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 appointment: 4 to 6 weeks after the treatment, your 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. Its purpose is to fill in the gaps 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 physically, mentally and emotionally in healing process visit Microblading healing process guide

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

Image source: Instagram / naked.lounge

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 microblading 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 microbladed eyebrows to last longer, you should get one at least every 6 months.

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

THE EFFECTS

How Long Will My Microbladed Eyebrows Last?

Unlike traditional tattooing, which is permanent, microblading is a semi-permanent procedure. The estimated time is 2-3 years, after which the brows fade away as the pigments are broken down by the body.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Your Microbladed Eyebrows:

  • First of all, how you treat your microbladed brows is very important. If you don’t follow the aftercare instructions prescribed by the microblading artist, it is very likely that something will go wrong.
  • Another important factor is your skincare routine. The lifespan of your microbladed brows depends on the cosmetic products you use, since there are certain ingredients that speed up the process of fading.
  • Skin type is another factor. People with dry skin are not only perfect candidates for microblading treatment, but they can also 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.

The best thing to do is to book a touch up appointment as soon as you notice that your microbladed brows are fading. If you wait too long, you might need to repeat the microblading process altogether, which requires more time than a touch up, the healing process is longer, and it is more expensive.

Factors that Affect the Longevity of Your Microbladed Eyebrows

Image source: Instagram / freya_vera

THE SIDE EFFECTS

Are There Any Side Effects to Microblading?

Your freshly microbladed eyebrows will look swollen and too dark at first, which is normal. The pigment will gradually settle and fade away slightly, and they will look good after a couple of weeks.

They can be a little bit itchy at first, but you mustn’t scratch them. Be prepared for some scabbing after the treatment, which might be annoying, especially since you mustn’t touch the scabs.

Learn more about effects of scabbing + extra maintenance tips in Microblading scabbing guide.

If you have larger pores or oily skin, the final outcome might not be as good as you’d expected. The pigment will fade away faster.

Besides that, there is a risk of incorrectly done eyebrows or an infection. These are the risks you are taking if you don’t choose a certified and experienced esthetician. If your eyebrows are not even in color, are assymetrical, look unnatural, or you just don’t like them, you might need to find someone more qualified and skilled to fix them. Luckily, this is a semi-permanent procedure, so they will not stay like that forever.

For a full overview on how a microblading procedure can go wrong, what to do when it does, and what precautions to take to avoid an unsatisfactory result, visit our Microblading gone wrong page.

Potential Side Effects You Might Encounter:

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

Can You Be Allergic to Microblading?

Unfortunately, yes, some people claim to have had allergic reactions to microblading treatment. If you are allergic to tattoo ink, you will probably be allergic to microblading pigments, too.

Also, numbing cream or the pigment itself can 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, so you need to warn your artist about the allergies and make sure they don’t use pigments with PPD.

If you are not sure whether you are allergic to certain pigments or not, the best thing to do is to test the area you want to cover. There are patch tests that are recommended for people who are not sure if they 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 doing one. Alternatively, you can visit an allergist in order to make sure that the microblading treatment is safe for you.

It is also vital not to apply any cosmetic products or make-up 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 that you are going to lose your natural brows because of microblading – it is perfectly safe.

CORRECTION

Can Microbladed Eyebrows Be Removed?

The pigments used for microblading eyebrows is deposited between the dermis and the epidermis, which makes it semi-permanent.

Naturally, microbladed eyebrows are going to fade in time. It is not really possible to undo or remove them in one move, but removal is possible, albeit time-consuming.

Can Microbladed Eyebrows Be Removed?

Image source: Instagram / nora_phimaster

How to Speed Up the Process of Fading?

  • Skip touch ups. Your microbladed brows will regain their original shape and size after less than 8 months. If you can’t wait that long, there are other ways.
  • Certain skincare products and treatments can speed the microblading fading process up significantly: retinol, vitamin C, any type of exfoliation…
  • You can ignore or even go against the rules of aftercare. Wash your face regularly right after the treatment, sweat the pigments out through exercise or hitting the sauna, go swimming and let the saltwater or the chemicals in pools do their magic.
  • There is also the option of professional removal through microneedling, or laser removal. While removal through microneedling may be generally considered safe, laser removal is not recommended, since it is very invasive and can seriously damage your skin.

Our advise is, if you realize you don’t like the results as soon as you leave the salon, don’t get rid of you microbladed eyebrows right after the treatment.

They may be too dark and dense at the beginning, but they will settle into their final shape and color after about a month. Also, you might need some time to get used to your new look. Besides, if they still don’t look the way you want them to after a month, they can be corrected at your first touch up appointment.

Be patient until the recovery period is through and don’t make any hasty decisions. It’s important to let your skin heal before it goes through further trauma. If you still aren’t satisfied with your brows after the first touch up, you can remove them.

To learn more about how to speed up the process of fading and how to remove microblading at home, head out to our Microblading fading guide. If the fading results don’t prove to be satisfactory, consider Microblading removal.

THE 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 $400, but it can go up to $1000.

Also, bear in mind that you will also 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 follow up treatment is usually included in the price, since it is obligatory. Other touch ups are optional, and they are usually not included. Each of them costs around $100, but the price depends on the artist.

TREATMENT POPULARITY

Microblading trend: interest over time for term microblading

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 seen on the graph above, 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.  

MAIN TAKEAWAYS

Microblading is the most popular form of permanent makeup for a reason. It saves time, boosts your confidence, fixes any small imperfections you may be feeling self-conscious about. And all that without reapplying, running, smudging, or worrying about your brows for up to 2 years, and even longer! No wonder so many celebrities have opted for microbladed eyebrows!

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. Remember, microblading is an investment!

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