PMUHub brings you the ultimate guide to everything you ever wanted to know about microblading eyebrows – a semi permanent makeup treatment explained in detail.
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?
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!
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.
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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.
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:
The microblading procedure itself lasts approximately an hour and a half.
No! The artist works around the natural hairs, so there’s no need to remove your eyebrows for microblading.
The actual treatment consists of several steps that usually look like this:
The artist prepares the area around the brows by threading the stray hair and cleaning up the area.
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.
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.
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 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.
A final layer of pigment is added, after which the eyebrow area is cleaned.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, microblading isn’t safe for people who suffer from certain conditions:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now that we’ve explained what the microblading process is like, you’re probably wondering what to expect after microblading eyebrows.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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