Last updated in January 2022.
Getting your brows enhanced with microblading has been so well known everyone has at least heard about it. But what about microfeathering?
Trends in brow PMU change every few years, but this one’s been popping up from time to time as one of the more desirable ones. So desirable it evolved into an established form of microblading that many artists offer as a treatment independent from basic microblading.
Here’s everything you need to know about feather eyebrows.
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What Are Feather Eyebrows?
Feather eyebrows, or microfeathering, are a form of brow tattoo that enhances the natural brow arches by creating extra strokes on the skin that look like hairs. It’s a long-lasting form of filling in your brows, and it can camouflage sparse patches, add volume, modify the shape of the arches, and give you the brows of year dreams.
Eyebrow feathering is a form of cosmetic tattoo for the brows and its results last about 18 months.
Image source: Instagram @vonpriskbrows
How Are Feather Eyebrows Done?
Microfeathering is a form of microblading, meaning it’s done the same way. Tiny scratches that imitate brow hairs are drawn on the skin with a very thin, hand-held blade. Those incisions are filled with PMU pigments, and once they heal, they look indistinguishable from actual hairs.
Alternatively, micro feathering eyebrows with a machine is possible. So-called nano brows is microblading done with a PMU machine, and it’s said to be more suitable for oily skin, and to last slightly longer.
It’s important to note that eyebrow feathering is a 2-step process. It’s done in 2 sessions, the initial blading and a 6-8 week touch up necessary for perfecting the results.
Does Microfeathering Hurt?
Before the treatment starts, your skin is numbed with a topical anesthetic, so you won’t feel pain, but some discomfort is inevitable.
To find out more about what the treatment feels like, read this article.
What’s Special About Eyebrow Feathering?
The name of the treatment is quite illustrative – the brows are fluffed up to look feathery. The microblading technique can be used to create a range of different brow styles, depending on your preference, and feather eyebrows are the most natural-looking pattern.
The strokes of micro feathering are long and thin, giving the arch that fluffy look, like your brows naturally grow longer. They look delicate and blend nicely into the natural hairs.
Image source: Instagram @alice_msp_microblading
How Long Do Feather Eyebrows Last?
The average lifespan of feather eyebrows is around 18 months, but they can fade faster, or last out longer than this. It all depends on your body chemistry, skin type, lifestyle, and the quality of pigments used.
For more detailed info on the treatment longevity, check out this article.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Microfeathering Eyebrows?
Eyebrow feathering is most suitable for clients with dry to normal skin who already have relatively thick brows, but want to fluff them up and enhance them a bit further. Of course, the treatment can also be done on clients who have sparser brows, but regular microblading gives more realistic results when creating the brows almost from scratch.
Microfeathering is done by adding hair strokes, so it gives the illusion of natural volume, not a makeup look. Your brows will look naturally thick, and they’ll match any makeup look you create.
Who Isn’t a Good Candidate for Eyebrow Feathering?
Just like microblading, eyebrow feathering is not really a good option for clients with oily skin and large pores. The sebum overproduction causes poorer pigment retention and makes the strokes blur, merge, and fade more quickly.
Other than oily skin, there are other contraindications. The feather eyebrows treatment is not safe for:
- clients with diabetes (consult your doctor)
- clients with any bleeding disorders
- clients who take blood-thinning medications (consult your GP and discontinue use if possible)
- clients who’ve recently had Botox injections or fillers (wait at least 4 weeks)
- pregnant or nursing clients
- clients with a history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring
- clients with viral infections or diseases
- clients undergoing chemotherapy and cancer treatment
- clients with skin irritations, Rosacea, Eczema or Psoriasis near the treated area
- clients whose skin was tanned recently
This list is not final. If you have any medical conditions or take medications not listed, tell your artist and let them assess if the treatment is safe for you.
How Do I Prepare for the Appointment?
There’s some pre-care you need to follow to make sure your appointment goes smoothly and you get the best possible results:
- You must be healthy. Most artists will ask for your medical history, but even if you have a more severe cold, it’s wise to postpone your treatment until you’re totally healthy.
- You shouldn’t drink caffeine or alcohol at least 24 hours before the procedure.
- If possible, stop taking blood thinners (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Niacin, Vitamin E, B6, Omega 3, Ginkgo Biloba, Primrose, etc.) at least 1 week before your procedure. Consult your GP.
- Don’t wax or tint the area at least 7 days before the procedure. Let the artist see the real shape of your natural eyebrows and work with them.
- Don’t get any facials or peels at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
- Don’t get any facial injections at least 4 weeks before the procedure.
Image source: Instagram @binxinks
What Does the Appointment Look Like?
The appointment takes around 2 hours.
The first part of the treatment are consults, where you share your expectations with your artist, and you decide on the shape and color of your future feather eyebrows. Take their advice into consideration – they’ll know what will suit your features best. They’ll measure and map your brows, and if you’re happy with the shape, they can proceed.
A numbing cream is used to make the treatment as comfortable as possible. It takes some time to start working, and when it does, the blading starts.
The artist will go back and forth between the brows, adding hair strokes. They’ll go over each brow multiple times to saturate the incisions with pigment. If it gets painful at any point, they can probably add more numbing.
After the treatment, you’ll be prescribed an aftercare routine you need to follow. Once your brows heal, after 6-8 weeks, you will come in for the touch up session where the results will be perfected and finalized.
What’s Feather Eyebrows Healing Process Like?
Since feather eyebrows are created by breaking the surface of the skin, it needs some time to heal. Feather brows healing is not very intense, but it does entail some annoying phases.
The stages of feather eyebrows healing are:
- Initial swelling, redness and tenderness; brows too dark
- Scab formation
- Scab peeling; pigment underneath too light
- The color darkens over several weeks
In the first 2 weeks, you need to follow an aftercare routine to ensure your brows heal properly and to prevent infection.
During healing, some of the pigment is extracted from the skin and your brows may look patchy or too light in some spots. That’s why you need to get a 6-8 week touch up to add more pigments, perfect the results, and make sure they last as long as possible.
For more information and a timeline of microfeathering healing, read our Healing Guide.
What to Avoid During Healing
- Avoid getting the skincare you normally use on the brow area. Many products are too harsh for healing brows, and certain ingredients accelerate PMU fading.
- No makeup in the brow area for at least 14 days. It can cause irritation or infection.
- Don’t touch your brows.
- Don’t pick the scabs.
- Don’t sleep on your face.
- Avoid activities that cause excessive sweating.
- Avoid long showers, saunas and swimming.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning.
- Avoid facial treatments until the area is completely healed.
What’s Feather Eyebrows Aftercare Like?
Feather eyebrows aftercare is really simple and you only need to follow it for about 14 days, but do take it seriously. Otherwise, you risk ruining the results of the treatment.
Here are basic microfeathering aftercare instructions:
- On days 1 and 2, clean your brows with a damp cotton pad to remove the built-up lymph.
- From day 3, wash your brows once or twice a day and apply an aftercare ointment if prescribed. Some artists exclude the ointment depending on skin type.
- Once all the scabs have flaked off and the skin stops peeling, you don’t have to follow the aftercare routine anymore.
For more detailed info on microblading aftercare and maintaining your brows once healed, read our Aftercare Guide.
Image source: Instagram @nadiabeautydiaries
How Often Do I Need My Microfeathering Touched Up?
Your feather brows will gradually fade over a period of around 18 months, so they need to be touched up every once in a while if you want to prolong the results. After the 1st, mandatory touch up, most clients like to book color boost once a year. This is enough to keep the brows looking fresh, but you can get touch up more frequently if you notice your brows are fading faster.
Clients with oily skin will probably need more frequent touch ups.
Are There Any Risks and Side-Effects to the Treatment?
Since it involves breaking the skin, eyebrow feathering carries certain risks. To avoid them, carefully research the artist you’re booking with. Make sure they work in sterile conditions, use high-quality products and most importantly, are certified and licensed.
Complications and infections usually occur due to the artist not being too skilled or the client not following the aftercare tips.
Some swelling and redness are expected after the treatment. Don’t touch the scabs during the healing period or you risk permanent scarring and ruining the results.
Allergic reactions can be prevented with a patch test. Infections are very rare, but if you experience swelling, itchiness and redness which are unusual and don’t look normal, contact your artist and dermatologist.
Can Feather Eyebrows Be Removed?
Yes. If you decide you don’t want them anymore, feather eyebrows can be removed. Currently, there are 3 methods for successful brow tattoo removal:
These methods work well on old microfeatehring. But if you somehow end up with botched brows and you need emergency removal, saline removal and glycolic acid removal are the only options, and they can be done in the first 48 hours after the treatment, before the brows start healing. If healing starts, you need to wait 6-8 weeks.
Microfeathering vs Microblading
Feather eyebrows are usually considered a pattern of microblading, a special microblading style that gives fluffier results than the basic treatment. The strokes are somewhat longer, and they’re not strictly confined within the brow arch, but may poke out a bit.
It’s done in the same way, the only difference is that, with microfeathering the strokes are more dispersed. They don’t cover the whole surface of the brow arch, but are rather cleverly placed here and there, to fill in any sparser patches. Also, thinner blades may be used to create more delicate strokes, but not necessarily.
It’s also worth mentioning that feather brows can be created with a PMU machine.
Study both basic microblading and microfeathering before and after photos on artists’ social media and decide which style you prefer.
Image source: Instagram @suziemcintosh
How Much Does Microfeathering Cost?
Since it’s a pattern of microblading, microfeathering is charged the same. The average microfeathering cost is somewhere around $600, but you can find artists who work at lower prices, but also those who charge over $1000.
For a more detailed overview of microblading prices in various locations, check out the results of our research.
Feather Eyebrows – Main Takeaways
As a very popular microblading pattern, feather eyebrows are a great way to enhance your brows in a long-lasting way. It’s a form of eyebrow tattooing which adds extra hair strokes into the arches, between the natural brow hairs. It gives a subtle but effective enhancement which lasts up to 18 months, or even longer with occasional touch ups.
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