Microshading: The Ultimate Guide

Having thick, dense and bushy brows has been the key ingredient in any makeup look for quite some time now. These natural eyebrows have, thankfully, substituted the pencil-drawn ones, and since then everybody has been trying to make their brows appear as natural and thick as possible.

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.

However, not everyone had Cara Delevigne luck, so the alternatives had to be found. First, there was microblading, the game-changing semi-permanent eyebrow treatment, in which delicate, hair-like strokes are carved into the skin with a special blade and filled with ink. Now, this already world-wide popular treatment has got an upgrade in the form of microshading – a treatment which uses a tool which creates a soft, powdered look by placing small pin-point dots of pigment into your skin.

Although this cosmetic procedure is rapidly gaining on popularity, there might still be some unanswered questions about this treatment which we will try to answer in this guide.

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What is Microshading?

Microshading is a semi-permanent makeup technique in which pigment is inserted under your skin using a manual or electric tool with needles which administrates tiny, pin-like dots in a gradient pattern, creating a semi-permanent powdered effect.

Yet another name for this treatment is powder brows, due to its subtler look in which the tail of the brow is darker and fades to a lighter shade towards the start of a brow, giving it a softer look. Note that some artists consider microshading and powder brows one and the same, while the others make a slight difference.

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

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Who is Microshading for?

These ombre powder eyebrows, as they are also known, are a dream-come-true for all those desiring more evenly and consistently applied ink throughout the brow. 

The incisions made with microshading tool are smaller than those with a blade, so this procedure is more gentle and less invasive than microblading, and most importantly, it is a perfect solution for everyone with sensitive and oily skin. In addition, this technique is perfect for anyone with sparse, over-plucked or light-colored brows.

What is the Difference Between Microshading and Microblading?

As mentioned, microblading uses manual blades to make cuts which mimic natural hairs and are filled with the ink. Microshading technique on the other hand, uses mostly an electric tool (sometimes it is done manually as well), which resembles mini tattoo gun with numerous needles which ensures that the ink is applied consistently and evenly throughout the brow. Therefore, the ink is the same for both treatments but the application, and the final look is different.

Many consider microshading a gentle version of microblading since the process is less painful and the looks differ in a sense that microbladed eyebrows mimic natural hairs, whereas microshading gives a powdered effect to the brows. Many opt for the combination of these two treatments to achieve their perfect look.

For an in depth comparison of both treatments, visit our Microshading vs. Microblading page.


How Long Does Microshading Procedure Take?

The whole treatment usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours.

What Does Microshading Procedure Look Like?

These are the usual steps:

  • First step is always a consultation with your chosen permanent makeup artist. This is the moment when you shouldn’t keep quiet but ask everything you wish to know about the treatment itself and the aftercare process, as well.
  • Next is choosing the shape and pigment with the help of the artist.
  • Then the artist draws the shape of your brows with a pencil.
  • After this, a numbing cream is applied on the eyebrow area which needs some time to start kicking.
  • Then, microshading process begins and it usually lasts from one to two hours.

Is Microshading Painful?

Although the procedure might sound painful, the fact that makes it less frightening is a topical ointment which is applied on the treated area, so at worst you will feel slight discomfort. But, what is that for a prolonged period of having awesome brows?

Is Microshading Safe?

Any procedure we do on our bodies carries certain level of risk, regardless of how small it is, and microshading is no difference. Knowing that a technician will have to break the dermal layer of skin to insert the pigment using a needle, causing injury to the area, brings risk of infection. Apart from this, there are common side effects which are not a reason for worry.


How to Prepare for Microshading Treatment?

The most important thing you have to do is to do a thorough research of the makeup artists in your neighborhood or town and choose the one who has proper credentials, experience, and positive reviews. Go to their Instagram account or a website and check before and after photos and make sure that their style suits you.

Having a recommendation from somebody is a best way to go, but if you are a pioneer in microshading eyebrows in your surroundings then it is your task to find a trustworthy artist.

Also, feel free to ask the artist everything you want to know, they should be able to give you detailed step by step explanation about the procedure and the aftercare. And, most importantly, stick to the artist’s advice about before and after the procedure-this will determine the level of success of your treatment.

There are a few things you should do in order to prepare for the treatment:

  • Don’t go sunbathing or tanning and try not to work out on that day
  • Stop using any retinol or Vitamin A products one month prior
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, ibuprofen, aspirin and fish oil supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment
  • Don’t pluck or wax your eyebrows at least a week before the treatment 
  • Also, don’t do any facials at least two weeks before the treatment


What Does Microshading Aftercare Involve?

After permanent makeup artist did his or her work, it is your turn to do your part – the aftercare. Although there are some differences in the aftercare approach-some insist that the treated area should be kept dry for around 10 days, while others believe it should be cleaned with a cotton pad dampen with water, everyone agrees that the area should be bacteria free.

Therefore, make sure you are familiar with the microshading aftercare steps your aesthetician recommends and stick to them. Your hands must be completely clean when caring about your eyebrows. Don’t forget to regularly apply aftercare ointment.

Also, make sure you avoid the following activities:

  • Swimming
  • Sport activities or anything that will cause excessive sweating
  • Hot sauna, hot baths, lengthy showers or jacuzzi use
  • Sun tanning or salon tanning
  • Any kind of chemical peels
  • Picking, peeling, or scratching the pigmented area
  • Sleeping on your face  

For a complete overview of aftercare tips visit our Microshading aftercare page.

Can I Wear Makeup After Microshading Treatment?

As mentioned above, your skin care routine will be slightly altered post-microshading since you won’t be able to wash your face in a regular way. This also refers to wearing makeup, so refrain from using it for about two weeks to allow the small cuts to fully heal.

Although you are technically allowed to apply makeup on the other parts of your face, it’s advisable not to, since the treated area is prone to infections. This can be a problem if you have some important event coming, so plan your microshading treatment carefully!


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

It takes around a month for your brows to completely heal. This process is vital to ensuring long-term success. Your artist will advise you on proper cleansers and aftercare creams which will help your brows to heal in a right way and to prevent infection.

What you should know is that your eyebrows will go through several phases during the healing cycle and not all of them will be very pleasing to the eye. The pigment will first appear very sharp and dark, but the color of the ink will soften gradually. So, don’t worry, and most importantly don’t panic, this is all part of the process.

Understand the whole process of healing on our Microshading healing process page.

How Does the Healing Process Look Like by Weeks?

1st week: Your eyebrows will probably be a bit swollen and dark at first and skin little red around the treated area. At this point, it is crucial to rigorously follow the aftercare steps.

2nd week: During this period, the scabs will start to flake off and your microshaded brows will look lighter than they are supposed to, but do not worry, it is your skin regenerating and naturally exfoliating. Your eyebrows will regain the color after some time.

4-6th week: Four to six weeks after the treatment, depending on your healing process, your brows will seem a little uneven and patchy, which is why you have the mandatory touch-up session. The first touch-up is done after the pigment has fully set in, which is never earlier than one month after the treatment. Its purpose is to fill in the gaps and fix anything you don’t like or want to change.

PMUHub tip: After these six weeks of little trouble, your dream eyebrows are fully ready for you and you can finally enjoy them.


When Should You Get a Microshading Touch Up?

Touch ups are essential for any semi-permanent makeup treatment and microshading is no different. The first follow-up appointment is built in price for an obvious reason – it’s mandatory. As mentioned above, the first revisit to your aesthetician is around a month after the procedure. During this touch up, all the irregularities are fixed and all the potential patches without the pigment are filled. Note that if you went only for a light microshading effect, some technicians will not require a final touch up.

Other touch ups are not obligatory and therefore are up to you. The cool thing about this technique is that, if done properly, can last for at least a year without additional touch ups, and in many cases even longer. Another benefit of microshaded eyebrows is that they are not affected by oily skin, so they will stay as they are even if you have troubles with it.


How Long Will My Microshaded Eyebrows Last?

Being a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment, microshading can last from one to three years with proper maintenance and touch ups which are recommended to lengthen the results.

Having replaced the natural-looking hair strokes of microblading with small pin-pointed dots, this procedure can last even longer than typical microblading, with the average treatment lasting two years. However, note that your aftercare routine and general lifestyle in combination with your skin type will affect how long brows last.

If you want to have your microshaded eyebrows for many years, it would be the best to book an appointment with your aesthetician as soon as you notice that your pigment is fading. If you wait too long, you will perhaps need to go through the whole process again which is longer and more expensive.


Are There Any Side Effects of Microshading?

As mentioned above, you can experience redness and itchiness just after the treatment and the eyebrow area will be swollen. This is perfectly normal, as well as scabbing that will follow a few days later, so prepare yourself for a bit of discomfort. It is crucial not to scratch it by no means.

The good thing is that microshading is especially suitable for people with sensitive skin and, since the procedure is not that invasive, the side effects shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

This is all true if the procedure is done by an experienced and certified technician who uses sterile equipment. If you had a misfortune of encountering a poorly trained person and you develop an infection, seek medical help at once.

Most common side effects that one might encounter:

  • Swollen eyebrows
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Scabbing
  • Irritations
  • Infections
  • Allergy

Find out about more serious risks, which are similar to the ones from microblading.

Can You Be Allergic to Microshading?

Although allergic reactions are rare, it could be possible for certain individuals to develop allergies to either the pigment of the numbing cream used in the process.

Some pigments contain paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is used in the hair dye and some people are allergic to it. Luckily, there is a wide range of pigments, so you should only warn your artist about your allergies and they will make sure to use the proper ones.

patch test is recommended for anyone having doubts about potential allergies to the ink or even a numbing cream. Apart from this, it is not a bad idea to visit an allergist or your doctor to make sure that microshading treatment is safe for you.

Also, do not forget that the immediate aftercare is crucial and, if not done properly, it can lead to allergic reaction as well.


Can Microshaded Eyebrows Be Removed?

With the rising popularity of the treatment, there are many artists emerging and offering their skills. Some of those skills are, unfortunately, not on a satisfactory level and if you had the misfortune of bumping into this group of technicians, it is understandable that you have the desire to remove your unwanted brows. Or, you simply grew tired of them and wish new or different ones in another shape or color.

If any of this is true, good thing is microshading is a semi-permanent makeup technique. After some time, your microshaded eyebrows will fade. So, the best and the safest method would be to wait it out. Also, you can skip touch-ups and hopefully, the pigment will fade away in less than a year. If this is too long for you, there are other ways as well, but note that it isn’t really possible to remove them in one move. 

The easiest way would be to do contrary to aftercare routine – wash your face regularly just after the treatment and use some exfoliating facial products. Go to the sauna o sunbathe. Finally, there is always an option of laser therapy, but is not recommended since it can seriously damage your skin. 

PMUHub tip: Don’t rush and wait (especially if you just did your brows and you don’t like the result) and see how the situation will develop. You might just need time to get used to your new look.

You can always go for a touch up and correct them. And if even then you are not satisfied with the brows, then think about removing them.


How Much Does Microshading Cost?

The price of microshading treatment varies greatly, depending on the location and competition as well as the popularity of the treatment. The average price of a microbshading treatment is between $400 and $1000 in US, while globally is a bit higher and can cost from $700 to $1500.

For a full treatment prrice overview visit our Microshading cost guide.


Eyebrows have, for some time now, been the centerpiece of any makeup look. With microshaded brows, you will have perfectly airbrushed eyebrows every day without a second spent on drawing them.

Furthermore, the treatment can help you overcome some major insecurities that appeared due to a badly shaped brows. And that is, you will agree, priceless!

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