If you’re considering getting a permanent makeup treatment for eyebrows, you might be wondering which is better: powder brows vs microblading? PMUHub will help you decide.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2020. Updated in December 2021.
PMU artists have developed many variations and upgraded versions of permanent makeup for eyebrows. Therefore, you can choose the treatment that suits your skin type and your style best.
Let’s take a look at the differences between powder brows vs microblading to understand the treatments better – who they are for, the techniques used, the effects achieved, and more.
The short answer is yes.
There are many differences between these two PMU procedures, and they deal with the way they are performed and the final look.
Powder eyebrows are a semi-permanent makeup technique that gives the eyebrows a misty, powdered effect, similar to wearing makeup.
It is done by inserting PMU pigments into the surface layers of the skin using a machine designed for cosmetic tattooing and the ‘dotting’ technique, or pixelization. The 2-step procedure consists of the initial insertion of the pigment, and a touch up about 6 weeks after the initial procedure.
Want to find out more about powder brows? Follow the links:
Image source: Instagram @katarzynateresiak.pmu
Microblading eyebrows is another semi-permanent makeup treatment that enhances the eyebrows but in a very subtle, natural-looking way.
It also implies PMU pigments being inserted into the surface layers of the skin, but it’s done with a manual tool that looks like a blade consisting of several tiny needles. The blade is used to draw hair-like strokes on the skin, imitating brow hairs. The results are natural and fuller brows.
As with powder brows, after the initial appointment, there is a touch-up about 6 weeks later.
Want to find out more about microblading? Follow the links:
Image source: Instagram @phibrows_by_ana
Both will give you more volume and bespoke arches, so you won’t go wrong with either powder brow vs microblading.
Another thing these treatments have in common is that they are both semi-permanent.
This means that they fade away after some time and the treatment needs to be repeated if you want to maintain the look. Both treatments usually last from 1 to 3 years depending on your skin type, lifestyle, cosmetic products you use, etc.
After any permanent makeup procedure, the skin needs some time to recover and the pigments to settle. This takes about 6 weeks for both powder brows and microblading.
Since the surface of the skin is broken, the microwounds go through a healing process that implies periods of intense darkness, intense lightness, scabbing, and flaking.
Find out more on microblading vs powder brows healing by following the links:
Both powder brows and microblading include inserting pigment into the surface layer of the skin, and some of it will inevitably be extracted with the scabs during healing.
That’s why the touch up appointment is an integral part of both microblading and powder brows treatments. At the touch up, the PMU artist adds more pigment either in strokes or in pixels where it didn’t settle properly.
The touch up for both treatments is performed 6-8 weeks after the initial pigmentation.
Microblading is done in strokes that imitate the look of natural hair, and the idea is to make them look so realistic it’s impossible to distinguish them from the hairs.
Powder brows give a more dramatic look, with a shade being created underneath the natural hairs. The powdery effect resembles the look of wearing makeup, and it can be as subtle or as obvious as you like.
In the case of ombre powder brows, the saturation pattern creates an ombre effect, with the heads of the brows lighter, and the tails gradually darker.
The main difference between these procedures is the way they are done.
With microblading, micro incisions are made manually. A hand tool is dipped into pigment and applied into the upper dermis as individual hair strokes. These hair strokes resemble eyebrow hairs.
Powder brows are done with a PMU machine. It involves the application of thousands of tiny dots of pigment, inserted into the skin.
Image source: Instagram @ricbrows
Both procedures are a bit uncomfortable, but not painful, as most clients report. A numbing cream is applied onto the area that is about to be treated and you probably won’t feel any pain.
Microblading can be a little more unpleasant than powder brows because the incisions are made slowly and the blade is dragged through the skin. There might be some more blood than with machine work.
So, when it comes to powder brows vs microblading pain levels, they are similar, but microblading might be more uncomfortable.
Healing time and process is also quite similar for both powder brows and microblading. They both take 4-6 weeks to completely heal.
The process of recovery has several stages. Your brows will be dark and swollen after the procedure and you need to follow strict aftercare rules for two weeks. Your brows will change color and scabbing is usually involved after both treatments.
So, powder brows vs microblading healing processes are similar, since they both last about 6 weeks.
The life expectancy of the microblading treatment is about 2 years, but it may vary.
For most people, powder brows last a little bit longer than microblading. They can last 3, and even up to 4 years.
The longevity of both microblading and powder brows depends on your skin type, lifestyle, skincare routine, etc. If you do some sport, sweat a lot and are exposed to the sun often, your microblading/powder brow will fade faster. You can prolong both brow’s effects by booking regular touch ups.
So, the longevity of powder brows vs microblading is not the same, with powder brows lasting a bit longer. However, there are no rules here and it’s all very individual.
Image source: Instagram @artistryaliss
As PMUHub’s research has shown, there is no significant difference in the price of powder brows vs microblading.
In the USA, the average price of both treatments is just under $600, but it may vary significantly from artist to artist. It depends on different factors such as location, the popularity of a salon or an artist, material used etc.
So, the price shouldn’t be a factor when deciding between powder brows vs microblading, since both are priced at an average of $600.
Since microblading fades faster, touch ups should be done every 6-12 months. With powder brows, you can have touch ups every 8-16 months.
The frequency of touch up varies and depends on how fast your brows fade. Fading depends on your lifestyle and skin type. For example, people with dry skin, or people who don’t sweat a lot, might need a touch up once a year.
So, there is no universal answer on how often you need touch ups for either powder brows vs microblading. It comes down to how fast your eyebrows fade.
You should book a color boost appointment when you notice your eyebrow tattoo needs refreshment.
If you’re deciding between powder brows vs microblading, consider the following:
Image source: Instagram @jessiedillon_
The answer comes down to your personal preferences.
Microblading is a bit more popular than powder brows because it gives more natural results.
However, the powder brows treatment has its fans, too. The makeup look will ensure you’re glammed up at any moment.
Image source: Instagram @gabrielaaddie
Yes, microblading and powder brows can be combined into combo brows, so you don’t have to decide between powder brows vs microblading.
Combo brows are perfect for people who want denser, more defined brows, but a more subtle look. It is done using both the manual tool and the machine, so it works for all skin types.
Both microblading and powder brows are great solutions for having perfect low-maintenance brows every day.
However, there might be a slight advantage of powder brows vs microblading, since powder brows work on all skin types, and last a bit longer. If you are still not sure which one to choose, carefully study your options and consult an expert.