Powder Brows vs Microshading: Similarities and Differences

PMUHub lists the most important differences between two popular eyebrow permanent makeup treatments. Check out our Powder Brows vs. Microshading guide.

powder brows vs microshading

Image source: Instagram @ibeautified

Powder brows are already a staple in the permanent makeup industry. They are even becoming more popular than the most famous eyebrow tattoo treatment – microblading.

But is powder brows the same thing as microshading? Or these are two completely different treatments.

Let’s compare powder brows vs microshading and find out more about both treatments.

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What Is Powder Brows?

Powder brows is a cosmetic brow tattoo treatment. It’s done with a machine and permanent makeup pigments which fade after some time.

Powder brows give a pixelated, powdery and makeup look to the brows. So, there are no hair strokes, as with microblading.

Learn all about powder brows in this guide.

what is powder brows treatmentImage source: Instagram @pmu_evelina

What Is Microshading?

Microshading is also a cosmetic eyebrow tattoo treatment, very similar to powder brows.

It uses a permanent makeup machine or can be done manually with a hand-held tool, and the same pigments as other brow treatments to add pixels, and give the same, shading effect.

Microshading also fades after some time.

It may or may not include some hair strokes. If it does, it’s usually called combo brows.

Learn all about the treatment in this ultimate guide.

what is microshading
Image source: Instagram @hvartistry_

So, Powder Brows and Microshading Are the Same Treatment?

Well, powder brows vs microshading have so much in common that they really do sound like the same treatment.

Here are the similarities between microshading vs powder brows:

  • Both treatments are done with a permanent makeup machine
  • Both treatments are done with permanent makeup pigments
  • They give similar, powdery, and pixelated effect
  • They both have a healing period and require aftercare (this is common for all eyebrow tattoos)

If you’re confused about what treatment you want, it’s best to find an artist who seems reliable and trustworthy, and consult them.

powder brows vs microshading differences
Image source: Instagram @sunny_phibrows

But What Are the Powder Brows vs Microshading Differences Then?

With so many similarities, it’s hard to distinguish microshading from powder brows.

So here’s where the confusion is. While some PMU artists say that powder brows and microshading are the same, others don’t really think so.

Others say that microshading is much lighter, mistier, and usually an addition to microblading. If a client wants some density and volume to the hair stroke brows, shading or microshading is added.

Powder brows are more dramatic, and usually more solid, opaque shading.

There are also those artists who consider microshading as the combination of microblading and shading. So, for them, microshading includes hair strokes, while powder brows have no hair strokes drawn at all.

are powder brows and microshading the same treatmentImage source: Instagram @makebrowup__skien

What About Microshading vs Ombre Brows?

Ombre brows are in fact powder brows with a lighter head and darker tail. This gradation of color is called the ombre effect and it’s popular on hair, nails, and now on eyebrows too.

So basically, it’s when powder brows or microshading are not that saturated on the heads of the eyebrows.

Powder Brows vs Microshading Healing and Aftercare

As said above, both treatments will go through healing stages and require an aftercare routine.

Here’s more about what to expect in the days after the treatment:

Day 1

Your eyebrows will be oozing lymph so you need to blot it off with a cotton pad and just a drop of water. Repeat this a couple of times on day 1.

Days 2 & 3

Your brows may look too dark and you may experience brow shock. That means that they need some time to get used to the transformation and accept the fact that the results will definitely look much lighter by the time the healing period ends.

Start washing your eyebrows with antibacterial soap and a little bit of water. No rubbing – be as gentle as you can. Make sure you don’t splash water on your eyebrows. Keep them dry afterward and apply a healing ointment if advised.

Days 4-10

The scabs will start to form and then peel. The scabbing intensity is individual – it can be from very light, barely noticeable, to heavy chunks. It mostly depends on your skin type.

It’s important to clean your eyebrows regularly to avoid heavy scabbing, which can be problematic.

When the peeling is over, the surface healing process is done. However, that’s not the end of the full healing process.

Days 14-21

Your brows continue to heal. If the scabbing and peeling are over, you can stop with the aftercare routine.

The eyebrows can look gappy and light after the scabs have fallen off. But you shouldn’t touch them up for another few weeks. You are allowed to fill them in with makeup if necessary until it’s time for the touch up appointment.

Days 21-42

Your brows are finishing the healing process. They will regain their true color.

After 6-8 weeks from the initial treatment, it’s time for a touch up. Touch up is there to fill in the possible gaps and add more color if needed. Don’t skip it – if you do, the results may not be as good as you expect. Also, the brows will fade sooner.

powder brows healing progress
Image source: Instagram @beaubrilliance

Which Lasts Longer, Powder Brows vs Microshading?

Both treatments will last approximately the same – about 2 years. Shading is said to last longer than hair strokes brows.

Longevity depends mostly on the skin type and your lifestyle. Any brow tattoo will fade faster on oilier skin.

Also, if you spend a lot of time in the sun or in the water it can also speed up the fading of your powder brows or microshading, as well as certain skincare ingredients.

Powder Brows vs Microshading Price

If microshading is done on its own (without hair strokes), then the price of powder brows and microshading is the same, which is somewhere around $600, depending on the location, popularity of the salon/artist and other factors.

If both hair strokes and shading is done, then the price of the entire treatment may be a little higher.

Here’s a more detailed overview of powder brows prices, and here’s a more detailed overview of microshading prices.

powder brows vs microshading price
Image source: Instagram @studiomilicasavic

Which One Should I Choose?

Well, it’s best to talk to your permanent makeup artist. They will advise you on which style is the best for you. But most artists say that powder brows and microshading are the same things, and they usually call it just powder brows.

If they consider microshading to include hair strokes, make sure you understand that. Clear up the confusion by asking about both treatments.

Powder Brows vs Microshading – Main Takeaways

For most permanent makeup artists, powder brows and microshading are the same treatment. Others will claim that microshading is more similar to combo brows and that it includes hair strokes.

Before you book the treatment make sure you understand what the treatment means, in order to get what you want.



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