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What is Microblading?
Microblading originated in Asia over 20 years ago and has gone by many names: eyebrow embroidery, feather touch, micro-stroking and even “the Japanese Method." By 2015, microblading became popular in the United States.
Technically, microblading is a form of eyebrow tattooing. But unlike traditional tattooing, which uses a machine, microblading artists apply each hair stroke with a handheld microblade. This produces a very fine line that resembles real hair. Each individual hair stroke is hand drawn by the artist and blended in with the client’s existing eyebrow hair. With a strong artist at the helm, the results can be gorgeous and very lifelike.
There are many techniques and approaches to microblading. There are 1D Eyebrows, where the hair strokes all go in one direction. There are 3D Eyebrows, where the hair strokes are laid out in a specific pattern across the eyebrow ridges, creating a 3D effect. All of these approaches are valid and part of the art of microblading.
Microblading typically takes two appointments to complete. In the first appointment, the client is profiled and the eyebrows are drawn on with a waterproof pencil, so the artist and client can agree on the look. The artist then microblades the eyebrows and the client is ready to go back into the world. There is some mild scabbing and aftercare required, but your microblading should be completely healed in 30 days.
The second appointment is a touch up at least 30 days after the first session. This allows enough time for the ink in the epidermis to naturally slough off, and the color to settle into your skin. In the touch up appointment, the artist can see how your skin has received the ink and make any necessary corrections.
Sometimes a client’s skin undertones may have unexpected effects on the ink's color, and the artist may need to add color to adjust. These kind of corrections are normal with any microblading artist and an essential part of the process, as everyone’s skin is different and receives ink differently.
What to Expect
A typical microblading appointment lasts 2 to 3 hours, depending on the artist. A touch up appointment lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the amount of work that needs touching up.
A standard appointment will have the following steps:
- Profile the client. First the microblading artist will assess the client’s lifestyle and taste. Do they want something bold or natural? Do they wear makeup everyday or just special occasions? What face shape does the client have? This interview will help the artist create the best brows for their client.
- Draw on the eyebrows. Next the artist will draw the eyebrows directly on the client’s face with a waterproof eyebrow pencil. This will be the artist’s guide for the microblading procedure. This also allows the client to see the final look before any permanent work is performed.
- Microblading. Now the artist begins microblading, according to the drawing they’ve agreed upon with the client.
- Remove the excess ink. Once the microblading is finished, there is lots of extra ink remaining on the client’s face. The artist wipes it off with a baby wipe and the client can see their new eyebrows! Except for some redness, the client will be ready to go back out in public, no problem.
- Photography. Whether or not your artist keeps a fine Instagram like ours, all microblading artists photograph their work for many reasons, not the least of which, to have a record of their own art!
All microblading requires a second touch up appointment, because all client’s skin is different and receives the ink differently. It's impossible to accurately predict how a pigment will be affected by a client’s undertones.
After 30 days, the client should come in for a touch up. This appointment can last as little as 30 minutes or as much as two hours, depending on the amount of work needed. In this appointment, the artist will “warm up” or “cool down” the colors, to get it to match perfectly.
They may also reapply any parts of the microbladed brow that may have naturally sloughed off because the artist didn't go deep enough in the skin.
We encourage our artists to keep a light touch and injure the skin less, which results in finer, more natural lines.
Microblading vs. Eyebrow Tattooing
We hear people sometimes refer to microblading as eyebrow tattooing, which is technically true but not 100% accurate.
Technically, microblading is eyebrow tattooing, but microblading is not like any eyebrow tattoo.
Let’s talk about the key differences.
1. Microblading artists hand draw each line. Eyebrow tattooing uses a machine.
This makes a big difference. Microblading features very fine lines and when applied by a skilled artist, those lines do not “bleed out” over time. Not true of traditional eyebrow tattooing. Eyebrow tattooing is usually done by a machine, with much greater injury to the skin. The lines created are not as fine and over time begin to bleed out. If you’ve ever seen someone tattoo handwriting on their skin, only to see the writing get thicker over the years, then you know the effect.
2. Microblading has different retention.
The fine lines of microblading often fade over time. For many, they fade over 1 to 3 years. With microblading, there is a lot less ink deposited under the skin in fine lines. In the dermis, where the ink is placed, this ink can move around over time, giving a slighter appearance. When there is a lot of ink, like in traditional tattooing, the tattoo remains very consistent. With microblading, the ink can often fade or disappear, depending on the skin type and how much ink was inserted.
3. Inks maintain their color.
Microblading uses a different kind of ink that maintains its original hue over time. Many tattooing clients report that their tattoos turn blue or brown over time. With microblading, however, colors tend to get lighter, rather than changing hue.
4. Microblading is less painful.
Microblading artists use a topical anesthetic, which numbs clients of most of the pain. In fact, many clients report little or no pain. Some people fear traditional tattoos on certain parts of their body because of the pain, but this is typically not a inhibiting factor for microblading clients.
5. Results from microblading are more natural than traditional eyebrow tattoos.
Again, each hair stroke is hand drawn in microblading. To the naked eye, these individual hair strokes blend right in with a clients' real hair. While eyebrow tattoos may look more like traditional permanent makeup, microblading looks more like natural eyebrow hair.
6. Microblading artists are not necessarily tattoo artists and vice versa!
Microblading and tattooing each take specific training and are not linked! Microblading artists do not learn how to tattoo during their training and likewise, most tattoo artists never learn the skills necessary to become a microblading artist. For the noted differences, tattooing and microblading are each separate art forms that take their own time and training to master.
The following restrictions are to ensure your skin is in the best possible condition for an amazing microblading procedure. Please read carefully:
*Please do not work out the day of the procedure as the body heat will expands the pores.
*Avoid heavy sunlight and especially sunburn 3 days before procedure. Skin should not be in process of healing before procedure!
*Do NOT drink coffee or anything with caffeine the day of procedure.
*Do NOT take Aspirin, Niacin, Vitamin E and/or Ibuprofen, omega-3, unless medically necessary, 48-72 hours prior to the procedure. (Tylenol or acetaminophen is okay!)
*Do NOT drink alcohol 24 hours before the procedure.
The following treatments should avoided within four weeks of the procedure:
- Botox or other fillers
- Chemical Peels
- Laser treatments
If you have any questions about these restrictions, please give us a call! We're happy to help.
Microblading eyebrows is a form of permanent makeup that creates natural, beautiful eyebrows with a handheld microblade. It’s perfect for people who have overplucked or those who want to define, darken or reshape their eyebrows.