The Truth About Microblading
Permanent Makeup has been around a while but the methods and tools vary widely. Wether it's a machine or a handtool, it's all permanent makeup, which is a form of tattooing. The term microblading has recently (and quickly) caught wind in the Beauty World. It's the new Hot Topic you could say. The only thing that is new is the term. Even that can be confusing because there are different names for microblading too. Microblading is performed with a hand tool commonly know as a microblade, while other permanent makeup brow services are performed with a machine. We’ll explain in more detail and help you understand which method may be best for you.
Is Microblading tattooing? YES! With the sudden popularity and media attention to the term microblading, many are led to believe microblading is not a tattoo process. Permanent cosmetics, micropigmentation, dermal implantation, microblading/microstroking, eyebrow embroidery, and long-time/long-lasting makeup, are all different names for the same procedure – cosmetic tattooing. Any time color is placed into the skin with any device, it is a tattoo process as defined by many well informed regulators, the medical community, and dictionary sources. Denying this process is a tattoo can be problematic for those who would, for religious or other personal reasons, normally refuse to have a tattoo.
Is a blade being used to perform the microblading tattoo procedure? Microblading is performed with a grouping or configuration of needles affixed to a handle to manually create lines that resemble eyebrow hairs. Manual methods of tattooing have been used through the ages, and the tools have gone through changes over time from pre-historic sharpened stones to the hand tool devices currently being used. An actual scalpel or cutting-type blade should not be used under any circumstances as these are considered medical devices and cannot legitimately be used for this process. Any hand tool device (i.e., both handle and attached needles) used for microblading should be pre-sterilized and fully disposable.
Is Microblading semi-permanent? NO. Some are promoting microblading or eyebrow embroidery as a semi-permanent process; and that the color only reaches the epidermal (outer) layer of the skin. A careful review of basic skin anatomy and physiology would reveal this is not true. By definition and tattoo industry standards, color is tattooed/implanted into the dermis of the skin. If pigment particles do not reach the dermis, they will disappear during the healing phase of the skin, during normal regeneration of cells at the epidermal level. Pigments do fade in the skin over time, but that does not make the process semi-permanent. It is impossible to predict how much pigment will fade away and how long it will take to do so with any measure of consistency or reliability.
Does microblading last as long as other eyebrow tattooing techniques? NO. This is simply because a much smaller amount of pigment is inserted (tattooed) into the skin as compared to fully or solidly filled eyebrow tattoos.
Who should you trust? Trained and certified Permanent Makeup artists. Since Microblading has become popular so quickly, every beauty salon, nail salon, spa and skin care specialist either has suddenly added Microblading to their service menu or they are considering it. This popularity has invited greedy trainers to set up 1-2 day training in Microblading as a stand-alone skill, rather than an advanced skill. The laws in every state vary, with most states in the US having very little oversight in the Microblading, Permanent Makeup and Tattooing professions. It is NOT safe to assume that someone is good just because they offer a service or their service fees fit your budget. (In fact, those who charge the least are likely trying to get experience by enticing you with a very low price.) They are not qualified just because they are in the beauty industry or have worked on skin in another way. Look at the work of the artist. Be certain that the photos look like they were taken by the same photographer. (Stolen photos are a big issue in our industry and many new artist will post pictures of their instructors work as their own.)
We, along with Permanent Makeup artist everywhere are frustrated by the lack of responsible training of “overnight Microbladers.” They are taught that they are separate from Cosmetic Tattooing but this is not the case. They use the same pigments and supplies as permanent makeup artist. They often call themselves a “Master Artist” but they lack experience in multiple situations and can only take a limited type of client. They are not adequately trained in corrections and color theory and cannot accommodate many with medical conditions. Because we do removal as well, we have noticed that inquires about removal from people with new Microbladed brows is growing every month. This will continue to increase every year unless Microbladers begin to demand more initial training. Removal is not only a lengthy process but also an expensive one with hourly rates beginning at approximately $200 an hour.
Who is not an ideal candidate for microblading?
- Have large pores on your forehead
- Have dark, coarse hair
- Have excessively oil skin
- Have diabetes
- Have thyroid disease
- Have deep scars or wrinkles within your brows
Here's a side by side comparison of each service: Below are two examples of a "hairstroke" style brow. Both are considered permanent makeup, but the tool used is the only difference.
Permanent Makeup using a Microblade
Permanent Makeup using Machine