Microblading vs Permanent Makeup. Which One is Right for You?

By Milla Rosen, May 5, 2019


It’s incredible how a beauty treatment, product, procedure can go viral through social media. That’s what we see happening with Microblading. So many people still don’t know what Microblading is, but they are asking for it and going to anyone including inexperienced “artists” that do this procedure.

Permanent makeup and microblading may seem like the same thing, but they are really quite different. Both are forms of cosmetic tattoo, a practice that has been around for many years and uses pigmentation of the epidermis to produce makeup like results.

What exactly is Microblading?

Microblading has been exploding in popularity lately. Like permanent makeup, microblading is a cosmetic procedure meant to enhance the most important of your facial features: your eyebrows.

From the name itself people are misled to think that microblading is not a tattoo process. Any time color pigment is placed into the skin with any device, it is a tattoo process as defined by many well-informed regulators and the medical community. Microblading is a different name for permanent makeup just like micropigmentation, dermal implantation and micro-stroking are used to describe permanent makeup. Microblading is a permanent procedure. When you see “semi-permanent” advertised it is not accurate and misleading. Once pigment is implanted into the skin it will be altered no matter how much fading happens. You need to understand no one can promise that the pigment implanted into your skin will be completely gone by a certain time.

Microblading or the hand tool method uses a device with a cluster of needles at the end of the blade. This blade then is used to dip into pigment and create cuts in the skin to deposit pigment. There are many different types of needle groupings that are used to achieve different effects. Getting a tattoo which what microblading is no matter what you read, or someone tells you is a serious consideration. Microblading is a technique which requires a lot of practice, education, experience and time to see fully healed results after a period of at least two years. There are a lot of artists attending a two-day course and then attempting to charge for this service without the proper experience.

It is important to note that while one of microblading’s major appeals is how natural it looks, permanent makeup artists have been achieving the same natural looking result for years, it all depends on the technique used to style the brows.

Who is ineligible for Microblading?
  • Those prone to keloids or post-inflammatory hypopigmentation
  • If you have a transmittable blood disease such as HIV or Hepatitis
  • If you’ve had Juvederm or other fillers in that area
  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • If you have any kind of skin condition on or near your eyebrows (including eczema, shingles, rashes, or anything else near eyebrows)
  • Those with oily skin
  • Those with a dark pre-existing eyebrow tattoo or permanent makeup
  • Those with allergies to alcohol or numbing agents
  • Children
The Dark Side of Microblading You Should Know About

Microblading has become very popular lately but, along with the success stories, come reports of gruesome results: a slew of horrifying microblading mishaps have been popping up online, ranging from unflattering shapes and faded tinting to scary scarring and infection.

The increased popularity has led to an army of under-qualified practitioners who are quickly taught the technique in order to keep up with demand. So many people try to make money by offering training. There are courses lasting just two or three days (sometimes online!), and those people are being let loose on the public. Some “artists” are not aware of the fact that clients with large pores and oily skin are not good candidates for microblading, because the color doesn’t show up well, and in most cases look blurry. And those with rosacea tend to bleed too much.

Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure you choose a professional who is licensed and insured to practice in your state.

Microblading Before thin sparse eyebrows
Microblading After appearance of thicker 3d brows

What is Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup can be done in many styles and shapes. Some artists will use prefabricated stencils to determine the shape of the brow, which is not usually done by most experts because it stencils are not customized to the client’s face. Other permanent makeup artists spend a great deal of time measuring your eyebrows and determining the best shape for your face. In any case, with responsible and accredited estheticians, there is usually a consultation where the artist draws on several shapes and try different colors before the procedure to ensure the client is happy with the end product.

Permanent makeup uses a coil, rotary or digital machine with different size needles to implant the pigment into the skin with the objective of enhancing facial features - most commonly eyeliners, eyebrows and lips. It is also possible to have permanent eyeshadow or blush, although these are not very common procedures.

The machine the artist uses is really based upon personal preference. Permanent makeup machine will produce longer lasting results than microblading. The pigment is deposited in the dermal layer of the skin about the depth of a dime (1.35 mm). It’s a very important factor to know exactly where you are placing the pigment, so you retain those crisp hair strokes. Too shallow and you lose pigment, too deep and the color will heal very cool (blue/gray). Permanent makeup requires an artist to know extensive skin anatomy and color theory. I use a digital machine with a #1 needle to create my fine natural looking hair strokes. The beauty of 3D hair stroke technique is that the hair-like strokes you can achieve are so fine that it’s the most hyper-realistic treatment. Have a browse through the different treatments in our online portfolio or get in touch with our client services team for further information.

Permanent makeup is a fantastic option to create the perfect full eyebrows that you have always wanted. I’ve been in PMU industry for 15 years. I am very passionate about educating people so that they don’t end up with subpar results. When there is a lot of hype about a product or treatment, there will be plenty of individuals who jump on the trend and offer a procedure that they are not qualified to do. You as the client are responsible for doing your research

microbladed 3D Hair Stroke technique
microblading 3D Hair Stroke technique at Elite Institute of Micropigmentation

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