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Permanent Brows vs Microblading. What’s the difference?

What they both do

A question I am often asked is, what is the difference between machine or permanent brows and microblading? To explain what’s different it first makes sense to explain the similarities. Both microblading and machine brows (or permanent brows, semi permanent brows, micropigmentation) create superb natural looking brows by applying pigment to the dermal layer of the skin. This is commonly carried out by either creating tiny strokes in the skin which mimic natural hairs or by using various shading techniques. Both are forms of cosmetic tattooing and whether you have microblading or permanent brows, you can expect the results to last from 12-24 months. Permanent brows do tend to last slightly longer than microblading because the amount of pigment which is deposited per hair stroke is greater using the machine operated needle. However, the
longevity of your treatment is dependent upon a number of different factors mainly associated with skin type and aftercare.
The treatments are both considered as permanent as, although the pigment is designed to breakdown and therefore fade over time. It is possible that very tiny traces (invisible to the naked eye) of the pigment will remain in the skin for much longer period of time.

I normally recommend clients to book in for a colour boost consultation at around 12 months after their treatment. A colour boost is less than half the price of a full treatment and helps to keep the colour looking fresh and hair strokes nice and crisp.

What’s different and how does this affect the end result?

The key difference are the tools used to create the looks. The microblade is a handheld tool which uses blades made up of ‘pins’ whereas permanent brows are created using a machine operated needle. A permanent makeup machine works very similarly to a traditional tattooist machine, however it operates at a much lower frequency. This means that the pigment (not to be confused with tattooist ink!) is implanted closer to the skins surface compared to that of a traditional tattoo. There is a wide range of needle configurations which can be used to create the looks and this applies to both microblading and the machine.

A permanent makeup machine can also be used to create other permanent makeup looks such as the permanent eyeliner treatments, lip treatments and paramedical treatments.

The microblade is known for creating super fine hairstrokes. However there are needle configurations, such as the nano and the micro needles, which technicians can also use to create just as fine hair strokes with the machine. As such the end results which can be achieved can be just as natural.

Why a great artist will offer both applications

A great artist will always work closely with the client to determine the most suitable application based upon their desired end result, skin type and existing brows. For example, a natural look for one person maybe ultra fine microbladed brows but if you have thicker brow hairs, a slightly thicker hairstroke will actually blend in more naturally with you brow hairs. Leading to a more natural result than what may be achieved with the microblade. Shading techniques ‘microshading’ with the microblade or shading with the machine may also be used to create a more glamorous made up look or to add further definition for clients with very little brow hair which may not be attainable with just applying hair strokes.
Also, certain skin types tend to fair better with the machine compared to microblading such as oily skins or very mature and thin skin.

As such, offering both applications allows an artist to be far more versatile with the variety of looks they can achieve for their clients.

How do I know which treatment is best for me?

You don’t need to concern yourself with making this decision before booking your appointment. I am experienced in both applications, and as part of your consultation I will explore your reasons for wanting the treatment, your existing brow hair and skin type and importantly the look you want to achieve. I will then recommend the most suitable treatment and application accordingly as part of your consultation.