Understanding the Differences: Microblading vs. Powderbrow

What is the Difference Between Microblading and Powderbrow?

Microblading and powderbrow are both tattoo techniques used to create the appearance of eyebrows. In both cases, pigment is implanted into the upper dermal layer of the skin, creating a permanent tattoo. With each technique, the method used to deposit pigment into the skin is only a part of the procedure.

Before you get into the actual tattooing, your artist will map your brows to ensure they are creating the most natural shape for your face. At KNS, we only provide natural brow structures. Because the results are permanent, we avoid any trendy brow shapes or overly bold brows that will lose their appeal over time. When mapping, the key features of your face will be used to determine the brow shape and structure that look natural for you. The appropriate color will be determined based on your skin tone, undertones, hair color, and existing brow hair, and formulated by your artist.

While the preparation and color selection for microblading and powderbrow are very similar, the actual tattoo techniques differ. Powderbrow is performed with a handheld machine tool (similar to a tattoo machine) and a very fine needle. Pigment is gently deposited into the skin one layer at a time, creating a layering of pixels which results in a soft and powdery eyebrow look.

With microblading, hair-like strokes are carved into the skin using a manual tool (the microblade), creating a very fine wound. Pigment is inserted into the wound, which creates the appearance of eyebrow hair. The strokes are repeated and styled to create the appearance of dozens of hairs that together form an eyebrow.

Which Maintains a Better Appearance Over Time?

Both techniques are permanent, but tattoos are subject to fading over time, especially when exposed to the sun and intense skincare products commonly used on the face. With powderbrow, you have thousands of pixels of pigment, all independent of one another in the skin. With microblading, you have lines of pigment, where the pigment molecules are much more concentrated. Because of the lower density and considerably less trauma to the skin, powderbrow tends to fade more naturally over time. Powderbrow will lighten in color but typically does not lose its hue. With microblading, the hair strokes tend to blur over time. The pigment bleeds away from its initial position, causing the hair strokes to lose their crisp appearance. Because the pigment is so dense in the skin, there is an increased risk of the color fading to an undesirable blue or gray appearance.

Powderbrow is a more suitable technique for all skin types, fades nicely over time compared to microblading, and is less traumatic—resulting in less risk of scarring—than microblading. Because of these considerations, powderbrow is our recommended technique for all clients.

Why Have I Heard These Techniques Called Semi-Permanent Tattoos?

Both of these techniques are permanent tattoos. Over the past several years, the permanent makeup industry and its associated services have been referred to as ‘semi-permanent cosmetics’ and ‘semi-permanent makeup.’ This is a misrepresentation of the industry. Powderbrow, microblading, lip blushing, and permanent eyeliner are all tattoo techniques that should be considered permanent. The results may fade, but you will have them forever.

So, Which Technique Should I Choose?

Powderbrow is safer and healthier for your skin. It fades nicely over time and allows you and your artist to make enhancements every few years without risking scarring. A skilled artist can create beautiful and natural eyebrows with the powderbrow technique, and we recommend powderbrow for nearly all of our clients. Some artists will provide whichever service you want. Others may refrain from microblading if your skin is not ideal for the service. Ultimately, you should seek the expert opinion of your permanent makeup artist to arrive at the best solution to ensure you have natural brows for years to come.

As you search for a permanent makeup artist, don’t limit your selection to artists in close proximity to you or those with immediate availability. Microblading and powderbrow are very skill-intensive techniques. An artist needs tremendous experience working with different skin types, bone structures, brow hair density, skin tones, age groups, and variations in facial symmetry to ensure results that look natural for you. These results only come through experience with hundreds or even thousands of clients. The art form is intense, and training in this industry is not well-regulated or well-structured. Make sure you are working with experts!

If you have any questions, please call or text us at (706) 480-8870, and we would be happy to discuss more!

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