Is it tattooing?
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 it semi-permanent?

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.

Why does microblading not last as long as other eyebrow tattooing techniques?

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.

Is there less training needed to learn microblading as compared to learning permanent cosmetics?

No; if someone is new to the industry and does not already have a minimum of 100 hours of training in permanent cosmetics, they need to have a similar amount of training in microblading, even if it is for just that one type of procedure. There are many areas of study when learning these techniques, which include facial morphology and bone structure, brow shaping and design, color analysis, color theory, proper handling of equipment, prevention of cross-contamination, as well as practice work and the opportunity to observe procedures before actually performing them under supervision. Anyone interested in pursuing training in cosmetic tattooing, including microblading, should first check with state and county regulating agencies. This would also include verifying the qualifications of any trainer, in addition to checking with regulatory agencies for trainer compliance with local health, safety, or permit requirements if the trainer is travelling from another state or country to offer TRAINING.

microblading DOS

1. DO Your Research

"Not all microblading technicians know what they are doing. Just because someone may have taken a two day course doesn't make them a pro." She suggests looking for someone with experience, stellar reviews and a ton of before and after pictures to prove it. "Make sure they also have images of healed brows to show the final result."

2. DO Bring Images of Brows You Like

Just like you bring pictures of your favorite wedding makeup and hair looks for inspiration, you should do the same for your brows. Come armed with pictures to show your technician how you want your brows to look. The more you give your tech to work with, the better the outcome.

3. DO Prep Before Your Appointment

Proper prep is key. Aava suggests avoiding alcohol and blood thinners, like aspirin, at least 24 hours prior your appointment — and skipping your faux glow before (and after). "You should also refrain from plucking, tweezing and waxing brows before your appointment."

4. DO Communicate With Your Technician

"Your technician is not a mind reader," Aava explains. Make sure to discuss your desired outcome prior to the start of the procedure. "If you aren't happy with the shape or color, you have to be vocal about it...or you will wind up being unhappy." The bottom line: speak now or forever hold your peace (or at least for the next 12 months).

5. DO Follow the Aftercare Advice

Just as with any treatment or procedure, you need to take special care after. Aava suggests applying ointment on your brows for about a week after to promote healing. Keep your newly microbladed brows clean (don't touch with dirty fingers) and dry (apply vaseline prior to showering or washing your face) for one week after treatment. After 10 days, you can start using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and moisturizer (or coconut oil). But steer clear of makeup for at least two weeks, as this can interfere with the healing and even the color of your brows.

Microblading Don'ts



2. DON'T Be Scared if Brows are Darker at First

The tattooed area will appear slightly darker for a couple of weeks. "Don't worry, that's part of the healing process," assures Aava.

3. DON'T Rush the Healing Process

Speaking of, don't rush the healing process, which can take four to six weeks. Some post-procedure swelling and redness may occur, but this usually goes away within 48 hours. As your brows heal, you may experience some dryness or minor scabbing. Don't pick, scratch or scrub. This can cause scarring and mess with pigment. To ensure your brows look their best by your big day, Aava suggests booking an appointment six to eight weeks before your wedding day.

See More: Wedding Day Beauty — The Top 40 Tips and Tricks

4. DON'T Be Unrealistic About the Results

Don't forget microblading is a tattoo and your skin and face shape are the variables. Even though the hair strokes look very realistic, your individual results will depend on your skin type, face shape and how your skin heals. "The dryer your skin, the sharper your brows heal. If your complexion is oily, the hair strokes will tend to blur more." The phrase "sisters, not twins" is often used to describe brows. That's because no one's face is perfectly symmetrical. "At the end of the day, microblading enhances your appearance, but it isn't plastic surgery," says Aava.

5. DON'T Skip Your Follow-Up Appointment

Microblading is a two step process. "Clients should come back four to six weeks after the initial treatment to fill any gaps and make any necessary color adjustments."