Microblading vs Machine Brows
Have you been wondering recently why you are seeing so many more machine/powder/ombre brows on social media as opposed to microblading?
It seems as though so many artists are now adapting their techniques to focus more heavily on machine brows than microbladed eyebrows and I’m here to share why.
When microblading first came out, about 7-10 years ago, it was a HUGE craze, and it hasn’t stopped snowballing since. No longer would people be tattooed with these blocky, stark looking eyebrows that were obviously tattooed. Microblading allowed us to create beautifully blended hairstrokes in our clients’ eyebrows to look 100% natural.
So why would a trend link this stop?
Whenever new trends emerge in the tattooing industry, I always pose the question “how will it age?”. For microblading we are seeing the results of the ageing tattoo and some of those results are concerning.
You know as a cosmetic tattoo artist that microblading is performed with a manual hand tool that allows you to create small cuts in the skin that resemble natural hairstrokes. When first done, these hairstrokes are crisp, sharp, and stunning.
As tattoo heal, even between the 4-6 week process, the colour in microblading tends to migrate slightly under the skin and the lines become slightly thicker as they heal.
From the picture below, you can see that this artist has done a beautiful job with her hairstrokes and overall application, but you can also see the colour has migrated under the skin as it has healed during her initial 4-6 weeks which is completely unavoidable. This will always happen it is the nature of pigment and skin.
When the client comes back for their second initial treatment, the artist will re-open the lines she has previously tattooed to make them sharper and more distinct, also adding in any extra hairstrokes the client may need to accomplish the finished look.
This brings us to our major problems with microblading:
- Overtime is we are re-opening/re-drawing the same lines in the eyebrow, then we have a tendency of creating scar tissue in the eyebrow over a 2-5 year period. Scar tissue doesn’t hold pigment and the client will be left with colourless lines.
- The crisp lines that are continually added with each appointment will continue to migrate under the skin, and eventually after 5-7 appointments over a 1-5 year period, the client will have an eyebrow that resembles that of a powder brow.
To avoid causing too much trauma to the skin and for the artists to maintain the highest integrity in the skin, most artists are converting their clients to a powder/ombre brow.
Machine brows are the OG of cosmetic tattooing. They were first and they still reign supreme when we talk about keeping the integrity of the skin and providing even overall coverage of colour. Thankfully we have developed well past the stage of blocky eyebrows and now move to beautifully ombre brows that look exactly like makeup
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe microblading has its place in the cosmetic tattooing industry, it is fantastic for more mature clients, for combination eyebrows and for clients who are hesitant as to what they will look like with semi-permanent eyebrows. But microblading does have a timeframe and limitations.
You can only tattoo over the same lines a maximum number of times, and you must be very aware of your pressure as you can push too hard creating long term damage to the skin.
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