Eyebrows have seen a style resurgence in recent years – gone is the over plucked, permanently startled look of the 90s, replaced by the lush, face-framing brows of Cara Delevingne and Nancy Ajram. But what to do if you weren’t naturally blessed with bold brows? There are tricks of the trade, of course, including shaping and filling them in with powders, liquid liners and even coloured waxes. Still, not everyone has time for that every day, not to mention the inevitable meltdown come summer.
Fortunately, there are more permanent – or rather, semi-permanent – solutions. Enter microblading and micropigmentation.
What is microblading?
This brow-enhancing technique involves a tool that looks like a blade but is actually a row of tiny needles. The needles are dipped in pigment and used to make small incisions in the skin, mimicking the appearance of real hairs. The needles don’t penetrate very deep, so the brows will fade over time and you’ll need a touch-up four to eight weeks after your first treatment to achieve your final results. After this initial two-step procedure, you’ll need to top up annually, since aspects such as how oily your skin is will affect how well your brows retain pigment. Microblading is a good option for sparse eyebrows as the result is natural-looking and can last for up to two years, if you touch it up regularly.
The main difference between a semi-permanent tattoo and a permanent one is how deeply the ink is injected into skin.
What is micropigmentation?
Cutting the skin, as with microblading, can scar the skin, eventually making it tricky for pigment to stick. Micropigmentation solves this issue by using a rotary pen with needles, hooked up to a digital machine. The pen allows for greater precision when injecting the ink deeper into the skin, resulting in sharper brow designs. Although you will also need touch-ups, the deeper cuts mean that the treatment can last up to five years.
Does it hurt? Numbing cream and/or liquid anaesthetic is applied before the treatment to minimise the pain. The procedure is more uncomfortable than painful.
Whether your choose microblading or micropigmentation, it’s vital to research your brow specialist. Check their qualifications and experience, and ask to see before-and-after photos. Your best bet? A personal recommendation from someone whose brows you love.