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Yes, You Can Have Enviable, Natural-Looking Eyebrows

What you need to know about microblading

Whether you long for Gigi Hadid’s voluminous arches or you want your sparse brows filled in to better frame your eyes, microblading offers a solution that won’t wash away in the pool or melt off at the gym.

What Is Microblading?

Think of microblading as the next generation of permanent makeup. All permanent makeup is a form of cosmetic tattooing. Technicians usually employ a tattoo machine, but microblading uses a manual tool with a small blade and many tiny needles to create individual strokes that resemble real hair, resulting in a natural-looking brow.

Microblading uses pigment with a thicker texture than regular tattoo ink, and the pigment is not implanted as deeply as a traditional tattoo. Microblading implants the pigment between the epidermis and the dermis, so the color fades fairly quickly, requiring touchups every nine to 24 months.

According to licensed permanent makeup artist Elisa Om of Synergy Beauty in Vienna, “Microblading is not suitable for people with oily skin or people with large pores. People with oily skin will find that they will need touchups every nine to 12 months. People with large pores will not be able to achieve crisp, clean hair strokes.”

Microblading Step By Step

Microblading can be used to enhance existing eyebrows, balance asymmetrical brows or reconstruct brows lost to a medical condition. If you’re interested in the procedure, your first step is to find a licensed and experienced professional.

Ask to see the business license, health certificate, and the technician’s personal state license wherever you go. Don’t shy away from asking about training, experience, and references. Om recommends asking to see before-and-after photos and, more importantly, healed results photos, where you can really tell good from poor quality work.

Microblading is a meticulous process and generally takes two or more hours, with a large part of that time devoted to determining the final shape and color of your brows. Your technician will numb the brow area with a topical anesthetic, then use a removable pencil to draw on your brows. If you aren’t completely satisfied with the look, don’t move ahead until you are.

The final step is using the tool to make the strokes and deposit the pigment into the skin. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, but most people report only minimal discomfort with the procedure.

After the initial session, your eyebrows will appear darker than expected because the pigment hasn’t completely settled into your skin. During the healing process, the skin may flake and peel as the cuts heal, and you may think the color is disappearing. Follow any after-care instructions from your technician, and in two-to-four weeks, you will see your final color and stroke results.

Four to six weeks after your initial appointment, you need to return for a touch up. “The first session is to focus mainly on the shape and to see how the skin takes and retains the pigment,” said Om. “The second session is about adding volume and filling in any strokes that may not have taken during the first session.”

A Permanent Solution?

Microblading costs between $500 and $800 in our area. Whether you think that’s a lot to pay or you think it’s worth it to wake up with perfect brows, there are a few other things you need to consider. You might think because microblading is a tattoo, that you only need to do it once and your brows will last a lifetime, but that’s not the case. Remember, you’ll need touchups every nine to 24 months.

Nor is it correct to refer to microblading as semi-permanent. Although the color will fade to a very light orange or brown over time, it will not completely disappear. Some pigment will always be left in the skin.

Om cautions, “Microblading is not a procedure that you can repeatedly receive throughout your life. Every time you make a microblading stroke, you end up with a little scar tissue. Repeated cuts on the same stroke over years will produce some serious scar tissue build up, and you will get less pigment retention, which will require more frequent touch ups.”

Nano Brows

Another solution for getting your ideal eyebrows is nano needling or nano brows. This technique uses a vibrating machine with a tiny needle that implants pigment into the dermis, which is slightly deeper than with microblading, and requires touchups every three to five years, depending on a person’s skin type.

Om explains that microblading produces very realistic brows, where the base of the stroke is slightly thicker than the top, mimicking a natural hair. Nano brows produces straight lines that look more “hair like.”

Nano brows uses such a fine needle that there is barely any scar tissue build up. Here, too, it is important to go to a properly trained and experienced technician for the best results.

Analiese Kreutzer

Analiese Kreutzer

Contributing Author
Analiese Kreutzer is a contributing writer for VivaTysons, VivaReston and Le Nouveau Moi. She can be reached at