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Microblading, Microshading, Microfeathering - What’s the difference?

So, you’ve made the decision that you want to get your eyebrows tattooed. You’ve read about microblading, but somewhere in your Google deep dive, you’ve accumulated a list of terms that all seem to apply to you and this procedure. As the lead microblader at Black Tie Makeup Studios in Seattle, I’m asked dozens of questions by clients to help them understand the perplexity of semi-permanent cosmetics. So here’s a guide to the most popular terms, and what makes them different.

Microblading

Microblading utilizes a manual hand-held tool that looks like a pen. The tip is comprised of microneedles, which range in size from roughly 10 to 20 microneedles. Larger areas, like the front of the brow, are best completed using a denser blade whereas smaller areas, like the tail of the brow, are best defined using a smaller blade. Microblading, which some artists refer to as microneedling or nanoblading, produces fine strokes that mimic hair.


Microfeathering

Microfeathering is a style of microblading. Made popular by brow artist Kristie Streicher, the feathered brow gives clients a fuller and bushier brow. Whereas traditional microblading gives clients a groomed brow look (think, crisp after a wax), feathered brows give you I woke up like Cara Delevingne or Brooke Shields look. Because of its natural results, it’s also known as boy brows and fluffy brows, which explains why it’s also a popular technique for men.


Microshading

Microshading is a technique of microblading, but utilizes different blades. The microneedles are bundled together in a cluster and utilized using a tapping motion. Some artists use a manual tool, whereas others use a tattoo machine - it’s just a matter of preference. Both techniques help create the illusion of shading to give you a denser brow. This method is also referred to as powder brows because the outcome mimics eyebrow makeup (think, Anastasia Beverly Hills dip pomade).


Hybrid Brows

Hybrid brows are when you combine microblading with microshading. Artists may also refer to this as ombre brows, because the pigment gradually becomes more dense towards the tail of the brow.


Some artists like to pay homage to their training schools, such as 3D Brows, Deluxe Brows and PhiBrows. Every artist has their own pattern approach, but ultimately, it produces the same results.


So now that you’ve read about the various eyebrow tattoo techniques, which one appeals to you most and why? Are there any other terms you’ve heard on the subject that you need clarification on? Let me know in the comments!

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