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What is the difference between microblading and powder brows?

Most clients come in to the studio requesting "microblading". It's a beautiful technique and it's the most commonly known term when it comes to permanent makeup for the brows. However did you know that microblading is only one permanent makeup (pmu) style and is not suitable for every skin type, age or hair growth pattern? Let me explain: microblading is hair-like strokes placed into the skin using a tiny blade (micro blade). This is a wonderful procedure for those wanting a natural hair like look for their eyebrows, however the skin must be healthy and not too thin or mature. It must also not be overly oily or porous or textured. Very sensitive skin is also a contraindication. Read on to find out why microblading is not best for these situations.

Thin or mature skin is more delicate, therefore a blade can easily cut too deeply causing scarring. This can cause the strokes to heal messy, blurry and/or ashy. Keep in mind skin starts to thin as early as our 30's, I've even seen some women in their 20's with extremely thin skin which can be due to genetics. For these types of clients I recommend a soft powder brow, which is a technique done with a machine. Pixels of color are implanted into the skin and a 'powder' look is created. This is also termed 'shading'.

Very oily or porous/textured skin (also known as orange peel skin type) is not the best for microblading either. When the strokes are etched into the skin with microblading, they are not going to look as crisp and precise as they would with a smooth skin type. The skin is like a canvas. Here is an analogy:Think of drawing a line on textured bumpy paper, as opposed to smooth paper. Which would have a better look? This is not to say that microblading can never be done any of this skin type, it can be done on a case by case basis. There are different degrees of texture, pore size, oiliness,etc. Also, with oily skin, sometimes the microblading will not 'stick' and all that will be left is a trace of color once healed. Again, the powder brow will work for these skin types as the color is more stable since the skin is not being cut, only pixels implanted.

Sensitive skin is another type of skin that does not do well with microblading, sometimes if the skin is very sensitive then it will not accept the ink and actually push it out of the strokes. The result will be very light and faint healed results. Another option is that we can do an additional touch up to make sure that enough ink is implanted. Usually at the 2nd and 3rd session the skin will be more 'used to' the blade and the ink. Beautiful results are still

possible with this skin type, sometimes it just takes more patience and work!

Next, let's discuss hair growth pattern. Sometimes if the hair grows mostly sideways or 'wild' it will not blend with the microblading pattern. Again this is on a case by case basis, sometimes a combo brow is needed in order to blend the strokes with the hair with some shading. Sometimes a powder brow works best.

Powder brows are great for all skin types, however some clients specifically want a more natural 'fluffy hair like' look. If the skin and hair growth is suitable, then it's a beautiful technique. If a client doesn't have suitable skin or hair growth and they still want the 'fluffy' look, another option is to do strokes in the front and shade the rest of the brow. Powder brows can also look natural if the shading is soft. There are many options to get the look you are aiming for!

The main thing to remember is that the brow suggested at your appointment will be the best type of brow for you specifically. Always trust your artist!

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