Microblading vs Tattoo Explained
What are the differences between microblading and traditional tattooing?
It’s a widely-held belief throughout the beauty industry that the eyebrows are the most important piece of the puzzle. Eyebrows help to add personality to the face, frame the bone structure and draw direct attention to the eyes.
Nowadays, there are many different solutions to help achieve the perfect pair of brows. While most people turn to cosmetics, increasing numbers of women and men are choosing new semi-permanent and permanent make-up procedures which help to create the perfect brows. These procedures hold a lot of promise.
It’s safe to say that microblading is taking the world by storm. The popularity of this method has been increasing exponentially over the past few years, with celebrities from all over the world getting in on the trend.
But what exactly does microblading eyebrows entail? Are there any differences between microblading and traditional tattooing? Keep reading to find out.
Is microblading permanent?
One of the biggest differences between traditional tattooing and microblading is that the latter is actually semi-permanent. It’s a common misconception that microblading is irreversible, but the truth is that while the procedure can last for anything between one and three years, it will disappear over time.
This is because the inks used in microblading are more degradable than traditional tattoo ink. This means that the immune system finds it much easier to push the pigment out and digest the ink over time, causing the look to fade. Skin type and lifestyle are factors which can affect the longevity of microblading. In most instances, a client will opt for an annual or twice-yearly touch up.
Microblading offers more natural results
One of the clearest differences between microblading and traditional tattooed make-up is how it looks in comparison. Permanent tattooed make-up is a much older technique which involves the creation of a solid, thick line. This is meant to resemble make-up, but often has the unfortunate effect of looking incredibly unnatural. Many critics of this technique will decry that it makes eyebrows appear as if they have been drawn on with a Sharpie pen.
On the contrary, microblading is not designed to look like make-up. Instead, it’s supposed to resemble natural hair strokes. These strokes are thin and individual, thus creating the illusion of real hair. Some salons and studios will refer to microblading as “3D brows” because the results are so realistic.
Microblading vs. tattooing: the tools
One of the fundamental differences between permanent make-up and microblading lies in the tools used to create each effect. Permanent make-up is applied with a traditional tattoo gun – the kind that would also be used to apply a tattoo elsewhere on the body. These guns feature a rotary and coil and are used to draw on “fake” make-up. This approach makes it much more difficult to achieve small, precise lines, and this causes the eyebrows to look a lot thicker and a lot less natural.
On the other hand, microblading is performed with a small blade which features many extra-small or “micro” needles. These needles create fine hair strokes. Each individual hair stroke is pressed in and deepened by a professional. The blade is initially dipped into ink and then carefully pressed onto the skin, so that the ink enters the top two layers. This is a precision procedure, where the ink will not bleed, and the lines remain sharp. The result is natural, full-looking brows as opposed to fake-looking thick lines.
Does permanent make-up fade?
While microblading will fade to the point where it dissipates and disappears completely, permanent make-up is as permanent as a standard tattoo. The ink used in permanent procedures is deposited much more deeply into the skin, and this means that over the years it can potentially fade or change color.
One of the biggest complaints about permanent make-up is that the pigments used could turn blue or brown, resulting in unattractive, out-of-kilter brows which can be quite embarrassing for some clients.
Microblading is the preferable choice in these circumstances, least of all because fashions change. Just under two decades ago, tweezers were the tool of choice when it came to fashionable brows. With microblading, the opportunity to let the ink fade and change your look is always there, whereas permanent make-up is incredibly difficult to reverse. This makes microblading a much more sensible choice.
Is the cost of microblading eyebrows worth it?
Microblading costs can vary depending on the level of experience the artist has, the location of the studio and the complexity of the work. Because microblading is quite an intricate procedure, it can take anything up to two hours for the artist to draw the fine lines onto the brows before the ink is applied. This meticulous approach must be factored into the cost.
However, microblading is still an affordable procedure, especially when make-up costs are taken into consideration. Microblading can last for years, and the money saved that would otherwise have been spent on eyebrow pencils and gels can add up to a serious amount. In that respect, microblading practically pays for itself.
Microblading procedures typically start at around $400 and can cost more than $1400 for particularly intricate work. It’s important to shop around for the best possible deal – and even more important to liaise with an artist you know you can trust.
Tattoos vs. microblading: rectifying mistakes
The fundamental difference between these procedures when it comes to mistakes is that microblading errors are incredibly easy to fix. While errors are few and far between (most microblading technicians are highly qualified and wouldn’t want to risk their reputation by performing substandard work), on the rare occasions that they happen, thankfully they can be repaired with the minimum of fuss.
If a microblading artist creates a stroke that the client isn’t completely happy with, the quickest solution is to refrain from increasing its depth and simply leave it to naturally fade.
The same cannot be said for permanent tattoos. Because the ink penetrates much deeper into the skin, once a mark is made, it’s there until covered up or removed via specialist laser techniques, which can be costly and painful.
Is microblading better than traditional tattooing?
Ultimately, the answer to this question is down to personal preference. However, it is difficult to argue against the idea that microblading offers many advantages over traditional techniques. To recap, microblading is:
• Semi-permanent: if fashions change or you decide to go for a new look, the ink will dissipate after one to three years.
• More intricate: ultra-fine lines mimic the appearance of real eyebrow hair. In most cases, it’s difficult to notice when someone has had microblading performed.
• Changeable: those who want to opt for a new style or color, or simply want to make subtle changes to their brows, can do so with microblading. Tattooing, on the other hand, is much more difficult to make changes to.
• Convenient: just imagine – no more applying eyebrow make-up, even after strenuous activity such as swimming or competing in sports.
While microblading may not be for everyone, it certainly has its plus points. Those considering the procedure are advised to arrange for a consultation, find out more and ensure they are comfortable with the procedure before booking it in. Once this has been considered, it’s a case of enjoying low-maintenance, long-term, stunning brows – perfect!