Microblading Eyebrows: An Ultimate Guide
By Aleksandra Maniuse | 2019-10-02
Microblading Eyebrows: An Ultimate Guide
Innovation in the beauty industry is constant and it includes various skin treatments, lash extensions, lip fillers, liposuction and many other techniques. However, one of the most popular techniques today is unquestionably microblading eyebrows.
Eyebrows represent an important element of a face, because they have the power to completely change the person’s face. One of the ways to help people get the natural look is to undergo microblading treatment. Not surprisingly, this technique is becoming increasingly popular not only with women but with men as well.
To help you get all the bits and pieces and learn what to expect from this treatment, we have created the ultimate guide that outlines all the essentials. In this ultimate guide about microblading we will thoroughly explain everything you need to know about this highly requested cosmetic procedure by answering the common questions.
So, let’s dive right in!
The history of Microblading
The history of microblading isn’t completely certain. It is definitely understood that the original tattooing from thousands of years ago was done by a hand tool. However, microblading as a modern permanent makeup treatment seems to have emerged about 25 years ago in either Asia or Germany, depending on who you ask. Of course, there is no doubt that Asia has been a long-time leader when it comes to the development of permanent makeup techniques, along with Eastern Europe. Many other areas are also quite advanced, but these 2 areas have long been at the foreground of new techniques and procedures.
The process of using an intricately designed needle configuration affixed to a pen-style tool to create precise and ultra-realistic individual brow hairs is the exact definition of microblading. It has been a game changer for many permanent makeup artists and has opened up career opportunities for others not previously practicing permanent makeup. Microblading is often thought to be different from permanent makeup because of its technique and the final result. Microblading is a form of permanent makeup and this must always be made clear to clients. It is just one of many lovely permanent makeup techniques available and has been gaining massive popularity worldwide for quite some time.
What Is Microblading?
Clients today rarely ask “do you do brows?” Instead, they ask “do you do microblading?” Oftentimes microblading is the only technique an artist has learned. But there are several other beautiful brow techniques, used alone or even in combination with microblading that well-trained artists might offer. So, of course, this question is a simple one for artists trained to perform several treatments which, according to Deluxe Brows, should be the case. However, this might be very complex to explain to prospective clients.
Nevertheless, any treatment that involves breaking the skin for the purposes of introducing ink or pigment is, by definition, a tattoo and is, therefore, considered permanent. This must be clarified because even though microblading or any other permanent makeup treatment might fade (what sometimes looks like the absence of colour), the pigment particles remain in the dermal-epidermal junction, even if they are not seen. There are many various reasons why they fade, but the pigment does not disappear as a result. It simply fades.
Of course, fading and longevity are important factors in the client’s decision-making process whether to make an investment in the treatment or not. Furthermore, an artist’s record of successful treatments with long term, true and beautiful results will also influence a client’s decision to select a particular artist or a studio.
As with any industry, the permanent makeup industry is always growing and evolving. It continuously incorporates new techniques, as well as updates previous techniques with new information about the skin, the products, and the ever-improving implements. Progress is good, amazing in fact, but it is often overwhelming to keep up with new trends.
What is Our Mission?
In fact, microblading has been developing in an unexpected and, to date, largely unsupported ways. These include creating hair strokes on the scalp, as well as at the pubic area. At Deluxe Brows, we do not discourage developments. However, we do not pursue them without conducting in-depth research into their viability. Fads in permanent makeup are common. We always focus on researching, understanding and determining what is safe, sustainable and worthy of our brand.
At Deluxe Brows we are focused on developing high level and sophisticated training programs to advance the art of microblading and to keep it alive in the parts of the world where it is relatively new. Moreover, we want to work to rebuild the art of microblading in areas where it may be waning. Of course, we understand why this is the case, and it saddens us deeply. Training programs have popped up all over the world, offering one or two-day training programs, promising excessive profits, yet failing to adequately train the unwitting well-intended students who saw this as a new career trajectory.
Bad publicity of bad work hurts us all—including those who have spent countless hours studying and perfecting, on a sustained basis, in order to build the necessary skills to accomplish this beautiful art that holds extraordinary responsibility with it.
We at Deluxe Brows believe in comprehensive, in-depth, and responsible training for new and growing artists, because we have seen the joy and spirit this art brings to the lives of individuals who have benefited so tremendously from it. We don’t need to convince you…talk to DB graduates and check out our programs. We are steadfast in our expectations.
Deluxe Brows is a permanent makeup training organization and supplier, but our passion is teaching. We teach many permanent makeup techniques, but high-quality, beautiful, consistent microblading that lasts, heals true and makes clients smile is what we specialize in. And we have been successful when it comes to microblading for many years.
It is no secret that eyebrows are the number one most popular permanent makeup procedure sought by clients (both men and women), and for a good reason, naturally. Eyebrows are the frames of the windows to the soul. For decades eyebrows have been the subject of trends and fads that define a look that millions want to emulate. Then trends change, and millions of people want to imitate new looks, and so on.
The consequence of keeping up with trends? Over-tweezing, shaving, and eventually causing hair to stop growing. Experienced artists have heard this story over and over again.
Of course, these are not the only reasons that bring clients to us looking for eyebrows. Oftentimes, over the years the brows become very sparse, medical issues cause partial or overall hair loss, or asymmetry makes clients become fed up with trying to correct their eyebrows with a pencil. In addition, people who have poor eyesight or poor motor function/control just want to look like they used to when they were younger. Also, so many people were born with or have developed sensitivities and even serious allergies to cosmetics, but they still want to look beautiful and complete. Our clients come from different life spheres and all have their own story.
Our responsibility is to provide them with what they did not have, do not have any longer, or help them create a beautiful look they can completely “rock” but which they find hard to achieve with daily cosmetic applications. How fortunate we are to be able to do this for a fellow human being? To have the ability to apply beautifully executed artistic skills while following very strict health protocols and ensuring perfect colour with our deep understanding of skin and healing, to create a set of eyebrows, or perhaps eyeliner or even lips, which are flawlessly applied and look extraordinary is a blessing!!
If you are already an artist, you are familiar with this feeling of euphoria. When a client sits and views their treatment for the very first time and is overjoyed by the reflection in the mirror, they can become very emotional. A premium, luxury service? We think not. Permanent makeup artists give, restore, boost, generate smiles, compliments, and reinforce your inner self.
What more can we wish for?
Microblading is, of course, a form of permanent makeup. It is one of several beautiful brow techniques. The pigment is implanted into the skin at the dermal-epidermal junction, no deeper and no shallower, meaning that the appearance of the created hair strokes is visible for a long time.
What are the Limits to Microblading?
How long will it last? This depends on many factors. As with all permanent makeup techniques, there are contraindications that will make some clients poor candidates for permanent makeup. Furthermore, there are things like medications and health issues, both known and unknown, that can affect the fixation and/or longevity of any permanent makeup treatment. To determine candidacy, all artists must have clients complete a questionnaire. In most cases, clients can undertake a permanent makeup treatment though sometimes they may need to stop using some skincare products, or certain supplements which can affect the treatment. Clients absolutely must be honest with their artists on their forms and must also agree to accept that there are no guarantees in our work. Artists must protect themselves always, even with sufficient insurance.
Microblading, being a unique permanent makeup application, is not suitable for all clients. For example, if a client has extremely oily skin, the crisp and precise hair strokes, this is almost a guarantee they will blur and blend together, making the treatment look unattractive. Sometimes clients who have extremely thin or sensitive skin should be discouraged from microblading. In the event the pigment may be placed too deep in the skin, causing the color to appear greyish-bluish (this is known as “ashing out”). A highly experienced artist can prevent or mitigate this; however, it is their vast experience that tells them precisely what they need to do for such clients. Furthermore, some Fitzpatrick types may not be suitable (e.g. Fitzpatrick Skin Type 6, with a very high level of melanin in the skin) at all if the artist is tot experienced enough to confidently assess the skin and know precisely the type of a tool, pressure, color and aftercare which are required.
This all comes down to the experience of the artist. Many African-American clients get dazzling microblading done when the artist knows exactly what they are doing. Demographics are different everywhere, so unless you have been taught about the specific nuances of various skin types, and have had experience working on them all, it is extremely important to either decline the client or, better yet, reach out for guidance. Deluxe Brows will always support every student, present and past, no matter where, no matter when!!! Make sure you never take a risk.
Clients who must take medications or supplements that thin the blood will experience bleeding during treatment, affecting the implant of pigment. Clients who are in poor health, and have either a dermal wound such as that caused by microblading, or any tattoo for that matter, will experience a higher immune response than normal which might cause poor pigment implantation or retention. Clients who report certain health issues should seek physician consent prior to treatment to be on the safe side.
However, even more importantly, clients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, undergoing chemotherapy or taking antibiotics must be strictly ruled out. As already stated, a tattoo is a controlled dermal wound. Should any infection occur, these clients (and in the case of nursing mothers, their infants) will be compromised.
What are the PROS AND CONS of Microblading?
At the end of the day, most things are safe when it comes to permanent makeup when it is done by skilled, knowledgeable and experienced artists. It is important to prevent the issues, by ruling out certain clients, requesting doctor clearance, informing clients about possible results and doing your best to provide a beautiful service that is the banner of your work. It is detrimental to an artist’s business if a client’s newly microbladed eyebrows are gone in 3 months or have healed an off colour. Of course, this CAN occur even with the most experienced artists, but the key is to do whatever is in your power to prevent it. Your reputation and your livelihood are at stake!
- One of the advantages of choosing microblading as a permanent makeup brow treatment is that it is probably the most natural-looking technique of any brow treatments – When done skillfully, it can give an existing brow density without anyone even knowing there are tattooed hair strokes mingling within natural brow hair. It can completely replace a missing set of eyebrows. They are so realistic that people need to look closely to see whether they are tattooed or real. In fact, even the most masculine men who suffer from brow sparseness or brow hair loss can benefit from the natural look of microblading. The truth is, it really is the only treatment that works and that will restore a set of man brows, provided that specific man is a candidate. Now, this is art!!!
- Microblading is also a great choice for clients who may not want to commit to one specific eyebrow shape for several years – As stated earlier, trends change and eyebrows are seemingly at the forefront of cosmetic evolutions. A well-done set of microbladed brows will lighten and fade nicely over a period of 12 to 18 months. When the treatment has faded the client may elect another brow treatment, perhaps with a shape alteration.
- Microblading cannot be done repeatedly, over and over, without shading in between – The skin must be given sufficient time to heal between microblading treatments, and this does not mean retouches. The last thing any artist wants is to create are tiny hair stroke “scars” in a client’s skin. Also, one of the upsides can equally be a downside if, for example, a client wants something more long-term. Microblading definitely does tend to last longer with mature clients due to a slower cellular regeneration cycle. Probably the only downside of microblading on such clients is an off-colour heal which often has less to do with the colour choice and more to do with overall exposure – sun, pollution, free radicals, skincare, and alike.
- Microblading is actually not owing to any particular individual or client – In fact, it is the industry itself. Indeed, it has existed as a beautiful art for decades. However, when it gained huge popularity, poor quality training programs also started to attract attention In many cases, these programs promised career-changing to millions without a single prerequisite!!! This unfortunate turn of events has harmed the entire industry of cosmetic tattooing. It is another reason why clients should do intense homework on their artists and for artists to ensure clients have all of the information they need from them to make them feel confident.
What is the Celebrity Factor in Microblading?
Social media has been probably the best and the worst thing to happen to permanent makeup! On the one hand, artists can easily present a gallery of their work to prospective clients without having almost any costs. On the other hand, bad work on the part of one artist goes viral and hurts everyone. Moreover, unscrupulous upstarts have been known to steal gallery photos that belong to skilled artists, claiming them as their own.
Social media, however, has been the catalyst to the growth in popularity of microblading. The public’s awe of brows like those belonging to Cara Delavigne played a major role, most certainly the beauty activities of many celebrities like the Kardashians and the unknown originator of the term “on fleek” have been a driving force in this beautiful work.
Celebrities play an enormous role in the beauty trends of society. This is not new information. Hundreds of thousands of artists have been inundated with clients entering their studios clutching photos of their favorite celebrity’s cosmetic styles, asking for a duplication on their own face. Of course, an artist will aim to oblige and do what’s in their power to achieve the desired look. A good artist, a knowledgeable and savvy artist, knows that creating a set of brows that do NOT belong on a face, can damage their career. With that being said, a visionary artist with a strong business sense, can map a set of brows for a client that completely fits with their facial contours, on their brow bone and is in tune with their natural coloring. And, voila, the client can see a new opportunity to make facial lines even more beautiful and make them even more unique.
Don’t get us wrong. We, as artists, need celebrities to promote our art and our industry. The more they promote outstanding work, the more calls we will get. What must be critically understood, is that promising a people’s magazine look that does not belong on a client’s face, must be discouraged. For instance, the look might not align with a client’s contours and bone structure or it may be the shock factor – the premonition that the client may want the look beforehand, but may absolutely hate it, and blame the artist afterwards.
What Psychological Factors Do You Need to Take into Account when Microblading?
- The psychology behind having discussions with clients regarding shape and color is as important as the work itself. All permanent makeup treatments involve at least 2 sessions. Taking a client from a subtle or non-existent brow to a bold “in your face” set of brows will evoke a shock factor. While you have taken before and after photos and protected yourself on your forms and went through lengthy discussions with your client, a client who is shocked with their appearance after the treatment, even though they have chosen that particular look themselves, can still do damage to your business, and not just with his or her commentary, but in the reaction of others in their social circles and beyond. So, in other words, we need to thank celebrities for mobilizing our field of work, but we need to be cautious about clients wanting to look like a celebrity. It is a fine balance that all good artists must learn to work within, using exceptional customer service skills, and their understanding of psychology and a talent to encourage others to share positive thoughts about their services.
- What must be ENCOURAGED in the design of a brow shape, is an exquisite look that incorporates and amplifies the natural beauty of the woman or man in front of you. A well mapped brow reveals your skill. When client leaves your space feeling beautiful and thrilled, they will be spreading the word about your expertise and your name will be frequent in many public circles.
- Anyone seeking to become certified in permanent makeup cannot discount the importance of learning to talk with clients. It cannot be overstated that psychology is on par with our talent. For example, besides the discussion about the shape and your ability to deliver a “Hollywood” or “New York runway” look, you will also need to carefully detail the entire experience of creating a permanent makeup to your client. Perhaps they are entirely new to PMU, perhaps they have heard things and think they know all about it, when actually they may know very little, or perhaps they have had a very bad previous experience. At all times, we must be respectful of other artists, carefully taking mental notes in case we run into an artist who might need to be reported. However, you are taking one person’s word for a negative experience and it is undoubtedly an emotional one for them. It is always advisable to support one another (artist to artist), never undermine another artist or boast around. Modesty yields credibility.
- Permanent makeup can make many clients nervous. This is why your calm approach to outlining what permanent makeup is all about is critical. In addition, many clients may wish to negotiate price with you. As an initial investment, it can be a steep one-time cost that, in many cases, a client has had to save up for. Discussing the merits of price versus quality is a delicate but important subject. An artist must be prepared to prove their worth, as well as to prove that a client’s investment actually pays off in the long run. Be prepared for these kinds of conversations with your potential clients.
Tips on Microblading
- You need to have an extensive knowledge on pigments. Be prepared to discuss similar skin types and lifestyles of your clients’. Be clear on the science of tattooing, such as where the pigment rests in the skin, why the color may fade, what to expect on healing, and so on. In other words, seek to speak in utter confidence to each and every client. Letting them know that you know your stuff puts them at ease and will yield more business in the long run. Don’t believe us? Check the artists’ reviews and see how often a client reports feeling at ease – often before they report their happiness with the work!
- Talk through service should be discouraged for the purposes of keeping clients calm and still; however, artists must make sure they have done everything possible to comfort their clients with a quiet voice, a periodic checking in, and a serene, interruption-free environment.
- Microblading is applied under so many circumstances, making it an incredibly versatile permanent makeup service. Clients will come to you without any brows whatsoever. Some will come with very sparse brows or even patchy brows. You will hear reports of medical issues causing hair loss, age-related brow hair loss, cosmetic sensitivities, and an inability to apply cosmetics in a flattering way. When helping each client, the artist must choose the right technique. Sometimes more than one technique is used in a single treatment.
What Are Microblading Tools and Techniques
Firstly, consider your tool. There are many ergonomically designed microblade pens on the market that will save an artist’s hands and wrists if he or she performs microblading all day, every day. As business owners we often work 6 days weeks, right? Hand tools may be weighted, counter-balanced, have a larger shaft for gripping, or a very thin shaft that might hurt hands. This is why the right tool is essential.
However, what can interfere with your choice of pen is your local health code. If you are operating in an area that requires all the tools to be at your disposal, this might include your entire pen. This can be costly in the long run. The artist must find the best possible scenario. Either adapt to fully disposable pens, many of which do come with ergonomic features, or continue to use reusable pens and dispose of them, setting your profit margin accordingly.
We, at Deluxe Brows favour 100 percent disposable implements. It is the best approach for preventing cross-contamination of blood borne pathogens. That is not to say that artists cannot use reusable implements, but it is the artist’s local health code that dictates how all reusables are sterilized. This could be autoclaved in some parts of the world, or cold sterilization in others. At all times, your clients need to witness your dedication to sanitation in your studio.
If a brow that is entirely missing needs to be completely reconstructed, the artist will select a couple of blade configurations to create long and short hair strokes. Often a completely recreated brow can look so precise and flawless it appears unnatural!!! Manual shading over top of the hair strokes adds intensity, depth and a more natural appearance. A skilled artist is able to use their curved microblade to create a shaded brow, or he/she may opt for a round shader configuration.
A brow that is sparse may need some filled in hair strokes and this may require only a smaller blade configuration to squeeze in strokes between the existing brow hair, creating dimension.
All microblades are sharp. Some are sharper than others. A flexile microblade is bound with a vinyl covering creating “give” when working on skin. It is important that flexible blades are used by new artists and by artists who are working carefully on skin to implant pigment at the “sweet spot” – the DE (dermal-epidermal junction). Microblades are individual needles clustered together in a line which either end in a sloped shape or a curved (rounded) end. Which one to use is often the artist’s preference. However, the curved bladed has no sharp point on it, so for learning artists, it is often a good one to become comfortable with it initially. The individual needles the blade is comprised of will have different gauges. The smaller the gauge of the individual needles, the sharper the overall “blade”. A microblade is, in fact, not a blade at all.
All artists must understand how to read microblade descriptions. Every individual microblade is sterile packed and made of surgical grade stainless steel. Each package has a lot number and expiry date. These must be opened in front of the customer and the paper backing should be stapled to your client’s file, forms, or comment card. Furthermore, since microblades are most often delivered to an artist from an on-line order, it is absolutely critical that they are inspected carefully under a strong light and a magnifier to determine if any imperfections exist. Even the slightest imperfection can harm the skin.
Another type of microblade is known as hard or rigid. This is because it is made of a single piece of surgical grade stainless steel with the individual needles made separate in the manufacturing process by precision equipment. These blades are very sharp and are not recommended for newer artists. Because of their sharpness they can do damage to the skin if used on very thin or sensitive skin, or if too much pressure (and it does not take much!!) is applied. These blades are best suited for oily skin that is thicker due to compressed skin cells held together by excess sebum, or for clients with thicker skin overall. Often men seek out the services of a skilled microblading artist as they are not immune to the loss of brow hair. A rigid blade would be a good choice for a male face. However, this depends on the skin assessment – ALWAYS!
Learning to Microblade: Know Thy Impact, Understand Thy Limits
When artists train in microblading they train on latex skin, foam, pig’s ears or other specially designed surfaces intended to mimic human skin. At first, in the absence of a model, the artist must learn typical patterns which are common to certain ethnic types, in general. It is during this pattern practice that artists get very skilled at creating entire brows, flawlessly executed.
A client may wish to have such a perfect looking brow. When working on live models, however, an artist must balance his or her knowledge of “typical” patterns with the client’s existing brow hair. We always want to aim for the most natural look. To achieve that, we often must apply some understanding of pattern, with the need to follow the client’s existing brow hair flow. It is a good idea to pre-draw individual hair strokes to determine the best pattern and look for the client and also to earn the client’s approval.
Microblading is, as a permanent makeup procedure, often reported to be “no maintenance”. This is false. It is an ideal scenario, but rarely the case in reality. Microblading, or any other permanent makeup procedure, is better described as low maintenance.
For example, imagine a client with a natural brow that dips significantly at the tail, giving the effect of pulling down the face and causing the client to appear older. Artists do have the opportunity to give the client a “brow lift” in such a situation by mapping the brow in such a way so that the tails are lifted slightly. According to conventional wisdom, and the Golden Ratio, the tail of the brow must never fall below the head of the brow.
If the client is amenable to some maintenance, as in tweezing or shaving the portion of brow which causes the sunken look, then the final brow look gives the client an inexpensive “lift”, requiring him or her to apply some minor maintenance involving a brow razor or tweezers maintenance, or risk having 2 brow tails!!! Conversely, sometimes the bulb of a brow dips very low over the corner of the eyes and often curves up and round like the well-known “Golden Arches”. This type of brow often gives off a very surprised and/or severe look. Once again, an artist has an opportunity to do some slight reshaping with the emphasis on slight (remember low maintenance), to create a brow that is more elegant.
So far you have read about the many and varied considerations in respect of microblading as a beautiful solution for millions of women and men seeking gorgeous looking eyebrows that make their eyes stand out and add to their overall look.
How to Select the Right Training: Basic and Advanced
As mentioned earlier, since the popularity of microblading has exploded, particularly in North America, so have training programs as well. Many of such programs are excellent. These training programs are developed by experienced artists who understand all that is necessary for artists to know and understand before working on clients. Sadly, and too often, due to the lucrative nature of training in permanent makeup ($1,200 USD/DAY and upwards), there are training programs which appear to have outstanding credibility (consider the earlier message about social media being as helpful as it is harmful) that are being delivered by ill-trained, under-trained or irresponsible artist-trainers.
Deluxe Brows insists on nothing less than a long term, sustained training program involving pre-study, contact study, post-study and a graduated approach to ultimately working on live models. We are very serious about our commitment to lifting the standards of this industry and ensuring that clients get the service they demand.
We offer a multitude of training platforms that span the globe. We intermix individual education, with video, audio, social media and real time training support, with the pinnacle piece being face-to-face, rigorous training and assessment. This is the essence of ALL of our basic training programs. Basic training is where the foundational skills are built. A house built without support, crumbles in time. We feel exactly this way about foundational permanent makeup and, in particular, microblading training.
Price is always a factor for potential students. Any private training program is costly, regardless of the discipline. Because of the potential income you might receive from permanent makeup, a single day of training is expensive. One must ask themselves about cost versus value.
Do you want a certificate on your wall so that you can get insurance and begin practice? It saddens us to report that this is easily accomplished in a “town near you”. Will there be repercussions to the convenience of that? Quite likely – it depends on your decision.
A Deluxe Brows Diploma carries an immense amount of weight on the wall of a studious artist. Regardless of the program you select, you will pay money. It is no different from a client electing an artist who will do a $100 set of brows versus a $500 set of brows. Is a price to value connection definite? Absolutely not. Is good research a sure bet? 100 percent.
We do not encourage anyone to rely on social media for verification. We encourage direct conversations. We encourage seeing the results. We encourage looking at the number of students we have certified and the work they are putting out. We DO NOT CERTIFY EVERYONE. That is our promise. There are some who are simply not suited for this work. This is not an insult. It is an assurance to the industry and to the clients. We take this responsibility very seriously.
In effective adult learning, programs are designed to be varied to suit all types of learners. They must be accessible for learners who cannot travel distances but are eager to participate. In addition, they must be close enough to one’s home so as not to result in heavy travel costs. Excellence in learning involves scaffolding, piece by piece, ensuring each critical element is learned and mastered before moving on.
Only by pursuing this kind of strategy can we ensure top quality artists worthy of the Deluxe Brows name operating in communities all over the world.