Microblading vs Ombre Powder Brows

1st Jun 2022 | By

Microblading uses a hand-held device and allows you to achieve realistic looking hair strokes. Due to this, it’s often used to create a soft, fluffy and natural looking brow. On the other hand, powder brows generally have a more defined finish, as if you’ve got them perfectly filled in with your favourite brow pencil. Microblading and powder brows, also known ombre brows, are both methods of permanent eyebrow make up. However, the finishes they create are very different.

What’s the difference between microblading and powder ombre brows?

Microblading uses a hand-held device and allows you to achieve realistic looking hair strokes. Due to this, it’s often used to create a soft, fluffy and natural looking brow. On the other hand, powder brows generally have a more defined finish, as if you’ve got them perfectly filled in with your favourite brow pencil. Microblading and powder brows, also known ombre brows, are both methods of permanent eyebrow make up. However, the finishes they create are very different.

Image: @karenbettsofficial

What is microblading?

Microblading is a permanent makeup technique that can be used to create a variety of looks, but it is most known for creating hair stroke brows. Possibly the most well-known of all eyebrow tattooing techniques, microblading uses a handheld device with tiny, ultra-fine needles. This allows the pigment to be inserted into the upper layers of the skin in realistic looking hair strokes. By creating the illusion of hair strokes, you can achieve a really natural finish. It can also be used to create more ‘on-trend’ styles, especially softer, fluffy brows.

“Microblading tends to be a really popular treatment, especially with people who take their inspiration from celebrities and influencers. It’s seen as a ‘trendy’ treatment to have,” says HD Brows CEO and renowned permanent make up expert, Karen Betts.

Different types of microblading?

Microblading refers to the method of tattooing eyebrows with a hand-held device instead of a machine. However, there are a variety of looks that can be achieved with a microblading treatment. There are lots of needle types, shapes and sizes that can be used, each creating its own style. From fine, natural hair stokes to a more shaded effect, your technician will have a thorough consultation with you to determine the style you want and the best way to achieve that.

How long does microblading take?

The initial treatment will usually take around 2 – 3 hours. Each treatment will involve a detailed consultation and design process, ensuring that everything is perfect for you before the actual procedure takes place. You will also need to go back for a top up appointment to touch up the pigment after the initial healing period, which is usually 60 – 90 minutes long.

How long does microblading take to heal?

Microblading can take up to 6 weeks to fully heal. Initially, the colour will appear darker than you expected but don’t worry – it will start to fade within 3 – 4 days. You will need to follow the detailed aftercare as provided by your technician During healing, it’s totally normal for some areas of colour not to hold as well as others, which is why you will need to attend a touch up appointment. You must always follow the detailed aftercare plan as provided by your technician.

Can you have microblading when pregnant?

It is not advisable to have microblading whilst pregnant. While microblading is a safe cosmetic procedure, it’s not recommended due to the risk of infection.

What are powder brows?

Ombre powder brows are a permanent make up treatment that uses either a digital machine or handheld tool to insert tiny dots of pigment into the skin. It creates a more shaded effect, rather than the crisp hair strokes that are often associated with microblading. The result is a more defined, fuller brow, similar to the look you can achieve using cosmetic eyebrow powders or pencils.

Ombre brows have really risen in popularity over the last few years,” notes Karen. “Social media apps like Instagram have played a big part. You won’t be able to scroll far down your Insta-feed without seeing the fuller, more dramatic ombre brow.”

How long do powder brows last?

Ombre powder brows last for around 1 – 3 years. As with any permanent make up treatment, the time it lasts can depend on a number of factors, including skin type, your skincare routine and how well you followed the aftercare guidance.

How long do powder brows take to heal?

Ombre brows can take up to 6 weeks to fully heal. The colour will be darker for the first 3 – 4 days. It will then begin to scab over, which is a normal part of the healing process. While microblading tends to scab in smaller patches, you’ll find that ombre brows scab in a larger pieces. Do not pick these scabs or you’ll risk removing some of the pigment. They will naturally fall off and reveal the true, healed colour.

As with any permanent make up treatment, you must always follow the aftercare guidance as given by your technician.

Ombre vs microblading brows: which is right for me?

“Microblading is a fantastic treatment for those wanting to get an ultra-fine, natural, hair stroke effect. I created my very own microblading hand tool, the K.B Pro Glider, to create the most beautifully natural strokes,” explains Karen. If you’re after a totally realistic looking brow, this makes microblading the option for you. It’s also perfect for creating the on-trend full and fluffy brow look.
If a power brow is more your style, you’ll probably be into ombre brows. Instead of individual hair strokes, this method delivers a more defined colour.

Karen also shared her top tips for creating an ombre brow that still looks natural: “I use a ‘powder brow’ technique to shade the brows, giving a denser colour which starts lighter at the inner corner of the brow and deepens to the tail, giving the ombre effect. I use my specialist K.B Pro Pigments that I created with industry experts – they allow me to get the perfect fade of colour that looks extremely natural.”
Image: @kbprouk

Which lasts longer: microblading or powder brows?

On average, microblading lasts up to one year and ombre brows can last for up to three years, although this can vary based skin type, skincare routine, etc. Those with oily skin may find that microblading fades much quicker on them, so may want to consider the ombre powder brow route.

Despite being permanent make up techniques, both microblading and powder ombre brows will fade over time. The healing process of both is similar, with both treatments require a touch up appointment around 6 weeks after the initial procedure.

Combination brows

Combination brows is a treatment that combines the hair strokes associated with microblading treatments and the detailed shading of ombre brows. The result is a defined yet natural brow finish.

Karen Betts and her team of elite artists offer both microblading and ombre brow treatments at her clinics across the UK.

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