Cosmetic tattooing, also referred to as semi-permanent makeup or micropigmentation, is the process of implanting colour pigment beneath the surface of the skin by means of tiny, sterile, disposable needles to produce the appearance of hair strokes, makeup, and enhance the natural features of the face.
All eyebrows are not created equally. Some eyebrows require little effort to look perfect while others require the help of a small miracle just to get by. Even though naturally perfect eyebrows are few and far between, eyebrow microblading makes it possible to transform any brows into the closest thing to naturally perfect as possible.
Microblading goes by a few different names like, 3D eyebrows, eyebrow embroidery, and eyebrow feathering. No matter the name, the procedure of microblading eyebrows is relatively new here in the US, but it has been popular in Asia + Europe for roughly 25 years.
Microblading is a semi permanent cosmetic procedure that uses a specialized, hand tool, to make fine cuts in the skin to implant pigment that resembles the appearance of natural eyebrow hair. It is ideal for filling in sparse areas of the natural eyebrow where hair isn’t present, and also defining and enhancing brow shape.
A microblade tool looks similar to an exacto knife, but instead of there being one big blade, there is a series of micro needles. The microblade is dipped into a selected color of pigment and then used to make a fine cut, or microstroke, in the skin. This process results in the pigment being implanted into the skin, which is known as micropigmentation. With the proper technique, microbladed eyebrow results look beautiful and completely natural. For best possible healed results strict adherence to the microblading aftercare is required.
The procedure sounds a lot like a tattoo, because that’s what it is.
More specifically, microblading is a semi permanent eyebrow tattoo. Microbladed eyebrows are nothing like old school permanent tattooed eyebrows that look like they were drawn on using a sharpie, then fade into unnatural shades of blue and pink over time.
There are two major differences that make microblading more natural looking compared to the results permanent tattoos are known for.
First, the type of pigment used for microblading has an iron oxide base. Iron oxide is a popular ingredient in cosmetics like foundation, blush, lipstick, and eye shadow. An iron oxide base allows the color to softly fade over time and ultimately vanish, unlike the inks used in permanent cosmetic tattoos.
Second, the pigment used for microblading is not implanted into the skin as deeply compared to the depth used for permanent cosmetic procedures. The proper depth for the color to be implanted during the microblading procedure is the upper layer of the dermis. If the microstroke doesn't go deep enough, the color retention will be poor, and if it's too deep, it causes scarring and the healed strokes look blurry instead of fine and crisp.
The pigment being implanted to the correct depth, combined with it’s iron oxide base is what gives microblading results the appearance of natural looking eyebrows. The semi permanent qualities of the microblading pigment prevent it from fading into unnatural shades that are so common with permanent cosmetics.