Laura Marshall, Advanced Aesthetic Practitioner at Eternal Beauty Company
When I see my clients for their first brow consultations, one of the main questions I hear is ‘what's the difference between microblading and the rest?’
I hear you.
It IS a bit confusing especially when you might hear other terms that mean the same things but confuse the issue even more: Brow Embroidery, Device Brows, Digital Brows, Combination Brows, Pixel Brows, Powder Brows, Ombre Brows and so on! The list is relatively endless depending on which country you live in (For example certain states in the USA ONLY allow microblading versus device brows) and also based on what the marketeer in question has chosen as the word du jour for this week!
So, let me help and keep this really simple.
Microblading is a manual way for creating hair strokes in the brow. That’s it! The art of microblading is achieved by using a hand tool which will house a group of needles to then very delicately etch in your skin a single hair stroke. I like to think of it as being very similar to an indian ink or traditional way of creating a tattoo: ink+ needle = hair strokes. Now of course there are brand differences, and each brand will have their preferred way of doing microblading, with a different set of tools marketed in a slightly different way from my experience. But, the absolute bare basics of microblading is that it’s a manual process with a hand tool.
Now, this is where is gets fun.
Anything else that uses a needle which has an electric current attached to it (ie you plug it in the wall) is classed as a ‘Device’ or ‘Machine’ brow. Saying you have machine brows isn’t the most glamorous of statements when you are showing off your fresh and perfect brows, so this is where good old fashioned marketing comes into it. Personally, I say Device or Digital brows as they are created using my hand held device (it looks like a pen which I put fresh needle cartridges in each time for every client) and it covers the fact that they are created using something that isn’t microblading.
Can you still have hair strokes with a Device? YES! The reality is you are having a hair drawn into your skin with a needle, both ways will have a desired destination (aka flawless brows) but the journey is a little different.
Okay, I can hear you saying it right now… Why would I have one particular way over another? Well actually, there is validity to trying one particular way over another.
For example, microblading (remember, the hand held manual tool) is great for creating those fluffy, feathery, beautiful brows which are very natural looking. I always ask my clients if they want their brows to look like they have make up on? Because if that’s the case microblading isn’t the best option for a ‘made up’ look. BUT it is perfect for replacing lost hair and keeping things uber natural and light looking.
Device Brows however will penetrate a little deeper in the skin, so the results last a little longer on average. Ladies or gents with oilier skin types are better suited to device methods as their skin typically is a little thicker, and wont absorb the pigment as easily, so to cover your bases it’s best to go device for them. Equally, if you have thicker, sun damaged, skin you wont be the best candidate for microblading, so device all the way.
Lastly, with a device you can also add a little (or a lot) of shading to the brow, to really enhance those hair strokes and make a 3D brow effect! The look is definitely more of a makeup centric look and tightens up the overall shape if you like your brows to look super glam.
The one thing that must be said is that there are a LOT of factors that can affect your suitability for one type of brow over another, too many for a blog post, but you can still work with your permanent make up artist to achieve the finished look that best serves YOU.
Trust me, when your client is trusting you with their face, no one wants you to look good more than your technician! And the best feeling in the world is seeing someone fall in love with their new brows afterwards, so don’t be afraid to bring in pictures, draw them how you like them, and talk talk talk to your artist to get the results you *both* want.
Yours in beauty,