Let’s get down to the roots on this one, most of us have the odd wonky tooth or such like & many of us want to fix the wonky tooth (and also the such like). We’ve listened to the cries of “don’t change, you’re fine with what you’ve got”. We’ve all heard it and we all know how those conversations roll out. And maybe imperfections are much more beautiful than perfections… for some.

But quite frankly, those conversations and beliefs don’t actually cut it for a lot of us folks out there. Not all of us want to learn to live with what we’ve got. Some of us, purely and simply love to fine tune our looks – de facto. We want to tease the edges, smooth away those corners and knock out the stray strands that are not going in the right direction.

So let’s get onto the subject of these said unstraight lines & imperfections and move onto the subject of eyebrows. Women (and men) have been plucking their eyebrows for quite a while. You only need to check out Cleopatra’s bold brows on any Egyptian relic if you need some fact clarification. But thankfully, time’s moved on since those days where you’ve needed to pluck away and wince. Eyebrows are no longer a full evenings project. Things have evolved…

Now is the time to take a deep bow and place our hands firmly together and say a big thank you to the microblading industry. Because as far as eyebrows and that painful plucking & waxing is concerned, evolution has handed us an industry that’s life-changing. Microblading has turned the cosmetics industry a little tiny bit on its head in reality. Now, instead of tweezing away & wishing we had been born with Cara Delvignes lovely dense and perfect eyebrows, we can just book an appointment for our own set of perfect beauties.

What is Microblading & how long does it last?

Let’s begin by answering the initial question, What is Microblading?

Microblading is a bespoke design that is implanted onto the eyebrow using organic pigments. A professional Microblading technician, using a pigment soaked and finely sloped Micro Blade, will create featherlight strokes into the epidermis layer of the brown line. These fine “scratches” should reach down to the surface of the dermis level on the brow line but no further.

The upshot is a set of eyebrows that have an appearance that is not only denser than the original eyebrow but also neater & visually natural.

The above is an extremely brief overview of the procedure, as the purpose of this article is to discuss, in essence, its shelf life. How long does microblading last? In short, Microbladed eyebrows fade after 9 to 18 months. However, given that the procedure stems from the same family as tattooing, it’s useful to note that pigment residue will still remain in the brow line, albeit verging on invisible. Of course, it’s probably also crucial to mention at this moment in time, the fading process will also vary in accordance with a particular individuals skin physiology.

To move further into the comprehension of how microbladed eyebrows fade is to understand the actual difference between Microblading and Tattooing or Permanent Makeup procedures. The two methods are one of a kind, the procedure of Microblading is tantamount to that of tattooing. The process of pigment entering into the skin, leaving a trace is the underlying basic behind both treatments. But why do microbladed eyebrows fade to insignificance whereby a tattoo is a permanent fixture?

As is often the case with kith and kin, no two are ever alike and a logical way forward in understanding anything is to break it all down. In an endeavor to explain how and why Microblading fades, unlike a tattoo, is to fathom the general make up of our skin followed by a comprehension for actual pigment implantation. To begin this educational journey, let’s begin with skin.

Skin is made up of three principal layers :

  • The outer layer of your skin is known as the Epidermis. The epidermis varies in thickness dependant on where you find it on your body. It acts as a semi-permeable protective barrier & one of its thinnest of sites you’ll find are around the eyes. The Epidermis level will regenerate every 15 to 30 days dependant on the individual, and regeneration is quicker on injury sites. The Epidermis level of your skin is a structure that’s designed to protect from the environment. Age, sex and ethnicity can change both its appearance and structure.
  • Underneath the Epidermis is a layer known as the Dermis level. The dermis contains blood capillaries (amongst other things) & is therefore, “live”. It also contains nerve endings, sweat & oil glands along with hair follicles. It’s the blood vessels that provide the skin with nutrients and the nerve endings allowing sensations of touch.
  • The final layer is the Hypodermis level which is a level of tissue sitting underneath the Dermis level and is also used as fat storage. It’s your protective padding and is clearly more abundant in certain areas than others. Around the eye zones, Hypodermis is just a fraction of a centimeter in thickness, unlike that of your rear end, for example.

Moving on from skin physiology, the next educational step is to talk about the depth of pigment implantation because this is invariably where the understanding between tattooing and microblading sits.

Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

With tattoos or any permanent makeup procedure, the practitioner will implant pigments into the dermis level. Because this level is live it will trap the pigments leaving an indelible (permanent) marking. Albeit this may fade to a certain degree, over time, because it’s trapped, essentially, it’s there to stay.


Microblading is different. The pigments are merely scratched into the Epidermis layer and should lightly graze only the very surface of the dermis level. The result deems pigments semi-permanent and thereafter will fade to virtual, if not complete, invisibility over a period of time. However, fragments of pigment will remain in the skin.

When Tattoo, Permanent Makeup or Microblading are nothing but an indelible marking

Should it go beyond the Dermis level and the pigment is implanted into the Hypodermis level, you will end up with a permanent tattoo that will create a bleary bluish and unsightly tinge to it. This is the moment when you can consider that your procedure has been done by someone who’s unprofessional.

Taking all of the above into account it should be completely apparent that microblading needs to be carried out by a technician who really does get the procedure along with a skin’s physiology. It’s extremely difficult to estimate the distance between Epidermis and Dermis and margins for error are very very small. Additionally, the thickness of the Epidermis varies from person to person and will also differ in accordance with age, sex and ethnicity.

When you’re about to embark on your new brow journey it’s useful to know that training and accreditation requirements are quite variable in the microblading industry. Because the process is not an indelible one regulations are much lighter than those attached to permanent procedures. For this very reason, the most crucial aspect to choosing a technician pretty much HAS to lie with finding a particular individual who understands the mechanics behind the procedure. But it also moves beyond that. You should also source a technician who is creative and has a talent for the art in itself. Microblading is a process that’s best done by hand as a “freestyle” practice. If your practitioner is not an artist, one has to question their ability to correctly implant very visible pigment into your skin.

So where does all this leave you when it comes to microblading? The upshot is that microblading is known as a semi-permanent procedure. It fades & often the fading process is to the point of complete invisibility. However, debating would suggest that it’s actually a permanent procedure owing to particles being left behind. This information is useful but it leaves a few loose ends. Once you’ve begun microblading your eyebrows, what’s next? Do you need to continue with the procedure every 9 to 18 months? Can you change the design of your eyebrows post procedure? Can you continue with the same design and undergo a second microblading procedure?

In essence all of the above are options. The aftermath of microblading is once the procedure fades, providing you’ve chosen a highly skilled technician for the treatment you can leave the microblading alone should you wish. Alternatively, once the fading is nigh on invisible you can undergo a touch-up procedure and carry on with your original and chosen eyebrow design. And finally, should you choose to change the design of your brow line completely your chosen professional, should be able to adapt what you’ve got & come up with a suitable concept that will work in line with your previously microbladed eyebrows.

Further reading:

Leave a Reply