What is microblading?

Microblading is a cosmetic procedure that inserts pigment under your skin using a needle or an electric machine with a needle or needles attached to it. It’s also sometimes known as feathering or micro-stroking.

Microblading aims to give you well-defined brows that look natural without the hassle of daily makeup application. Microblading has been around for at least 25 years in Asia and has been growing in popularity in the United States and Europe.

Once applied, microblading pigment does fade. How long your microblading results last will depend on your skin type, lifestyle, and how often you get touch-ups.

The effects of microblading last anywhere between 18 and 30 months. Once pigment from the procedure begins to noticeably fade, you’ll need to go back to your practitioner for a touch-up application. Touch-ups can be necessary every six months or every year, depending on your skin type and preferred look.

Microblading touch-ups are similar to getting root touch-ups for your hair. If you go when your microblading first starts fading, you can simply have the color filled in. But if you wait longer than your practitioner recommends, you may have to have the whole microblading procedure done over again on both of your eyebrows. This is time-intensive and much more expensive than a touch-up application.

How long does microblading last on oily skin?

If you have oily skin, you’re still a candidate for microblading. But the results might not last as long as they would on other skin types. High amounts of sebum, or oil, being secreted from your skin can make it more difficult for pigment to adhere and stay in your skin. Speak to your aesthetician about any concerns you have about your skin type and how long you can expect your results to last.

The cost of microblading will vary depending on the cost of living in your area and the level of experience of your aesthetician. Performed in a sterile, safe setting by an experienced certified practitioner, costs range from $250 to over $1,000. Touch-ups tend to cost a little over half the cost of the original procedure. For example, touching up a $500 treatment would typically cost around $300.

Microblading isn’t typically covered by health insurance. There are medical conditions, medications, and treatments that cause your eyebrow hair to fall out. In these circumstances, it never hurts to see if your insurance might consider covering your microblading.

Since microblading can be expensive, ask your practitioner if you may be eligible for discounts. Volunteering to be included as a subject in your aesthetician’s portfolio is one option that might bring down the cost.

Microblading takes 10 to 14 days to heal as the pigment settles into its shape. During this process, your skin will be sensitive. The skin on your eyebrows will eventually scab and flake off. The area will be red and tender to the touch at first.

While your new brow shape is healing, don’t pick or scratch the area. This introduces germs that could become trapped under your skin and cause an infection. Picking at flakes may also cause the color of your brows to fade more quickly.

During this healing period, you should avoid all forms of moisture on your brows. This includes excessive sweating from working out and getting them wet in the shower or pool.

If you’re considering a microblading procedure, you should take note of several risks.

Once the procedure is complete, your eyebrows will have the same color and shape until the color fades — which can take 18 months or more. Have an in-depth consultation with your practitioner that includes reviewing their portfolio and having them sketch a trial shape onto your face so you can preview the finished product.

Microblading is somewhat uncomfortable and can be painful despite the use of a topical anesthetic. When it’s finished, you’ll have what are basically small cuts on your face that are no wider than a thread. These cuts can become infected if you don’t keep the area clean and dry. Infection from microblading, in rare cases, can even lead to sepsis and other side effects.

If you like the look of a fuller brow but aren’t sure that microblading is for you, there are several other options you might consider:

  • eyebrow pencil or eyebrow mascara as part of your routine
  • henna tattoo applied by a professional henna artist
  • permanent makeup drawn in at a licensed tattoo parlor

There’s no definite answer to how long the results of microblading will last for you. Speak with a licensed aesthetician about your concerns for your results and how often you will need touch-ups.

When considering a procedure like microblading, it’s essential to do your research and find a practitioner who’s licensed, well-reviewed, and trustworthy.