What is Microblading? What is the difference between this and “Combo Brows” or “Powder Brows”?

Microblading is a procedure categorized under permanent makeup. It is the most widely recognized term when we are referring to a cosmetic brow tattoo, however this technique has gradually taken a backseat to more preferable procedures. As the beauty industry is ever evolving, we are always developing better techniques to get the same or even better results. Time has proven that techniques using a cosmetic tattooing machine are often more desirable than traditional microblading. With the machine we are able to achieve better pigment saturation with less trauma to the skin. The results typically last longer, and machine techniques are a much better option for mature or oily skin types. At Choice Beauty we can offer all of these techniques, and we will consult together to decide what procedure would be the best for your individual skin, lifestyle, desired results and natural brows. 

 Microblading typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on skin type and skincare routine.  The procedure is done by using a hand tool with ultra fine needles and each ‘hair’ is gently etched into the skin, giving an incredibly natural and realistic look. Ideal for clients with normal to dry skin and those who desire a more natural look.

Powder Brows are done without any hair strokes adding only a soft shading to the brow area. This gives the illusion of a soft application of makeup to the brows. Powder brows are especially suited to clients who are looking for more structure and definition in the brow area. Good for all skin types. 

Combo Brows are a combination of Microblading and Powder Brows. Typically we add more hair strokes to the front of the brow, with more powder and definition towards the tail. The addition of the machine shading gives a fuller and more defined appearance, while the hair strokes add more fluff and the illusion of hair in areas that may be missing brow hair. My personal favorite and most popular technique. 

Brows are never “one size fits all”, and that is why we have so many options available. We also offer complimentary consultations (either in person, on the phone or virtual) if you’d like to discuss your options in detail before booking. I want you to feel 100% confident and comfortable going forward with the procedure. 

How long does it take?

For the first session, the entire procedure should take about 2 hours. During this session we have a thorough consultation where we will shape and style the client’s brows, pre numb the skin, discuss aftercare and expectations, and select a customized pigment color.  Once the client is satisfied with the choices, we begin the procedure. The actual tattooing typically takes less than 40 minutes. 

The client is to come in for a follow up visit in order to have any minor necessary touch ups. We call this appointment the “Perfecting Touch Up” and this is where we can make any final tweaks to the shape, color, etc. as needed. The touch up session takes place 6-8 weeks after the initial session. This session will take approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete.

How long does it take to heal?

The eyebrow area will be slightly red after the procedure and color will appear very dark. This is normal for the procedure and part of the healing process. The color will fade by up to 40% as it heals. In the following days, the eyebrows will continue to be dark and you will notice slight scabbing. Do not pick at the scabs as this may damage the skin and the outcome of the healed results. The eyebrows will lighten up in color as it heals. No down time is required after the procedure.  It takes approximately 7-14 days for the brows to heal over, and about 1 month for the color to fully set in. You’ll notice the color is very light right after the two weeks after healing; the skin will have an opaque milky looking quality to it. This is known as the milk skin and is common in tattooing. This is due to the tissue still healing from the inside out even though the surface of the skin is healed. True color will reveal itself once healed. 

Is the touch up session necessary?

Yes! A Perfecting Touch Up session after 6-8 weeks is necessary as everyone heals differently and outcome will vary. Certain areas may not pick up during first session and will need to be refilled.  Pigment color may need to be adjusted, brow thickness and more strokes can be added. Individuals with oily skin often require a deeper shade during the touch up session as the oils tend to lighten the pigment. Most importantly, your touch up session is when we refine your brows to ensure it looks perfect and you end up with the brows you have always dreamed of!

Can I get my touch up session sooner than 6 weeks?

Touch up sessions should not be done earlier than 6 weeks after the initial appointment as pigment color has not fully settled into the skin. We want to see the true healed results before we proceed with the touch up. And even though the skin will have closed and appear fully healed, the tissue requires time to completely heal.

Is it painful?

The pain level for the procedure is considered mild to none.  Prior to the procedure we will apply a topical anesthetic to numb the area, and it will also be reapplied during the procedure.  Everyone responds differently to anesthetic; depending on the client, the feeling of the procedure has been described as light cat scratches to not feeling anything. Topical anesthetics used may contain lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, tetracaine and epinephrine.

After the procedure, redness and slight swelling in the area is normal.  Clients describe the area feeling similar to a light sunburn.  Clients can take Tylenol but not aspirin or ibuprofen.

How long does it last?

Permanent Makeup typically lasts 1-3 years, depending on skin type (normal, oily, dry), age (youthful/mature), technique used, and other factors. Skincare routine will also affect the lasting effect of the pigment: clients who tan, use products with AHA or Glycolic Acid with fade faster as your skin will resurface faster. Each individual’s color retention within the skin will vary. To maintain the brows and keep them looking fresh, color boost is suggested every 1-2 years. Clients can let the cosmetic tattoo fade over time, but please note a slight shadow may remain.

What are the pre and post care procedures?

In order to achieve the best results, it is best to follow the pre and post care instructions.

Prior to your procedure, clients are advised of the following:

  • Avoid alcohol and aspirin/ibuprofen and any vitamins that may thin your blood for 72 hours.  Please avoid caffeine for 24 hours prior to your appointment as well.
  • Avoid tanning so we can assess your natural skin tone.
  • No face scrubs or chemical peels at least two weeks prior.
  • Feel free to come in with their brow makeup on so I can see the every day look you prefer. Reference pictures of shapes and colors of brows are always welcomed. We will then work together to create your perfect brows!

After your procedure, clients MUST follow these instructions:

  • In the first hour after the procedure, blot with a moist towelette to absorb any lymph fluid that may weep after the treatment. This will help to reduce the scabbing in the coming days.
  • Make sure to apply a light layer of provided healing balm morning and night to brows for at least 5-7 days.
  • Do not over apply healing balm.
  • Do not immerse brow area in water for 14 days. When showering, make sure to avoid face area. When cleaning or washing face, make sure to avoid brows and clean around it.
  • Do not put makeup on the brow area for a minimum of 10 days. Your new brows are an open wound, using makeup may cause infections.
  • Avoid alcohol and aspirin/ibuprofen and any vitamins that may thin your blood for 24 hours.
  • Brow area will feel slightly tight and itchy as it heals and will start to lightly scab over. Do not peel or pick at the scabs as this can affect the outcome and pigmentation.
  • Do not go swimming, tanning or into saunas for at least 14 days.
  • No face scrubs or chemical peels at least 3-4 weeks after