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Microblading is a tattooing technique where a small handheld tool made up of several tiny needles is used to add pigment,[1] as opposed to a machine with a needle. Microblading differs from standard eyebrow tattooing because each hairstroke is created by hand producing a thin, natural looking line that blends in with existing eyebrow hair, whereas, with eyebrow tattoos it is still done with a machine and needle often producing thicker, less natural lines that tend to expand over time.[2] It is typically used on eyebrows to attempt to either create, enhance or reshape the appearance of the eyebrows. Microblading only deposits pigment into the epidermis, so it fades more rapidly than traditional tattooing techniques, which deposit pigment into the dermis.[3] Microblading artists are not necessarily tattoo artists, and vice versa because the techniques require different training.[4]

Microblading is also sometimes called embroidery, microstroking, feather touch and hair-like strokes.[5]


The technique of implanting pigment after the creation of fine incisions in the skin may date back thousands of years,[6] but the trend towards using the technique for eyebrows is thought to have emerged in Asia within the last twenty-five years.[7] Little else is known about the history of microblading, however, microblading became the most popular method of cosmetic eyebrow tattooing in Europe and the United States by 2015,[8] and new techniques such as 1D, 3D, and even 6D have emerged.[9]

Placement and design[edit]

This technique is a process that may be used to improve or create eyebrow definition, to cover gaps of lost hair, to extend the eyebrows, or may be used as a full reconstruction if the brows have little/no hair. Each microblading stroke is applied individually, allowing the technician to control the shape, color and density of the completed eyebrows.

Microblading artists begin each appointment by discussing their client's desired look and needs[10] before measuring and sketching out the placement of the eyebrows. Measuring brow placement is a multi-step process that begins by determining the center of the face and the set of the client's eyes. The starting point, arch, and ending point are determined based on whether the client's eyes are normal, close, or wide set.[11] From there the artist sketches out the full brow with the appropriate thickness and arch height to give the client a good idea of what the finished brows will look like and set the outline for the microblading.[12]

Insertion technique[edit]

When done by a properly trained artist, Microblading is performed by placing pigment or ink in the dermis with the use of a hand tool with attached needles fused together in a curvilinear grouping. The same look can be achieved using a traditional permanent makeup machine though this technique is called Hairstroke, not microblading. Exactly the same as brow treatments using a machine, the microblading technique involves drawing individual, crisp hair strokes that can be very natural looking. The needles used come in a variety of diameters so that the thickness of each individual hair stroke can be customized to each client depending on the width of their natural hairs as to make the microblading process look more natural.

Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing. Technicians usually use topical anesthetics to limit discomfort and consequently like all forms of cosmetic tattooing if performed correctly the procedure causes minimal discomfort.


Microblading is a type of tattooing technique. Pigment is deposited into the dermis so as to make the pigment last. The tattoo, as all other tattoos, can fade depending on multiple factors (quality of pigment/ink used, UV exposure, elements found in skincare products, medications, etc.) but will never disappear completely. Tattooing is permanent, whether it is on the body or face. It is crucial to do your research on the experience and education level of the artist before having any work done.

Immediately post treatment, eyebrows will appear darker than expected, but will fade during the healing process over the following 4 weeks. The treatment is typically a 2 step application process:

  • The initial appointment includes consultation and initial application.
  • The second appointment a minimum of 4 weeks later is to refine the strokes and fine-tune color. The 2nd application ensures that the micro-pigments are healing properly and responding well.

Microblading, although often marketed as semi-permanent, is permanent just like any other tattoo on the body. Periodic Color Boosts will be required to keep the color fresh.


Safety precautions for microblading are similar to those for any other tattooing technique. The most common complications and client dissatisfaction that results from any form of tattooing is misapplication of the pigment, pigment migration and color change. Serious complications are uncommon though it is important to stress that like all forms of tattooing risks associated with microblading include the transmission of blood-borne pathogenic organisms (e.g. HIV, Hepatitis C Virus) as well as short term or long terms reactions to pigment ingredients. Therefore, it is essential to check that the technician holds appropriate licenses and registrations for the provision of tattoo services as well as inquiring about the standard of training that has been attained by the technician.

There is not yet a standard for independent testing of microblading professionals. However, the Board of Microblading is being formed complete with examination and requirements of training, a knowledge of the basics of sanitation, Bloodborne Pathogen Certificate, Color Theory, Techniques, Safe needles (such as the hygienic cartridge microblading needle with retractable "no stick" design"), and healed photographs of work completed. Members will be listed online for the public to refer to for qualification and location of a microblading professional near them.[13]

Procedures performed by technicians who have completed a comprehensive course of instruction[14] can minimize the risk of unwanted outcomes and client dissatisfaction.[15]


  1. ^ "What is microblading? Everything to know about this eyebrow trend". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  2. ^ "Microblading vs. Eyebrow Tattooing | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Microblading vs. Eyebrow Tattooing | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  4. ^ "Microblading vs. Eyebrow Tattooing | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  5. ^ "A Brief History of Microblading Eyebrows | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  6. ^ MicroBlading First Things First
  7. ^ "A Brief History of Microblading Eyebrows | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  8. ^ "History of microblading – V Eyebrows". www.microblading3deyebrows.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  9. ^ "What is Microblading? | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  10. ^ "Microblading Appointment | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  11. ^ "Measuring Made Easy - Vogue Brows". Vogue Brows. 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  12. ^ "Microblading Appointment | Los Angeles, CA". microbladingla.com. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  13. ^ microblading.com
  14. ^ Cosmetic Tattoo Training Standards
  15. ^ Dermatologic Complications with Body Art 2010, pp 53-60 Cosmetic and Medical Applications of Tattooing Christa De Cuyper