What is microshading?
Microshading aka micropigmentation is a newer technique of Permanent Makeup (PMU) aka cosmetic tattooing. It is now gaining popularity all over the world, as having beautifully shaped and defined brows is highly in demand. It involves adding tiny dots of pigment (aka pixels) to the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). By using a needle as thin as a hair strand and gently dusting the pigment into the skin over several passes, it produces a shaded “powder” look to fill the brows.
What are Ombré Powder Brows?
Ombré is a technique of Microshading that involves fading the pigment so that the front of the brow is lighter and gradually darkens towards the tail of the brow, creating the more natural look that most people prefer. Powder relates to the technique of creating a soft, powdery fill by layering of tiny pixels. These two techniques together create the ideal, natural looking brow fill that never goes out of style!
Is microshading the same thing as a tattoo?
Microshading IS a form of tattoo. However, it does not go as deep as body art tattoos, which go deeper into the dermis level of the skin and are therefore more permanent. Microshading/micropigmentation only lightly scratches the surface of the skin. The needle should never go deep enough to touch the dermis level and remains on the outer layer of skin, the epidermis. Therefore, it fades over time and is not as permanent. Another difference is that body art tattoos use a larger needle configuration, where microshading typically uses a much smaller, single needle so that it is far less invasive.
What is the difference between microblading and microshading?
Microblading and microshading are two different methods of PMU.
Uses machine and tiny needle to scratch the surface of skin
Creates a soft and powdery makeup look
Involves minimal trauma to the skin
Requires less touch ups to maintain
Is suitable for all skin types
Lasts 1-2 years before beginning to fade
Uses hand tools with razor blade to cut incisions into the skin
Mimics the appearance of hair strokes
Involves more trauma to the skin and therefore a more difficult healing process
It is rare to achieve optimal results and requires more touch ups
Is NOT suitable for all skin types, especially anyone with oily skin
Begins to fade as soon as 6-12 months
Do you offer Microblading?
No, sorry! I only do work where I can stand by the process and feel confident in the results. I can, however, refer you to other artists in the area that offer Microblading and Combo brows.
Does it hurt?
As a client myself, I am very honest and transparent in disclosing that it IS a form of tattooing and therefore, can involve pain and discomfort for some. 90% of clients describe the pain level as mild and tolerable, many even fall asleep! It has often been compared to getting your brows threaded. To make the process as comfortable as possible for the client, I apply a topical anesthetic (numbing cream) to the brow area and can reapply as needed. Also, the needle is tiny and does not go deeper than the outer layer of your skin, so it’s a LOT more comfortable than microblading or traditional body art tattooing.
What numbing cream do you use?
I use Ultra Duration, which is a safe, highly effective and professional grade Topical Anesthetic. It consists of the following numbing ingredients: 4% Lidocaine, 2% Tetracaine, .05% Epinephrine
How long does it last?
While any micropigmentation is considered permanent, the typical life of microshaded brows is anywhere from 1-3 years depending on the client’s skin type, lifestyle and adherence to After Care. From there, it will begin to fade. This is why an Annual Touch Up is recommended every 1-2 years in order to maintain and keep brows defined and vibrant.
Do I get to choose the shape?
Absolutely! Nothing gets shaded/tattooed until you approve the shape. During your Initial Appointment, a LOT of time will be spent on shaping, which includes measuring the brow bone structure and symmetry of your facial features. I will ask you to select your favorite shape (high arch, soft arch, straight, round, etc.) and to show me pictures of how you like your brows drawn in. I take all this into consideration, but I do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to brows and will customize them to your individual needs. I am a trained expert in creating the best shape for each client according to their face and brow hair growth. Anything that deviates too much from your natural brows may be unrealistic. For example, if your brows are super straight and you’re asking for a very high arch, this may not be achievable.
Will my brows change colors?
When Permanent Makeup changes color over time, it is typically due to the wrong choice of pigment, improper technique, improper depth, or client skin and lifestyle. I am trained to select the correct pigment for each client and to use the best technique that produces good long-term results. This prevent brows from changing colors over time, but rather they will just fade away if not maintained. However for some clients, especially very oily-skinned or cool-toned clients, brows can begin to turn a little ashy in tone over time, which is very normal and due to pigment ingredients (just like regular tattoos). This can be neutralized with a warming color during the Annual Touch up.
What should I do to prep for my appointment?
Love this question! Pre Care is so important to your results. The following are mandatory Pre Care requirements for all appointments:
Discontinue the use of any retinol products 4 weeks before
Avoid Botox or fillers 4 weeks before
Avoid chemical peels, facials or skin treatments 4 weeks before
Avoid waxing, threading, or plucking brow hairs so that I can see the way your brow hair grows
Avoid sun exposure for 1 week before (if skin is sunburnt, tattooing is not recommended)
No caffeine, alcohol or pain relievers 24 hours ahead
Exfoliate your skin before your first appointment to remove any dead skin or build up in the brow area, which will be very beneficial to the tattoo process
Wash your hair the night before or day of, in order to prevent the need for washing hair after service and potentially wetting the brows
Getting a good nights rest and hydrating with lots of water also helps your skin be its very best and assists with healing
Avoid makeup on the day of your service, since I will be cleaning and wiping your skin throughout the procedure
Avoid booking during the week of your menstrual cycle, since it is known to cause increased sensitivity
What can I do to prolong the life of my brows between touch ups?
Great question! The best way is to avoid sun exposure, as this will fade your brows more than anything else. I highly recommend protecting the brows by applying sunscreen every single day, and keeping the brows covered by wearing hats and visors whenever in direct sun. Also, you should avoid applying any skincare products to the brow area that contain ingredients that brighten or lighten, such as Vitamin C, retinol, glycolic acid, etc. It is fine to apply them to the face, just avoid the brow area. Finally, keeping the skin moisturized helps to keep skin healthy and vibrant, and therefore, keep your brows looking great.
What if I don’t like my brows?
I am confident that you will LOVE your brows! I have never had an unsatisfied client. We spend a lot of time shaping during the appointment, and you will have the opportunity to review and approve the shape before any shading begins. However, if you are not happy, I will do everything possible to make sure you love your brows! The complimentary Touch Up session can be used to correct and adjust brows as desired. In worst case scenarios, emergency removal can be performed within 48 hours of the tattooing, which should lift the pigment out before it heals or settles.
Will I really need a touch up in 6-8 weeks?
Not every client needs a Touch Up. If your brows heal to your desired results, you do not need the appointment! However, Powder Brows is a two-step process that typically does require 2 appointments to finish the process and to "perfect" the brows. We will typically aim to go soft and lighter during the Initial Appointment to see how the skin heals, and then can add more saturation to get them darker and bolder in the Touch Up Appointment if desired. A majority of clients ask to go a shade or two darker during the Touch Up Appointment.
How often do I need touch ups?
The two-step process consists of Initial Appointment and Complimentary Touch Up Appointment 6-8 weeks later. After this, an annual touch up is recommended but may not be required until brows begin to fade. This will really depend on each client and their skin. Some clients who are more oily (like myself) need an annual touch up, while others can go 2-3 years before it begins to fade. As a returning client, you will never pay the full price of a new service again and get discounted Touch Up rates based on the amount of time that has passed, how much fading has occurred, and how much work is required to touch up the brows.
I got my brows done by another artist and just need a touch up. Can you accommodate me?
All previous work by another artist is considered Corrective work to the new artist. This is because when we work over someone else's work, we do not know their pigment choice, technique, depth, etc. Even if it is just a Touch Up, it will require more work and time from us than you may realize. In this case, I try to work with clients based on time lapsed and the amount of work required to complete the process. Please contact me with a photo and I will assess your situation.
What is the healing process?
The healing process is a bit of a journey! The initial skin healing lasts 2 weeks, of which the first 3 days are critical. Brows will be darker after your appointment, then scab up and peel, then appear lighter and patchy, and then the color rises back up.
It takes up to 4-6 weeks for the pigment to fully settle in the skin. That is why we wait a full 6-8 weeks to see how the skin heals and to give it time to rest before we do a Touch Up. Trusting the process is key! It is tried and true, and it works!
There are numerous restrictions for 2 weeks after the service to keep the brows clean and dry, including:
No heavy sweating or exercising (first 3 days minimum)
No getting the brows wet (splashing is ok, be sure to pat dry immediately)
No swimming or submerging brows in water
No sun exposure or tanning
No waxing or threading the brows
No facials or skin treatments
No makeup or skincare products in the brow area
No touching the brows
Detailed instructions will be provided to you at the end of your appointment.
What do i need to buy for After Care?
Everything you need during the healing process will be provided to you in a cute little After Care kit! This includes cleanser, ointment, and visors to wear in the shower.
Why are there so many restrictions?
While microshading causes minimal trauma to the skin, it's still a process that involves your body's healing process. There are many contraindications, such as being on blood thinners or Accutane acne medicine, that are to prevent excess bleeding during the procedure. While other contraindications, such as diabetes and chemotherapy, have more to do with your immune system being able to properly heal your new brows. Each restriction/contraindication is in place for a good reason and will ensure you have optimal results. If you have any specific questions on these, please feel free to contact me or consult with your doctor.
Does the procedure involve a lot of blood?
Not at all! If clients follow Pre Care instructions such as avoiding known blood thinners (caffeine, alcohol and pain relievers), there is hardly any blood visible during the procedure, and in most cases none at all. However, with any form of tattoo you are opening the skin and bleeding can occur. Great care is taken to properly clean the brows and ensure bleeding is subdued and that infection is prevented.
What are your qualifications?
I am a licensed Tattoo Artist by the Florida Department of Health. I am certified in Bloodborne Pathogen training, as well as SIX times certified in Powder Brows and Saline Tattoo Removal. I have been doing this for 2 years and have over 100 satisfied client. I continue studying and training on a daily basis to perfect my craft.
Who provided your training?
I am proud to say that I have been trained and certified by some of the top artists in the PMU industry. I obtained my first two certifications in-person from: Diana of Brows By Lady Diana (San Diego, CA) and Ney of RA Powder Brows (Los Angeles, CA). I received Saline Removal certification by the world renowned Girlz Ink Studio. I have received additional trainings and certifications from Fuzion Artistry, The Microblading Institute, Slayy Beauty Academy, The Brow Effect, and Savvy Creations. Please contact me for a full list of my training and certifications.
How do I book?
Please click here for booking! You can also Book directly from the @caramiabrows Instagram profile or contact me to chat!
Do you do Brow Corrections?
Yes! These are a bit more challenging, as they can involve neutralizing unwanted colors and/or reshaping to correct an undesired shape. A clear, well-lit photo of the brows must be submitted and approved prior to booking to ensure your brows can be corrected. Pricing is higher for corrections since this service involves more time and more work. If the brows are still highly saturated from previous work, one or more saline removal sessions may be required to lighten the brows before the Correction service.
Do you do Removals?
Yes! I am certified in Li-FT Saline Removal for PMU and small tattoos. This is a natural removal solution made with salt and citrus seed extract that lifts pigment out of the skin. Multiple sessions may be necessary to gradually lift pigment and lighten the brows before a full removal is achieved. A full 8 weeks between sessions is required to allow the skin to heal each time.
Note: Saline Removal is not the same as laser removal. Saline is preferred by many over laser because it does not scar. Both methods of removal may require several sessions over a long period of time to gradually lighten and fully remove.
HELP! I just got my brows done and i hate them. Do i qualify for emergency removal?
If your brow procedure was done within 48 hours, you are eligible for Emergency Removal service. This procedure does not involve tattooing or needles, but instead it is a saline soak to lift up unwanted pigment before it settles into the skin. Please note that this service does not guarantee complete removal but will significantly lighten pigment by lifting it up and in some cases, does successfully remove all pigment if the procedure takes place ASAP. Due to the critical nature of doing this in a short time period, the sooner the better! So if you are in this situation, please contact me ASAP via text (443)854-9804 for Emergency Removal so I can try my very best to get you in and assist.
What if I need to reschedule?
My rescheduling policy is that you may reschedule your appointment as long as you provide at least 48 hours notice. If you do not give adequate notice or if you reschedule more than once, an additional booking deposit will be required to rebook. If you are sick or if an emergency occurs, I will work with you as best as I can to accommodate rescheduling you. However, please consider that each reschedule causes a loss for the artist due to the inability to fill the spot for someone else in such a short period.
Do you use sterile needles?
Yes, I open a brand new, sterile needle from its packaging in front of every client. After each service, I dispose of the needle via Florida Department of Health Biomedical Waste guidelines.
What needles do you use?
I use Kwadron Optima needles and Mast Pro SE needles, which are high quality universal cartridges with safety membranes.
What machine do you use?
I use either the Dragonhawk Mast Tour or Mast Y22 machines, or occasionally the Brow Daddy CLEO pen. These are well known in the PMU and body art industries as safe machines that produce beautiful results!
What pigments do you use?
I choose pigments based on skin type and client preference. I use LI pigments (especially the Monica Ivani line) OR PermaBlend pigments (especially the Brow Daddy “Gold Collection”). These two pigment lines are the absolute best in the PMU industry!
Are the inks you use non-toxic and vegan?
Yes! Both LI Pigments and PermaBlend pigments are all vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, sterile, and made in the USA.
What After Care products do you use?
In each After Care kit, I provide After Inked ointment (grapeseed oil based) and a gentle, mild cleanser. For Saline Removal After Care, saline cleanser and vitamin E oil are provided instead.
Do you offer training for aspiring brow artists?
Unfortunately, no I do not offer training at this time. I personally believe artists should truly master their craft and have many years of experience before they're qualified to train new artists. I may offer training services in the future when the time is right.
If you have additional questions not answered here, please feel free to reach out! I firmly believe that PMU is something each client should feel 100% comfortable about beforehand. So I am always happy to chat or to schedule an in-person consultation.