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Microblading VS Microshading: What is the Difference?

Photo Credit: Unknown

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Microblading and Microshading? This is one of the top questions people have. Both are forms of Permanent Makeup (PMU) aka cosmetic tattooing, but they are very different methods. In this post I will explain what they are and how they are different. I will also explain why I am against Microblading!


Microblading involves using a razor blade in a hand tool to implant lines that mimic brow hairstrokes. Each line is a cut or incision in the skin, which is a lot more invasive and painful for the client and results in more trauma to the skin. It is also harder to control depth and 9/10 times will be too deep, which causes undesirable healing.

This form of PMU is not suitable for anyone with any oil in their skin, as this will push out pigment sooner. Due to this, Microblading does not last as long as Microshading and will require more maintenance.

While Microblading is supposed to resemble brow hair and look more natural, I personally do not like the look at all. You can obviously tell the difference between the actual brow hair and the tattoo lines, and to me it is very distracting. In addition, I have seen the severe damage Microblading can cause. 90% of all my clients who come with unwanted work for correction or removal have had Microblading. Many of them have blue brows and some even have permanent scarring, both of which are caused by incorrect technique and depth due to the use of hand tools rather than machine.


Microshading is the same thing as Powder Brows. It involves using a micro-needle to gently implant pixelated dots into the skin which layer to fill the brows. This will heal to a soft, powdery finish. Depth is very controlled by the machine so there is minimal trauma to the skin and minimal discomfort due to the use of numbing after the outline and first pass.

Suitable for all skin types including oily and combination skin, Microshading will last anywhere from 1 to 3+ years depending on skin type and lifestyle. After that, it should gradually fade away if the correct depth was used. You do not want pigment to sit too deep in your skin or last forever, as it will change colors or blur over time.

The Difference?

Photo Credit: A.D.A.M.

It is important for clients to do their research to determine which type of service suits them best. In recent years, Microblading has been deceptively marketed as not being a tattoo but it IS indeed a form of tattoo. All tattoos are technically controlled wounds to the skin, which we want to heal into beautiful art in the form of our dream eyebrows! However there is a big difference between a tiny puncture wound produced by a small needle (as with tattoos from a machine) and a laceration/cut (as with Microblading). The less trauma to the skin, the better the results and the easier the healing.

As seen in this chart, Microshading is the better choice for the client in every way. Most Artists in the Permanent Makeup industry recognize this and have switched over to machine shading. For clients that prefer the hairstroke look, this can be achieved with the machine using the Nano technique that some Artists may offer. However, I simply do not like this look so I stick to my specialty of Microshading! To me, it is a timeless look that can be easily maintained by all.

Hope you learned something new from this post! If you have questions or comments, please share them below!

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