What is Microshading?!
What is Microshading anyway?! In this post, I will explain everything in full and answer many questions you may have about this life changing service I offer.
Microshading is a form of cosmetic tattooing aka Permanent Makeup (PMU). The technical name for it is Micropigmentation. It involves using a very small needle in a PMU tattoo machine to gently scratch the very outer layer of skin (the epidermis) to implant a dusting of tiny dots (aka pixels). Over a series of passes, these pixels layer and build color, producing a beautiful filled brow.
It is extremely important to control depth and remain superficial at the very surface of skin for a few reasons:
· To minimize trauma to the skin
· To avoid unwanted after effects such as scarring, color change or pigment migration
· To allow pigment to gradually fade over time as skin layers shed and regenerate, which allows us to maintain the proper saturation level to perform touch ups overtime
So Is It a Tattoo?
Any time you add pigment to the skin, it is a form of tattoo. There are many forms of tattooing, as human beings have been performing this sacred art since the beginning of time. There is great emphasis on “micro” within the term Microshading/Micropigmentation, as it is the least possible form of tattoo with minimal pigment implanted.
Traditional body art tattoos differ quite a bit. They involve a larger needle configuration and tend to go deeper in the layers of skin, so the results are more permanent. If you’ve ever had a tattoo yourself, you know that it may fade some over time but it’s for life!
What is Ombré Powder Brows then?
While microshading is the term for the procedure, Ombré Powder Brows is moreso the term for the technique.
A Powder Brow is basically just a microshaded brow. It’s called “powder” because it produces a brow that will heal soft and powdery like makeup. A traditional Powder Brow has the same shading throughout the brow, from front to tail.
Now Ombré means a gradual fade. So tying that in with Ombré Powder Brows, it means a very light and soft front of the brow that gradually darkens towards the tail of the brows. Since most people have more hair in the front rather than the tail, this highlights that brow hair and blends together, giving the appearance of a more natural brow. This style is insanely popular and flattering for almost everyone!
The Importance of Pixels
Immediately after Microshading, you want to see some visible pixels or tiny dots. This is a telltale sign of great technique with a proper needle and machine. Remember: with each movement of the machine we are implanting these tiny dots/pixels, which layer and create a filled brow. However, these dots will not be visible after healing unless you were to look with a microscope. It heals like a soft, powdery makeup look, similar to brow pencil or eyeshadow.
The Microshading Process
As with many forms of art, the process should always begin with shape and color. A significant amount of time is spent during your appointment on mapping and measuring the perfect shape for you. Each client has unique needs so one brow shape does NOT fit all. Some factors I will consider for each client when shaping include:
· Brow hair growth
· Brow bone structure
· Facial features (especially eyes and nose)
· Muscle pull (many people have strong muscle pull and do not realize it!)
We will also work together to agree on pigment color, which should align with the client’s skin tone and brow hair color. I will be doing my next post on Color Theory, so stay tuned!
Once shape and color are nailed down, then it’s time for the shading itself. We always begin with a very soft outline of the shape, which is the most important part! Once we have this in place, I will begin shading within this shape. Each time I go over the brow once is known as one pass and we typically do 3-5 passes depending on how dark the client wants their brows. We do not want to saturate too much during the Initial appointment in order to avoid overworking the skin and also to allow the client to get used to their brows and make sure they love them before going dark.
In addition, a topical anesthetic is used to numb the skin. This works best on open skin so it is applied after the outline when the skin has been broken. It can be re-applied a few times to ensure the client remains comfortable and pain-free. So yes, the outline can be felt but it is extremely minimal and soft. Clients are always surprised because they expect it to hurt a lot worse than it actually does. Many report feeling nothing and even fall asleep for the majority of the shading since they’re so relaxed.
Once shading reaches the desired result, I will show the client to ensure they love their brows. If so, I will clean them up really good and apply some pigment sealer, before taking some photos. To finish, we’ll go over After Care and schedule the complimentary Touch Up appointment for 6-8 weeks later.
Why the Touch Up?
Microshading is always a two-step process. During healing, brows will lighten significantly as the body will push out some pigment and form a scab to heal the skin. Each person and their skin is very different and we never know for sure how much a client will retain. Most clients lose about 30-40% of pigment during healing. Bringing you back for a touch up allows us to:
· Assess how your skin has healed
· Adjust any spots that did not take as much
· Adjust shape as needed
· Adjust color as needed (warmer or cooler)
· Darken as needed
Most of us refer to the Touch Up as the “perfection session” because this is when we really achieve the perfect brows you dream of! It is a much quicker appointment and healing is easier since the skin already knows what to do. Sometimes it's just a quick spot or two, other times the client is ready to go darker and bolder.
How Long Will It Last?
The best part about Microshading is that it lasts such a long time and requires minimal maintenance. After this Touch Up, most clients can go at least 1-2 years before brows begin to fade and require touch up. However, this will always depend on the client’s skin type (oily vs dry), their lifestyle (sun exposure and products used) and their adherence to After Care.
The process does take some patience, but it’s always worth it! My brows have changed my life for the better and I absolutely love being able to give this same gift to other women every day.
I hope this post helped you to understand the process and feel comfortable with it. I am all about education, so at each appointment I will always go over a quick consultation to explain this information in depth before we begin. If you can think of any questions you may have, be sure to drop them below in the comment section!
Thanks for reading babes! ♥︎