Microblading – or what you should know before you decide on doing this procedure.

I recommend to read this article if you want to know the truth about the consequences of eyebrows microblading.

Since the end of 2013 most of the world is experiencing a real boom in relation to permanent makeup of eyebrows. MICROBLADING is advertised everywhere- “the most natural, modern and innovative way” of a wonderful transformation of your face. This new way of permanent makeup of eyebrows “guarantees excellent results with the finest, naturally stacked eyebrow hairs.” Thus created hairs allegedly indistinguishable from your own. And the procedure itself is absolutely painless and non-traumatic, and therefore MICROBLADING is strikingly different from the “usual hardware method” that the followers of MICROBLADING call barbaric and antediluvian. Only with the help of MICROBLADING it is possible to achieve perfect results and get perfect and natural eyebrows that then simply fade and completely disappear in 8-12 months. Recently, MICROBLADING got new names: eyebrows in 3D or 6D technique. (And still no one can explain to me what this means …)

This is marketing, but now, here are facts:

1.Innovative method?
“New and modern” method is nothing but an ancient Chinese technique of permanent makeup of eyebrows. Since the begging of time it was mainly used in the poorest Chinese neighborhoods, where necessary material can be purchased relatively cheap. Thus, the poor can afford to do permanent make up as well. History repeats itself….Also, we should not forget that the skin of Asian women is very different from American and European. Asians have elastic skin with a yellowish tint and a small amount of red pigment. Our skin is loose, vascular, often with weak connective tissue. For this reason, the skin of European\American women reacts very different to the application of pigments. And during the healing process specific details are present.

2. What is “MICROBLADING”?
What does the word MICROBLADING mean? The correct translation is “mini-cuts”. And that is exactly what happens during the procedure. A special blade, fixed on a metal or plastic handle, is immersed into the pigment, after it cuts the skin. Then a pigment (or so-called “mask”) is applied to the cut surface of the eyebrows. And this procedure is presented as non-traumatic and painless. And now the facts – in permanent make-up (and in microblading, as it is nothing else than a permanent make-up, the pigment deposition into the skin for a long time), the pigments are implanted into the middle layer of the skin – the dermis. The dermis is located between the upper layer of the skin (epidermis) and the subcutaneous fatty tissue. To get into the dermis, you need to overcome the epidermis. When working with the device for permanent make-up, the following happens: the needle pierces the skin (several thousand times per minute), enters and exits it, thus creating a huge number of mini-cuts and each time giving a small amount of pigment to the skin. In other words, we get the effect of perforated skin.What happens during microblading? The skin is cut with a blade to the dermis layer, like with a scalpel. Then a pigment is added to the cuts. And what is a cut? It is damage to the upper layer of the skin, accompanied by blood and scarring. If the surgeon does not sew up the skin after the surgery, it will heal roughly, broadly and ugly, since a large amount of connective tissue is formed at the site of the cut. But we are dealing with MICROblading and in our case we are talking about MICRO scars. In advertising of microblading, I often read that the procedure is painless and the skin does not bleed. This is not true! Of course, it hurts, because there is an incision of the skin: try to cut your skin with a razor, how can it be painless? And of course, the skin secretes blood, as there are blood vessels in the dermis. If blood does not appear during the procedure, this can mean only one thing: the work is done too superficially and the pigments are injected into the epidermis. And this layer of skin is renewed every 28 days. Together with the dying cells of the epithelium, the pigments will come out of the skin and after a month there will be nothing left. Of course, I tried to do MICROBLADING. So I have an excellent idea about this method and its consequences. Given the high demand for my work, I was dissatisfied with the quality of the permanent make-up performed and therefore decided to decline this highly controversial method with unpredictable results after healing.

3. “Very natural look”?
The result is supposedly very natural. This is the strongest argument used in advertising of microblading. “The hairs fit very naturally and they are almost impossible to distinguish from your own eyebrow hairs.” Of course, photos of fresh, just made works are used in advertisements. And I must admit that they look very, very beautiful and natural. And here is the TRICK! Exclusively, based on the healed results (3-4 weeks after the procedure), one can judge the performed procedure. Immediately after the procedure, the damaged skin is tightened, compressed (a natural reaction to the injury) and the lines look very thin, beautiful. However, subsequently, the following happens: the injured skin (cuts) heals. Micro-scars appear (they are very clearly visible under the lamp and magnifying glass). The pigment migrates into the dermis and fits there. Because of this, the lines become thicker, partially blurred. Since the skin extracted blood during the procedure, the pigment added is partially mixed with hemosiderin (iron-containing pigment, formed during the decay of blood) and fits in the skin for a long time. This is the reason that the hairs applied with microblading so often acquire a lead-gray hue.
In order to apply uniform, beautiful lines at the same depth of skin, the master must have a colossal experience and a calm, firm hand. And this is a rare case in microblading (see below). As a result, we have torn, often dotted lines, since the pigment is partially applied into the dermis, partly into the epidermis. And sometimes, unfortunately, deeper. In this case, the master suggests that you perform a correction procedure so that the “hairs” are evenly colored. Unfortunately, often such corrections only aggravate the situation, since it is extremely difficult to get a thin blade in the same hair. And then new, parallel lines of the same quality are formed.

4. “Does microblading disappear without a trace”?
Permanent makeup is the application of pigments into the middle layers of the skin (dermis) for a long time. And it does not matter how pigments are applied – by the machine or the blade on the handle-holder. Once the pigment is in the dermis, it remains there for a certain time.
Pigment fading is a highly individual process and depends on many different factors.
Metabolism, sun exposure, cosmetic facial skin care, nutrition, smoking, hormones, medications … All these play its role in removing pigments from the skin. On average, it can be said that the permanent make-up of eyebrows lasts from 1 to 1.5 years.
If pigments are applied too superficially, they will leave the skin during the first month, along with dead cells of the epidermis. If they are implanted too deeply, they will remain in the skin for a very long time, perhaps forever.

5. “The ideal shape of the eyebrows”?
Most adherents of microblading measure and draw a sketch of eyebrows on the principle of “golden section”, using a special compasses.Thus, they allegedly create the ideal shape of the eyebrows.
Beautiful words with ugly consequences – you can not just draw the client’s eyebrows, being guided by geometric formulas! Each face is unique and requires individual approach. The professional is obliged to treat each client in integrity, considering his style, shape, height, facial expressions, habit of applying make-up and other important details and should not “create” by template.

6. “Professionally“?
MICROBLADING is now being done everywhere. Who does not offer MICROBLADING, he is outdated. Eyebrows are cut by everyone. Why? It’s very simple – a solid, professional education for a permanent make-up artist lasts a long time, is expensive and is associated with considerable investments in equipment and working material. But the training for the master on MICROBLADING lasts 2 days, it costs $1000-2500, you can buy a set for work for $300-700. Answer yourself honestly – what can you learn in a two-day group seminar? Yesterday a man did a pedicure and a manicure, and today, after a two-day seminar, he cuts the skin on a face with a blade. Or even worse – conduct online training. So let’s learn through video on YouTube how to do plastic surgery or how to handle baby delivery, for example. Often the beginners do not have a basic art education and just a few have a medical education. But to cut eyebrows, a two-day seminar is enough. Irresponsible and beyond all understanding.

7. Post-factum
I have been observing the development of the phenomenon “MICROBLADING” for 3 years, during all this time I did not see ANY BEAUTIFUL HEALED WORK. None. All lack naturalness, and ideal fine lines. Occasionally, I saw more or less successful healed works, submitted for review in 1-2 months after the procedure.However, in the following months, these more or less decent works are still turning into incomprehensible fuzzy spots.
The “microblading victims” are constantly coming to me for the removal of terrible results. “Desperate, disappointed girls and women who were tricked by beautiful photos of fresh works, now have ugly face. It hurts. It costs money and lasts long. It spoils nerves. These customers first paid for MICROBLADING, then for its removal, and then will pay for a new permanent makeup (if ever decide to trust someone again). The machine method also has enough ugly results: Yes, it’s true, I often remove the terrible results of the machine method. In any method, there are enough unprofessional masters. But this in no way JUSTIFIES further face diseases and no matter by what method -machine, blade or something else!

Dear customers, lovely girls and women!
Do not let fool yourself by beautiful pictures. Think very carefully, if you are ready to give a lot of money, time and nerves to carry such an experiment on yourself.
Do permanent makeup only at the experienced and talented masters and – PLEASE! – always ask them to show you photos of the HEALED WORKS of the master. They are VERY DIFFERENT from photos of fresh results. I perform about 1000 permanent make up procedures a year and I know what I’m talking about …
There are very good masters of permanent make-up around the world. Experienced, serious colleagues who adore their work and make it with love and great value. As a rule, such masters do not engage in aggressive advertising, readily show pictures of healed works and honestly, openly talk about the possible risks and consequences of a procedure. Exactly to such masters you can trust your faces, their hands will not harm you.
On this note, I wish you beauty, happy smiles and caution in making decisions.

Natalia Leon
a permanent makeup specialist with 18 years of experience
a Master’s degree in Art
a member of SPCP, USA

The material is based on an article from Maria Prieb a specialist in permanent make-up, Germany.