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Bustle Article: "Permanent Makeup Is Back — And It Looks Nothing Like It Did 20 Years Ago"


Apr 10 2018


When I told my parents last year that I was getting my eyebrows microbladed, they barely reacted. "OK, what's that?" they asked.

"It's basically tattooing tiny lines on my face that look like a perfectly sculpted eyebrow," I answered.

And then they started to panic a bit. For my parents, and most people, the idea of tattooing makeup on your face immediately conjures images of '90s and early '00s permanent and semi-permanent makeup. But what this type of procedure was 20, and even just 10, years ago is not what it is today. Still, make no mistake — this type of makeup is back, and it isn't going away any time soon.

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Not Ready? Microblading alternatives

By Sophia Abbott

March 8th, 2019

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Microblading may have you waffling “do I” or “don’t I”. Most everyone experiences in the very least a slight dilemma either because it may sound like a big decision as it is more permanent, sound painful or even scary. Even after seeing people you know go through the microblading process and experience their transformation second hand, the prospect of having actual brows that don’t come off in the shower can be both a little shocking (for those of you fair skinned ladies with light hair) and exciting. Before you take the plunge you should feel completely confident and ready with your decision. There are a few things to consider before microblading; it does require patience, you may experience some pain depending on your pain tolerance and it is semi-permanent but NOT at all permanent like a conventional tattoo. Until you are completely ready, there are alternatives out there to explore and to get you used to the idea of a more permanent brow. Some of my clients have no brow hair or very fine brow hair that is not even visible because it is so fair.


For those of you that may need a little getting used to the idea of having a bolder brow that doesn’t smudge like your brow pencil, try a brow tint.  Depending on type and brand, the way the brow tint can work is that they can dye the hair and stain the skin. Since brows being “in” is a real thing now, henna brows have been a real intrigued for many at the moment. For those saavy at their own skill in shaping and dying you can find kits to do it at home or you can find a salon to do it for you. The only con to a tint is that it will last a couple of days or up to a week on the skin and about a month for the brow hair. Still it is a great way to have a smudge-proof, especially if you have a big event coming up or you are going on holiday.


Growth serums are in vogue since people want a fuller brow. It has become popular now for lashes and brows and what’s great is they actually work. There are a lot of products on the market made for both that you can find on Amazon from $15+.  Unfortunately, these growth serums do not create NEW hair growth or revive any from the dead. I’ve tried growing back the brow hairs that once thrived during my teenage years but they never came back. How these growth serums work is they extend the lifespan of the EXISTING hair and nourish it making it longer and thicker.


If you’ve tried any of these techniques, please share what has worked for you by commenting below!


Article on "Microblading Fact Sheet"


Is it tattooing?

With the sudden popularity and media attention to the term microblading, many are led to believe microblading is not a tattoo process. Permanent cosmetics, micropigmentation, dermal implantation, microblading/microstroking, eyebrow embroidery, and long-time/long-lasting makeup, are all different names for the same procedure – cosmetic tattooing. Any time color is placed into the skin with any device, it is a tattoo process as defined by many well informed regulators, the medical community, and dictionary sources. Denying this process is a tattoo can be problematic for those who would, for religious or other personal reasons, normally refuse to have a tattoo.

Is a blade being used to perform the microblading tattoo procedure?

Microblading is performed with a grouping or configuration of needles affixed to a handle to manually create lines that resemble eyebrow hairs. Manual methods of tattooing have been used through the ages, and the tools have gone through changes over time from pre-historic sharpened stones to the hand tool devices currently being used. An actual scalpel or cutting-type blade should not be used under any circumstances as these are considered medical devices and cannot legitimately be used for this process. Any hand tool device (i.e., both handle and attached needles) used for microblading should be pre-sterilized and fully disposable.

Is it semi-permanent?

Some are promoting microblading or eyebrow embroidery as a semi-permanent process; and that the color only reaches the epidermal (outer) layer of the skin. A careful review of basic skin anatomy and physiology would reveal this is not true. By definition and tattoo industry standards, color is tattooed/implanted into the dermis of the skin. If pigment particles do not reach the dermis, they will disappear during the healing phase of the skin, during normal regeneration of cells at the epidermal level. Pigments do fade in the skin over time, but that does not make the process semi-permanent. It is impossible to predict how much pigment will fade away and how long it will take to do so with any measure of consistency or reliability.

Why does microblading not last as long as other eyebrow tattooing techniques?

This is simply because a much smaller amount of pigment is inserted (tattooed) into the skin as compared to fully or solidly filled eyebrow tattoos.

Is there less training needed to learn microblading as compared to learning permanent cosmetics?

No; if someone is new to the industry and does not already have a minimum of 100 hours of training in permanent cosmetics, they need to have a similar amount of training in microblading, even if it is for just that one type of procedure. There are many areas of study when learning these techniques, which include facial morphology and bone structure, brow shaping and design, color analysis, color theory, proper handling of equipment, prevention of cross-contamination, as well as practice work and the opportunity to observe procedures before actually performing them under supervision. Anyone interested in pursuing training in cosmetic tattooing, including microblading, should first check with state and county regulating agencies. This would also include verifying the qualifications of any trainer, in addition to checking with regulatory agencies for trainer compliance with local health, safety, or permit requirements if the trainer is travelling from another state or country to offer training.

How can I get more information?

You can also contact the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) at Visit us on our website at

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