Eyebrow Tattoo Vs. Microblading: Key Differences

Written by Shreya Mukherjee
Edited by Eshna Das
Fact-checked by Gazala Firdos Ansari
Last Updated on

Getting your eyebrows right can be tricky as they can make or break your look. While thinner eyebrows were the norm for so many years, thicker, well-shaped eyebrows have made a comeback. This has led to the eyebrow tattoo vs. microblading debate. Both methods promise better and fuller eyebrows. However, several other factors such as your pain tolerance, the cost of treatment, the application method, and the pigment used will factor into your final decision. Both these methods have their pros and cons. Therefore, careful consideration is required before going for either of these options. This article will help you understand the biggest differences between microblading and eyebrow tattooing, their cost, safety, and more. Check it out!

What Is Microblading?

Microblading, or eyebrow embroidery, is an aesthetic technique that helps create fuller, natural-looking eyebrows. The microblading process involves applying a numbing agent to your eyebrow to minimize discomfort before making tiny incisions in the brow area to mimic natural eyebrow hair. These cuts are filled with pigment using a small pen-like tool to create the illusion of hair-like strokes.

The microblading technique is generally considered to be less painful. The minimal use of pigment helps the brow color stay within the incisions without spreading outward. However, the effects of the microblading method may gradually fade after 1-2 years. You may have to go for periodic touch-up sessions to maintain the results longer.

protip_icon Trivia
Asian artists introduced microblading as a more realistic form of permanent eyebrow makeup in the 1990s.

Unlike traditional tattoos that penetrate deeper layers of skin, microblading remains on the upper layers and looks like microscopic paper cuts. Even though both the procedures fill out sparse brows, they are not the same. Scroll down to find out the key differences between the two methods.

Is Microblading The Same As Tattooing?

A woman getting a brow tattoo
Image: Shutterstock

No. They are not the same. Eyebrow tattooing follows the same procedure as traditional tattooing where the tattoo artist uses the tattoo gun to deposit ink into the deeper dermal layers with quick and repeated motions. It is a permanent cosmetic solution to fill up your eyebrow area, although lines may blur and colors may fade.

protip_icon Trivia
Legend has it that permanent eyebrow makeup dates back to Queen Cleopatra’s era. It is believed that they used sharp sticks and stones to push rich pigments beneath the skin for this makeup.

Apart from differences in the procedure, brow tattooing is different from microblading in its result, longevity, and the pigment used. Learn more about them in the next section.

Eyebrow Tattooing Vs. Microblading

Both eyebrow tattooing and microblading provide similar results. However, the following demonstrates the key differences between the two methods:

  • Longevity

The microblading result does not last as much as brow tattoos. The ink used in microblading may surface or shift beneath the skin, resulting in a faded color over time. The ink may fade after 1-2 years compared to a tattooed eyebrow.

Microblading is of a semi-permanent nature because the microblading pigment does not go as deep as the tattoo pigment. Unlike traditional tattooing where the tattoo needles penetrate deep into the skin, these microblading lines fade as less ink is deposited into the skin’s dermal layers.

  • Pigments
 A before and after picture of a woman who underwent eyebrow microblading
Image: Shutterstock

Microblading uses special pigments that are designed to slowly fade into a lighter version while maintaining the original tone. This gradual fading process ensures a natural appearance until the pigment fully disappears. In contrast, eyebrow tattoos use regular or conventional tattoo ink that may give less natural-looking brows. Traditional tattoo ink may possibly become lighter, darker, or shift to a blue-green tint.

  • Tools Used

Tattooing uses a machine that goes deeper into the skin while microblading uses a hand tool. Brow tattooing creates deep punctures in the skin and uses more ink than needed that causes the color to ‘bleed’ into the surrounding area. Microblading, on the other hand, involves sketching finer lines that do not spread over time when done by a skilled artist.

  • Application Process

Microblading is a precise technique where microblading artists create individual hair strokes by hand that are indistinguishable from natural brow hair to the naked eye. However, brow tattooing struggles to achieve such precision, often resulting in solid, dark brows that appear more like fillers than natural hair.

  • Healing Time

Both microblading and tattoos require a healing time of 4-6 weeks and both need a touch-up to fill in any areas where the pigment or ink did not adhere properly. However, with microblading, correcting any issue with specific lines or strokes during the touch-up treatment is easier compared to tattoos. This precision adjustment gives microblading an advantage over brow tattooing techniques.

Considering the healing time and other factors, both microblading and eyebrow tattooing are good cosmetic procedures for enhancing the appearance of your eyebrows. But are they safe? Find out in the next section.

Is Eyebrow Tattooing Safe? Is It Safer Than Microblading?

A woman happy with the results of her eyebrow procedure
Image: Shutterstock

Tattooing eyebrows is safe when done by an experienced professional in a clean, sterile environment. Microblading, on the other hand, involves shallower incisions than traditional eyebrow tattooing that often leads to quicker healing and less risk of scarring. However, like any skin procedure, there are risks of infection, allergic reactions, or dissatisfaction with the results. It is important to approach qualified technicians, ensure they use sterile equipment, have a clean setting, and follow proper aftercare to minimize risks. Consult a reputable cosmetic tattoo artist and discuss your concerns. This will help you come to the final decision after the initial consultation and ensure a safe, smooth, and amazing experience.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Eyebrow tattoos became more accepted and popular in the 1970s. The practice helped alopecia and chemotherapy patients regain their eyebrows in the 1980s.

While it is important to take the safety of these procedures into consideration, the level of pain they cause must also be kept in mind before opting for the final choice. Check out the next section to know more.

Does Eyebrow Tattooing Hurt More Than Microblading?

An aesthetician applying a topical anesthetic to the patient’s eyebrow before microblading
Image: Shutterstock

Eyebrow tattooing on areas with sensitive skin like the face can be more painful, while the microblading technique may cause less discomfort due to the use of topical anesthetics on your brows before the procedure. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the sensation felt during microblading is similar to tweezing.

Brow tattooing involves the repeated puncturing of the deeper layers of the skin, while the microblading procedure involves finer incisions in the upper layers of skin. Therefore, microblading tends to be less painful than tattooing eyebrows.

Cathalie, a beauty and makeup blogger, shared her experience of microblading her eyebrows. She wrote, “I think if you have a tattoo you will think this is easy peasy. But it didn’t hurt to the extent that I couldn’t bear it anymore, it was okay (i).”

Both eyebrow tattooing and microblading will cause discomfort but will give you the desired result. So, before you zero in on your choice, check out the next section to see the cost of both cosmetic treatments.

Eyebrow Tattooing Vs. Microblading: What Are The Average Costs?

The cost of eyebrow tattooing and microblading can vary based on factors like location, the brow artist or microblading specialist’s expertise, the studio’s reputation, and the required number of sessions.

On average, eyebrow tattooing may range from $800 to $1000 or more per session. Microblading, on the other hand, typically costs between $400 to $600 per session. Plus, the touch-up sessions may cost you additional fees.

Both eyebrow tattooing and microblading come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, let us quickly recap them in the section below and put an end to the eyebrow tattoo vs. microblading debate.

Which Is Better: Eyebrow Tattooing Or Microblading?

When considering the eyebrow tattoo vs. microblading topic, a variety of reasons contribute to their suitability. Eyebrow tattooing involves a professional artist using tattoo ink and is a permanent cosmetic solution. However, this method might require touch-up treatments due to potential color changes over time, often resembling brow fillers rather than mimicking natural brow hair.

On the other hand, microblading offers a more natural look by creating individual hair-like strokes. Though it does not last as long as tattooed eyebrows, the healing process is generally quicker. Also, this method’s precision and ability to replicate natural brow hair contribute to a more natural appearance compared to the flat appearance sometimes associated with eyebrow tattooing.

The pain level also differs between the two cosmetic techniques. Microblading is typically less uncomfortable whereas cosmetic tattooing may cause more discomfort due to the machine penetrating deeper into the skin.

Overall, the choice between eyebrow tattooing and microblading depends on the individual’s preferences for longevity, pain tolerance, and the desire for a more natural-looking result.

Understanding the finer details in the eyebrow tattoo vs. microblading debate can help you make your final choice. Microblading creates a more natural appearance by replicating individual hair strokes, while eyebrow tattooing often gives solid and dark brows. The procedures differ in the tools used, depth of application, and healing times. Therefore, the choice between microblading and eyebrow tattooing ultimately depends on your individual preferences. Hence, carefully consider each of these factors before deciding on the correct treatment for enhancing your eyebrows.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I tint my eyebrows after tattooing?

Yes, you can. However, it is best to wait until the tattooed area has fully healed before getting tinted or colored eyebrows to avoid irritation or interference with the healing process. Always consult with a professional tattoo artist for personalized advice after eyebrow tattooing.

Do they shave your eyebrows before tattooing?

The cosmetic tattoo specialist might trim or shape the brow shape to prepare them for the entire process, but it does not involve shaving the eyebrows completely.

What happens if I stop microblading my eyebrows?

If you stop microblading your eyebrows, the microblading pigment will gradually fade over time. As the ink breaks down, your brows will return to their natural appearance.

Do tattooed eyebrows always scab?

Yes, it is normal to see scabs on your tattooed eyebrows during the healing process. However, the amount of scabbing may differ from individual to individual.

Does hair grow over tattooed eyebrows?

Yes. Hair can still grow over tattooed eyebrows. However, the tattooed area may slightly change the appearance of your newly grown hair.

Key Takeaways

  • Microblading creates natural-looking eyebrows with individual strokes, while brow tattoos may give you solid and darker eyebrows.
  • Microblading is semi-permanent and needs frequent touch-up work, whereas tattooed brows tend to be more permanent.
  • Microblading uses specialized pigments that fade naturally, while tattoo ink can alter the color over time.
  • Individual pain tolerance and the healing time will help determine the best procedure to enhance your eyebrows.
eyebrow tattoo vs microblading

Image: Stable Diffusion/The Bridal Box Design Team

Understanding the differences between microblading and eyebrow tattooing can help you make the right choice. Check out this video to learn the key differences, similarities, and potential downsides of the two methods.

Personal Experience: Source

Was this article helpful?
Shreya is a beauty and lifestyle writer with two years of experience. After graduating from Christ University, Bengaluru, she started as a writer for a non-profit organization, Bhumi, as an intern. She then wrote for a progressive content website.

Read full bio of Shreya Mukherjee
Latest Articles