In recent years we have seen a new wave of brow tattooing, generally called feather touch tattooing or microblading. A favourite beauty procedure amongst celebrities, there’s no doubt you have probably seen the impressive effects all over social media, and the many benefits written about in beauty magazines and blogs. However, there’s one question that is rarely spoken about, and that is how long do cosmetic eyebrow tattoos really last?
At the beginning of 2017, a new eyebrow trend kicked off. Microblading, otherwise known as semi-permanent brow tattooing, became the latest procedure to be booked up by celebrities (Michelle Keegan and Lena Dunham are both fans). You’ve probably seen the impressive effects plastered all over Instagram, but the question of how long does microblading last is rarely talked about.
Eyebrow tattooing has become all the rage at the moment with many celebrities sporting a thicker brow. But exactly how does it work, and is it worth all the pain and expense?
Tattooing or microblading has become an increasingly popular cosmetic procedure thanks to its more subtle and natural look. You can achieve bolder brows with fine strokes of pigment delivered via microneedles, which resemble the look a texture of actual hair.Looking for eyebrow tattoo salon? Look no further,Cosmetic Tattoo by Rach got you covered.
If you looked in the mirror recently and wondered “Where did my eyebrows go?” you’re probably not alone. As we age, our eyebrows tend to get thin and sparse, making our faces appear tired, and our features less defined. Filling in your eyebrows with a makeup pencil is one solution, but it can be a hassle and a time suck to get both brows to look similar. Wouldn’t it be nice if permanent eyebrows were an option? Actually, they absolutely are, thanks to a process called microblading. Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of tattoo eyebrows.
Eyebrows have become one of many beauty obsessions for women worldwide—however, attempting to draw a perfect arch every time can be frustrating, not to mention, time-consuming. Females have increasingly begun to tattoo their brows. As a result, an easy, effortless solution to beauty maintenance. “Microblading is a semi-permanent eyebrow technique where natural pigments are used to create hairlike strokes for naturally fuller brows,” explains NY/NJ-based makeup artist Nina Ramirez. “Not only does this reduce the hassle of having to apply makeup every day, but it has also benefited women who have experienced hair loss due to many diseases.”
Celebrity makeup artist Danielle Parkes, who lost her eyebrows from trichotillomania (anxiety-induced hair pulling), found solace in microblading. “The second I found out about microblading, I knew I had to make an appointment,” she declares. “I used to draw on my brows every day, but eyebrow tattooing instantly changed that. I had no eyebrow hair, so being able to alter what I felt insecure about for so many years was something I’ll forever be thankful for. It boosted my self-confidence and made me feel like the best possible version of myself.”Want to know more about our eyebrow tattoo services?
How does eyebrow tattooing work?
When cosmetic tattooing first gained traction in the 1980s, it was often performed by body tattooists using regular tattoo tools. “Most of the tattoos from the early ’80s were harsh colours and with fuzzy-edged lines that, with time, developed a further hazy edge. There was no subtlety in colour or application,” says Samantha Eisman, a dermatologist based in East Melbourne. These days you are more likely to see subtle transformation using techniques known as microblading and microshading.
“Body tattoos are permanent as the tattoo ink has bigger particles that don’t get cleared by the body,” Dr Eisman says. “With cosmetic tattoos, a pigment rather than an ink is used … and generally does not last for more than five years.” Both are deposited into the layer of skin known as the dermis. She says the cosmetic tattoo pigments come in soft colours, allowing for a subtle result.
Eyebrow tattooing requires a minimum of two treatments.
The beauty trend is popular with all nationalities and can also be used for medical reasons, explains Paula Reali, president of the Association of Cosmetic Tattoo.
“It can help people with alopecia … and anyone undergoing cancer treatment can still have it done — they just have to be under a doctor’s supervision.”
The procedure involves tattooing hairlike strokes onto the brow area using a dedicated tool that looks like a slender knife, filling in any gaps and creating a fuller and more defined effect. Unlike regular tattoo inking, the technique uses pigment instead of ink, and it doesn’t go anywhere near as deep into the skin. Designed to look like real brow hair, the colouring can be customised to suit any skin tone and hair colour resulting in a completely natural look.
Permanent Vs Semi-Permanent Tattoos
Many people assume that like a traditional tattoo which is ‘permanent’, cosmetic tattooing will last forever, but as it is a ‘semi-permanent’ procedure, it will fade over time. The main difference between a semi-permanent tattoo and a permanent one is how deeply the ink is injected into the skin. The deeper you go, the longer it stays. Traditional body tattoos are intended to last, so artists implant the ink deep into the skin. Semi-permanent brows are expected to fade, so technicians use a digital pen or microblading tool to implant ink more superficially into the skin.
Preparation is everything, which is why scouring the internet for information is always a smart choice. “Look for an artist whose technique you’re obsessed with and has received proper training,” Ramirez recommends. “In the hands of a microblading professional, the process is virtually painless and minimally invasive while giving you long-lasting results. “It’s important to consider your allergies as well; if you still feel uncomfortable after reading up on the tattoo, take it as a signal that you’re not quite ready to receive one. See more of our eyebrow tattoo services.
If you do feel comfortable with microblading, the next step is to compose your queries; make a list and bring it to your pre-procedure consultation. Writing down your questions and concerns will help you tackle everything during the meeting without leaving any discussion points behind.
How much does eyebrow tattoo cost?
Depending on the artist microblading can cost roughly $1,000 with one of Amy Jean’s internationally qualified technicians. Amy Jean personally charges a price of $1500 upwards, but she is extremely popular and has a long waiting list, so there’s plenty of people willing to splash out on perfecting their brows.
Is it painful?
Depending on your pain threshold, the sensation can be likened to the end of pointed tweezers being dragged along the skin or “etched”. You hear a scratchy sound, but the anaesthetic will numb the area for added comfort during the tiny procedure prick to a more discomforting jab. It really does depend on the individual and if you feel you have a low pain threshold, take some painkillers an hour beforehand. Numbing cream will be applied to the eyebrow area, so it should be relatively painless for most people. Amy Jean says, “Most people are relieved how minimal the pain factor is. The results are definitely worth the commitment.”
Imagine needles piercing your skin repeatedly, then consider how painful it is when you pluck your eyebrows. Skin in the brow area is very sensitive, which makes the pain more pronounced. “On a scale of one to ten, it was about a five,” Parkes asserts. “It felt like a bunch of little paper cuts and was an uncomfortable feeling.”
However, clients are often given the option of using a numbing agent during the process. This application renders the experience more comfortable and painless, but it may also make the skin’ buttery,’ therefore challenging to work on.
Aside from being painful, an eyebrow tattoo takes time to heal. Artists recommend the client to treat the area as a wound. Like a typical injury, your tattoo should not be rubbed, picked or exposed to makeup or sweat while healing. Ask your esthetician about additional care specific to your needs to follow afterwards.
How long does it last?
We advise that Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Treatments usually last for approximately 12-18 months.Check out our range of eyebrow tattoo services to help with your problems.
This is a question that we get asked by everybody that enquires about semi-permanent makeup treatments – and our answer is always the same. It totally depends on the individual. Everybody has a totally unique skin type. Oily skin types won’t hold pigment, as well as dry skin types, will. Some clients will literally hold the pigment for life – whilst others will lose it in under 12 months.
Because microblading is a semi-permanent option, your brows will fade. Fortunately, microblading lasts about one to three years depending on your skin type — which is far less frequent than the four to six weeks in between eyebrow waxes. That said, over time, your microbladed brows will lose their “crispness.” To keep them looking like you just walked out of the beauty salon, you will need to go back for touch-ups after about seven months to a year.
“There are a lot of factors that contribute [to how long microblading lasts], tattoo artist and “brow wizard Piret Aava told InStyle, “including sun exposure and your skincare routine. If you’re a big exfoliator [which causes skin cells to turn over more quickly], that will make them fade faster, for example.”
The upside to this is that if you get your eyebrows microbladed and don’t like them, the results won’t last forever.
Eyebrow tattoos are not permanent.
There are two types of eyebrow tattoos to choose from: permanent and semi-permanent. For a permanent eyebrow tattoo, the artist uses ink and inserts it deeply into the skin. A semi-permanent tattoo, however, uses pigment instead of ink and isn’t injected as deeply as a normal tattoo.
Additionally, ink fades differently than pigment, developing an artificial-looking, blue-green hue as it vanishes. The pigment for microblading is designed to fade nicely into a lighter hue, providing a more natural look. That being said, the pigment has the potential to transform into a ‘fugitive’ colour (pink, purple, orange, green or blue) based on several factors, including the artist selecting the wrong colour or implanting the hue too deeply into the skin. It’s best to find a practitioner with extensive colour theory and experience to minimise this risk; asking to see pictures of his/her healed tattoos (not just fresh ones) will give you a better idea of the quality of work.Our exclusive range of eyebrow tattoo services will help you in eyebrow microblading, feathering or hair stroke eyebrow tattooing procedures.
Eyebrow tattooing takes seven to 10 days to heal, and generally lasts about 18 months to two years, fading over time.
How quickly that happens will depend on genetics, sun exposure, if you exfoliate with retinoids and hydroxy acids, and how oily your skin is, says Dr Eisman.
Your health can also play a role, Ms Reali says.
“If you have people who suffer from immune problems like diabetes, the retention [of the pigment] will be less.”
Regardless of which type of tattoo you choose, taking precautions and following a solid facial skin routine (cleanser and moisturiser are key) will help the imprint last longer; factors that affect its longevity include sun exposure, skin type and application technique.
Some skin types retain ink better than others.
“Very oily skin types are the most difficult skin type to work with,” Tai explained. “They’re at risk of rejecting the pigment, and more concerning, they are prone to pigment hydration, which is where the pigment fans into each other, the strokes sort of blend and it ends up looking like a powder-filled brow more than it looks like distinct strokes.”
If you have a tendency to scar or retain keloids very easily, you might not want to have this procedure. But Tai believes that even if your skin type doesn’t yield ideal results, it’s still a worthwhile enhancement.
As we mentioned above, microblading is semi-permanent.
“Cosmetic tattooing, unlike body art tattooing, is much more superficial to the skin,” Tai told HuffPost. “The inks are also much more degradable. Your own immune system will digest the ink and also push out the pigment as well. Over time these looks tend to fade.”
“It lasts for one to three years depending on your skin and lifestyle,” Aava said.
Microblading does require touch-ups yearly or bi-yearly, but at least you won’t be stuck forever with eyebrows that you don’t like, in case you don’t like how yours come out.
What Factors Can Affect How Long It Lasts?
There really is no exact answer to how long it will last, depending on your skin type and how it holds the pigment, as well as how closely you follow the aftercare instructions, cosmetic eyebrow tattoos can last between 12 months and three years. Many things can impact the lifespan, including:
- The quality and technique used.
- The quality of the pigments used.
- Your skin type – although not always the case, often dryer skin can hold onto the pigment more than oily skin.
- Sun exposure – will make the pigment fade a lot quicker, so if you spend a lot of time outdoors, your eyebrow tattooing will generally fade faster.
- Beauty treatments – particular beauty treatments can make the tattoo fade quicker. Exfoliants such as glycolic acid, peels and microdermabrasion can impact the life of your tattoos.
- Aftercare – after your treatment, your body treats the area like a cut anywhere else on your body, and it will form a small scab. It would be best if you took real care not to damage the scab. Otherwise, the pigment may come out with it. It’s essential to follow the aftercare instructions from your brow technician. If these instructions aren’t followed correctly, your tattooing won’t last as long and may not even heal into the skin at all.
- Colour – darker colours usually last longer than lighter colours. Blonde eyebrows will likely fade and need to be touched up a lot sooner than darker eyebrows.
Eyebrow tattoo aftercare
Depending on your skin type, you may need to apply a protective and soothing balm across the brows when dry or itchy. If you have oily skin, the wound will “self-heal” and not require any additional nourishment. It’s best to avoid vigorous sports or exposure to moisture, which means protection in the shower is vital for roughly 5-7 days. It would help if you also stayed out of direct sunlight. Amy Jean suggests avoiding creamy moisturisers, serums with active ingredients and oils near the brow line as the drier the skin is kept, the better the retention of the pigment in the skin. Anything oily will “blur” the crisp lines created during the procedure.
Are there any risks?
The success of the procedure will depend on who is performing it. You will need to ensure you have a recommended and experienced artist or you could be left with eyebrow tattoos gone wrong. You also may get an allergic reaction or infection if you do not follow the aftercare instructions properly. Amy Jean says “There are many “overnight brow artists” so be very mindful of your choice and beware of “specials” It’s a highly skilled art form that takes many years to learn and perfect. Always ask the clinic if they have their Infection and Hygiene Control Certification and ask to see your disposables opened in front of you (for example the Microblading needle).Check out eyebrow tattoo page which has everything you might need near you.
The main risks associated with eyebrow tattooing are allergic reaction, scarring and infection.
“Anything that breaks the skin can predispose to infection, but reputable tattooists will ensure complete sterile technique and good hygiene as is required by the Department of Health regulations for skin penetration,” says Dr Eisman.
To reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, she recommends finding out what type of pigment is being used.
“Organic is more likely to cause an allergic reaction and fade faster. Inorganic is synthetic, and made from iron and zinc oxide with less chance of allergy,” she says.
If you have known allergies, you can request a patch test, but some reactions can be delayed.
Swelling and granulomas (reaction to pigment where a mass of tissue forms around a foreign substance) are other associated risks.
Dr Eisman recommends avoiding anti-inflammatory medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, alcohol) one week before treatment. Eyebrow tattooing is not advised while pregnant or breastfeeding, Dr Eisman warns, due to the infection risk, as well as others, including skin being more susceptible to pigment darkening during this time.