Microblading vs Eyebrow Tattoo: Which is Better?

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Many aim for perfect eyebrows. You can get there with the help of makeup, but makeup is only going to last for a few hours. Even waterproof makeup can easily be removed with makeup removers.

Plus, wearing makeup to sleep is not good for the skin.

Luckily, with today’s technology, you can have stunning brows even if you just got out of bed. This can be done by microblading, or with an eyebrow tattoo. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but the two methods have some subtle differences. 

If you want to achieve on-fleek eyebrows permanently or semi-permanently, you’ll need to choose between microblading and eyebrow tattoos. This post will help you with that. With today’s article, we will look at Microblading vs Eyebrow Tattoo.

We’ll help you figure out which is best suited for you and help you achieve the perfect brow line! 


Microblading Vs Eyebrow Tattoo


1. Tools And Procedure

Both Microblading and Eyebrow Tattooing add color to your eyebrows by first making cuts on them. However, use different tools. To create eyebrow tattoos, artists use machines that automatically puncture the skin. This results in a deeper puncture, so the ink is deposited on the lower layers of the skin. 

On the other hand, with microblading procedures, the artist (or you, if you’re microblading at home) manually cut the skin with the blade tool and deposits pigments at the same time. This will result in cuts that are more superficial, and the pigments will only be deposited on the upper layers of the skin. 

2. Ink vs Pigment

Microbloading Pigment

Tattoos use ink, while microblading uses pigments (like those shown above).

With the inks, the tattoos can change color as the different colors of the ink degrade. With pigments, you may observe them lightening, but they’ll still be in the same color family as before.

3. Permanent vs Semi-permanent 

Perhaps the biggest difference is how long the results last. For more permanent results, tattooing is the way to go. A tattoo will last forever.

Microblading gives you semi-permanent results that could last for about two years (however it can be removed if you don’t like the look). And that includes touch-ups!

But microblading gives you an opportunity to reassess your brow’s look every couple of years. Trends change, after all!

4. Pain

The face is a sensitive area. And both tattooing or microblading can cause discomfort. However, due to more superficial cuts, microblading is usually less painful. The eyebrow area could be treated with lidocaine to numb the area before the procedure.

Most describe the pain in microblading is similar to that of tweezing the eyebrows. 

5. The Healing Process

Both procedures will cause damage to the skin due to the use of the needles. However, the skin still heals. With either of the procedures, it is important that you follow instructions in the aftercare. Remember that these areas are essentially open wounds, and you’d have to keep your eyebrows clean to prevent infection.

Also, they are more sensitive and still damaged so don’t rub or scratch them.

For tattoos, healing times will vary. But it usually takes about 1-2 weeks to look like it is fully healed. However, it isn’t fully healed yet, as the damage is also done in the deeper layers. It can take up to about 4 months for the tattoo to be completely healed.

Your tattoo could also look like it’s flaking, which is frustrating while it’s happening. Resist the urge to peel it, and just let it heal on its own. 

For microbladed eyebrows, it can take up to a month for the eyebrows to fully heal. The cuts are more superficial, so the healing process is faster as compared to having a tattoo. Flaking and scabbing can also occur as the skin heals. 

See our article on the long-term effects of microblading for more information.

You can use shower eye shields  (see this article for more info) while in the shower to protect your microbladed eyebrows.

6. Appearance Of Final Result

Tattoed eyebrows result in full brows because the entire eyebrow is tattooed. The ends can be tapered or pointed as desired, but the results would be more obvious with a tattoo. On the contrary, with microblading, you’d see hair-like strokes. This is made possible through the manual drawing of the hair strokes with the use of tiny needles. Microbloading results in a more natural eyebrow appearance. 

7. Cost

As for the price, you can expect tattooed eyebrows to be more affordable than microblade ones. This is because the tattooed ones don’t offer much detail and are easier to do. The artist won’t draw in the hair strokes, but will simply fill in the shape of your eyebrows. 

Microblading procedures are more expensive because they are more laborious, due to drawing individual hairs. They are more detailed works, and those who do them professionally need to undergo extensive training programs to receive certification. 

What Is Microblading?

Disposable Microblading Pen

Microblading is a cosmetic procedure that helps you achieve fuller, more even, defined natural-looking eyebrows. Some consider this as a type of tattooing while others do not, due to several differences.

Microblading provides a semi-permanent result that lasts for one or two years. This procedure is done using a special blade in the shape of a pen with a bunch of tiny needles on it. Microblading artists use this to manually draw hair strokes.

Disposable Microblading Pen

However, instead of simply drawing on top of the skin, the needles cut the superficial layers of the skin. The tiny cuts are filled with microblading pigments as the hair strokes are drawn. 

What Is Eyebrow Tattooing?

Tattoo Artist

Eyebrow tattooing is just like tattooing any part of your body with the design you want. Tattoo artists use the usual tattoo machines to draw the eyebrows. The difference is that instead of an artwork or design, you’d get a tattoo in the shape of an eyebrow, on your eyebrow.

Like other tattoos, this would last a lifetime and would be permanent. 

With eyebrow tattoos, an electric tattoo machine is used. This will insert ink into the deeper layer of the skin through a needle or a group of needles. These needles will puncture the skin at a very fast rate and deliver the ink on the punctured skin. The ink in the tattooed eyebrow is located in the dermis region. It is trapped there, so it remains permanent.

However, it can still fade somewhat and disperse with time.

Which Is Better, Eyebrow Tattoo or Microblading?

If your budget permits, we’d suggest you go for microbladed eyebrows rather than tattooed ones. However, it is still a personal choice. We advise microblading your eyebrows because the natural results just look better.

Due to the hand-drawn hairs, you will also be more able to customize how your eyebrow looks. 

Tattoos are permanent. And if you change your mind about the shape of your brow, you’ll have an expensive date with a laser tattoo remover. Plus, microbladed eyebrows that are lighter in color are easier to remedy than bluish-colored tattooed eyebrows. 

Final Thoughts

Microblading vs eyebrow tattoo procedures are clearly different, although they are related to each other. They offer different results and make use of different tools and processes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them is a personal matter.

However, we still prefer microblading over eyebrow tattooing due to the results you get out of the procedure.

Who should avoid microblading?

People who are pregnant, prone to keloids, have an allergic reaction to numbing agents, taking blood thinners, undergoing chemotherapy, has transmittable blood diseases, or have skin conditions near the eyebrows should avoid microblading and eyebrow tattooing as well. Those who have diabetes, heart conditions, and other medical issues should first have medical clearance before undergoing such procedures. 

Are there alternatives to Microblading and Eyebrow Tattoos?

If you are looking for a needle-free alternative to eyebrow tattooing and microblading, you could try brow lamination. This is a procedure that could also give you fuller eyebrows but the results won’t last as long as the microblading or tattooing. 

With this procedure, your eyebrow hairs will be directed and set so that it stays in place. This could help improve the shape of your eyebrows and make them look fuller. Results will last for about 2 months. Tinting the eyebrows could also be done along with this procedure.

How can I remove an eyebrow tattoo?

To remove faded eyebrow tattoos, you will need laser eyebrow tattoo removal. The laser will damage the ink particles in your eyebrow so that the body can remove the broken particles. Multiple sessions are required to completely remove the entire eyebrow tattoo. 

If you are referring to removing microbladed eyebrows, you can’t do it overnight but you can speed up the process through exfoliation. Due to the pigments located at the top layers of the skin, it would be easier to remove. Just make sure that it is already completely healed or else you’ll just further damage the skin on your eyebrows. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).