Microshading Vs Microblading: What’s the Difference?

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Microshading and microblading are two different procedures that fall under permanent makeup. Both are great ways to improve the appearance of your eyebrows so you don’t have to do and redo them every day. 

Imagine not having to use your eyebrow powder, eyebrow pencil, and the other makeup you use to make them look fuller and more symmetrical.

That definitely is every woman’s dream!

But which procedure should you get? In the battle between microshading vs microblading, which is better? Well, that would highly depend on the person who is getting the procedure. 

To help you choose which one is better for you, we are going to define what the procedures are. We are also going to differentiate them. Plus, we’ll also answer some of the frequently asked questions about the two procedures.

By the end of this article, you’d be able to choose which of the two procedures you’re likely to get once you’ve finally decided to take the permanent makeup route. 

Let’s begin by first defining the two eyebrow procedures. 


Microshading Vs Microblading

Both microshading and microblading will make your life a whole lot easier especially if you are into creating “on fleek”, instagramable eyebrows or if you simply want to make your eyebrows look better. 

Once they fully heal from either of the procedure, you’ll see that there isn’t a need for an eyebrow product. Say goodbye to all those for about several months. 

What Is Microshading

Microshading is a procedure that makes use of microneedles and pigment to improve the appearance of the eyebrows. Yikes, the term needles might scare you! But don’t worry because they are very tiny and a numbing product will be used to help with the pain.

With this method, tiny dots are repeatedly created on the eyebrow area. The dots create a more filled-in look for the eyebrow. It is like shading the eyebrow to make it look fuller. 

The microshading artist can concentrate the dots on the tail area to make it look more defined then lessen the concentration towards the head or inner corner for an ombre look.

Some concentrate the dots on the base too. This helps define the shape of the eyebrows.

Many like the look of the microshading because it is less harsh than that of microblading. 

What is Microblading

Microblading Pen

Microblading is another procedure for the eyebrows that help improve their shape. Unlike microshading which creates dots, microblading creates hair-like strokes. 

That means that the wound created by the needles aren’t just dots but lines that resemble eyebrow hair.

The hair-like strokes mimic the natural hair. With this procedure, your eyebrows will look fuller because of the additional hair strokes made. 

What’s The Difference?

The two procedures differ in a variety of ways. They can differ with the tools and technique of application used, the appearance of the eyebrows, the longevity, and who they are best for.

Tools Used 

The tool used for microblading is a manual microblading pen. This pen has several tiny needles in it. The microblading artist uses it to draw each hair manually using microblading pigments

On the other hand, microshading also uses a pen with microneedles. However, the application may differ. Instead of drawing the line, the artist just makes use of a stippling motion to create the dots and shaded area. 

Additionally, there is a machine that can be used for microshading 

Appearance Of The Eyebrow

The main difference between the two procedures is the appearance of the eyebrows. Although both processes will make them look fuller, they do so in different ways. 

With microblading, your eyebrows will look more natural because of the hair-like strokes created. It looks like there are additional hair strands on your eyebrows. This process can fix the look of uneven brows

On the other hand, microshading will resemble eyebrows that have a brow powder on them. They look fuller and softer.


Typically, microshaded brows will last a little bit longer than microbladed ones. Although you’d need touch-ups for both procedures to prolong the result, microshading still wins when it comes to longevity. 

The hair strokes tend to fade faster than the dots simply because of the shape. Additionally, the microblading doesn’t deposit pigment as deep as microshading that uses a machine. Note that eyebrow tattoos will last the longest of all. 

Best Candidates For The Procedure

Those who have normal to dry skin are best for the microblading procedure. With the hand tool, the pigment deposited won’t go as deep as the microshading. 

With oily skin, the pigment will usually fade faster. Microblading isn’t advisable for those with oily skin. Furthermore, the lines or strokes tend to blur when the skin is oily. 

As an alternative, microshading can be done for all skin types.

Even if there is more oil production, this procedure tends to be more resilient in keeping the pigment. The dots may still blur with oily skin, but the blurring isn’t as obvious compared to microblading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you combine microblading and microshading?

You can certainly combine both procedures. In fact, there are many people who do it. The microblading procedure will create the lines needed to make the eyebrows look naturally fuller.

The addition of the microshading procedure will help better define the eyebrows. It will look like you have naturally full eyebrows with a little bit of makeup in it. This is a great procedure especially for those who have thin and sparse eyebrows. 

How do you care for your eyebrows after microblading or microshading?

Microblading and microshading are similar procedures. They make use of needles to introduce pigment on the skin. Since the skin is broken during the procedure, it needs to heal afterward. 

Caring for the eyebrows after the procedure involves cleaning the eyebrows and applying ointment or the given moisturizer. This helps prevent the wound from getting infected before it heals. 

You shouldn’t be touching the area too if not needed to avoid contamination and infection. Scabbing or peeling could happen as the eyebrow heals. When this happens don’t pick on them and let them naturally shed off. 

Those who did your eyebrows will also provide aftercare instructions. It is important that you follow them to ensure that your eyebrows heal properly and the pigment is retained.

How long is the healing process?

For your eyebrows to completely heal, it will take about a month. After about two weeks, it could appear that the wound is already healed. Although the surface may already be healed, the deeper layers are still healing and the pigment is still settling. 

The first two weeks would appear to be intense. Here you’d see the changes in your eyebrows. It could appear that they are too dark at first then become too light then finally darken a bit after it is completely healed. 

You should know how to properly care for your eyebrows especially during the first two weeks of healing. 

How painful will the procedure be?

Are you scared of needles piercing your skin? That definitely sounds painful but the procedures are not that painful at all. There could be a bit of discomfort even with the use of the numbing cream. 

Some people may not feel the pain at all. However, hearing the sound made when the artist is drawing the hair strokes or stippling may cause discomfort. 

What are the side effects?

The procedures involve putting pigment on the upper dermal skin layer. If the needle is too deep, the deeper layers could be damaged. That’s why it is important to have it done by experienced professionals. 

Irritation can also occur as the skin is wounded. It could result in itchiness, redness, and swelling. Additionally, risk for skin infection is present. That’s why post-care is very important. 

You need to carefully follow instructions to help avoid infection.

However, if you notice swelling, blistering and increased pain, you may want to have it checked for infection just to be sure that there is none. 

Should I get a touch-up?

You may or may not get a touch-up for your microblading or microshading procedure. However, it is recommended that you get one. Touch-ups are usually done after 6 weeks. That is when the eyebrows are likely to be completely healed. 

Touch-ups help correct any color tone or irregularities. Sometimes the color may become too light because the pigments have been removed or faded. There are a variety of factors that could have caused this but the important thing is that touch-ups can correct it.

Can You Spray Tan After Microblading?

It’s not a good idea to use a fake tanner or spray tan after microblading. Avoid any spray tan during the week before your microblading, and for a couple of weeks after your microblading.

The skin around the eyebrows is wounded after microblading. Give it time to heal!


With the battle between microshading vs microblading, there isn’t a real winner. The procedure that is best will depend on the person who is getting it. When choosing between the two, it is best to know what result you want to get and what type of skin you have. 

Microblading is more suitable for those with normal to dry skin. It produces a more natural appearance so you can go for it if you are after that look. 

Microshading on the other hand works well for all skin types and even the oily ones. Although it doesn’t give a natural look, it makes your eyebrows look fuller just like if you would use an eyebrow powder. 

Then there’s combining them. You can go for this option if you want a natural look with a hint of makeup. This will define the eyebrows. It is a great option if you just can’t choose between the two.

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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).