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What is the difference between Permanent Make-Up & Microblading?

18 OCTOBER 2017

I’ve decided to write this post for 2 reasons, 1. Because every blog I read on the subject seems to be factually incorrect, and 2. So that I can direct people to read this when they ask me the following question...


Even though both treatments are there to provide fundamentally the same effect (cosmetic results in place of conventional make-up) and in essence the two seem like the same thing, they are actually worlds apart...

Let’s start with Microblading;
Although microblading has been around for a long time, it was only in 2015 that the media made it the latest ‘in thing’ to have done, with most people jumping straight on the bandwagon due to cheap entry costs, without doing proper research into the different techniques available. Microblading is a manual method of implanting pigment, done with a hand tool that relies on the technicians even application of pressure. The hand tool has a series of needles in a row that create little cuts in the skin that pigment is then implanted into. The idea is that the strokes are meant to be super fine as they are not reinforced and supposedly more natural than the machine method. But I was shocked to find so many blogs from technicians promoting the following statement as the reasoning behind this - ‘the implanted colour only goes as deep as the epidermis’. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin and a simple review of basic skin anatomy would reveal that THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. If it was true, your microblading would last around 6 weeks - the amount of time it takes for our skin to renew itself and shed that outer layer. To clarify, Microblading is done at the same depth as Permanent Make-Up, into the Dermis. While I’m on this topic I think it’s important to make it clear that both techniques I’m mentioning here are PERMANENT in nature. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SEMI-PERMANENT MAKE-UP; any process that involves implanting pigment into the skin is considered PERMANENT as defined by many well informed regulators and dictionary sources and by the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals of which I am a member. In both instances - IT IS A TATTOO.

Now let’s cover what I do - Permanent Make-Up...
Permanent Make-Up, otherwise known as Micropigmentation is done with a specialist machine, using a variety of different types of needle, which instead punch tiny holes at a consistent speed into the dermis layer of the skin, implanting pigment evenly as it goes. Each individual stroke is reinforced for a much longer lasting result, and by using 1 point needles, micro’s and nano’s, much better results than microblading can be achieved, and in my opinion look even better, sharper, and finer. The depth and needle speed can also be highly controlled and altered with a machine for ensuring an even placement of pigment. For these reasons alone the machine method is a no brainer for me.

As with anything like this, there are always going to be good and bad technicians in both areas of Microblading and Permanent Make-Up and also different opinions on what works best. But after specialising in Permanent Make-up for nearly 8 years now and having tried microblading myself, i’m really not a fan; from the noise it makes as it cuts the skin, to the ashy healed results, to how quickly they fade out - (i could go on) I decided to stick firmly to my machine method as I think the results speak for themselves - both immediately after and healed.

So now you know some of the main differences between Microblading and Permanent Make-Up, you might understand why I choose not to offer Microblading. Lets face it, if Microblading really was as good as Permanent Make-Up, and it costs far less to carry out a treatment, then why wouldn’t I choose to offer it? There’s always someone looking for a cheaper alternative, but like I always say ‘I don’t do £100 brows but so many times I have to fix £100 brows!’