semi permanent eyebrow techniques

The Different Types of Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Techniques

The world of eyebrow is full of different names and different semi-permanent eyebrow techniques. The majority of those treatments are commonly known as semi-permanent makeup (SPMU). So what is semi-permanent eyebrow? and why it is so popular?

What is the Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Technique?

Technically, semi-permanent procedures are considered as skin-friendly and best treatment because the color is implanted into the dermal layer of the skin unlike old technique of traditional tattoo. This technique provides eyebrow hair strokes that last for certain period of time and will start fading.

A lot of Names and Two Techniques

You might have heard of the following names: “microblading”, “eyebrow embroidery”, “eyebrow micro-pigmentation” “microstroking”,  “hairstorkes tattoo”, “pigment embroidery” or “3D eyebrow embroidery”, it’s undeniable that all those names are only two techniques.

Microblading (Embroidery) vs Micropigemnation

Technique Semi Permanent Eyebrow
Treatment Microblading (Embroidery) Micro-pigmentation
Commercial names and Popularity – Eyebrow Microblading (Europe, USA, Middle East, South America, Australia)
– Eyebrow Embroidery (Singapore, Hong Kong, China, SEA)
– Eyebrow Microstroking (Some artists in the USA)
– Eyebrow Micro-pigmentation (Europe, USA, Latin America)
– Eyebrow Tattooage (Russian way of saying it)
– Commonly known also as (Permanent Makeup)
Digital Eyebrow Embroidery
Description Techinque done by hand; simulated hair strokes created mainly by slicing the skin. The pigment is scratched into the skin; each scratch looks more like real hair immediately after the procedure. However, the results might be very different after it is fully healed; most require three sessions if done alone without added shading technique. Micropigmentation is done with a digital machine. The color is implanted into the dermal layer of the skin using ultra-thin needle. It lasts longer than manual Eyebrow Embroidery method. The appointment time for this procedure is approximately 2 hours. This procedure lasts longer and costs more.
Method Manually using a group of needles gathered in a blade form and attached to a pen. Working superficially to implant micro-pigment into the superficial layer of the skin with an ultra thin needle attached to a digital machine.
Treatment longevity Around 8 months
(The color will fade gradually after 8 months)
12-18 months
(The color will fade gradually after a year)
How it looks after right treatment? – First 3 days it looks the best
–  After peeling strokes will be thicker and more blurred
– First 3 days looks ( 30-40%) darker than the final result.
– After peeling strokes becomes lighter and softer
Color healing Color always heals cooler/ ashier (with a bit of grey tone) Color heals to more natural brow hair color ( less ashy color).
Skin Healing Skin healing takes up to 4-6 weeks Skin healing takes up to 4-6 weeks
Natural look Semi-natural: Thicker hair-strokes with blurred edges and grey shade in between them Natural: Thin and crisp hairstorkes similar to natural eyebrow look
Needle size  Approximability (0.50mm to 0.70mm) 0.25mm,  0.35mm and 0.45mm
Strokes details Straight strokes with slight curves
The strokes has the same thickness
More similar to natural brow hair:
Curvy hair-strokes drawn thicker at the roots and thiner towards the ends.
Strokes volume  20-30  18-28
Type of pigment The pigments has a glycerine base formulation which provides thicker consistency. The micro- pigments for digital treatment are chromophores that are insoluble in water which give color to a substrate they are added to.
Type of Needle Group of needles arranged in a blade form and attached to a manual pen.

embroidery blade needles

Ultra-fine needle comes in a cartridge that prevents backflow and cross-contamination. The needle gets attached to the grip of the digital machine.

Digital embroidery microp pigmentation

Depth in the skin superficial superficial
Effect on the skin Harsh on the skin Tender on the skin
Skin type candidates Suitable for dry to normal skin types
(not applicable for oily skin and thin skin)
 Suitable for all skin types
Skin traumatizing Mid to high traumatizing as the technique rely on skin cuts/slicing. Less traumatizing than traditional embroidery as the fine needle penetrates skin smoothly without cutting nor slicing the skin
Bleeding Mild None to mild
Pain Painful treatment Discomfort and less painful
Origin Chinese treatment (not Japanese as some tend to name it) Started in Germany and widely famous in Europe and USA
 Brow Style  Ideal for those who are looking for Korean style, straight eyebrows. Ideal for those who are looking for Natural looking,  defined and symmetrical brows,

Note: Some of the description provides the average and the most common features of the technique. Some highly skilled eyebrow embroidery artists provide better results than mid-level artists due to the long experience. For micro pigmentation, some inexperienced artist can provide inappropriate results. The experience is a very important factor. 

Understanding the eyebrows techniques and terminology

With all those terms used for the methods, there are also some terms involved when it comes to design, building and shaping eyebrows. Some would like to use the term permanent makeup or permanent cosmetics due to longevity comparing to traditional makeup. Yet, the right terms for those techniques would still be Semi-Permanent. Techniques vary dependent on the eyebrow artist doing the work, the pigment used and the individual needs and desires of the client. While eyebrow embroidery/microblading and micro-pigmentation are semi-permanent techniques, there are differences as you can see from the table above.

What Is my Favorite Technique?

Now we come to the question that matters the most. How I made up my mind?
When I first started working with the semi-permanent makeup, I had my doze of working with both techniques. Over the years and after hundreds of clients I made my mind and became certain that micropigmentation provides the best and most natural results. The maneuverability provided by the ultra thin needle and the accuracy of the digital machine provides crisp, lush and symmetrical brows. The plenty of eyebrows over the years made me prefer micro-pigmentation (digital embroidery) over other techniques.

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