Microblading v Cosmetic Tattooing

Microblading v Cosmetic Tattooing

The last five years have seen a rise in microblading demand across the globe. It was all the rage when it dropped on the scene and it has since stuck around, but at what cost?

As a Cosmetic Tattooist of 32 years I have seen many crazes come and go; different styles of eyebrows, even different colors! But nothing has stuck around like microblading has. Clients call requesting to book in for microblading with little or even no knowledge about what microblading actually is, and how it is different to cosmetic tattooing.

Here I am going to breakdown the world of Semi Permanent Makeup and with it the misconception of microblading v cosmetic tattooing. I will look at the different methods used, trends on offer and a summary between these treatments, because what has become an apparent ‘mind field’ of semi permanent make-up needn’t be at all!




Cosmetic Tattooing

Cosmetic Tattooing uses a digital machine, with a handpiece that holds the disposable needle. The low frequency of the machine results in the pigment being planted into the skin at a much more superficial level to that of traditional permanent tattoos, resulting in the less permanent result. These digital machines place pigment into the skin using a very fine needle that penetrates the skin in a repeated up and down motion. This method of tattooing is used for all types of semi permanent makeup including eyebrows, eyeliner and lip colours.

Treatment Time: 60-75 minutes
Heal Time: 5-14 days
Longevity: 12-18 months. An annual colour-boost (top-up) is recommended to keep the pigment vivid and fresh.
Comfort: Some mild discomfort may be felt during the procedure with the vibration of the handpiece being felt as it works over the area. This method is non-invasive and therefore is often described as pain-free.



Microblading is used with a very simple disposable handheld tool that holds the needle at the bottom, resembling that of a Stanley knife. The tool is used to slice the skin, creating very fine incisions. The depth and penetration is totally dependent on the treating practitioners pressure, with the pigment sinking into the skin as the incision is made. This method of tattooing is used for eyebrows.

Treatment Time: 60 minutes
Heal Time: 5-10 days
Longevity: 6-12 months. Due to the scar tissue that forms following this treatment, a maximum of 4 treatments should ever be carried out in one lifetime on one individual.
Comfort: Microblading is an invasive procedure as it creates fine incisions into the skin with the blade. These cuts can be felt during treatment as a drag or pull on the skin, often described as a deep scratching.



Individual Hair Strokes

Individual hair strokes are used to build up shape and create natural looking brows. This style is ideal for those with some natural hair and shape in place that can be built on to form the perfect looking brows. It can also be used on those with little – no natural hair left to create an extremely soft and natural brow line. Both cosmetic tattooing and microblading can create very fine individual hair strokes. When the method of cosmetic tattooing is used to create individual hair strokes, it is called ‘Digital Microblading‘.


Ombre Brows

Ombre brows use a blend of block/powder brows with individual hair strokes to create a full yet soft brow look. Starting off soft and often with hair strokes at the front, they blend out into a more pronounced brow finish. Ombre brows are suited to people who have little – no natural hair or shape left.


Block Brows

Block brows are dark and bold with lots of definition and shape. They are suited for those who have little – no natural hair left, or for those who seek a bold brow. Cosmetic tattooing is used to pack in the pigment and form a solid brow line.

Individual Hair Strokes





Both Cosmetic Tattooing and Microblading can create soft, natural individual hair strokes wanted by so many.

As explained above, Microblading can not be deemed as an on-going treatment for the use of semi permanent makeup. After repetitive microblading treatments scar tissue begins to form as a result of the incisions being made into the skin. This is not an outcome that anybody wants and so microblading should be viewed as a one-off treatment, or for someone who knows they do not want to maintain their semi permanent makeup forever. Perhaps they are looking for microblading in the lead up to a special event or occasion.

Cosmetic Tattooing can offer the entire range of styles and trends, including microblading in the form of digital microblading. The results are more stable and permanent and can be repeated for life long semi permanent makeup users.

With a little education and knowledge into the world of semi permanent makeup you can evaluate what you think is right for you before going to see your chosen practitioner. Too often requests for microblading are carried out by inadequately trained practitioners without the clients full understanding of the treatment or the on-going maintenance or affect on the skin.


Learn More

If you would like to learn more about Cosmetic Tattooing or Microblading you can book in for a Free Consultation with one of our Micropigmentation Specialists. To book call us on 01296 614441 or you can book online on our website; www.karmahouse.co.uk