Microblading And The Skin: Sometimes It Ain’t Pretty

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Eyebrows

Up close shot of microblading tattoos by Courtney


So here’s the thing, I don’t do microblading so much anymore. I love doing it and I love working on the skin types that take it well (young, dry/normal, healthy, tiny pores, smooth as a crisp apple), but in my experience, maybe only 10% of clients AT MOST are candidates. And even some of those are “borderline”. So, posting less hairstroke work and more powder brows has affected my business a bit. Most folks are so drawn to that fresh hairstroke look. But here’s a secret many people learned the hard way…they don’t always heal that well!


Microblading is literally manually slicing the skin. Each slice is then filled with ink and is supposed to look like hairstrokes when healed. The less collagen in the skin, the more those slices cause scarring and heal poorly. Getting annual refreshers with microblading is repeatedly slicing the skin over and over and building scar tissue. It’s less of an issue for young skin, but even so, I don’t microblade folks who are better candidates more than once. I switch to machine (nano) hairstrokes. It’s so much gentler for the skin and heals truer to color, so when I do refreshers, I always use a machine.


The massive amount of inquiries we get in the shop weekly from folks who want their microblading fixed or removed is mind-blowing. When I was a new artist, I did microblading on everyone because that’s what was taught…but now, artists who have been in the industry as long as I have know better. However, there are still many 3-day microblading workshops out there churning out more artists who are microblading more people and creating more work for removal technicians and correction/coverup artists. The cost of correcting microblading will possibly involve removal (usually $150-200/session and multiples sessions, spaced 2 months apart, are typically needed) or just a correction service, which is more expensive than a brow service on virgin skin because it’s a more difficult service.


Powder brows can also look just as natural (or even more so!) than microblading when done well! It also heals truer to color because we aren’t cutting the skin manually, we are perforating it like a conventional tattoo using a machine. The cutting method heals grayer! And for folks with prior brow tattoos or any sort of inflammatory skin issue (like rosacea/ruddy skin), thin, oily or mature skin, you are absolutely not a candidate for microblading. That covers a lot of folks!

When I have someone in my chair who is not a great candidate but is adamant about hairstrokes, I make a compromise. I say I will do a few strokes in front but powder for the rest and see how they heal. Almost 100% of the time, the client prefers the powder technique at touchup. If strokes heal okay after the first service, I might go over them with machine hairstrokes at touchup. But powder heals more uniformly and gives more density behind the hair. And when people put make up on, they fill their brows in with powder makeup usually anyway. That’s what I can do with a tattoo!


The good news is, because I know so much about how to get good healed results for brows, I also am very proficient in doing eyebrow corrections! I know what colors to mix to blend old ink into new and it often looks like a paint-by-numbers set on the tray! In fact, that’s what it looks like when I do brow refreshers on my own clients! And if a potential client has old tattoos that are too dark, I will recommend saline tattoo removal (a service offered at Arden Gate Studio) or refer to laser tattoo removal! Check out the pictures and video on social media to see results on all types of skin of cosmetic tattoo corrections!

A huge part of my business these days is driven by referrals from clients, when people see my work up close, in person…and that’s how I want to fill my books.