Dear Daniela: Why Are My Microbladed Brows Changing Colour?

Illustrated by Olivia Santner
Dear Daniela,
Do you know why my microbladed eyebrows have changed colour? I noticed after a few months that they have a bit of a purple tinge to them. I had a look on Twitter and saw other people complaining of the same thing, or a more green tinge, but no one really knew what was going on. How can I restore them to their former glory?
Imogen, 31
Microblading has exploded in popularity at an exponential rate. In the space of a year I’ve seen it go from "Ugh, no, I would never get semi-permanent makeup," to seeing half of my beauty industry colleagues sat with numbing cream and clingfilm over their brows whenever I go to get mine threaded. When it’s done well, it means freedom from the tyranny of brow pencils and spoolies, and for those not blessed with the bushiest of brows, or whose brows have depleted over the years, it means finally getting a full, luscious brow again.
However, as with all procedures, it doesn’t always go well. I asked my personal brow queen, Suman Jalaf of Suman Brows, if she’d ever heard of microbladed brows changing colour. "I wouldn’t say it’s normal, as in it shouldn’t happen. But it does," confirmed Jalaf. "There are a few reasons why it might happen. Usually, it’s a case of cheap pigments being used or not using the pigment correctly, for example, when one pigment needs to be mixed with another shade of pigment to get the right colour for the client outcome. It might work in the short term, but mixing pigment incorrectly can lead to discolouration."
Aside from using a shoddy pigment, Jalaf noted that the 'fingerprint' of your skin can play a role. "If you’re not having a thorough consultation with the client to understand their skin tone and texture, the ink can become tinged or off-colour," added Jalaf. "Also, if a client isn’t taking good care of the area after the treatment, and following the guidelines around exposure to other chemicals and elements, that can be an issue."
Let’s say that you did everything right, and followed the aftercare instructions perfectly. Could it have been a haphazard application technique? Jalaf told me: "Sometimes, a technician might insert the pigment too deeply into the skin, where it can then disperse and turn into a 'blur' effect on the skin, especially if the skin is very oily. This can end up looking off-colour. There is always a risk with poor quality pigments too."
Without having been there with you, it’s hard to know exactly what went wrong. But for now, Jalaf says correction may be possible. "While you can attempt to just fix around what’s already there, I would absolutely recommend getting a removal of the microblading first, which I offer as a service. The amount of sessions of removal required will depend on the brow shade and how deep the pigment was inserted, but it’s the best first step." If you’re not sure if you want to have it all removed just yet, Jalaf noted that playing around with concealer and brow pencil could work as a stopgap.
Illustrated by Olivia Santner
I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in this spot, Imogen, and I’m crossing my fingers for you that yours will be one of the easier ones to remove. To anyone reading who’s considering getting their brows microbladed, heed Jalaf’s words: "With a full consultation with the right, fully qualified expert, they will be able to advise and decide on the correct shade for you with high grade pigment. Remember: research, research, research when looking for the right expert for you."
And be wary of prices that seem too good to be true. Microblading is an expensive service that often costs north of £300, so anything considerably lower may not use the highest quality pigments or technicians. Also, don’t just look at pictures on their social media of freshly done brows. Look for technicians who also post clients' selfies a few months later. When you arrive, make sure the environment is sterile. All the equipment should be single-use and in pre-sealed packets. Shop around, get recommendations from people you know and trust, and if you can’t find anything in your price range, it’s better to save and go for a tint in the meantime, rather than make what could be a very expensive mistake.
Good luck!
Got a question for our resident beauty columnist Daniela Morosini? No problem, qualm or dilemma is too big, small or niche. Email, including your name and age for a chance to have your question answered. All letters to 'Dear Daniela' become the property of Refinery29 and will be edited for length, clarity, and grammatical correctness.

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