Brow Feathering Is The Natural Brow Trend To Replace Microblading

Photographed by Myesha Evon Gardner.
As hard as TikTok may try to make '90s skinny brows happen again, our obsession with bold, fluffy arches is unwavering.
In the past year, trends like brow mapping (a stencilling technique which uses facial features like your nose to determine the perfect structure for your brows) have taken social media by storm. Then, born out of the ever-popular microblading technique, came hyperrealism brows: a permanent makeup method which joins each hair stroke in a 'W' pattern, lending the appearance of overlapping brow hairs. That's before we've touched brow lamination (a semi-permanent brow-straightening treatment that allows hairs to be brushed up for a bushier effect) and all the DIY lamination hacks that followed.
You'd be forgiven for thinking there isn't any room for another brow-boosting technique. But TikTok is proving otherwise. Enter: microfeathering, also known as brow feathering.
With 87.3k views and counting on TikTok, the hashtag #microfeathering is chock-full of videos showing brow transformations. The result is natural-looking brows without the harsh lines or blocky colour often typical of counterparts like microblading and microshading.

What is microfeathering for brows and what are the benefits?

"Microfeathering designs the most natural and realistic brows by building up super fine hairs, lending a fluffy and clean-looking eyebrow," explains Samantha Trace, international brow expert and director of award-winning medispa Samantha Trace in Sussex and London. Samantha says that microfeathering is pretty sophisticated. "Microfeathering takes inspiration from the original microblading technique [where pigment is etched into the skin using a tiny blade] but it's more superficial, which means it's not applied as deep into the skin compared to microblading." That means less redness and the ability to change the shape later down the line if you wish.
On TikTok, microfeathering experts are making brows look ultra natural by throwing in a brow tint (a gentle dye, which typically darkens the brow hairs to make them appear thicker) alongside brow lamination.

How does brow microfeathering differ from microblading?

Samantha says that the superficial nature of microfeathering means it's a lot more flexible (and perfect for non-committal types). Clients can change their mind about the shape of their brows rather than end up stuck with a brow tattoo they're not keen on for years to come. It's probably the most undetectable of all the brow blading treatments, adds Samantha. "Clients who have the treatment can't tell the difference between their own hair and the microfeathered hair strokes."
Tracie Giles, founder of Tracie Giles Permanent Makeup & Aesthetics in London, says that microfeathering is more beneficial for those with some brow hairs, as it bolsters the natural hairs you already have (especially when combined with tinting and brow lamination). Microfeathering is great for filling in gaps, creating a soft, fluffy look. In comparison, microblading reconstructs the brow, often from scratch. "When performed by an expert artist, microblading can be transformative, creating the illusion of great natural brows even if you have none at all," says Tracie.

How long does brow microfeathering last?

When it comes to the actual tattoo pigment, Samantha says that microfeathering lasts around 12 to 15 months. "An annual colour boost is advised to keep the brows crisp," adds Samantha, but the best thing about the feathering technique is that it isn't applied as deeply into the skin so the hair strokes are less likely to blur or change colour over time. "As a result, the pigment simply fades away, which makes it a better treatment for someone who may wish to change the style in a few years."
While sold initially as one combination of treatments (tinting, lamination and tattooing), Tracie says results vary drastically. "Brow tinting and lamination last approximately four to six weeks," she explains, "whereas pigment lasts for much longer in the skin, usually between one to two years." Put simply, these treatments can't continue to be done as a three at the same time.

What does brow microfeathering feel like? Does it hurt?

Samantha enlists a numbing cream during the treatment, which uses a small blade. But she says that most clients are so relaxed, they tend to nod off and wake up with minimal redness. "The brows look amazing straight after treatment so you can go off out and no one would know."

How much does brow microfeathering cost?

Microfeathering at Samantha Trace costs £445 but prices will vary around the UK. Once the brows are in place, Samantha and her artists advise an annual colour boost to prevent the brows from fading and to keep them looking fresh. This starts at £170 per year.

What's the aftercare like for brow microfeathering?

To get the best visual end result, artists at Samantha Trace advise clients to keep their brows dry for two weeks. This is made much easier thanks to the shower visor protectors provided at the end of the treatment. "We also recommend staying out of the sun for two weeks after the treatment and to be careful using products such as retinol and glycolic acid [which can be harsh on skin and lift away pigment] near the brow area."

Are there any downsides of microfeathering?

Brow treatments like these can fade over time so chat to your brow artist about potential top-ups later down the line.
Tracie says it's imperative to remember that the permanent makeup and microblading industry is largely unregulated. "Clients really need to do their research and choose an artist that is tried, tested and trusted. This should be someone that is a specialist in their field." At Tracie Giles and Samantha Trace, all brow artists are experts and offer consultations before booking in. Tracie adds that it's important not to be driven by price, especially when making permanent or semi-permanent alterations to your face.
If you’re interested in microfeathering or any other permanent makeup, be sure to visit a trained professional.

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