What’s microshading? I’ve started to see a few photos tagged with it on Instagram, but I’m not really sure how it’s different from microblading?
Thanks to its natural-looking results, longevity and versatility, microblading has enjoyed a unique position in the beauty spotlight. Sure, it’s expensive, but it means freedom from the daily grind of powder and pomade, and it works wonders on sparse and full-but-unruly brows alike. So microshading is surely some pretender to the throne, a superfluous hanger-on, right?
Actually, it turns out, not at all. It’s a sister technique to microblading and the two are often used in combination. Both are incredibly specialised, semi-permanent brow tattooing options, but there’s still an important distinction to make. "Microblading is lots of tiny, tiny strokes," said Suman Jalaf, brow expert extraordinaire, "but microshading is a dot-to-dot method, giving a diffused effect." Essentially, microblading is like sketching on individual hairs, à la brow pencil, whereas microshading gives more of a soft, airbrushed finish, like an eyebrow pomade or powder. "Microshading gives a really nice, feathered effect," added Jalaf.
Microshading is also a little gentler on the skin, but that does mean it fades faster than microblading and you may need to go in for top-ups more regularly. "I really like both treatments, and as they offer different finishes, I sometimes use both on one client," explained Jalaf. "For example, I might use microblading near the start of the brow for a really precise effect, and then switch to microshading for a feathered effect in the centre of the brow. It’s about balancing both equally."
Just like with microblading, all the same disclaimers apply: the oilier your skin, the quicker the fade is likely to be; there’s downtime after the treatment where you’ll need to avoid sweating, water and makeup; and top-ups will be required going forward. "Microshading may even need a top-up as much as every six weeks to begin with," cautioned Jalaf. It’s a costly procedure – think up to £500 in London, including some top-ups – and if it’s much cheaper than that? Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s a tattoo, after all, and a very detailed one at that. You’re going to want a safe pair of hands.
If you’re not sure which technique you need, your brow artist will be able to help you choose. The decision will come down to what condition your brows are currently in, and what you’re trying to achieve. If your brows are sparse towards the end, microblading might give them that extra bit of zhuzh, but if you’re looking for a fluffier finish, microshading might be the way to go.
As always, do your research and choose a reputable expert who can show you plenty of before and afters. Or you can just use a lot of Glossier Boy Brow. Always works for me!
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