Home Beautygab Eyebrow Tinting Vs Microblading (Which Is Right For You?)

Eyebrow Tinting Vs Microblading (Which Is Right For You?)

by Gabbi
Eyebrow Tinting

Remember the days when we’d pluck our eyebrows as thin as possible in the name of fashion? You might be looking back at those days with total cringe and despair, especially if your brows didn’t make it out alive, but thankfully we’re living in a day and age with a ton of beauty solutions!

Not only can you use a careful hand and a trusty eyebrow pencil to bring your eyebrows back to life, but you have more lasting options on the table too! Among the most popular choices are eyebrow tinting and microblading, both of which allow you to simulate the look of thicker, fuller, darker brows.

Wondering what the differences are between eyebrow tinting or microblading, and which is right for you? There are striking differences between the two that may make it easier for you to make a choice. Broadly speaking, eyebrow tinting is less intrusive and great for all age ranges, while microblading is better for mature skin and those with sparse hair.

In this article, we’ll break down both of these treatment options so you can choose which one is better suited for your lifestyle!

What We’ll Compare

There are multiple differences that set eyebrow tinting and microblading apart from one another, but today we’ll break down the main reasons why you might choose one over the other to fill in your eyebrows or add some color to light brows!

  • Prep
  • Treatment Process
  • Healing Process
  • What Results Look Like
  • How Long Results Last
  • Accessibility


Eyebrow Tinting

Before you go in for your eyebrow tinting appointment, the main thing that you need to keep in mind is that your brows have to be as clean as possible! Fresh-faced would be best, but if you want to put on some makeup, be mindful of keeping it as far away from your brows as possible.

This might be a tough one for some people, but a clean face means no skincare and no moisturizer — nothing that will compromise how well the tint will stick to your eyebrow hairs and skin. Your esthetician should give you a clean-up prior to the application of the tint, but you don’t want to risk any potential residue!

One of the main problem-causing ingredients that any of your products could have is oil.

If you typically use an oil-based cleanser, makeup remover, etc, you may want to switch to something soap-based during the day of your appointment. Oil has a lot of slip, which could prevent your eyebrow tint from adhering properly and result in a patchy finished product!

If you’re tinting your brows at home, doing a patch test in a discreet location can save you the pain of dealing with a potential allergic reaction. Your esthetician should also keep this in mind, but it doesn’t hurt to voice your concerns about it — especially if you have sensitive skin!


The microblading prep process is a bit more extensive than the tinting process, and that’s because microblading is a far more extensive procedure.

One of the biggest things to keep in mind is to not sweat or work out on the day of your appointment — sweat can alter the pigment, and the increased blood flow to the area could slow down your healing process.

For those who like to get some sun, you should probably skip the tanning sessions for at least a week prior to your appointment. Microblading works best when your skin is in its healthiest, most natural state- that means no tan (fake or otherwise) and absolutely no sunburn!

As for the state of your eyebrows, let them go au natural! Growing them out is ideal (they’ll be trimmed and styled the day of your appointment anyway. Avoid waxing, which can leave your skin tender, and tinting for at least 3 days before your appointment.

Something that differs greatly from the tinting process is that you’ll also want to avoid taking vitamins and supplements for 48 hours prior to your microblading treatment.

Necessary medication is fine, but try to avoid painkillers — these pills can thin your blood and make the application process, as well as the healing process, more painful. 

Treatment Process

Eyebrow Tinting

When you come in, the first thing that your aesthetician will do is clean your eyebrow area.

They’ll likely use a foaming or soap-based cleanser, working the product into your hairs and the surrounding skin to ensure the most sterile surface possible. It’ll likely be a pH stabilizing formula as well, this will reduce the chances of redness or adverse reaction.

After you’re all clean, your ideal brow shape will be mapped out!

This is the time during your appointment to be vocal of what you’d like the final product to look like. Your esthetician should be trained on what brow shape would be most complimentary to your face shape and features, but that doesn’t mean they won’t take your personal preferences into account as well. 

To avoid any accidental staining from the pigment, your stylist will apply a barrier cream of some sort on the surrounding area of your brow that you don’t want stained.

This could be Vaseline or some other petroleum-based product. It works in the same way you apply vaseline around your hairline when you’re dying your majestic mane.

Once you’re all mapped out to your liking, your stylist will go ahead and apply the actual tint to your brows. They’ll let you “okay” the color prior to application, and the tint will only sit on your eyebrows for less than 10 minutes. Afterward, they’ll be gently wiped clean to reveal your brand new eyebrows!


As previously mentioned, microblading is an intrusive procedure that is very similar to tattooing, except the pigment used fades over the course of time. Due to this, you’ll need to consult a professional microblader or esthetician who’s trained in the process to make sure it’s an appropriate option for you!

Post consult, you’ll set an appointment for your actual microblading procedure. After cleaning your brows and skin off, they’ll go ahead and map out and measure the best brow shape for you! Just like in eyebrow tinting, you can express what kind of shape you’d like so that you’re in love with the final product.

Those who get microbladed brows done typically want the finished product to mimic the look of their natural hairs as much as possible.

To do this, the pigment used needs to match the shade of your real eyebrow hairs. Your esthetician will likely show you their top 3-5 shade choices, give you their opinion on their personal choice, and let you make your choice as well. 

Though your technician let you know what shape and shade they think will work, they also know that it’s you who will be enjoying the final product, so don’t be afraid to stray from their opinion if that’s what’ll make you happiest.

Once you’re all set with what your eyebrows will look like post-appointment, your technician will apply a topical anesthetic to your eyebrow area and surrounding skin. This will ensure that the process is as painless as possible, making it as comfortable of a process as possible for you. 

When you’re all numbed up, which typically takes less than 10 minutes, your technician will use a micro-blade tool (which may look intimidating, but trust us when we say it’s quite gentle!), and they’ll start scratching the pigment into your brows. 

The tool used allows the pigment to be applied in hair-like strokes, and the needles on the end are super thin — which actually makes the process fairly painless! Of course, the sensation may be a bit strange, especially if it’s your first time, but you’ll get used to it throughout the duration of the appointment.

Of course, if you’re feeling intense pain, burning, or any other effects that are cause for concern, don’t be afraid to let your esthetician know about them.

Post-appointment, you can expect your brow area to be red and slightly swollen. Let us be the first to assure you that that’s totally normal, but again, don’t be afraid to ask your technician if your reaction looks appropriate or allergic. 

Healing Process

Eyebrow Tinting

Since eyebrow tinting is an easy, non-invasive process, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s no real “healing process” post-tint!

If you’re allergic to the dye, or if there are any other adverse reactions, you’ll likely notice them within the first day of your appointment. If there are no effects within that time, it’s unlikely any will rear their head afterward. 


If you’ve ever had a tattoo done, you can expect the healing process for your brows to be similar to the healing process of your body art!

Immediately after your appointment through the first seven days following it, you may find yourself wondering why you got your brows microbladed to begin with — they’ll likely be tender, mildly painful to the touch, and super dark. Aesthetically speaking, this is the boldest they’ll look throughout the healing process!

The second week following your treatment, your brows will start scabbing. Since the needle used during the treatment is so thin, the scabbing won’t be too intrusive or textured, but it will cause flaking and peeling. Fight the urge to pick at your brows during this time, or you may find yourself with a patchy final product! 

Due to the scabbing, the color of your brows may look darker or deeper, but this doesn’t represent what they’ll look like when they’re all healed.

By the end of the third week, you’re in the clear to start using makeup products on your brows again (pencil, gel, etc.). At this point, the flakiness and scabbing should be significantly reduced (or gone!), and the true color of the pigment should start peeking through — so, your brows will lighten. 

After a month of patience, you’ll be rewarded with what your brows will look like once they’re all healed up! By now, any scabs and scratches you have will be all healed up, and the pigment will have settled and lightened to the state your eyebrows will stay in until your next touch-up!

What Results Look Like

Eyebrow Tinting

Eyebrow tinting will leave you with rich, thick, voluminous-looking hairs. They enhance the look of your natural brow hairs, defining them and making each individual strand look thicker and darker than it may actually be.

Think Cara Delevigne and her thick, lush brows that took the world by storm — eyebrow tinting leaves you with just that!

If you think you’re ready to try tinting your own eyebrows at home, check out this video from Shonagh Scott on YouTube:


Microbladed brows offer a bit more personalization in terms of your brow shape, as it involves the drawing of individual brow hairs rather than the dyeing of existing ones. That means you can “draw on” super thick brows, or simply fill in particularly sparse areas.

A plus with microblading is that it leaves you with a much more natural finish than tinting. From a distance (and even up close) you can see each individual “strand” of hair, rather than your brows looking dense and dark like they do with tinting!

Most people who get eyebrow tinting done don’t reach for brow products for the duration of their tint’s life, other than a clear brow gel to smooth hairs into place. Adversely, those with microbladed brows can still use pencils, pens, and pomades to fill their brows in — the density of the final product is entirely up to you!

If you’d like to see a quick run-through of the process, check out this video from Beauty Studio on YouTube:

How Long Results Last

Eyebrow Tinting

Post-appointment, you can expect your eyebrow tint to last anywhere from 3-8 weeks. It may seem like quite a long range, but that’s because once you leave your esthetician’s sight, what your brows undergo is entirely on your shoulders!

The type of pigment that your tech used to tint your brows holds most of the longevity for your brows, but you can do your part in ensuring that they stay for as long as possible. Here are some tips to help your tint last:

  • Avoid oil-based makeup removers. If you do use them, avoid the brow area.
  • Be gentle with your brows when you wash your face — use a light hand and gentle pressure rather than scrubbing them.
  • Avoid the use of physical and chemical exfoliants on your brows, including AHAs/BHAs and retinol. 


Microbladed brows are built to last! You may not notice them looking how they did pre-appointment for 18-30 months after your treatment. That’s right — microbladed brows can last for more than 2 years, making them well worth the investment (and pain)!

The biggest factor that alters the longevity of your microbladed brows is definitely your natural skin type.

Due to the “tattoo”-like process of microblading, the pigment scratched into your skin will last better with dry to normal skin types. Those with oily skin types may find that the natural sebum their skin produces thins out the pigment, or pushes it out more easily.

Just like with eyebrow tinting, the pigments that microblading uses do not pair well with oil-based cleansers. However, they hold up better against AHAs and BHAs than tints do. 


Eyebrow Tinting

Perhaps one of the most appealing things about eyebrow tinting is that those of all ages and hair types can get them done! It’s a non-invasive process that doesn’t harm the skin, nor does it compromise the growth of your natural brow hairs. Because of this, even kids can get brow tinting done without worry or concern. 

If you have naturally full brows, but wish they were darker, then eyebrow tinting is definitely a great route to take. However, if you lack brow hair in general, you may find that tinting them doesn’t make them necessarily look fuller, but rather just darker. 


With it being as invasive and long-lasting as it is, microblading is definitely suitable for those 18 and older rather than kids. The pain involved throughout the process, though mild, may be enough to turn away the younger generation anyway!

There is a lot of research involved with finding a microblading technician, and hunting down a reputable one may be difficult — especially if you live in a small town. Due to how long microblading takes, and because the chances of infection are higher than with just a tinting, don’t book an appointment based on convenience.

If you’re dealing with a lack of brow hairs, whether it be from alopecia or just genetics, microblading can absolutely transform your face in a very natural way. You can choose a thin, or thick shape, and how many “hairs” you have is entirely up to you!


That was a whole lot of information we just went through, so let’s break it down:

 Eyebrow TintingMicroblading
PrepFresh face, no moisturizer, no oil-based productsNo working out, no tan/sunburn, no vitamins or supplements, grow out natural brows
Treatment ProcessCleansing, mapping, barrier cream, eyebrow tintConsult, mapping, pigment matching, numbing, microblading
Healing ProcessNo healing process1-month healing process
What Results Look LikeBushy, thick, dark, voluminousMore natural look, more customizable
How Long Results Last3-8 weeks18-30 months
AccessibilityGood for all ages, those with many brow hairsBetter for adults, good for those with sparse hairs

TLDR; eyebrow tinting is less invasive and great for all ages, while microblading is more intensive and far longer lasting, and is better suited for adults. All in all, the decision of which brow treatment you get done is entirely up to you!

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