Brow trends always come and go, but some are more permanent than others. It can get exhausting trying to draw them in every day for those who have naturally sparse or blonde brows or lost their eyebrows due to past trends, medical conditions, or stress.
Thankfully, permanent makeup techniques are evolving faster than ever, and there are now multiple eyebrow services that last long term. This is because the eyebrows carry so much of our personality, and they also frame the eyes, making them a crucial element.
Cosmetic services like ombre brows and microblading now allow anyone to achieve the brows of their dreams. In addition, both of these services can allow you to reach a natural and flattering eyebrow that will suit the rest of your facial features.
So, what is the difference between ombre brows and microblading? Ombre brows will offer a more pigmented and powder-like finish to your brows that lasts up to 5 years, while microblading will match natural hair fibers to create a fuller-looking eyebrow that lasts up to 3 years.
Both ombre brows and microblading usually last for an extended period. So not only can these services cut your morning routine in half, but you will also wake up with perfect brows daily. But how do you know which brow service is best? Well, read on!
What Are Ombre Brows?
Ombre brows are a semi-permanent makeup service that creates the illusion of full, bold, and pigmented brows. The service is less invasive than most permanent or semi-permanent cosmetic procedures, and it can last for years with the proper care.
According to Brow & Beauty Bar, “Ombre Brows, also known as Powdered Brows, are a semi-permanent eyebrow styling technique that creates a soft shaded brow pencil look…It gives great definition and depth to the eyebrows.”
Powdered brows offer a blurred and pigmented finish ideal for oily skin because the oil glands won’t disrupt the healing process. However, ombre brows are suitable for all skin types, and they even suit those with a dark complexion beautifully.
Ombre brows will usually result in a gradual fade of color. For example, the brow’s tail will be the most pigmented area, and then toward the front, it will have a gradient effect, the color will be lighter, and it will look like a natural brow.
According to PMU HUB, Ombre brows are achieved by “the process of creating fine dots with a specialized machine and covering them with pigment.” These finely placed dots will create the full, diffused, and pigmented effect of the ombre brows.
In addition, while this technique can last for a few years, PMU HUB has also mentioned that you should come back 6-8 weeks after your first ombre brow session for a touch-up. This will ensure your brows are perfected, pigmented, and long-lasting.
The process of ombre brows can be less painful and invasive than microblading, but you can still expect some slight discomfort. It’s also crucial to note that every person has a different level of pain tolerance, especially if they are used to semi-permanent makeup services.
When you go in for your ombre brows, you can expect the service to last for about 2 hours.
The cost of Ombre Brows can vary from each clinic or doctor. In addition, your city and state can also offer different pricing in comparison to another location. Ombre brows can cost anywhere from few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
Another thing that can contribute to pricing is the clinic’s experience, expertise, and prestige. For example, most clinics may offer a free consultation to receive more precise information regarding your ombre brow service.
Ombre or powdered brows should look natural, diffused, and defined. In addition, this brow service will look much more dramatic when you compare it to a microblading service. Powdered brows are similar to a tattoo, but they don’t go as deep into the skin.
Because ombre brows are so bold, precise, and pigmented, they can end up looking a bit out of place when you’re not wearing a full face of makeup. Microbladed brows tend to have a more natural looking finish that will compliment an otherwise bare face.
Your lifestyle, environment, and self-care routine can also affect your results. In addition, any medical issues or concerns should be brought up with your doctor to determine if you are a proper candidate for ombre brows.
Ombre brows can last up to 5 years, but most ombre brow fanatics will usually go in for touch-ups every one to 2 years. To keep your results lasting as long as possible, it’s crucial to ensure you’re performing the correct aftercare steps.
Your aftercare routine and beauty habits that you adapt to your ombre brows will prolong the pigmentation and fullness of your ombre brows.
Byrdie and Brow Specialist Joe Healy state, “Avoid getting the brows wet for 10 days. This includes keeping your face dry in the shower…avoid excessive sweating and makeup for a week…the brows will scab, and you don’t want to pick or scratch them.”
In addition, your clinic or brow expert should provide some antibacterial cream after your service. Upkeeping your brows with an occlusive like Aquaphor can also prolong your results.
Now would also be a good time to readjust your skincare routine. To maintain your beautiful powdered brows for longer, always apply sunscreen every day, multiple times a day. UV Rays can break down the pigment in your brows and alter them.
In addition, avoid actives, peels, lasers, and almost anything exfoliating because they can slowly break away the surface level of the skin and gradually diminish the pigment of your brows over time.
What Is Microblading?
Microblading is another semi-permanent makeup service that will help you achieve flawless and defined brows similar to ombre brows. However, microblading involves contrasting techniques to that of ombre brows, and they aren’t as long-lasting.
Microblading also goes by other names like feathering or micro-stroking. The goal of microblading is to create a complete and precisely defined brow that mimics the look of natural hair fibers. So instead of spread out pigment, the brow artist is drawing hair-like strokes in the natural shape of your eyebrows.
In addition, microblading won’t work as well on oily skin, which is why ombre brows are the more versatile service catering to everyone. Normal skin types or those who have a lighter hair color can get the most benefits from microblading.
However, don’t shy away from microblading just yet. A consultation with your chosen clinic, doctor, or brow specialist will help determine if you are the correct candidate for microblading. Let’s dive into what you should expect from this brow service.
According to Healthline, “microblading is a cosmetic procedure that inserts pigment under your skin using a needle or an electric machine with a needle, or needles attached to it.”
Unfortunately, Microblading is a more painful and invasive process than ombre brows. In addition, microblading is not as pigmented or bold as ombre brows.
Instead, microblading gives you a natural finish by tattooing hair-like fibers on your brows for a natural effect. As a result, you can still gain defined brows, but they won’t be harsh or dramatic.
Touch-up sessions are also mandatory for prolonging your microbladed brows. Unfortunately, microblading doesn’t last up to 5 years like ombre brows, but you can expect to enjoy your brows for at least a couple of years.
In addition, microblading is a time-consuming procedure that will take a few hours out of your day. It will be similar to getting a tattoo, and the needle can go deeper into the skin for microblading as opposed to ombre brows.
When it comes to price, microblading is very comparable to powdered brows. In addition, it will vary depending on your location, your clinic, and your brow specialist or doctor, along with other factors. A consultation is ideal for discussing price points.
However, you can expect to pay either a few hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars for a microblading service. In addition, touch-up sessions will also run you an extra few hundred.
You should expect sharp and precise results with this semi-permanent brow service. Microblading will mimic the shape of your natural brows, and it will fill in any sparse or bald areas. In addition, they will look full without looking bold and pigmented.
This means that even when you choose not to wear a full face of makeup, your brows will look natural and compliment your bare features. Ombre brows, on the other hand, are so bold that they can end up making you look like you stopped halfway through your makeup routine when you’re not wearing a full face of cosmetics.
With the correct care, microblading should last for a year and a half up to 2 years. In addition, when you start to notice that your pigmented brow hairs are fading, you’ll know it’s time to go in for your touch-up session.
However, according to Healthline, “once the procedure is complete, your eyebrows will have the same color and shape until the color fades- which can take 18 months or more.” In addition, your aftercare routine is crucial to maintain your results.
Mircoblading shares very similar steps as ombre brows when it comes to aftercare. When you think about it, both procedures insert pigment into your brows; they just use different techniques, machines, and products to do so.
However, microblading isn’t as intense as ombre brows are. In addition, microblading involves dispensing a small amount of product to create brow hair, so you’re already dispensing less pigment into your brows than ombre services.
It will take 10 days to 2 weeks for your brows to heal, and you should avoid moisture, sweat, makeup, etc., for at least one to 2 weeks. In addition, you will also need a healing ointment either from the drugstore or one from your brow specialist.
You will want to alter your skincare routine too. For example, wear sunscreen every day to avoid harmful UV rays that quickly break down your brow pigment.
Also, you’ll want to stop using any exfoliating products that can break down the surface level of the brow color.
Microblading Vs. Ombre Brows
Now that we understand what microblading and ombre brows are, we can now further dissect them. Of course, with any semi-permanent cosmetic service, you’ll always want to conduct extensive research to ensure a procedure is the best for you.
Similarities & Differences
Microblading and Ombre brows share many similarities. We stated earlier that they are both “tattooing” the brows with pigment to create the ideal look and shape. In addition, they share similar aftercare routines.
However, they are also 2 opposite services. One is more versatile and suitable for many people, and the other solves a particular purpose. In addition, they have contrasting results even though they both are long-lasting.
If you have oily skin or dark hair, your best bet will be to opt for ombre brows. Microblading is not suitable for oily skin because it can disrupt the healing process. For example, microblading creates sharp lines that can get blurred by oil glands.
In addition, microblading uses less pigment since it’s only being used to draw on fine, thin, hair-like strokes. On the other hand, ombre brows are bolder and opaque, making them suitable for oily skin types and darker hair colors.
Ombre brows create dots of pigment that slowly fade into one, creating a beautiful gradient brow. More pigment will be long-lasting on oily skin types, and ombre brows should keep that blurred and powdered-like effect.
Unfortunately, microblading isn’t as long-lasting as ombre brows. However, the lifespan of your semi-permanent brow service will only last as long as your aftercare routine. Using healing ointments and sunscreen will prolong your results.
In addition, exfoliating products can break down the surface level of the skin and eventually disturb the pigment of your brows regardless of which service you choose.
A thorough consultation can help review your medical history, skin type, lifestyle, environment, and other factors that can help determine what semi-permanent brow service is best for you.
According to the Beauty & Brow Bar, these are the following pre-existing conditions that can hinder your candidacy for ombre brows and possibly even microblading: “diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancer, pregnancy, vitiligo, and more.”
Customize Your Service
Surprisingly enough, if both you and your provider agree, there is potential to combine both ombre brows and microblading and create a customized brow look. Combining both of these services can create the perfect balance of precision and drama.
Jaimie Jolly states, “the combination of microbladed hair strokes and a powder fill gives an incredibly natural looking brow. It’s a bit more defined and filled in than just microbladed brows, and a bit less solid and dramatic than the ombre powder fill.”
Customizing your brow service with both microblading and ombre brows will open up a new world of opportunities. It creates the perfect balance even for those who are oily or dark-haired and want a sharper finish with longer results.
The only downside to combining these services is that you will most likely have to pay more. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that ombre brows and microblading use different tools and techniques, so you also combine the price when you combine them.
Eyebrows are highly personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is why it’s crucial to ensure you research and take the proper steps to prepare for your semi-permanent brow service. In addition, consultations will always be helpful.
Microblading is ideal for those looking to fill in sparse or bald areas on their brows. It creates a natural finish by needling hair-like strokes to your brows. They can last for around 2 years, but you will need to maintain them with touch-up sessions.
Ombre Brows are versatile and especially ideal for oily skin. They are bold, pigmented, and dramatic. This process creates pigmented dots that gradually blend and fade together to create a gradient brow. With proper care, they can last up to 5 years.
Overall, both semi-permanent services are great for anyone looking to enhance their eyebrows.