Powder brows is a permanent makeup technique used to create an eyebrow tattoo with a soft powdery effect, similar to the look of powder eyebrow makeup.
Image of a healed soft powder brow after one year done by Veronica Tran at Pretty In The City Toronto/Markham
Flare contributor Meaghan Wray review of her Ombre Powder Brow experience at Pretty In The City. Click on image to read the article.
WHAT DO POWDER BROWS LOOK LIKE?
There are many variations to the powder brow, which can range from the look of a barely there tint subtly defining a shape, to a more filled in, soft pencil shaded look also known as a shaded brow.
DO POWDER BROWS LOOK NATURAL?
This technique can appear very natural looking, mainly due to the variation in shading. A great eyebrow artist is able to achieve this by shading some areas darker or lighter giving dimension to the brow rather than just a flat looking shape.
A very light hint of colour is possible to achieve with this technique since colour is deposited in the skin layer by layer. If you look closely you'll see dots of pigment in the skin. The look of this is far more natural than the crisp, sometimes harsh strokes seen in microblading.
WHAT ARE OMBRE POWDER BROWS?
The “ombre” referred to the gradient styling of the powder brow. Natural looking brows are not flat and one shade. The front and top of the brows are often shaded lighter than the rest of the brows to create a soft natural looking effect.
CAN I GET OMBRE BROWS IF I ALREADY HAVE AN EYEBROW
The answer depends on how much pigment remains in your skin. The front of the brow needs to be so light that it appears to have no colour there in order to create a gradient effect.
WHAT IS A COMBINATION BROW?
A Combination Brow is the best of both worlds! It combines the Powder Brow technique with a hairstroke technique such as Microblading or Nano Brows to achieve a bespoke look.
Healed Ombre Powder Brow. Notice the front and top of the brow is lighter than the rest, creating a soft, natural looking effect.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MICROBLADING AND POWDER BROWS?
Microblading vs Powdered Brows - this question gets asked quite often. The main difference between the two techniques is the method of application as well as the entire overall look of the brow.
Microblading uses a hand-held tool to make small cuts in the skin while simultaneously depositing pigment to create the look of hair like strokes.
A powder brow tattoo is created by using a digital permanent makeup device, often with a single need to deposit tiny dots of pigment in the skin creating the shape of the eyebrow. Sheer layers of colour are deposited in the skin, one by one, making it easy for the artist to control the level of saturation to create the ultimate look of the brow that the client desires.
ARE POWDER BROWS BETTER THAN MICROBLADING?
Aside from the overall look of the brow, there are many reasons why the powder brow technique is better than microblading.
This technique causes less trauma than microblading
Less painful procedure
Lasts longer requiring fewer touch ups
Frames the face better due to the definition
Quicker healing time
Suitable for all skin types including oily and thin skin
DO POWDER BROWS LAST LONGER THAN MICROBLADING?
Yes. Both techniques will have colour remain in the skin for a very long time. However, fewer touch ups are required with Powder Brows to remain appearing fresh.
CAN YOU DO POWDER BROWS OVER MICROBLADING?
Yes. In fact with microblading, especially if the hair strokes were densely positioned, will bleed into each other causing a blocky appearance which can no longer be touched up. A powder brow is often the only answer to cover up what is left behind from microblading.
Powder brows are a great solution to covering up old microblading work that has turned red, pink or orange.
HOW ARE POWDER BROWS DONE?
Using an electric permanent makeup device and (often) just a single needle, the artist deposits dots of pigment into the skin with a quick hand motion. This technique is referred to as a ‘whip shading’ technique in the body tattoo world to create a sheer spray of colour as seen in clouds and light layers of pigment in body art.
powder brows safe?
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The average appointment time ranges from 90 minutes to 2 hours from start to finish. This includes the initial consultation, brow mapping, and after-care instructions. The total tattoo time is approximately one hour.
DOES IT HURT?
While the answer is often subjective, most clients often report they are surprised at how little pain they feel. An anesthetic is applied during the procedure and many say they find it relaxing. A good portion of our clients fall asleep! There are a small number of clients however who find it painful.
ARE POWDER BROWS SAFE?
The risks are the same as with any type of cosmetic tattoo. The main risk is infection due to either unsanitary conditions during the procedure or improper aftercare on the client’s part. Common sense is necessary after the procedure and your artist should provide you with both verbal and written instructions. Please refer to the Permanent Makeup FAQ’s page for detailed explanation of the types of risks associated with any permanent makeup.
In Toronto and the GTA, look for the green ‘BODYSAFE’ pass certificate which must be clearly displayed. All personal service workers must pass an annual yearly inspection and follow the guidelines as prescribed by Public Health.
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WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER POWDER BROWS?
Within three hours of the service, the colour will start to darken. This is sometimes a shock to people who don't generally wear eyebrow makeup. It has the same look as wearing dark eyebrow pomade or pencil. For those who are used to wearing lots of eyebrow makeup, they find it’s not too obvious and many continue with their activities such as work and dinner plans.
Within 3-5 days, flaking will begin to occur. Depending on the skin, these flakes are often the size of chili pepper flakes. Some clients report not flaking at all. While this is not possible, as flaking is part of the healing process, their flakes are so tiny that it’s imperceptible. A smaller group will experience bigger chunks of flakes peeling off.
When the skin flakes off, it takes the top layer of colour with it. This results in a patchy appearance and is the most unattractive period in the healing phase. It will be very obvious in someone with little to no eyebrow hair, and sometimes not obvious at all for someone that has a good amount of eyebrow hair.
Once the ‘flaking’ stage is complete, the overall appearance of the brow is very light. Makeup can be worn on the brows at this time. The skin continues to heal from within and the colour appears to darken again over the next several weeks. By the 8th week, the colour should be stable and that’s when the perfection (initial touch up visit) takes place.
See full brow aftercare instructions for powder brows.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL?
The entire healing phase can take anywhere from 7 - 14 days. The amount of time is dependent on the client’s age as well as the condition of the skin. Generally the younger the client, the faster they heal.
HOW LONG DO POWDER BROWS LAST?
Powder brows can last a very long time, this is also dependent on many factors.
How much colour was implanted; the more colour, the longer it will last
Younger clients will experience a quicker fade due to faster skin turnover
Lifestyle factors, mainly exposure to UV rays, laser treatments, and the use of certain anti-aging ingredients (such as retinols, AHA’S, BHA’S, Glycolic, etc)
The actual colour of the pigment. Lighter colours such as blonde and light brown will fade sooner than dark brown shades
Oily skin tends to fade sooner while dry skin typically holds on to colour for a longer period of time
ARE POWDER BROWS PERMANENT?
Yes. As with ALL permanent makeup techniques including microblading, powder brows are permanent. They will fade and a touch up will be necessary every couple to several years. This is why it is crucial to follow the natural shape of your eyebrows and not follow trends. Your eyebrow tattoo shape, colour and size should be timeless.
DO POWDER BROWS FADE COMPLETELY?
This is possible to the naked eye that it will appear to have faded completely if they were done very light and never touched up after several years.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TOUCH UP MY POWDER BROW?
At first, you may need a touch up within 2 years. After that, the time in between touch ups should be longer and longer since colour is being implanted on top of existing colour. Oily skin may require more frequent touch ups, as well as those who tan often and utilize anti-aging ingredients and treatments.
CAN POWDER BROWS CAUSE SCARRING?
Scarring can occur due to the artist’s improper technique, poor aftercare or infection and too frequent touch ups. These risks are associated with all forms of tattooing. However, with powder brows, when done correctly, it is less likely to happen as it causes less trauma to the skin than other forms of eyebrow tattooing such as microblading.
IS MICROSHADING THE SAME AS POWDER BROWS?
No. Microshading uses a hand-tool with needles to manually ‘punch’ the pigments into the skin. While the effects can be similar, the blending effect of the gradient is better achieved with a digital machine.
WHEN CAN YOU SWEAT AFTER POWDER BROWS?
We advise no heavy workouts and sweating for 5 days after the procedure.
CAN DIABETICS GET POWDER BROWS?
Type 2 diabetics can get powder brows as long as it’s controlled. This procedure rarely causes any bleeding although the healing period may take a bit longer.
CAN YOU REMOVE POWDER BROWS?
It is possible to lighten the colour with laser tattoo removal and saline lightening treatments. In some cases, it is possible to remove it completely.
CAN YOU GET POWDER BROWS WHILE PREGNANT OR NURSING?
Definitely a no during pregnancy. You should wait 4 weeks after you’ve completed breastfeeding for your hormones to normalize before getting any type of permanent makeup treatment.
WHO SHOULD NOT GET POWDER BROWS?
You should not get any type of permanent makeup done if you are:
Pregnant or nursing
History of keloids or hypertrophic scarring
Viral infections and/or diseases
Cancer / chemotherapy
Blemishes, skin irritations or Psoriasis near the treated area
Accutane in the past 2 years
Recently tanned or will be tanned within 4 weeks
Doctors Note of Approval Is Required for the Following:
Uncontrolled high blood pressure
Pacemaker or major heart problems
Any treatment, medication, or illness that compromises the immune system
WHY CHOOSE PRETTY IN THE CITY FOR YOUR OMBRE POWDER BROWS?
With 18 years of industry experience, Pretty In The City is one of the most trusted names for Permanent Makeup in Toronto and Markham.
We are committed to providing the very best in Permanent Eyebrow artistry and client care. We are often consulted as the expert for many national magazine publications.
Our philosophy is to achieve natural looking results so that you’ll look great barefaced and never ‘overdone’. The integrity of your skin is of utmost importance in addition to the aesthetic effects.
We take time to understand exactly what our clients are looking for and then do our best to deliver the best results.
We understand that considering permanent makeup can be a bit scary, feel free to get in touch with us today. Book a complimentary 15 minute virtual consultation today.