Looking for a brow boost? We’ll step you through the key things to know about eyebrow tattooing and microblading, helping you decide which is the right choice for you!

Eyebrow Tattooing vs. Microblading - A Quick Comparison

Eyebrow tattooing is a more traditional tattooing process that uses a machine to implant permanent ink into the dermis, the second layer of the skin. This results in a more solid, filled-in look for the eyebrows.

Microblading is a semi-permanent procedure that uses a manual tool to create individual hair-like strokes in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. This creates a more natural-looking finish that mimics natural eyebrow hair.

We'll dive deep into each method to give you all the details you need and important factors to consider.

What is Eyebrow Tattooing? An Overview

Eyebrow tattooing is a permanent makeup technique where a tattoo machine deposits pigment deep into the skin to create or enhance the shape of eyebrows. 

The process is like getting a traditional tattoo, and the method gives brows a more defined, solid appearance.

Even though today's techniques are a bit different from old-school ones, many people still use the term "eyebrow tattooing" to talk about the newer methods.

  • Longevity: Eyebrow tattoos are known for their durability due to the depth of pigment insertion. This means they're essentially permanent. However, some fading can occur over the years, leading to potential touch-ups.
  • Appearance: Traditional eyebrow tattoos are more uniform, giving brows an even and solid hue. This might contrast with modern techniques that aim for a natural, hair-like finish.
  • Procedure: The technique involves a tattoo machine introducing pigment into the skin's dermal layer, ensuring its long-term presence.

Things to Know about Eyebrow Tattooing

Technique (machine)

Eyebrow tattooing relies on a machine similar to those used in traditional body tattooing. 

This machine has a needle oscillating rapidly to deposit ink deep into the skin's layers and can be adjusted to control the depth, speed, and power of the needle's movement.


  • Consistent ink deposit.
  • Can cover larger areas more quickly.
  • Suitable for creating a denser, more defined brow look.


  • Can be louder during the procedure.
  • Might feel more invasive to some clients.
  • Less able to achieve the fine, hair-like strokes compared to microblading, leading to less customisation in the final look.


A bolder, more structured shape than microblading

Eyebrow tattooing provides a fuller appearance to the brows by implanting pigment more deeply into the skin, ensuring a longer-lasting and less fade-prone result. 

This technique generally results in:

Defined look: The brows are distinctly outlined, giving them a clear shape.

Uniform appearance: The colour fills in the brow area consistently, providing a continuous shade throughout.

Bold presentation: The technique makes the brows stand out more prominently against the skin.

Full coverage: Good for those with sparse brows as it offers comprehensive pigment distribution.

Structured finish: The brows typically appear more structured and less feathery than natural brows.

Though available in various shades, eyebrow tattoos are commonly done in black or brown, and it's crucial to select a colour that aligns well with one's natural hair and skin tone.

Depth of ink placement in the skin

Deeper than microblading

For eyebrow tattoos, the colour goes deep into the skin, into the dermis layer. This means the colour can stay longer and look bolder or more solid.

Type of ink 

Ink is long lasting but with less customisation than microblading

Traditional eyebrow tattooing uses ink, much like the ink used for body tattoos. This ink is usually in black or brown shades generally made up of compounds designed to last a very long time. However, they might change colour over time, with some shades, especially lighter ones, potentially turning a bluish or greenish hue as they fade.

Pros: Offers longevity and can be more resistant to fading from sun exposure.

Cons: Potential for colour change over time and might look less natural as it fades.

Longevity - 'permanent' but does fade in vibrancy

Lasts longer than microblading but colour may fade with blue / green hues.

As the eyebrow tattoo technique deposits the ink deep into your skin's dermis layer, eyebrow tattoos are considered permanent. 

However, that doesn't mean they'll always stay looking fresh and new. Over the years, the colour can fade a bit and, as mentioned, could appear slightly bluish or greenish as they do. So, even though it's permanent, after several years, you might want a touch-up to keep the colour vibrant.

Pain level

Can be more painful than microblading.

Eyebrow tattoos are implanted deeper into the skin, into the dermis, while microblading is done in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. The dermis is more sensitive than the epidermis, so it is more likely to hurt when it is punctured.

The machine used for eyebrow tattooing is more powerful than the tool used for microblading and can create deeper punctures, which can be more painful.

Some clients transform their old tattoo eyebrows with fresh new micobladed eyebrows

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What is Microblading? An Overview

Microblading is a form of semi-permanent makeup that uses a special tool with really fine needles. Unlike some techniques that give a solid brow, microblading is all about creating natural-looking, hair-like strokes.

  • Longevity: Think of microblading as a longer-term solution but not forever. Typically, the results last up to 2 years. But remember, things like your skin type, how you live, and how you care for it afterwards can make a difference in how long it lasts.
  • Appearance: Instead of that one-size-fits-all brow look, microblading aims for realism. Those hair-like strokes blend in seamlessly, filling gaps and just generally making brows look fuller and more natural.
  • Procedure: The cosmetic tattoo artist doing the microblading makes tiny, precise little cuts in the skin to add the pigment. It's meticulous work!
  • Ideal for: Anyone looking for a brow boost. It's a game-changer, especially if your brows are on the thinner side or a bit patchy.


Things to Know About Microblading 

Technique (manual tool)

Microblading makes use of a specialised manual tool that resembles a sleek, slim pen. 

At the tip of this instrument are ultra-fine needles, arranged in a linear fashion to mimic a blade. The tool, guided with precision and artistry by the technician, is used to create minute scratches on the skin's surface. 

As these scratches are made, pigment is simultaneously deposited, resulting in delicate, hair-like strokes that blend seamlessly with natural eyebrows for a fuller, yet realistic appearance.

Pros: Creates a natural and realistic brow appearance. Allows for high customisation based on individual brow shapes and preferences. Less noise and vibration during the procedure.

Cons: Requires more frequent touch-ups compared to eyebrow tattooing. Might be less suitable for those with oily skin. Takes a bit longer due to the manual precision involved.


A natural, hair-stroke finish compared to the bolder look of an eyebrow tattoo.

Microblading offers the brows a soft, feathery finish by delicately adding pigment in thin strokes, mimicking real hairs.

This technique typically leads to:

Natural look: The strokes blend seamlessly with existing hairs. 

Customisable: The colour and thickness of each stroke can vary, adding depth and dimension.

Soft presentation: The technique offers a subtle enhancement rather than a stark change.

Fill-in capability: Ideal for filling in gaps or sparse areas without overwhelming the natural brow. Handcrafted finish: Each stroke is manually drawn, ensuring uniqueness in every brow.

While various shades are available, it's essential to work with the technician to select the best hue that complements natural hair and skin tone.

Depth of pigment placement in the skin 

Upper layer only - not as deep as an eyebrow tattoo 

For microblading, the pigment is carefully introduced into the skin's upper layer, called the epidermis. This shallow placement ensures a more natural appearance but may fade quicker over time.

Type of pigment 

Pigment fades naturally but may require more frequent touch-ups.

Microblading uses a special semi-permanent pigment designed for facial features. These pigments are intended to fade over time and generally do so in a more natural hue without any bluish or greenish tints.

Pros: Offers a natural fade and maintains its original colour better than ink. 

Cons: It doesn't last as long as traditional tattoo ink and touch ups are recommended to keep the brows looking their best.

Longevity - Up to 2 years

Not as long-lasting as eyebrow tattoos but maintains a more consistent colour.

Due to its placement in the skin's outermost layer, microblading tends to fade more rapidly. 

Typically, the results last between 18 to 24 months, depending on factors like skin type, lifestyle, and aftercare. However, the colour remains more consistent over time without the bluish or greenish hue sometimes seen in eyebrow tattoos.

Pain level 

Generally considered less painful than eyebrow tattooing. 

Microblading, which targets the skin's outer layer, the epidermis, tends to be less painful than deeper treatments. The manual tool makes finer punctures, which many find less uncomfortable than the machine-driven method of eyebrow tattooing. However, pain tolerance varies among individuals.

Microblading allows for a more natural looking brow


What are combination brows? An Overview

The TBC Combination Brow style is the perfect balance between subtlety and definition with

Our unique technique artfully blends hair strokes at the inner brow for a soft, natural appearance, while the tails are delicately powdered to add just the right amount of definition. 

We add a few more strokes around the outer arch to blend it all together perfectly - softening the look and creating a beautifully refined finish. 

If you're after a brow style that's both natural and polished, you're going to love the stunning results of our Combination Brow.

Combination brows are the best of both techniques for stunning natural looking brows

Have questions? Contact our team -  we’d love to talk to you about your dream brows.

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February 15, 2024 — By: Tanya Beauty Care