Microblading is always a brow tattoo. Brow tattoos are not always microblading. Why it is important to know the difference!

Microblading is always a brow tattoo. Brow tattoos are not always microblading. Why it is important to know the difference!

Let me repeat that!

Microblading is always a brow tattoo. 

Brow tattoos are NOT always Microblading.

As you may recall from my first blog post (IS MICROBLADING OR OMBRE BROWS CONSIDERED A TATTOO), Microblading is a type of PMU (permanent makeup) service. PMU falls underneath the body art/tattooing umbrella. 

There are different ways to get your eyebrows tattooed - and it is important for you as a client or prospective client to understand what you’re asking for when you find an artist to book an appointment with.

Here is a quick rundown of the most popular types of brow tattooing that are offered these days:

MICROBLADING: Hairstrokes implanted into the skin with a manual tool and Microblade 

MANUAL SHADING: Shading/added density implanted into the skin with a manual tool and shader, typically added in between microbladed strokes

OMBRE/POWDER BROWS: Thousands of tiny dots implanted into the skin with a machine and typically a single needle or a grouping of needles to give the appearance of eyebrows filled in with powder


NANO BROWS: hairstrokes implanted into the skin using a machine and typically a single needle or a grouping of needles (this is the only service that I do not provide)

As you just learned, there are at least 5 different ways that you can have your eyebrows done by a PMU artist. Often times, an artist might only be versed in either a manual method (microblading, manual shading), or in machine work (ombre/powder brows, nano brows). 


• if you book an appointment to get your brows done by a “MICROBLADING-ONLY ARTIST” (manual-method artist) 

• but your brow goals are for them to look like they’re filled in with powder (OMBRE/POWDER BROW-ONLY ARTIST)

• then that artist may or may not be trained in the look that you’re wanting to achieve!

Here’s the thing, though. It is not your job as a client to have a full understanding right off of the bat of what all of the buzz words mean. I’m here to break it all down for you as best I can. 

HOWEVER! If you plan on getting your eyebrows tattooed you should absolutely have at least a general sense of the style that you want done. YOU ARE GETTING A TATTOO. ON YOUR FACE! I can’t speak for everyone but I would imagine that if/when you get a traditional tattoo, you likely have an idea of exactly what it is that you want and you book an appointment with an artist that knows how to illustrate what you want.. right?!

Same rules apply here. PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH.

To be honest, I’ve had a lot of clients that have presented to me with previous brow PMU done. They’ve trash talked their previous artist stating that the artist didn’t give them what they wanted. This may have been the case, but it is also possible that the client booked an appointment with an artist without knowing exactly how they wanted their eyebrows to look - and they booked their appointment with an artist who specializes in only one method of brow tattooing/PMU. 

Side note - I am very wary of taking on clients that have trash talked their previous brow artist. If you trash talk one, you’ll likely trash talk all. Just some food for thought 🙂

I was initially trained solely as a Microblading artist. Since 2017, I’ve continued to take several courses to add different methods to my list of eyebrow services. The reason this was and is important to me is because microblading alone isn’t always the best type of PMU for all clients. Microblading is a manual method of PMU on the brows where tiny, hair-like strokes are implanted into the skin to give the illusion of a fuller, natural-looking eyebrow. The goal is for the implanted microblading strokes to blend in seamlessly with my client’s hair. BUT BUT BUT! If the client presents to me with minimal to no hair, then there won’t be much of a blend going on - and the results can look quite un-natural! For these types of clients, I might recommend the addition of manual shading if they have some hair, because my technique of microblading and manual shading gives the brows the full hair-stroke look while at the same time, I stipple more color in between the hairstrokes to make the brows look fuller for a more saturated blend. Or, depending on the client’s skin, I may recommend a full powder brow, or a combination of Microblading and powder brows.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “...WUT??”


Like I said earlier - it is not your job to know what all of the buzzwords mean. It is also not your job to determine which type of procedure will look best on you -- that’s my job as the professional, or your artist’s job! A well-rounded artist who is versed in skin tones, undertones, depth, contraindications, brow hair growth & density, color theory - the list goes on and on - will be able to advise you of what services are best for you and only you. 

My advice to any prospective clients seeking to get their brows done by a PMU artist would be to:

1. Have a general understanding of the services listed above

2. Seek an artist who has a portfolio (these days, an instagram account) that shows their fresh work AS WELL as their healed work

3. Seek an artist who is versed in at least 2 types of brow services so that you know the artist has cared enough about their work to seek out higher learning

4. Ask the artist if they’re willing to review photos of you for a consultation, or if they provide in-person consultations!

For the record, the brow services that I provide are:

• Microblading

• Manual shading

• Powder/Ombre brows

• Combo/Fusion brows

And to be clear, I am always willing to review photos for a full consultation to help prospective clients understand first if they’re a good candidate for any of the services I offer, and second which service(s) I would recommend for them based off of what I see!

I’ll be back next week with part 2 of this series where I’ll go further into depth about all of the services I provide, complete with examples. Stay tuned!

Back to blog