Microblading vs. Eyebrow Tattoo: What’s The Difference

By Erma Lee Morris, LA February 23, 2018 9 Comments

microblading vs eyebrow tattoo

The eyebrows play a significant role in the aesthetics of the face. The shape, fullness, and symmetry of the brows all work together to highlight the eyes and frame the upper face. If you have thin or patchy eyebrows there is a non-invasive treatment that can instantly improve the eyebrow area: microblading.

Microblading is a popular eyebrow enhancement technique that improves the shape, definition, and thickness of the brows. The microblading technique uses a specialized hand-held tool with a unique blade to deposit dye into the second dermal layer of the skin, creating very fine strokes that mimic the appearance of natural eyebrow hair.

People often think microblading is a type of tattoo. While the techniques may sound similar, microblading and eyebrow tattooing are very different.

Here are 4 key differences between microblading and eyebrow tattoos:

Natural-looking Outcome

Microblading creates a more natural end result compared to eyebrow tattooing, which results in brows that appear “drawn on” and flat. This is because the microblading technique creates individual hair-like strokes that are identical to hair growth pattern of the surrounding eyebrow hair. A good microblading technician can make treated areas look like a more dense version of the natural brow hair.

Pigment vs. Ink

Tattoo ink is used for eyebrow tattooing while microblading uses a specialized pigment. Ink differs greatly from pigment in the way it fades over time. As tattoo ink fades, it often develops a blue-green colored tint, especially around the edges of the tattoo. This can leave people with some oddly colored eyebrows that often look as though they were created with a Sharpie.

In contrast, microblading pigment is specifically designed to fade into a lighter version of the color used so the patient retains a natural appearance.

Semi-permanent vs. Permanent

Eyebrow tattoos are permanent. Once the ink is tattooed onto the skin it is there for life (although undesirable fading of the ink as mentioned above is possible). This is very different from microblading, where the results typically last about 6 months to a year. Simple “touch up” treatments can be done annually if the microblading patient wishes to maintain their enhanced brow. The semi-permanent nature of microblading allows patients the ability to change the appearance of their brow as trends change.


Getting a tattoo can be relatively painful, especially if they are placed in a sensitive area like the face. The microblading technique involves much less discomfort, especially if the brow area is numbed with lidocaine prior to treatment. Most patients describe the feeling of microblading to be similar to tweezing.

Erma Lee Morris, LA

Erma Lee Morris has been a licensed Para-Medical Aesthetician specializing in leading-edge skin care and aesthetic dermatology for more than 10 years .Erma has achieved certifications in Clinical Skin Care from Scott & White Hospital, Advanced Medical Aesthetics, Advanced Science of Chemexfoliation, and is a Certified Professional Laser Specialist.

9 Responses to “Microblading vs. Eyebrow Tattoo: What’s The Difference”

  1. Deborah says:

    Is Microblading available at the Central Lamar Westlake Dermatology location? If so, how much is the cost?

  2. WD Staff WD Staff says:

    Hi Deborah, thanks for reading our post! Unfortunately we don’t offer microblading at Lamar Central but we do have it at our Lakeway, South Austin, and Round Rock locations. We have a current promotion going for $750 (normal price of treatment is $1,000).

    Please give us a call if you have any addition questions on the service our would like to schedule.

    Thanks again,

    WD Staff

  3. Leslie says:

    I find some of this article to be false. The same exact numbing cream is used in both procedures and the pain is the same. Microblading, while pretty at first, will bleed out as tech is making a cut in the skin, like taking an blade to a tomato and making a cut – it will splay open. Tattooing is putting ink into the skin without making the slice like tattooing an apple, there will be no splaying out, but will remain art on the apple or skin. The ink that is used is also the same. It is up to the tech to use the proper color – all ink will fade some. Do not ever use black, I don’t care what the client wants… those will either be too dark or will fade some to blue like many tattoos do. You always want to balance your ink. The beauticians doing the microblading in many cases have no idea what they are doing and fortunately for the client, much of the blading will fade.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Leslie, thanks for reading our post and submitting your great comment. We agree regarding the overuse of black, that’s a great point! It’s very important that patients select an experienced microblading provider as the splaying out effect you described can be minimized. We have corrected some terrible work done by other less experienced beauticians!

      Thanks again,
      WD Staff

  4. LeeAnn says:

    I’d have to agree, I think microblading does look more natural compared to a tattoo. Also I like the fact that it fades so its not something that is forever. You can decide if you want to do it over again or go back to how it was before

  5. Julia says:

    Had my eyebrows tattooed around 18 months or so….. would like to try microblading , but not sure to get them tattooed again? any advice. any advice please.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Julia,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your comment! Microblading can be done post-tattoo, however we would have to see you for a consultation to determine if the treatment would align with your goals. If you are in the Austin area please give us a call at 512.328.3376. We can get you in the office for an assessment to determine which avenue will provide your desired end result.

      WD Staff

  6. Hazel says:

    That’s interesting that microblading uses a specialized pigment instead of tattoo ink so if fades into a lighter version of the color rather than a blue-green tint. This is good to know since I’ve been debating on doing microblading since I have really thin eyebrows but I’ve never liked the way tattoos look with they get older. Knowing that it’s a completely different ink than tattoos makes me think that I’d really like them since it would fade into a more natural color once it gets older.

  7. anna says:

    I had my brows tattooed years ago they have faded to a bluish color I would like to microblade over them with strokes a lighter brown and fuller as they are a little thin any feed back appreciated

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