The beauty that doesn't rinse off... ;)
POWDER BROWS - MICROSHADING - OMBRÉ BROWS
What are Powder Brows?
Powder brows (also known as ombre brows, ombre powder brows or simply shaded brows or microshading) is a semi-permanent make-up cosmetic procedure, in which the artist uses a manual process to insert the pigment into the top layers of the skin using dotting technique. As a result, a more powdery eyebrow effect is achieved and a misty, powder filled brows are created.
The whole procedure resembles the procedure of microblading, but the technique used is different, and so is the final outcome (scroll down for more).
The most common way of creating powder brows is by mixing it with the ombre effect. Added to powder brows, ombre effect is the one that creates a misty effect of the eyebrows. The tails of the ombre powder brows are darker, and as one moves to the front of the brow, it starts to fade, giving a three-dimensional look that only makeup can recreate.
The whole procedure is a two-step process, and it consists of the initial insertion of the pigment, and the touch-up that takes place 6 – 8 weeks after the initial procedure. Powder brows are there to help you create the desire fullness of your eyebrows, and create the exact design that you want.
Who Shouldn’t Opt for the Procedure?
Even though the client will have all of their questions answered on the first consultation with the artist, there are certain pre-existing conditions that can affect the final outlook:
People with diabetes
People with serious diseases such as cancer, epilepsy or autoimmune disorders
People with any bleeding disorders
People who take blood thinning medications
People who’ve recently had Botox injections or fillers
Pregnant women or women who are nursing
People with a history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring
People with viral infections or diseases
People who are going through chemotherapy
People with skin irritations or Psoriasis near the treated area
Recently tanned people
What if I Have a Doctor’s Approval?
What is very important to know is that there are people who can undergo the procedure, but only with a doctor’s approval. These include people with:
Uncontrolled high blood pressure
Pacemaker or major heart problems
Any treatment, medication or illness that compromises the immune system.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
The whole powder brows treatment usually lasts around 2 hours. The length of the treatment mostly depends on how experienced the artist is.
What Does Ombre Powder Brows Treatment Look Like?
The actual treatment consists of several steps that usually look like this:
STEP 1: Shaping the brows
Consists of preparing the area around brows by threading the hair and cleaning up the area.
STEP 2: Numbing
By using a topical ointment the eyebrows area is covered and set for approximately half an hour, until it kicks in.
STEP 3: Choosing a pigment
Choosing a color of your eyebrows according to a hair and skin color.
STEP 4: Measuring
The area of the eyebrows is measured ,taking into account face shape, symmetry, facial features etc.
STEP 5: Needling process
Process of creating fine dots with a specialized machine and covering them with pigment. If there is any discomfort at this stage another quick layer of numbing cream is added to the area.
STEP 6: Implementing pigment
A final layer of pigment is added, after which the eyebrow area is cleaned.
STEP 7: Touch up
Filling in the gaps where the pigment hasn’t taken or healed properly
Is Powder Brows Treatment Painful?
This is a very difficult question to answer, mainly because pain varies from person to person. The people who wax or pluck their eyebrows regularly will not find the procedure very painful, whereas someone who has never touched their eyebrows, nor had them plucked might feel some level of discomfort.
The good thing is that the artist will use a safe topical anesthetic cream that they will apply to your eyebrows in order to ease the procedure as much as they can.
Is the Treatment Safe?
Ombre Powder Brows is a fairly sensitive treatment, and since it involves incisions, it carries certain risks.
First of all, there is a list of conditions that are forbidden in combination with powdered brows. Some of them include pregnancy, diabetes, heart conditions, allergies and other conditions your artist should ask you about and establish whether you are allowed to have the treatment or not.
Besides that, there is always the risk of infections. This is because the treatment is very popular and there is a great number of powder brows artists, some of which use unsterile equipment. Even though it can happen, infections are not that common.
If you choose a certified artist who is proved to work with sterile equipment and follow their instructions, there is nothing to worry about.
What Should I Know Before the Treatment?
Powder brow procedure doesn’t start when you enter the salon, but some time before that.
These are the things that you should bear in mind before the treatment:
Once the day comes for you to get your ombre powder brows, make sure that you bring along the makeup you apply and photos of the look you want to achieve, if any.
Make sure that you’re completely healthy. Before the procedure starts, you will need to complete a medical history form.
Do not drink caffeine or alcohol at least 48 hours prior to the procedure.
Do not take any blood thinners such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Niacin, Vitamin E, B6, Omega 3, Gingko Biloba or evening Primrose at least 1 week before your procedure. Of course, if this is medically necessary, you might want to consider changing the date of your ombre powder brows procedure.
Pay attention to your menstrual cycle, as you shouldn’t book a treatment during that time, as it can increase your pain sensitivity.
Avoid waxing, tanning or tinting the eyebrow area at least 3 days before your appointment.
Avoid any anti-aging treatments, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, lasers or facials at least 2 weeks before your appointment.
Do not opt for any facial injections at least 1 month prior to your procedure.
What Should I Know About Ombre Powder Brows Aftercare?
Once you finish with your treatment, you will experience some swelling and soreness, which is completely normal. This will subside within a few days, so there’s nothing to worry about.
However, if you want to make the most out of this procedure, you need to know some things about the aftercare process:
Your artist will most probably give you an ointment to use on your brow area. Make sure to apply the ointment 3 times a day, and always use clean fingers or a cotton swab, especially in the first 3 days after the procedure.
Never touch your healing area with your fingers unless they are completely clean. They may contain bacteria that you don’t want to get on your eyebrow area
Do not scratch, rub, pick or peel the healing skin. Allow it to flake off on its own as this is the healthiest way.
As far as the cleaning is concerned, always gently cleanse the treated area with a mild antibacterial soap – never scrub as it will affect your final result. Rinse with water and gently pat the area until it’s dry.
Always apply a light coat of ointment on the area before any bathing, and continue with this regimen until the procedure area is completely healed.
Avoid any makeup, facials, sweating, sun exposure, sauna, Jacuzzi or swimming until the area is completely healed.
Try to avoid getting your eyebrows wet.
Do not use any anti-aging products, especially those that contain Lactic acids or Glycolic acids, as it will fade your eyebrow area.
In order to prevent future fading of your pigment color, use a total sun block after the procedure.
Once you complete the peeling phase, you may proceed with your regular activities.
Can I Wear Makeup After Powder Brows Treatment?
The treated area is very sensitive and prone to infections right after the treatment. So, it is forbidden to wear makeup on the treated area. You are allowed to apply it on the other parts of your face. However, since makeup can get to the treated area easily, it is risky to wear during the healing period. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid wearing makeup at all for about two weeks.
For a detailed aftercare tips and best practices, head out to our extensive Powder brows aftercare guide.
How Long Does it Take for Your Ombre Powder Brows to Heal?
It’s very important to know that the result of the treatment is determined by many different factors, such as the medication, skin characteristics (if it’s oily, sun-damaged, thick or thin), your skin’s personal pH balance, alcohol intake, smoking and the post procedure aftercare. Due to all that, the healing process might be different for everyone.
However, you will experience swelling and the redness of the skin upon the completion of the procedure. This will subside within 4 days after the procedure, but this is individual. It’s also important to note that the result will look approximately 50% darker than the desired effect, and it will take 4-10 days to lighten. The true colors will be visible only 1 month after the procedure.
What Can Cause Powdered Brows to Fade Faster?
There are some important factors that can cause your powdered brows to fade faster and thus shorten its lifespan. The most important factor is the sun – tanning beds, sunbathing and sun exposure in general can cause your ombre brows to fade a bit faster. Since we sunbathe one season a year, it’s very important to pay attention to always keep the ombre brows in shade.
Moreover, exfoliating can also cause some of the color to come off or fade out. Other factors include oily skin and different medical conditions. One thing that’s very advisable is the “color boost” that will help you maintain the color integrity.
When Should You Get a Powder Brows Touch Up?
The touch up appointment will not take place earlier than 30 days after your initial procedure. Once there, you will be able to add more strokes (as some might disappear during the healing phase), choose some darker or warmer colors, and correct the shape. For example, if your skin didn’t take the pigment in some spots, there is the touch up to fix it.
Other touch ups are not as obligatory as the first one. However, if you want your powder brows eyebrows to last longer, you should get one at least every 6 months.
How Long Do Powder Brows Last?
As already mentioned, ombre brows can last for 1 to 3 years, but everything depends on your skin type and the aftercare. A touch up is always required after 6 – 8 weeks after the initial appointment, when your artist will tell you about the progress and see if you need to change your aftercare routine.
Bear in mind that clients who choose a softer look and a lighter color, and not follow the aftercare instructions carefully may require more touchup appointments.
What are the Pros of Ombre Powder Brows?
There are many advantages to choosing powder brows. It uses a more traditional tattooing method, which means that the results are longer lasting. Moreover, this procedure works with most skin types, including oily skin which can be quite troublesome for many other cosmetic procedures. Most clients come back for color boosts after 12 – 18 months.
Finally, the eyebrow looks much more defined and dramatic than with the classic, hair stroke (microblading) method.
Are There Any Side Effects of Ombre Powder Brows?
Your freshly powdered eyebrows will look swollen and too dark at first, which is normal. The pigment will gradually fade away and they will look good after a couple of weeks. Also, they can be a little bit itchy at first, but you mustn’t scratch them.
Besides that, prepare for scabbing after the treatment, which might be a little bit annoying, especially because you mustn’t touch the scabs. Scabs don’t appear immediately after the treatment. You can expect them after 3-5 days, and they can last up to two weeks.
Also, there is a risk of incorrectly done eyebrows. If your eyebrows are not even or they might look unnatural, or you just don’t like them, you might need to find someone more qualified and skilled to fix them. Luckily, this is a semi-permanent procedure, so they will not stay like that forever.
Here are some potential side effects you might encounter:
To dark eyebrows
Quick pigment fading (oily skin)