Eyebrows are one of the most important features of your face.
This notion is timeless. Even Cleopatra was using kohl to keep her #browgamestrong! (Imagine the Instagram tutorials she would’ve had.) Anyways! Like the faux highlight, eyebrows have taken over the beauty industry. I mean, people have become pretty obsessed.
That being said, you may have heard about the trending procedure: permanent makeup.
If you haven’t, permanent makeup, aka permanent cosmetics, uses ink to enhance the eyebrows, lips, and eyelids. Those who draw in their brows or put on eyeliner every day may choose this service for the convenience of a “get-up-and-go” lifestyle. (No more disappearing eyebrows when it’s time to go swimming in the summer!)
Permanent makeup is also used for people who have suffered from an illness that has caused them to lose hair or pigment in their skin. For example, post-breast surgery, women often get permanent makeup done to correct the appearance of their areola. What I’m saying is, permanent cosmetics have become very precise and developed since their beginnings.
Now that we are all clear on what exactly permanent makeup is, let’s get into today’s main focus: the brows.
The following information will fill you in on everything you need to know about permanent makeup for the brows, otherwise known as HD Brows. Simultaneously, I will tell you about the DFW studio I work for, Tashi Brow and Skin. As it is a worthy subject and that is where my knowledge comes from.
The owner of this studio (to be transparent, my Mom) went into the brow market before it, well, boomed. Perfecting her craft before permanent makeup became a process that everyone wanted to know about, her studio now has one of the best reputations in Texas. So much so that she had to hire me to help her keep organized.
She is typically booked for about two to three months in advance, so if you’d like to snag a spot, do it now! It doesn’t matter where you live, Tashi Brow Studio attracts clientele from around the country. People drive to Plano, Texas from all across the state, but they come from out of state, too! From Missouri to Michigan, Alabama and even flying from Alaska–this place is poppin’.
I may sound like a biased daughter, but really, I am just proud. When I first started working for my Mom, Seung (pronounced like I “sung” a song), I was unaware of how cool her line of work was. I started helping her by cropping her before and after pictures and I was blown away! The work looked so natural. I couldn’t believe how realistic she was able to make her clients’ eyebrows look by way of INK.
Plus, her reviews are fantastic! Which, as her daughter, is extremely humbling and cool. As someone who often researches companies based on their reviews, it was really heart warming to read such kind words from the public about my Mom. Here, I’ll link you:
If you love makeup, then you know it is an art. I’ve worked for my Mom for about two years now and have developed a thorough understanding of the process and what makes her studio stand out.
She is an artist!
She works with meticulous detail and precision, she takes her time, and she cares immensely. To her, it is not just about drawing pretty brows, it is about how the pretty brows will piece into the whole picture–your face.
Eyebrow trends come and go, okay?
When using regular makeup, you can experiment, yes!
But permanent makeup will be on your face for years. When you come in for an appointment at her studio, Seung helps you achieve a look that transcends trends. She wants to make you your best you! What I’m saying is, she delivers a personalized experience and helps you achieve a dynamic look that is unique to your face.
(^^ Did you notice? They’re twins!)
Seung starts each appointment by analyzing the client’s face shape, measuring the dimensions of their face, and then drawing on the “ideal brow” based on that.
She then takes into consideration the client’s style, personal eyebrow concerns, and the brows they admire. Once that is done, the “ideal” brows are tweaked accordingly.
However, an integrity point that she emphasizes at Tashi Brow is that every client will leave with 1- a natural look and 2- eyebrows that fit them as an individual. As an artist, she will not commit to a brow that she doesn’t feel is right for the client.
So, although the application of the brow itself only takes about 30 to 45 minutes, the appointment as a whole lasts about 2 and a half hours because of the time put into the consultation portion, pictures, chatting, etc.
The consultation process also involves the filling out of forms and the delivery of aftercare instructions. This is mostly so Seung can thoroughly understand your skin type and what color ink she needs to use for you. For example, your skin’s undertones can drastically effect the color of ink applied to your skin. One of Seung’s greatest qualities is her understanding of color theory.
She is able to help people who have had permanent makeup jobs done previously that have resulted in color change. Color correction can be a short or lengthy process depending on the status of the previous work.
A good portion of our clients don’t know which technique they would like done prior to their appointment. But, often, they do know that they want a natural look.
I’m here to tell you, if you go to the right technician, all three permanent makeup techniques will achieve a natural look. Whether you choose the microstroking, powder, or ombre technique is purely based on the style or look you are trying to achieve.
During the consultation portion of your appointment, Seung goes over each technique in thorough detail, listing the pros and cons for you. Based off the information she supplies and the style you are looking for, you will naturally gravitate toward the technique that sounds best.
Until then, I’ll give you a summary of each technique here.
Microstroking, also known as microblading, is what has brought permanent makeup to the beauty industry forefront. A technique that has developed recently, microstroking uses a very controlled instrument to create thin lines of ink on the skin. The aim here is to mimic hair strokes.
(For more information on microblading, continue on to the powder technique section where you can do some compare and contrast.)
The powder technique is permanent makeup in its original form.
Permanent makeup, however, has come a very long way since its origination! With new machines and professional training, the powder technique no longer screams, “tattoo!” Seung travels frequently to attend permanent makeup conventions and classes so that she can stay on top of the industry standards and technologies. She strives to use the best inks and the best tools available. This is very important. In fact, she recently returned from a class in Seattle where she learned about a new technique: Stardust. Trained by someone she considers to be one of the best in the area of powder technique (Kristina Melnicenco), Seung returned from Seattle feeling excited and inspired.
The work Seung did during her class in Seattle
The powder technique works across more skin than microblading. It uses ink to create a filled in look, similar to what you could achieve with brow powder. (Think Anastasia brow palettes.)
I tell you this for two reasons:
1- Compared to microblading, you can expect more redness and swelling around the eyebrow area post-procedure. This is typical in the first two days.
2- It lasts longer. People who get microblading typically come back for yearly touchups. Whereas the powder technique typically requires touchups at two year intervals.
If you were to look at microblading under a magnifying glass, you would see spaces in between each line of ink. If you look at the powder technique under a magnifying glass, you would see no spaces. If you like a full brow, powder is probably for you.
The ombre technique combines both the microstroking and powder techniques. This has quickly become the most requested service.
It is a best-of-both-worlds type of thing. You get to see the “hair-like” microstrokes but you also get the filled in effect of the powder technique. Another perk here is longevity.
We talked about touch-up intervals in the powder section, well, the ombre technique typically calls for a touch up about two to three years at a time.
But yes, combining both techniques is ideal for a lot of our clients because, although they really want the feathered look achieved with microblading, that feathered look may not be enough for them to feel like they’re “all put together.”
Depending on the style you want, microblading by itself can be too sparse. Sometimes clients who get microblading only find themselves filling in their brows while they do their makeup to get a bolder look. The powder technique frees them from having to do this.
Once again, the technique you choose depends on the style you are looking for.
The Six-Weeks Touch Up
It is very normal to lose color after your first procedure.
For that reason, we see the majority of our clients for a six-weeks touch up appointment in order to complete the process. By majority I mean around a solid 80% of clients.
This is 1- because your brain is trying to heal over an area that it thinks has been injured (it’s not used to a needle or ink) and 2- natural oils in your pores combatting the ink we placed in it.
If you are in that minority who does not have to come back for a six-weeks touch up—that is great! That makes us happy! We want you to retain as much color as possible. If you are happy with the amount of color you are left with after your six weeks of healing, you are by no means required to come back.
That means your skin happens to be really good for retaining color and that you followed the aftercare instructions!
Now, let’s say you are someone whose skin was not good for retaining ink and you lost color really quickly. And you lost a lot of it.
Do not fret!
During the time in which your brain is doing what it can to heal this area we have applied a needle to, it actually makes your skin healthier! One of the most beneficial things your body does during this time is send collagen to the “injured” area. (Yay!) Collagen will cause your epidermis to become thicker and much more ideal for retaining ink.
Except in rare cases, after your six-weeks touch up, you are good to go until a year, two years down the road. (Whenever you feel an area of your brows has faded enough to where you need some revamping.)
Warning: It takes a full six weeks for all the layers of your skin to heal in order for a needle to be put to it again. That is why this appointment cannot happen for a full six weeks. Also, areas where you think you have lost color, or let’s say you got microblading and the strokes do not look as defined–this can be temporary.
In areas where you have lost color or definition of hair strokes seems blurred can be due to dead skin cells. Since we don’t want you scrubbing your newly tattooed brows, these dead skin cells have to come off naturally. When this happens, around the 5 week mark, the ink and/or hair strokes can reappear or become more defined again.
In the first 2 to 3 days after your procedure, the ink will look the darkest it’s going to look throughout the healing process. This is nothing alarming–just a couple shades darker. I tell you this though so that after the appointment, you aren’t freaking out thinking, “this is not the color we chose!”
The color will fade as the first two weeks go on.
The first 10 days are very important. This is when you are most susceptible to losing ink. During this time, you should do whatever you can to avoid sweating. It’s a great excuse to kick back and relax.
If you’re like me and live a very active lifestyle, I know it’s hard to push pause on the gym for 10 days. However, just know, that anything you do during those 10 days that will cause you to sweat or open up your pores in that area–will cause you to lose ink. Avoid hot steamy showers, saunas, and the like.
After those first 10 days are over, you can pick up a lot of life as normal. If you have already lost color, you can now add makeup to the area until it’s time for your touch up. If you’re going to be out in the sun, use an SPF of 50 or higher (or cover up with a hat) because sunlight can drastically affect the color of your brows.
While not all clients experience this, it is also very normal for your skin to itch, scab, and peel around the one to two week mark. (If you have ever had a body tattoo, you may have experienced this, as well.)
If you do scab during the healing process, we ask that you let it heal naturally. Try your best not to pick or peel the area. We give clients a vile of all-natural grape seed oil when they come in for their appointments to help soothe and moisturize the skin. We feel this is the best aftercare “ointment” and will not recommend any other creams as they might affect the color of the ink and the tattoo itself. (The skin on your face is much different from the skin on your body, which is why we don’t use what tattoo artists recommend.)
When said scab falls off, it will most likely bring color with it. This is okay. It is natural, I promise! (This is, understandably, the thing that concerns clients the most post procedure.) So yes, do not worry, this is natural and one of the reasons I said most people have to come back for a six-weeks touch up.
Phew! Okay! How are we feeling?
That was a lot.
If you made it this far I take it you are very interested in permanent makeup! Or that you are my Mom.
I hope this helped you in some shape or form! If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.
You should also feel free to browse the FAQ section I made on–
Wow, I forgot to mention, I made the Tashi Brow Studio website!
Geez maybe this post should have just contained one simple thing: a link to that!
Please continue your research at: http://www.tashibrowstudio.com where you can find an FAQ section, a full menu with our studio’s pricing, online booking options, and read more about Seung and her awesome credentials.
Thanks for stopping by!