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  • Writer's pictureRachael Tsang

What is microshading?

You've heard of microblading but not microshading? With many beauty treatments and techniques, it is very easy to get lost and unsure of what to ask for. In this post we cover the following:

Intro to permanent makeup

The techniques

Who can have microshading?

Benefits of microshading

How do I know if I need microblading or microshading?

Intro to permanent makeup

Permanent makeup is a good way to keep your eyebrows looking shapely and full, without the need to apply normal makeup every day and getting frustrated when it takes so long in the mornings to draw them on evenly! It is also a permanent solution whereby your eyebrows don't suddenly seem to disappear when you take your makeup off again in the evenings. Permanent makeup is also sweat-proof and waterproof. Bring on beach and spa days!

Permanent makeup is essentially a cosmetic tattoo whereby pigment is implanted into the skin, to bring about some colour and create the illusion of a fuller brow. There are two methods in applying permanent makeup - using a permanent makeup (PMU) machine, or with a manual tool.


Whether a PMU machine or a manual tool is used to enhance your brows, the techniques used can branch into further subcategories which result in various desired effects.

Hairstrokes - pigment implanted in the skin in a thin line, in a way to mimic eyebrow hairs is often seen as producing the most natural result. For this reason, microblading (manual method), or nanoblading (the hairstroke look achieved with a machine) is very popular.

Shading - pigment is implanted into the skin in tiny dots to create some density in background colour when pigmenting the skin. SImilar to the hair stroke technique, shading can be achieved with both the machine method and the manual method of applying permanent makeup

Combination - the two techniques can be combined

Who is microshading good for?

Because of the ability to build on colour density, microshading is good for clients who are seeking a more medium to bold brow. Colour is placed in a way to mimic eyebrow makeup such as powder or pomade. If you have heard of 'ombre' or 'powder' brow, this is where the terminology comes from - describing the shading technique.

For clients with long, dark and coarse eyebrow hairs, shading may be recommended to create more colour saturation into the skin, to blend pigment with real hairs.

And lastly, clients with little or no eyebrow hair may have shading to add density to the brow and fill in gaps between hair strokes where colour is missing.

Benefits of microshading

Aside from the clients listed above who may seek a shading technique, microshading is also good for those with an oilier skin type. This is because over time, the pigment applied in a hair-like stroke may blur with the oils in the skin and loose definition. A shaded brow would be a technique which may last longer.

How do I know if I need microblading or microshading?

As a permanent makeup artist, we don't expect our clients to know which technique they need for enhancing their brows. A good consultation will allow us to understand what you expect and want from your new brows, and an assessment of your eyebrow hairs and skin will allow us to make a suitable suggestion of the best techniques we can use to achieve your desired outcome.

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