Microblading vs Permanent Makeup

What is the difference between permanent makeup and microblading? Although these two treatments can offer similar results, there are distinct differences in both procedure and outcome. Let’s clear some of the confusion and see which one might be best for you: the full permanent makeup vs microblading explanation.

Permanent Makeup

When it comes to cosmetic makeup procedures, permanent makeup is the most popular and familiar. It also has the longest-standing reputation because it’s been around much longer than microblading.

Permanent makeup is a type of micropigmentation. Although it’s called Permanent makeup, the truth is it’s semi-permanent, usually fading after 1 to 3 years. This allows you to change or enhance various styles over time, so you’re not stuck with one look forever.

For eyebrows, permanent makeup can offer a variety of different looks to your preference. You can get a bold, powdered eyebrow look resembling how you’d apply makeup everyday. Or you can get a minimal, thinner, pencil brow appearance if you prefer.

A tattoo machine is used to insert pigment into the skin. However, since it’s designed to be used on the face, it’s less intense and doesn’t go as deep into the skin as normal tattoo machines.

The neat thing about permanent makeup is that it’s not just limited to eyebrows. Many clients choose to get permanent lip color, lip liner, and even eyeliner in addition to their brows.

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Pros and Cons of Permanent Makeup


  • Other than eyebrows, permanent makeup can be used on the eyelids and lips
  • Lasts 1 to 3 years
  • Minimal touch ups to maintain a beautiful airbrushed look
  • You can choose to go bold or minimal with your brow shape and shade


  • The procedure can be slightly uncomfortable
  • Natural fading over time

Best option for:

  • Anyone who wants an everyday powdered makeup look
  • Individuals looking for long-lasting results
  • Those interested in maintaining brow styles that suits their face
  • Anyone affected by medical conditions who can’t get microblading


Growing in popularity over recent years, Microblading is newer than permanent makeup. Although it falls under the permanent makeup umbrella, it involves fewer pigment molecules under the skin. Therefore, microblading tends to naturally fade within 9 months or so.

Another difference of permanent makeup vs microblading is that microblading is done by hand, not a machine. The technician uses a handheld tool that contains a small row of fine needles. The microblading artists uses this tool to carefully scratch fine, hairlike incisions into the brow line. These incisions are then filled with a pigment that matches your hair color. As a result, the brows obtain a natural, realistic look that resembles 3D eyebrow hair. 

This type of treatment recommends touchups. Since microblading is prone to natural fading after about 3 months, additional sessions will help maintain the appearance of the brows and hair strokes. 

With microblading, you can decide on a crisp, manicured look. Or you can a go with a more natural/bushy brow look. Some people prefer an ombre, glamorous look. Also, since it’s not a permanent result, you have the flexibility to change the shape and style as you wish. You can keep up with beauty trends as the years change, or you can try to go bolder, minimal, etc. depending on your preferences.

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Pros and Cons of Microblading


  • Obtain a vivid, natural look
  • You can decide what you want your eyebrow “hairs” to look like
  • Lasts 9 months to 2 years
  • You cannot tell anything was done to your brows– it looks real
  • Numbing cream is used, so you don’t feel pain from the small incisions
  • Time-savvy procedure: about one hour including consultation and topical numbing


  • Repeated sessions can become expensive
  • Pigment can fade over time, especially with oily skin types
  • Not recommended for individuals with certain medical conditions

Excellent option for:

  • More natural, realistic look
  • Those willing to follow up with maintenance sessions
  • Anyone who wants to be able to try different styles over time
  • Men or women with thinning eyebrows, fine hairs, balding, or past overplucking

Permanent Makeup vs Microblading: Which One Should I Choose?

Hopefully, by now you have a better understanding of what each procedure entails. Your professional permanent makeup or microblading technician should be familiar with both options. A great eyebrow artist will be eager to guide you in the direction that best suits your needs. 

If you want to have the appearance of dolled up brows every day without having to fuss with makeup or dyes, go with permanent makeup for eyebrows. There are some extremely talented artists out there who can make your brows look soft, bold, natural, or however you wish.

If you feel more confident with the appearance of actual hair on your eyebrows, consider microblading. This procedure requires a little more maintenance, but many clients are thrilled with how real their brows look and how beautiful it makes them feel. 

Can I Get Both Permanent Makeup and Microblading?

It doesn’t have to be permanent makeup vs microblading– it can be both! Some people even decide to combine these two procedures. Going for both gives the patient a completed, perfect look that can be sustained for years at a time with low maintenance. 

If you still have questions about which to choose, contact your local Orange County Medical Spa specialists at Wake Up Beautiful Spa.