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Microblading VS Machine tattooed eyebrows

We get asked this question a lot. With the combined marketing efforts of this industry, a lot of different terminology is used to describe the same thing. It is important to note that microblading is a form of tattooing. In fact, microblading is a pretty ancient form of tattooing, but quite a bit more refined now. The difference is the instrument used. We offer eyebrow services with both methods.

Microblading is the manual application, using a blade to place the pigment into the skin. A tattoo machine uses a fine needle, within a hand piece, ran by electricity to puncture and deposit pigment. Microblading is more of a superficial application of pigment into the skin and the pigment is ideally placed just a little higher in the dermis. It tends to be done mostly in hair strokes and can fade sooner than machine tattooed brows.

Machine brows can last a little longer depending on technique and pigment density. It is applied using an electronic/digital hand piece that punctures the skin with a fine needle. There's a lot of variants within these two methods. Just one method isn’t right for every face.

During consultations some factors should be taken into consideration such as: skin type, lifestyle and expectations of the end results, to decide what method may be right for you. Please keep in mind that each method needs maintenance, approximately once a year, to keep your brows looking their best.

It should also be noted that it is recommended that every 2–3 years, the method for touch ups should switch in order to keep the integrity of the skin.


What should I look for in a cosmetic tattoo technician?

You have probably been shopping around, checking Yelp for different technicians, and comparing prices, etc. That's smart! It's important to do the research when we're talking about a tattoo on your face.

Mandi as been a cosmetic tattooer for 11 years; 8 years of which have been here in Columbus. Not only certified, licensed, and insured, but she has completed multiple advanced training courses, such as nano needle work, microblading perfection training and non-laser pigment removal.

Throughout the years, she’s had many clients who go elsewhere first and then came to her to fix bad brow jobs; spending more money than they would have in the first place. A lot of new technicians out there are trying to build their book of business by giving deals and undercutting prices to do so. (Your brows and face are too important to gamble on a BOGO!)

That being said, there are plenty of talented artists to choose from. Mandi wants you to have the best experience; so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions.

When you're researching cosmetic tattoo artists, make sure you get three important pieces of information about any technician:

  1. Before and after photos (Beware that anyone can easily steal photos.)

  2. Reviews (Pretty in Ink has over 110 five star reviews related to cosmetic tattooing on Facebook alone. See for yourself.)

  3. References (If the technician won’t forward you to another existing client, take it as a red flag!)


How long will my cosmetic tattoo last?

Longevity of a tattoo depends on the individual. All cosmetic tattoos fade because your face is always exposed to the sun. Fading depends on many factors, such as: method of application, skin type, skin regimen, and exposure to elements. Really, everyone is different, and what’s most important is your personal preference. 

On average, clients come back once a year to keep their brows looking fresh. We call these “Color Boosts" and they are done at a fraction of the original cost. Color boosts start at $100.

Once you are a client of Pretty in Ink, we keep all pigments used, on file, so that we can always easily touch them up in the future.


Do you offer consultations?

We can absolutely set up a consultation! Consults are $50, and should you choose to book, that money is put towards the total cost of the service. A credit card will be needed to secure your appointment, but will not be charged until your appointment.

That being said, the vast majority of our clients just book the full appointment, as the first hour of the appointment is basically the consultation. Whatever works for you, works for us!


How do I prepare for my appointment?

There's really not a whole lot to prepare for!

No alcohol and very limited caffeine!! Both can enhance sensitivity and will also thin the blood, affecting the bonding process of the pigment in the dermis. 

The vibrations can sometimes cause a runny nose or watery eyes. You can take a non-drowsy antihistamine, if you choose to, because the symptoms will be just like those experienced during allergy season. Clients can also choose to take Tylenol 600-800mg beforehand to help with discomfort. Just make sure you do not take any aspirin, ibuprofen, or other blood-thinning pain medication as this can have adverse affects on the outcome of your new tattoos.

If you have a regular grooming routine with your brows, (i.e. threading, waxing, or tinting), please have that done at least four days before your appointment.


How do I care for my cosmetic tattoo after the appointment?

Less is more. The less you do the better. Light washes, according to your skin type, will be discussed at your initial appointment, as well as applying any topical. Any activity that would soften the skin from water or sweat will hinder the pigment’s bonding process. You can literally sweat or wash the pigment right out of your skin! Worst-case scenario, you may need to have additional touch-ups to achieve desired results. 

We recommend a 10-day waiting period to avoid any activities that would soften the skin in any way. As far as showering, specifically, of course you can shower as normal. Do your best to keep your eyebrows as dry as possible. It is imperative that you blot them dry, if they happen to get wet. Never, EVER rub them! Googles in the shower are an option! Haha. Yes, clients have done this. Check out the goggle protection on our client Lisa!


Is it possible to get a partial eyebrow filled in?

Unfortunately, the only way to guarantee even color, throughout the eyebrow, is with a total brow rework. This way, the pigment and color stays consistent and it doesn’t look even patchier, in the future.


Allergies or extra sensitive?

If you are worried about allergies or sensitivities, please let me know and we can perform a scratch test, prior to the procedure. All pigments used are vegan and non-toxic. Most of them contain little to no iron-oxide. This does change from color to color and brand to brand.


Can I undergo cosmetic tattooing while pregnant or nursing?

Unfortunately, we will not work on anyone currently pregnant, nursing, or pumping. However, when you are done nursing, we would be more than happy to work with you! 


Do you ever offer last minute appointments?

Our schedule gets full, pretty far in advance, so it can be difficult to get in quickly. However, if we do have a last-minute opening, we will post the available time slot on Facebook and Instagram. Keep an eye on our social media for openings and exclusive specials!