By now, you’ll have heard about microblading. A process which involves tattooing semi-permanent hairs onto one’s eyebrows for a fuller, thicker and more shapely effect, the treatment is widely regarded as the Rolls-Royce of brow treatments – particularly for those lacking in hair in the area. But now there’s a new, lesser-known brow treatment to familarise yourself with, and it goes by the name of microshading.
“Microshading creates a soft make-up brow look,” says Nez Hasan, a cosmetic and medical tattoo expert – and a dab hand at both techniques. “The end result is very natural, but unlike with microblading where a blade is used to create natural hair strokes, there are no strokes in this technique. It imparts more of a powdery look when done correctly.” The shading technique is created by a single needle attached to a semi-permanent tattoo device, and creates a soft, drawn-in effect, a bit like ombré for the brows.
The benefits of microshading are numerous. Firstly, when used in conjunction with microblading it helps to create a more realistic looking eyebrow – particularly for those who are starting with sparse brows and want a full, defined effect. In these cases, Hasan typically uses the blading technique to create natural strokes, and then shading to finish off, making them look as natural as can be. “I shade the tail and the lower spine of the eyebrow more intensely, and then softer at the beginning of the brow and the top spine. It’s a great mixture and my favourite technique to create,” she says.
Meanwhile, for those that already have full, dark brows, shading alone can work wonders – and it lasts longer than microblading. “I always recommend microshading for those with oily T-zones, very dark brown or thick and curly hair, as well as for Middle Eastern, Asian and Black clients,” says Hasan, who calls the treatment “Powder Brows” in her salon. “Shading is a must for the majority of these groups, as microblading alone fades by up to 60 per cent, so we always need to add more intense colour to the brows.”
Put simply, a good eyebrow treatment should always enhance the brows (even sparse or thin ones), rather than allow them to dominate the face, and microshading is an excellent way to achieve just that. Hasan uses the shading technique lightly to start with, then adds more colour in a second session four weeks after the initial appointment, to top up. Her clever blend of techniques mean she is known for natural-looking brows – those she creates for clients and her own.
Post-treatment, Hasan recommends a simple after-care regime: “With a damp, lukewarm pad (not wet), gently wipe the brows every hour or two for the first two days; thereafter, two to three times a day until you are fully healed,” she advises. “When shading is added, skin can scab a bit and the key is to allow these to come off naturally – don’t pick them.” She also recommends keeping the area dry – no heavy sweating, swimming or skincare products near the forehead and brows – for two weeks. “You’ll see real results four weeks later,” she says.
This originally appeared on Vogue UK | Hannah Coates