By Erin Lukas
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 @ 4:56 pm
Copyright 2018 Alexey Klementiev/Stocksy

For anyone recovering from over-tweezed brows, microblading, the semi-permanent way of tattooing your arches into your ideal shape, is intriguing. Lasting up to a year, the procedure involves having small, feather-like strokes drawn onto your existing brows using a blade. Honestly, it's pretty game-changing for anyone who wants fuller brows without having to go through the daily motions of grooming them — but what if you want your faux-brows to last even longer? 

Enter microshading, an alternative treatment that lasts even longer than microblading. Microshading is the same concept as microblading, with pigment applied in thin lines, but with a small tweak to the technique.

"Microblading is done with a tiny blade hand-held tool that essentially cuts the skin in the brow area in the form of a fine hair," says Yliana Guzman, lead technician and founder of Brow Zing NYC. "While microshading is done with a more standard tattoo machine, an electronic device that inserts pigment into a much deeper later of the skin and results in a powder-brow look, rather than hair-like strokes." The result is gives brows a softer, fuller finish that's reminiscent of a shadow. 

RELATED: How Much Does Microblading Cost? Here's How Much You Can Expect to Pay

Since the pigment penetrates further into the skin, the results can last up to four years whereas microblading will only hold up for one year, at most. Guzman says that most studios that perform the treatment will include one touch up and she recommends getting microshading brows freshened up once every two years. 

Another obvious benefit that will convince you to microshade your brows is that it's cheaper, too. "Microshading ranges between $400-800 in New York City, slightly less than microblading," Guzman says. Typically, microblading can cost up to $2000 depending on your location and the salon you visit. 

VIDEO: Watch an InStyle Editor Get Eyebrow Microblading 

So, what happens during a typical microshading appointment? First, the technician will ask the client if they have any "brow inspiration photos," and measure their face to decide brow placement. They'll draw on an outline of the brow shade and measure it for symmetry. Next, a numbing cream is applied, and a few color swatches are done while the freezing kicks in so that the technician and client are on the same page in regards to the pigment shade being used. The appointment concludes with the actual microshading, which takes around 35 minutes to complete. 

Like microblading, there's no downtime following the treatment, but there is some limitations on what you can and can't do to your brows. Guzman says to avoid getting microshaded brows wet (this includes water and sweat) and excessive sun exposure for two weeks. She also recommends not using harsh exfoliant or skincare products with fruit acids to prevent the pigment from fading. Although most people are candidates for microshading, Guzman suggests that pregnant or nursing women not get the treatment, and suggests that anyone with diabetes or sensitive skin consult with their doctor first. 

And if you're wondering, yes, you can layer brow treatments. Guzman says that more and more people are choosing to do combos to get their own versions of perfect brows. "The look consists of microblading hair strokes in the first third of the brow and microshading the rest," she explains. "This gives the illusion of natural hairs in the front with a more intense makeup/powder brow towards the arch and tail. This will run you up another few hundred dollars. The combo look ranges from $650-$1,200 on average in NYC."

A cheaper, longer-lasting alternative to microblading? Brow dreams can come true. 

 

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