Microblading: All the advice

The popularity of semi-permanent make up has risen hugely in the past couple of years. With so many different cosmetic treatments available, including microblading for eyebrows, permanent lip and eyeliner application and full lip colour tattooing. If you’re considering treatment, expert Renée Cleovoulou, aesthetic dermatographist and semi-permanent cosmetics practitioner at The Dermatography Clinic, can advise you on what to look for and the results to expect.

Is this for me?
It is important to remember that while these techniques are often used for cosmetic purposes, it is not to achieve a permanently ‘made-up’ look. Dermatography (also known as micropigmentation and semi-permanent make up) is best used to create subtle enhancements but also to camouflage imperfections. For this reason, while it is popularly used to create a more defined brow, denser eyelashes or fuller lips, it can also be used to cover scarring, camouflage uneven pigmentation and even mimic hairs to disguise baldness, a technique that can be used ahead of chemotherapy.

The treatment can last for up to three years, so isn’t necessarily for recreating strong make up trends such as bold cat-flick eyeliner. However, it is great for anyone who is keen to save time when getting ready in the morning or anybody that does lots of sport and wants a low maintenance look. And these are just some of the people who can benefit from semi-permanent cosmetics.

Choosing the right practitioner

It’s important to find a practitioner that you feel comfortable with and, most importantly, trust! The results can last up to three years therefore you want to make sure you are happy with the finish.

For this reason, I’d recommend taking time to research and take care in choosing which clinic or practitioner to trust. Beware that there are a number of people practising these techniques without the skill or necessary certification required.

Always ask to see photographic examples of their previous work. Not only will this give you an idea of the effects that can be created but it will also reassure you that they have experience and you will not be a guinea pig. 

A practitioner who is qualified to carry out both cosmetic and medical tattooing will have far more knowledge and experience. Those fully qualified in micropigmentation (also known as dermatography or semi-permanent make up), should be qualified to carry out corrective treatments anywhere on the body, literally from head to toe.

Prior to treatment

Anyone that practises dermatography or semi-permanent cosmetics should invite you to a consultation prior to the actual treatment. This is an opportunity to discuss the result you are looking to achieve and most importantly, carry out an allergy test. Please bear in mind that practitioners are required to carry out a consultation and patch test for insurance purposes.

During the consultation, you will also be able to discuss which colours to use for a natural enhancement. I always test colours on the skin prior to treatment and my client will be involved in making the final decision. When it comes to brow treatments, I will also spend time drawing the shape we are looking to create so that the client can visualise the final look. 

The best thing about having a consultation is that you will be able to understand the process and also allay any concerns or worries you have. I often find that this process puts clients at ease, which means that you will be excited and looking forward to your appointment!

Is this technique better for eyebrows than microblading

Microblading and ‘digital microblading’, also known as dermatography, are different techniques. Both produce ultra fine hair strokes, however, microblading uses a hand-held manual tool to implant pigment under the skin whereas digital microblading uses advanced digital technology to do this.

I offer both procedures, although the majority of my clients prefer the finish of digital microblading as it allows greater precision. It enables artists to cross over hair strokes, which is not possible with microblading, creating a more realistic, natural looking eyebrow. The digital technique also causes little or no discomfort and there is no redness or swelling immediately afterwards. Results can last three times longer than microblading, where the colour remains for six to twelve months.

How long will it last?

These treatments are not permanent – they last between one and three years, sometimes longer. In safe hands, it is a fantastic low-maintenance solution for many. While most clients wish results could last forever, semi-permanence can be a good thing, especially when it comes to eyebrows as this gives the opportunity to further improve them in the future and adjust them as the area ages. The process requires maintenance and is usually repeated within one to three years.