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  • Rachael Tsang

What is the difference between microblading and machine brows in permanent makeup?

At Rachael Tsang Permanent Makeup, we are dedicated to helping you achieve perfectly shaped and defined eyebrows through our specialised permanent makeup techniques. For permanent makeup of the eyebrows, there are two different methods of application - microblading and machine method. While both aim to enhance the appearance of your eyebrows, they differ significantly in their methods, results, and suitability for various skin types. This blog aims to explain the difference between microblading and machine brows to help you understand and decide which method to go for.

It is important to note that not every microblading artist is trained in the machine method, and not every permanent makeup artist is trained in the microblading method. At Rachael Tsang Permanent Makeup, Rachael is trained in both techniques, giving a full range of eyebrow styles available.

What is Microblading?

Microblading is a manual method of permanent makeup that involves using a handheld tool with tiny pins to create hair-like strokes on the skin. These strokes mimic the natural growth patterns of eyebrow hair, resulting in a very natural-looking enhancement.

How It Works:

- Technique: A handheld tool without power is composed of several tiny pins to graze and deposit pigment into the upper layers of the skin.

- Results: The strokes are fine and precise, resembling individual eyebrow hairs. This method is ideal for those looking for a natural, subtle enhancement.

- Longevity: Results can last between 12 to 24 months, depending on skin type, lifestyle, and aftercare.

- Skin Types: Best suited for normal to dry skin types. Oily skin may not retain the pigment as well, leading to quicker fading and less defined strokes.

What are Machine Brows?

Machine Brows, also known as digital or nano brows, involve using a permanent makeup machine/device to create the desired eyebrows. This method employs a fine needle to implant pigment into the skin more evenly and deeply compared to microblading.

How It Works:

- Technique: We use a permanent makeup machine/device with a fine needle to apply pigment into the dermal layer of the skin. It feels like mini vibrations and the speed and depth of the needle can be adjusted, allowing for precise control.

- Results: Can range from a soft, powdery finish (often referred to as shaded brows, powder brows or ombré brows) to more defined, hair-like strokes (also known as nano brows, hairstroke brows or hyperrealism brows). The choice of technique depends on your desired look.

- Longevity: Typically lasts longer than microblading, ranging from 18 months to 3 years

- Skin Types: Suitable for all skin types, including oily skin. The technique's adaptability makes it a versatile option for a broader range of clients.

Comparing Microblading and Machine Brows

  1. Naturalness vs. Definition:

- Microblading creates hair-like strokes that blend seamlessly with natural eyebrow hair (as long as the microblading artist follows your natural hair pattern). It's ideal for those seeking a subtle enhancement.

- Machine Brows can also create natural-looking strokes but offer more versatility. They can achieve a variety of looks, from soft and powdered to sharply defined, making them suitable for clients who want a more noticeable result or one to mimic makeup.

2. Pain and Healing:

- Microblading can feel a little scratchy.

- Machine Brows feels like mini vibrations.

In both techniques, numbing cream can be used to ease the sensation. The healing process is similar for both, involving slight redness and scabbing.

3. Durability and Maintenance:

- Microblading tends to fade faster, especially on oily skin types. Regular touch-ups (every 12-24 months) are necessary to maintain the look.

- Machine Brows have better longevity, with many clients enjoying their results for up to three years.

4. Suitability:

- Microblading is ideal for those with normal to dry skin, minimal existing eyebrow hair, and a preference for natural-looking eyebrows.

- Machine Brows are more versatile, accommodating all skin types and a broader range of styles. They are especially beneficial for clients with oily skin or those looking for a more pronounced brow effect.


Choosing between microblading and machine brows depends on your skin type, desired look, and lifestyle. If you prefer a natural, hair-like finish and have normal to dry skin, microblading might be the perfect choice. However, if you seek a longer-lasting solution with more styling options and have any skin type, machine brows could be the way to go.

If you are still unsure which technique for permanent makeup of the eyebrows to go for, please take advantage of booking a free consultation with Rachael at the permanent makeup clinic in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Combination Brows


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