Microblading vs microshading: Which is the best method?

Microblading eyebrows work flow in a beauty salon [Thumbnail image]

When it comes to achieving perfectly shaped brows, microblading and microshading are two popular techniques that have gained immense popularity. Both methods offer semi-permanent solutions for enhancing eyebrows, providing definition, fullness, and symmetry. However, they are not 100% the same. Understanding the differences between microblading vs microshading can help you decide which method suits your preferences and needs and, in this article, we will explain you everything about them to help you make your decision.

What Is Microshading?

Microshading, also known as powder brows, is a technique where pigment is applied using a small machine with tiny needles to create a soft, filled-in appearance. This method is ideal for those wanting a more defined look without the hair-stroke effect of microblading.


The average cost of microshading in the US ranges from $400 to $600 per session, depending on the location and the expertise of the technician.


During the microshading procedure, the technician meticulously applies pigment in a dotted pattern, gradually building up color to achieve the desired shade and shape.

How long microshading lasts?

Microshading typically lasts from 1 to 3 years, depending on factors such as skin type, lifestyle, and aftercare routine. But, it must be noted that the intensity of the pigment will fade over time, so after a couple of months the intensity won’t be the same.

What Is Microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattooing technique that uses a manual handheld tool to create thin, hair-like strokes that mimic natural eyebrow hairs.


The average cost of microblading in the US ranges from $350 to $800 per session making it usually more expensive than microshading, but prices can vary based on the technician’s experience, location, and the intricacy of the work.


During the microblading procedure, the technician uses a fine blade to deposit pigment into the skin, creating crisp, realistic hair strokes that blend seamlessly with existing eyebrow hair.

How long microblading lasts

Microblading typically lasts from 1 to 3 years, depending on individual factors such as skin type, sun exposure, and skincare routine. For example, women who tan or that use Glycolic Acid in their skincare routine will see that the microblading is fading faster than those who doesn’t.

What Are the Main Differences Between Microshading vs Microblading?

After learning more about these procedures, we can now delve into your main question: the differences between microblading and shading.

While both microshading and microblading share the same goal of enhancing your eyebrows, they differ primarily in technique and the final look achieved, as the cost and duration are quite similar. Therefore, it can be said that the main difference is that:

Microshading creates a soft, powdered effect, ideal for a filled-in look, whereas microblading creates precise, hair-like strokes that mimic natural brow hairs for a more defined and realistic appearance. For that reason, when choosing between microshading vs microblading, women seeking to fill in their brows or achieve a more subtle look should opt for microblading, while those desiring a bolder appearance may prefer microshading.

Another factor to consider is that each procedure is recommended for different skin types: microshading is better suited for oily and sensitive skin, as the procedure is less harsh with your skin while microblading is preferred for dry skin.

Which Is More Painful when Comparing Microblading and Shading?

Microblading is generally considered more painful during the procedure due to the manual blade used to create strokes. However, both procedures may cause discomfort, which varies depending on individual pain tolerance and the technician’s technique. Patients describe microblading pain more subtle than a tattoo, but more intense than waxing. It’s good to know that if your pain tolerance is very low you can ask the professional who’s going to make you the procedure to use a numbing cream to make the process less intense.

After the procedure, they both can cause pain too so, remember to keep the area clean and avoid activities that may irritate the skin.

Do They Have Any Side Effects?

Like any cosmetic procedure, microblading and microshading can have potential side effects and, even though those side effects are not dangerous, you should keep an eye on how your brows evolve after the procedure. The microblanding and microshading side effects may include:

  1. Temporary redness and swelling at the treatment site.
  2. Itching or tenderness during the healing process.
  3. Risk of infection if aftercare instructions are not followed properly.

If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor to avoid complications and ensure proper treatment.

Microblading vs Microshading: What Are the Pros and Cons of Each Method?

If after explaining everything about these procedures you are still unclear about which one is best for you, one effective way to make a decision is by comparing their pros and cons. Below, you’ll find a detailed table outlining the advantages and disadvantages of both microblading and microshading:

– Precise, hair-like strokes
– Natural and realistic look
– Perfect for a subtle look
– Better for dry skin
– Initial discomfort during procedure
– Requires touch-ups
– Soft, filled-in look
– Suitable for oily skin
– Perfect for a bolder look
– Better for oily and sensitive skin
– May require touch-ups sooner
– Less natural-looking than microblading

Then, which is the best method?

Both procedures are great and the best method ultimately depends on your personal preferences and desired eyebrow look. If you prefer a softer, filled-in appearance without distinct hair strokes, microshading might be ideal. For those seeking a more defined, natural look mimicking individual hairs, microblading could be the better choice.

Some tips before getting your brows done…

If you’re planning to undergo microblading or microshading, consider these tips to ensure a positive experience and optimal results:

  1. Choose a reputable and experienced professional with good reviews and before and after photos.
  2. Avoid scheduling the procedure if you have sensitive skin or certain medical conditions.
  3. Understand that semi-permanent procedures are long-lasting and require careful consideration.
  4. Refrain from sun exposure and tanning beds one week before your appointment.
  5. Avoid taking blood-thinning medications or supplements that may affect bleeding.
  6. Avoid working out the day of the procedure.
Professional Microblading of Eyebrows, image to illustrate the differences between microblading vs microshading

Choosing between microblading and microshading involves understanding your desired brow look, pain tolerance, and commitment to aftercare. Both methods offer effective solutions for enhancing eyebrows, providing long-lasting results with proper care. Whether you opt for the precision of microblading or the softness of microshading, consulting with a qualified technician is crucial to achieving your eyebrow goals.

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