Ombré Brow Shading Is The New Secret To Perfectly Defined Arches

ombre brows
Adobe images

Ombré brows: benefits, before and after photos, cost, aftercare, and more.

While the term ombré may be more often associated with hair color, ombré brow shading is the latest semi-permanent makeup technique that has everyone buzzing. Think of it as a microblading’s cousin—very similar but with a few key differences. (And, no, the look isn’t as dramatic as ombré highlights, if that’s what you’re thinking.) Ahead, Michelle Wu, master brow therapist at EverTrue Microblading Salon, gives us the lowdown on ombré powder brows.

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What are ombré powder brows?

Also known as ombré shading, this is a semi-permanent brow-enhancing technique where tiny points of pigment are used to create a powder-like effect, resulting in a blended transition of color that adds depth and definition to the brow, explains Wu. The subtle color gradient gives the appearance of naturally fuller arches.

Ombré brows vs. microblading

Again, the two are very similar, but they differ in the technique and the way the pigment is added to the brow. “Microbladed brows are created using individual strokes of pigment that are meant to replicate actual hairs, whereas ombré brows are tiny dots of color,” says Wu. The latter actually uses more of a traditional tattooing technique, whereas microblading involves hand-carving small strokes into the skin to deposit semi-permanent dye.

ombré brows shading
Adobe; semi-permanent brow shading performed by professional

While the end result varies greatly based on what you’re going for, ombré powder brows tend to look more defined than with microblading, as if you had in fact put on brow powder to define the shape of your arches, Wu explains. That being said, your technician can alter the concentration and placement of the dots of pigment, as well as how saturated the pigment is, to keep the look softer.

It’s also worth noting that the two techniques are often used in tandem in a technique aptly-dubbed combination brows; microblading is ideal for helping to fill in the front of the brow, whereas ombré shading can add definition to a sparse tail or midsection.

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Who are ombré brows best for?

Aside from the different types of results, ombré powder brows are also great for those with oily skin, says Wu. The pigment in the individual strokes used during microblading can sometimes spread, leaving it looking blurry and not as saturated, whereas the powder effect prevents this, she explains. It’s also a good option if you have sensitive skin: “The tiny pinpricks of pigment barely break the surface of the skin, so it’s less invasive,” Wu explains.

Ombré brows before and after

Ombré brows before and after
Adobe; portrait of woman before and after ombre eyebrow shading looking at camera in cosmetology clinic.

What’s it like to get ombré brows?

Because the needle isn’t going as deep into the skin, the ombré shading technique is said to be gentler than microblading. Still, the process starts with topical numbing (because while the shading technique is less invasive, it can still be uncomfortable). Your provider will then draw on your brow so that you can see the exact placement of the shading, before using a small machine to start applying the pigment.

Keep in mind that since ombré powder shading is an even more precise process than microblading, it’s more important than ever to find a licensed and experienced technician; this also prolongs the length of the appointment, which usually takes up to two hours. “Even one wrong point of pigment can ruin the shape of the entire brow, so this process typically takes twice as long as microblading, about three hours,” says Wu.

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What can you expect during the healing stage?

Typically your ombré brows take up to two weeks to heal. They will also be darker than usual for the first week or so, so don’t freak out; what you see immediately afterwards isn’t necessarily indicative of the final result. Most places will also have you come back for a touch-up four to six weeks after the initial session to go over any spots that were missed.

As for the aftercare of ombré shading, avoid getting your brows wet (this includes sweat) for the first week. You’ll also want to avoid wearing any brow makeup while they heal. To prevent the pigment from fading, keep brows covered or shaded when in the sun. You can also prevent fading by keeping the area moisturized with an ointment like Aquaphor and avoiding heavy-duty exfoliants.

How long do ombré powder brows last?

It all depends on the individual, but generally up to a few years. Because the needle doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin, ombré brow shading is fades faster than microblading, and most people come back for touch-ups every six to 12 months to keep the shape defined, says Wu.

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How much do ombré brows cost?

Costs vary as well, though can reach upwards of $1000 (for reference, EverTrue Microblading Salon charges $1250). It’s not an inexpensive service, by any means, but for those who are tired of having to fill in their brows every day, the long-lasting results are often well-worth the price tag.

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