Digital Microshading: Ombre Brows, How Many Passes, Healing Process, and More

Have you ever wondered how some women have beautiful powder or ombre eyebrows even in their #WokeUpLikeThis or #NoMakeUp photos? You have the wonders of microblading and microshading to thank for that. If you are thinking of offering digital microshading to your clients, keep reading to find out what you need to know to serve your clients better. 

Microblading vs Microshading: What’s the Difference? 

Long story short, the major difference between microblading and microshading is the stroke. You use a pen to create hair-like strokes with microblading, whereas microshading is a more advanced technique that deposits pigment into the eyebrows through needles that create pin-point dots. If you want a more detailed comparison and contrast of microblading and microshading, you can read our post here.

Tools for Microshading to Achieve Ombre Eyebrows

Digital Microshading: The Process of Creating Ombre Eyebrows

Just like with microblading, the first meeting with your client involves consultation. You can ask the client what shape they like and what their preferred darkness is. If your client has any concerns, questions, or want to tell you about their experience with permanent make-up, this is the time for that. 

Following your client’s preferred style, proceed to map and draw the eyebrows. I use a white waterproof pencil to outline the brows as they are more visible than simply using dark-colored pencils. 

Keep checking the outline to make sure it’s the right shade. This photo shows how the outline looks like after I wiped the ink.  

Using the machine, start with gently outlining the tail of the brows in an up and down motion. Outline the eyebrows with light pressure at first to see how your client’s skin absorbs the ink. After working on a small part of the tail, wipe the ink with a dry tissue to see how pigmented the brows are so far. If the skin doesn’t absorb much, shade with slightly harder pressure. If it’s too dark, then make sure your pressure is much lighter when shading the other end of the brows to achieve the ombre effect. 

Filling in the Outline

Once the outline is done, you can start shading inside the outline. Some eyebrow artists may shade a small portion of the brows first and wipe to check the darkness, but I usually shade the full brow first before wiping to check the result. This makes the shades more even as my hand becomes more familiar with the movement and pressure. If I stop midway to wipe and check, the pressure and stroke direction might change, resulting in patchy brows. 

Once you reach the front of the brows, you can do the pendulum movement so the points are farther away from each other and not as full as the tail. I shade the bottom brows more as I want them to look darker and go lighter as you go to the top of the brows. 

How many passes should you do when doing digital shading? 

Since her skin is already irritated after the first pass, I applied some numbing cream on the skin first and worked on the other brow

When the whole brow is filled, wipe the ink to check the results. If her skin is irritated (see photo), apply a numbing cream, and move on to the next brow. If it’s not yet irritated, you can do another pass to achieve the desired darkness. 

On your succeeding passes, apply lighter pressure when shading to better control the darkness. Remember, it’s easier to do a touch-up of lighter brows than correct dark brows that your client is not happy with. Also, I recommend a depth of no deeper than .8 mm when shading.

The number of passes when microshading with a digital machine depends on your client’s skin. I recommend doing five, if possible, but if your client’s skin is sensitive and gets irritated quickly, continue the shading procedure during touch-up.

The client’s eyebrows after four passes (left) vs the fifth pass (right)

The Healing Process After the Digital Shading Procedure

Your role as the brow artist doesn’t simply include creating beautiful ombre brows. You also have to educate your client about the healing process and how they can take care of the brows before your next appointment.

Remind your client to sleep on their back while the eyebrows are not yet completely healed. The ink has not yet completely settled until the skin has healed so it’s important to be extra careful with the eyebrows after the treatment.

Expect the skin on the eyebrows to shed in the next few weeks after the procedure. Remind your client to apply an antiseptic ointment and use unscented soap to wash their face day and night. Depending on the skin, healing can take up to two to three weeks. 

Schedule another appointment with your client after a month or so to check the results and the skin’s reaction to the procedure. If there are some bald spots or the client wants a darker shade, you can adjust accordingly during the touch-up! 

Are you feeling excited about adding digital shading to your services and give your clients the coveted ombre eyebrows? Ask us about our machine shading and other courses here!

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