If you’re someone that regularly gets sucked into a black hole of bingeing on hours of beauty videos on YouTube, you’ll probably have heard of microblading.

The semi-permanent treatment is the most effective way of maintaining a perfectly precise arch without having to painstakingly fill in your brows with a pencil every morning.

In fact, it’s become a total godsend for those of us who overplucked our brows in the 00s and have been left with two slim tadpoles framing our eyes.

If you’ve left your DIY days behind and are now a fan of getting your brows done by the professionals, then you’ll want to know about a softer, sister technique that everyone’s raving about, called microshading. Here’s everything you need to know…

What is microshading?
Traditionally, microblading is done by tattooing super fine featherweight strokes on the epidermis of the skin, giving the impression of natural brow hairs.

Microshading is similar, but instead of the needles producing a hair stroke effect, they penetrate further into the skin and leave teeny-tiny dots of pigment throughout the brow.

The overall effect creates a shadow or gradient appearance – almost like you’ve filled in your brows with a soft powder.

Much like microblading, the initial post-appointment colour can appear pretty dark, but after a few weeks it fades into a more subtle shade.

What happens during a typical appointment?
First, the technician will draw the outline of your chosen brow shape onto your face and check that it’s symmetrical. Then, they’ll coat your brows in a numbing cream to help ease the pain of the needle on the skin.

Once you’re happy with the shade and your brows are suitably numbed, the technician will then go ahead and start the process of filling in the brows with a fine-tipped needle. This takes about half an hour to complete and doesn’t require any recovery time afterwards, so you can continue to go about your daily life.

There are some rules you’ll need to follow though to make sure you get the desired effect, which includes avoiding getting your brows wet with both sweat and water. You also need to avoid excessive sun exposure for a few weeks too.

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So what are the benefits?
Microshading is said to be better for people with sensitive skin or oily skin, because the technique takes better to their skin type.

According to experts, the treatment can last longer too. The effects of microblading can last up to one to two years, depending on your skin type, while microshading can last for four – since the pigment penetrates further into the skin.

If you’re not sure about which technique is best for you, the good news is that a lot of brow experts now offer a combination of both. It’s becoming increasingly popular to get the front of the brow microbladed with stronger hair strokes and the tail microshaded, to give a gradient effect.