See exactly what our students say!
6th Sep 2017
10 Reason to Choose Us
12th May 2018
Show all

MicroShading vs Microblading – the lowdown

MicroShading vs Microblading

What, when, where and how? With so many brow options available, it can become rather confusing to know which treatment is best for your unique features. Here is a brief description, together with pics / videos with my professional opinion of the different treatments available, to assist in making the right decision. As a rule, it is always best to add microshading to microblading whenever there is little to no natural brow hair present. Microshading delivers the illusion of a fuller brow. Let’s think of it this way… People with really thick natural brows have a visible soft shadow behind their brows which reflects onto the skin – yes? Think along the lines of Arabian or Mediterranean clients with gorgeous thick full brows. The intention is therefore to mimic these full, thicker brows as far as possible – and the way to achieve this is by adding a soft shadowy background onto the skin and layer the microblade strokes over the top of this powdery shadow.

MicroShading vs Microblading – the lowdown

Take a look at these examples. In this first pic, it is very clear to see the difference between microblade only and microblading together with a shadowy background:

Bottom pic: Before.
Middle pic – microblading only.
Top pic – combo of microblading with microshading.
This client suffers with alopecia and was very happy with this final result.

MB Only Result
Combo Brows
Now take a close look at this client. Here we have healed microblade brows:

At her refinement, it was decided to add more texture to her brows by adding a microshade background, together with layered microblade strokes (Combo Brows):

While this picture may appear a bit harsh to the untrained eye, remember that these pics were taken immediately after and the colors will soften by between 30% within 3 weeks, essentially delivering a beautiful soft and ultra natural-looking eyebrow result.

When this client arrived for her refinement appointment, she had still been pencilling her brows – actually defeating the whole objective of having them done in the first place. Together with the client, we opted for the addition of microshading and she was absolutely delighted with the final result:

Another important fact to consider is that microblading is not suitable for every skin type. In particular, clients with very thin skin (usually very dry and crepey) as this skin-type does not retain the delicate microblade strokes well.


Clients who are highly prone to hyper-pigmentation (usually present with very dark ethnic-type skins – Fitz 6/7) will also benefit more from microshading rather than simply microblading the eyebrows. Microblade strokes alone would not be visible once fully healed.

One method of applying microshading is performed with a manual shading microblade with pen tool, using a specific dilution of pigment to attain the softness required to simulate the ‘shadow’ effect. Trained permanent makeup artists may opt to apply the shading by PMU machine instead of the manual application – both work really well in experienced hands. The manual application method has become increasingly popular given the recent microblade boom by artists who may or may not have a background in permanent makeup.

I would be remiss not to mention that any time a pigment is placed into the skin, this essentially equates to a tattoo – albeit that this is a form of cosmetic tattoo AKA permanent makeup. At the very least, it would be advisable to ensure that the artist you plan to have work on your face has been responsibly trained by a highly experienced PMU teacher and is in possession of a valid BBP certificate (blood-borne pathogen certification), as this would add comfort that he/she should be educated on the risks involved with and prevention of cross-contamination infection. It surely stands to reason that you would not enjoy the same end product (or sanitation for that matter) if a procedure costs R600 – or R900, as you would from by an artist charging say R3 000.00. In this industry – you usually do get what you pay for! Please make sure it’s not Hep C you’re ‘getting’.


We would love to hear from you – please contact us for any advice or to set up an appointment to discuss removal or correction options.   Our Professional is master-certified with the American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics and has 20 years experience in the vibrant and ever-evolving permanent makeup industry.  All our permanent procedures are performed with the utmost precision and at an advanced level.


Please do not allow the wool to be pulled over you eyes,  by those offering training purely for their own financial gain.  Before long, you will find that you need to attend another class simply to catch up on all the important information and knowledge that you missed!

Should you find my advice useful, please feel free to share on your social media platforms.  We invite you to take a look at our Social Media business pages and welcome any sincere inquiries.

Above all – Be your own kind of beautiful 🙂


About the author: 

Gwendoline Johnston owns Permanent Makeup by Gwendoline and practices as a Permanent Make-up Specialist at her studios in Johannesburg and in Cape Town by arrangement.  Gwendoline attained her Masters Certification  from the American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics in October 2013.  She has kept fully up to date with ongoing study in the latest techniques and trends by obtaining over seventeen certificates  and diplomas both locally in South Africa and internationally – attending Advanced Permanent Makeup training seminars, master classes, conferences and workshops.



Gwendoline’s vast experience attained over the past twenty years, together with a thorough understanding of skin and colour, has placed her in the confident position to teach, advise and perform in all areas of advanced permanent make-up, including para-medical applications.  Permanent Makeup by Gwendoline is affiliated with local and international Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Specialists and Medical Spa’s.


Throughout my career, I have remained committed to delivering excellence.  I have a deep passion for my craft and genuine care for my clients, which when teamed with the highest level of professionalism, my aim is to deliver unparalleled performance within the vibrant and ever-evolving world of permanent makeup.”