• Emily Dear

Microblading, Powder brows, & combo brows

What is the difference between these services and which one is good for me?

What's with all these different eyebrow services?


Powder brows

3d eyebrows

6d eyebrows

blade and shade

combo brows


Let's clarify the basics so you know what to ask for.


Two delivery methods

Hand tool method, known as microblading and microshading

Machine work, ombre aka powder brows.


Both methods can create natural looking hair strokes or a solid filled-in "powder" look.



Hand tool: this of course is the microblading technique which creates hair strokes. Also, micro-shading is the term for a solid filled in brow or shading done by the hand tool method. This method causes the pigment to be inserted into the skin differently than machine. It's best for healthy skin, no sun damage, and non-oily skin.

Machine work: the term powder brow and ombre brow are commonly used for this method. However, a powder brow technically refers to a filled in solid brow which can be done by both methods. Ask your artist which method is being used before you start. Hair strokes done with the machine can also be known as nano-strokes. Also, this method is less damaging to the skin, allowing the skin to heal better.



Ombre brow: Ombre brow refers to a brow that is darker on the tail, and is lighter in middle closest to the nose. This method is also referred to as a "powder brow" because it has more of a filled in with makeup look. Machine work is best for this look, I personally don't like shading with the hand tool method.




Combo brow

Blade and shade

Shades and strokes

These are hair strokes and the shading method used together, creating a natural look that is darker and more filled in. Great for making existing brows thicker or if you are missing hair in certain places. This can be done with either the hand tool or machine. This look is great for a natural look, but still get the straight, cleaned up line on the bottom of the brow.


3D/ 6D brows: Just another fancy way of saying tattooed eyebrows with strokes and shading. I personally don't understand how they can be 6 dimensional?? But maybe that's why I didn't become a mathematician.



Now technicians are getting really creative now a days and developing all kinds of different looks, using one or both methods. It really depends on your skin and the artist's creativeness.

Side note: if you want hair strokes done by machine, make sure your artist is super experienced and artistic. Hair strokes made by machine are waaaay harder to make than with microblading. You definitely don't want squiggly hair strokes.



Which technique is good for you?

Unfortunately, not all skin types are well suited for permanent makeup. Microblading doesn't last on every skin type. Machine work typically causes less trauma to the skin than microblading during the procedure, therefore the skin heals better allowing the pigment to last longer, making it more suitable for a wider range of skin types. Yes, machine work lasts longer than microblading on everyone.


Make sure to ask what technique your artist specializes in, and it's the one your looking for.