Eyebrow Tinting vs. Microblading: Which Is Right for You?

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Eyebrows on fleek are essential to a well-put-together look.

These days, celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, Lily Collins, and Kim Kardashian have made big, bold brows a trend here to stay.

Whether you were blessed with naturally full brows or not, there are now more options than ever to achieve your desired look.

Eyebrow tinting and microblading are two popular methods today to achieve fuller-looking brows.

beautician is measuring the brows of the client with ruler while holding a white pencil

So what’s the difference between the two? And are they right for you? Is brow tinting better than microblading or is it the other way around?

If you’re still on the fence about which eyebrow treatment is proper for you, this guide will help you decide.

Read more to learn about eyebrow tinting and microblading!

Eyebrow TintingMicroblading
Cost$15 to $50$500 to $800
LongevityLasts six to eight weeksLasts up to three years
MethodApplies a salon-grade or henna-based dye using a small brush to create a more defined brow shapeUses a blade-shaped tool to create hair-like strokes
Healing TimeNo downtime30-40 days
Pain ThresholdPainless procedureMinimal pain and discomfort
Skin typeIdeal for all skin typesIdeal for all skin types but recommended for those with normal to dry skin.

What Is Eyebrow Tinting?

Eyebrow tinting is a semi-permanent dye that stains the skin beneath the brow hairs. It smooths out the brow hair for a more polished look and can last anywhere from six to eight weeks.

If your brow hair is sparse or if you have gaps in your brows, tinting is a great way to fill them in.

The structure of your brows will also be more defined after a tinting treatment.

Salon-grade or henna-based dye is used for eyebrow tinting and is applied with a cotton swab or small brush. The dye is left on for about 15 minutes before being removed.

This procedure is an excellent alternative to brow pencils and gels because it’s low-maintenance and lasts longer.

It’s also a good choice if you have sensitive skin since no needles are involved.

All skin types can benefit from eyebrow tinting. If you have oily skin, though, do note that the tint may not last as long as it would on dry or normal skin.

a beautician wearing black gloves is applying tint to the eyebrow of the client using small brush

How Much Does Eyebrow Tinting Cost?

The cost of eyebrow tinting varies depending on the salon you go to and your location. You can expect to pay between $15 and $50 per session.

Additionally, at-home eyebrow tinting kits are available for purchase if you prefer to do it yourself.

These typically cost between $15 and $25. But we wouldn’t recommend doing it at home unless you’re experienced with eyebrow tinting.

Eyebrow Tinting Procedure

Eyebrow tinting is an ideal solution if you want low-maintenance, fuller brows.

The procedure is quick and relatively painless. Plus, it can be done at most beauty salons.

Here is what you can expect during a typical eyebrow tinting session:

  1. Your brows will be cleaned, and any makeup will be removed. A patch test will be done on your skin to ensure you’re not allergic to the dye.
  2. The provider will mix the dye and then apply it to your brows with a cotton swab or small brush.
  3. The direction of where your brow hairs grow will be considered so that the dye is applied evenly.
  4. The dye will be left on for about 15 minutes before being removed. A damp paper towel will be used to remove the extra dye.
  5. The dye might be left longer if you wish to achieve a darker color.

And voila, you’ll have long-lasting, fuller brows that will save you time from putting on eyebrows every day!

Aftercare for Eyebrow Tinting

Taking care of your brows after an eyebrow tinting treatment is essential.

Here are a few tips on how to do that:

  • After getting your brows tinted, avoid getting them wet for at least 12 to 24 hours. This will give the tint time to set and fully develop.
  • When showering or washing your face, be careful not to rub or scrub your brows too hard.
  • Avoid using oil-based products around your brows, which can cause the tint to fade faster.
  • Exfoliation is also a no-no, as it can remove the tint.
  • You can apply Vaseline to your brows as a protective barrier.

Side Effects and Risks

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any eyebrow tinting product for use in the United States.

Because of this, there is no guarantee that the products used for eyebrow tinting are safe.

Some of the potential risks associated with eyebrow tinting include the following:

  • Allergic reactions: If you experience itching, redness, or swelling after getting your brows tinted, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Eye irritation: Eyebrow tinting products can also cause eye irritation if they come into contact with your eyes.
  • Skin reactions: Eyebrow tinting products can cause skin reactions, such as rashes or hives. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

While eyebrow tinting is generally safe, it’s essential to know the potential risks before getting the treatment.

If pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before getting eyebrow tinting.

It’s also important to tell your eyebrow technician if you have any allergies or sensitivities. This will help them choose a safe product for you.

What Is Microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that creates the illusion of fuller, thicker brows.

The procedure involves using a fine blade to deposit pigment into the skin. This creates tiny hairlike strokes that mimic the look of natural hairs.

The arches of your brows will be mapped out before the procedure begins. This helps the technician know where to place the ink for the best results.

Since a small incision is made in the skin’s dermis during microblading, the procedure can be slightly painful.

Topical numbing cream is usually applied to the brow area before beginning the procedure. This helps minimize any discomfort.

How Much Does Microblading Cost?

The budget for microblading is around $500 to $800, which is more expensive than other eyebrow cosmetic procedures such as tinting and brow lamination.

If budget is your concern, you can always start with eyebrow tinting and then graduate to microblading when ready.

Microblading Procedure

This cosmetic tattooing procedure is much more complex compared to brow tinting.

Below is a general picture of what you can expect during a microblading session:

1. Your aesthetician will start by cleansing your brows. This step ensures that the area is clean and free of any oils or makeup.

2. The artist will then use a pencil to draw the desired shape of your brows. This step is crucial as it allows you to approve the shape before the artist begins microblading. 

They will proceed to the next step if you’re happy with the shape. If not, they will make any necessary adjustments until you’re satisfied.

3. A topical numbing cream will be applied to your brows to minimize discomfort. The numbing cream will need to sit for about 20 to 30 minutes before the artist begins microblading.

4. Once the numbing cream has taken effect, the artist will begin microblading your brows. They will use a small blade to make tiny strokes in your skin. This step can take up to two hours to complete.

5. After the procedure is finished, your provider will apply an ointment to your brows. They will also give you aftercare instructions to help your brows heal properly.

It’s important to note that microblading is a semi-permanent procedure. This means that the results will eventually fade over time.

You will also need to get touch-ups every 12 to 18 months to maintain the results.

Aftercare for Microblading

Since microblading may cause more side effects than eyebrow tinting, it’s essential to take extra care of your brows during the healing process.

Here are a few things you should do after getting microblading:

  • Keep the area clean: Blot your brows with a clean cotton pad soaked in saline solution several times a day. It will keep the area clean and prevent infection.
  • Apply ointment: Apply a thin layer of ointment over your brows to keep them moist. Your artist will likely give you an ointment to use at home.
  • Don’t pick or scratch: It’s important not to pick or scratch your brows as they heal. Picking or scratching can cause the ink to fade and may lead to infection.
  • Avoid makeup and sun exposure: Avoid wearing makeup or exposing your brows to sunlight for at least a week.
  • Retinols and exfoliants: Avoid using products that contain retinol, glycolic acid, and other exfoliants.

Following these aftercare instructions will help your brows heal properly and maintain the results of your microblading.

Side Effects and Risks

Microblading gives you a natural look that lasts for several months. However, it comes with more side effects and risks compared to tinting.

Below are some of the most common side effects and risks associated with microblading:


The thin needles used during microblading can cause infection if they’re not sterile.

Since the process involves breaking the skin, there’s also a risk of contracting other diseases, such as hepatitis C, if the needles are reused.

It’s important to make sure you go to a reputable artist who uses sterile needles and disposable gloves.

Allergic Reactions

You’ll also need to consider the possibility of an allergic reaction to the ink. This is more likely if you have sensitive skin.

If you’re concerned about this, you can ask the artist to do a patch test on a small area of your skin before starting the procedure.

Skin Irritation

Microblading can also cause skin irritation, redness, and swelling. These side effects are usually mild and should go away within a few days.

However, in some cases, they may last for several weeks.

If you experience severe side effects, such as pus or fever, you should see a doctor immediately.

Uneven Results

Even if you go to a reputable artist, there’s always the possibility of uneven results. This is more likely if your skin is dry or oily.

You may also have uneven results if the artist doesn’t have much experience.

This is why it’s essential to do your research and find an artist who has experience doing microblading.

Pigment Migration

Pigment migration occurs when pigment spreads beneath the skin’s surface, creating a blurring effect. People with excessively oily skin are more prone to this. Because of this migration, previously crisp lines and strokes may lose their definition.

This is occasionally caused by very deep pigment implanting or the use of a low quality pigment.

Microblading vs Brow Tinting: Is One Better Than the Other?

Eyebrow tinting or microblading? It’s a difficult question because it depends on your individual needs and preferences.

While both cosmetic procedures can enhance the look of your brows, they have advantages and disadvantages.

Eyebrow Tinting Pros:

  • Less expensive
  • Painless
  • Takes 10 to 15 minutes to finish
  • Provides a fuller look
  • More enhanced look for those with lighter hair

Eyebrow Tinting Cons:

  • Brow tinting is temporary compared to microblading
  • Tends to fade quickly
  • Needs to be reapplied every few weeks

Microblading Pros

  • Semi-permanent
  • Creates natural-looking brows
  • Ideal for those with sparse brows
  • Saves time

Microblading Cons

  • More complex and time-consuming process than brow tinting.
  • Can be painful for some
  • More expensive than brow tinting
  • Has more side effects
  • Complex aftercare

Considering these things, it’s up to you to decide which cosmetic procedure is right for you. If you want a more permanent solution, then microblading is the way.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to enhance your brows, then eyebrow tinting might be a better option.

Get the Brows of Your Dreams With Brow Tinting or Microblading

an infographic of the differences of eyebrow microblading, tinting and lamination

So what’s the verdict? Should you go for eyebrow tinting or microblading?

The answer depends on your preferences and what you’re hoping to achieve with your brows.

Microblading is great if you want precise, natural-looking hair that lasts long, but it can be a bit more expensive than tinting.

Conversely, tinting is a more affordable option that will give you thicker, darker eyebrows in just a few minutes.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which treatment is right for you is to book a consultation with an experienced technician and see what they recommend based on your individual needs and goals.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the differences between eyebrow tinting and microblading. Remember to go back and read this blog post before making your final decision! 

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Mary Lois Jhie-an Garchitorena

    A seasoned beauty expert and permanent makeup artist with a rich educational background from top international academies, including Yumi Lashes and PhiAcademy. Her career began in 2017 out of a passion for enhancing natural beauty, leading her to master various aesthetic treatments and PMU. Mary has learned from grand masters like Dovile Zilinskaite and Anastasia Gilmanova, ensuring her clients receive unparalleled service. Despite challenges, she continues to thrive as a home-based artist, committed to delivering excellence and innovation in beauty aesthetics.

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