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The Lowdown on Semi Permanent Eyebrows

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

A lot of you have been asking about semi-permanent brows. The ones I do in the salon are Phibrows, Magic shading and Combination brows. There is a ton on info out there so I've put together a comprehensive version where all your questions will be answered:

I will explain:

  • What the different treatments are called.

  • How they each work

  • How to look after them.

  • Who suits what

  • Pre and aftercare instructions.

  • patch testing and consultation

  • expectations


Lets talk Phibrows first. This is the most common as it the most realistic which gives the illusion of real like hairs. The results of Phibrows is perfectly natural looking brows. However, depending on skin type this may not suit you. if you have oily skin, Phibrows can become blurred when healed.

Other names include microstroking, micropigmentation, eyebrow feathering, eyebrow embroidery and 3D brows.

The Phibrows tool looks like a blade, but is actually full of tiny little needles that make small cuts in your skin. The cuts looks a lot like actual strands of hair, which help you create fuller and more natural-looking brows The blade is dipped into pigment and then used to make a fine cut in the skin. This is where the pigment sits.

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Magic Shading

Shading is the best treatment for individuals who have oily skin and if you are a gym bunny. Other names for Shading are Ombre Brows. This treatment fills in sparse areas of the brow.

What's the difference between microblading and shading you ask? Whilst microblading involves creating hair like strokes, shading uses a machine to create pixelated dots that creates a brow that looks much like tint or henna.

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Combination brows

Combo brows is a combination of two forms of semi-permanent techniques: microblading and powder brows (shading). Microblading hair-strokes are placed with a manual tool around the border of the brow to give the brow a natural look. This technique is great for those who have sparse eyebrows, little to no hair, or those who simply want to add definition to their eyebrows and arch. Combo Brows allow us to create an illusion of eyebrows hairs and soft powder that resembles a natural makeup look. The powder effect is applied to the body of the brow using a permanent makeup device to give the brow its fullness.

Combo brows are also known as hybrid brows

Combo brows are a great solution for covering up an old tattoo brow. Microblading only is not a good choice for covering an old brow as it can look blurry.

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THE PROCESS with all the semi-permanent eyebrow treatments:

There are two sessions involved with a complimentary third session.

Session one can take approximately 3 hours. This is where the shape and colour is determined and the treatment is carried out. If you were to leave your brows after session one, they would still look ok but you would not see the full benefit of your brows.

4 weeks later you will come in for session two, this is your touch up, which will take approximately 2 hours. Here we fill out the areas of the brow that are faded. During your touch up, I will fill in missing hairs, add or make hairs longer or just achieve a darker colour.

The third is complimentary and takes about half an hour 3 weeks later whereby I check your brows to see how your brows have healed and all is good.

Things to expect during the healing:

  • It takes about 7 to 10 days to heal.

  • it is normal for the eyebrows to look patchy whilst healing.

  • If the brows have disappeared don't be alarmed as it takes 4 weeks for the pigment to resurface to the skin.

  • When you first get them done, they may seem big and dark. Keep in mind that the pigment will reduce 2 shades lighter and it will also reduce in size.

Your new eyebrows will go through several phases during the healing cycle. True reflection of healed colour can only be assessed 3-4 weeks after treatment. Touch-ups and/or correction of the shape/design is recommended at least 4 weeks after initial treatment. It will go from too dark, to too light, to just right! Immediately after the procedure, the pigment will appear very sharp and dark. This is because the pigment is still seating on top of your skin and has not yet settled in completely. The colour of the pigment will soften gradually (do not be alarmed if you see some pigment on the cotton swab as this is excess pigment and/or body fluid that is naturally exiting your skin). Once the healing of the skin starts taking place it will look like dandruff flakes or dry skin. This might give you the impression that the colour pigment is fading too quickly. However, this is just superficial colour and dry skin being naturally removed from your eyebrows. Your eyebrows will be the lightest tones during days 5-12 because the colour is absorbed in the deeper layers of the skin. Later skin cells push it back to the upper layers. Once the healing is completed, you will enjoy a pair of beautiful, new, natural looking eyebrows.

After the treatment is complete I have done my job, 70% of the work is now on you. Follow strict after care instructions I give as this will determine the healing. The instructions given will depend on the type of skin you have.


Microblading has improved in pigment and technique in the last 5 years. You remember the one ones that looked like sharpie brows? Well that is no more. Those brows were tattoo brows which go deep into the third layer of the skin (dermis). Microblading now just goes under the surface of the skin given it that natural look. When these fade, they will just disappear, hence why they are called semi permanent.

Are there any pre-existing conditions that interfere when considering semi-permanent brows?

  • • Pregnancy • Breastfeeding (treatment is possible, though anaesthetic will not be possible) • On keloids or if you have tendency to keloid, birthmarks or moles. • Diabetic if the person is not under medical supervision. • Serious diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, autoimmune disorders (doctor's note is required) • Circulatory disorders (doctor's note is required) • Any bleeding disorders (doctor's note is required) • If any skin diseases symptoms or irritation appears on the area. • You've recently had Botox or Disport treatment (must wait 2 months) • Old PMU • You have a broken capillary in the eyebrows area • If you have a sunburn. • After waxing (must wait 3 days) • After chemical peels (must wait two weeks

  • Have healing disorders, on blood thinners, uncontrolled high blood pressure or had mitral valve Disorder.

  • Those on any skin medication such as Roaccutane, steroids which thin and oversensitive the skin.

  • AHA’s (lactic, glycolic, citric, retinoic and tartaric acids) or any OTC creams and lotions for tone correcting, anti-aging, exfoliating, fading can discolor your permanent makeup.

  • Coumadin: Amount of bleeding and response to topical epinephrine will determine coverage per appointment. If excessive bleeding occurs, extra appointments may be necessary for desired outcome or procedure may not be effective.

  • Cancers/Chemotherapy: Doctor’s clearance may be necessary.

  • Juvederm or other “fillers” near your eyebrows in a past 4 weeks.

  • Shingles (varicella): If you have shingles on your face, wait several months to get permanent makeup.

  • Eyelift or blepharoplasty: Wait about 3 months.

  • Pinkeye: As soon as their infection has cleared, medication completed.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my service?

If you have an ideal shape or colour in mind, bring those reference photos with you to your appointment. You may also fill in your eyebrows as you normally would to share your desired outcome. If you regularly get your eyebrows waxed or threaded, please do so 72 hours before your service.

• Do not drink coffee, alcohol or energizing drinks on the day of treatment. • Do not take Aspirin, Niacin, Vitamin E or Ibuprofen 72 hours before treatment. • Do not take omega3 (fish oil) 1 week before treatment. • Do not tan or have intense sun exposure 3 days before treatment. It is highly advised that you avoid sun and tanning bed exposure for 30 days before and after your treatment. If you show up for your appointment with a recent tan or sunburn, you will be asked to reschedule resulting in loss of deposit. Excessive sun exposure before and/or after your treatment may cause the eyebrows to fade into a lighter ashy hue. • No chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser or any other intense treatments 2 weeks before treatment. Shower and fix your hair as you need to take extra care not to get your brows wet for several days. • Skin should be healthy, non-irritated, and blemish-free. I cannot do the treatment over spots or Moles.

A Typical Semi-permanent brow treatment…

Step 1.... Before any treatment a patch test is carried out to determine whether you are suitable for the procedure. When all is ok, you can commence treatment after 48 hours. A consultation will take place where we discuss what your preferences are, expectations and any questions you may have. Step 2.... At your appointment your brows are shaped according to your facial features and structure. You will then determine whether or not you like the shape and if it needs to be tweeked to the way you like it, it will be done at this stage. It will be your brows the way you like them. This can be a lengthy process as I will have you laying down and upright to make sure your brows work with your facial expressions and that you are satisfied with the thickness, length, shape and overall look of your brows.

Step 3.... Here we choose the colour of your brows and begin the process.

For the Phibrows: Initial strokes are placed during the first pass, then a numbing cream is applied to reduce any discomfort. Pigment is worked into each stroke to define the brow. We keep filling in the stroke until we get the desired colour. We then check for any adjustments you would like to make. A pigment mask is then applied to set into the strokes made and then the area is cleaned. For the Magic Shading

Numbing cream is applied after we draw your shape. Pigment is worked into machine which softly applies the shading to your skin until we get the perfect shade.

Step 4...

When the service is complete, I will apply healing balm. You will continue to use this balm with the aftercare that is given.

For clients who are sensitive I would advise to get lanolin cream from the link as this heals the brows without drying them.

I cannot guarantee your end result! Please read below. Do you have any of the following… Very oily skin? Enlarged pores on your forehead/face or acne-prone skin? Skin that's very sensitive or reactive? Eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or melasma? Really thick, dark, coarse eyebrow hair? If you answered yes to any of these – unfortunately, microblading will not last very long on your skin, and details may fade faster. Please keep this in mind when deciding to get microbladed. You may need additional appointments and/or more frequent touch-ups. A shaded brow may last longer and give better results, but results cannot be guaranteed! Touching up other artists work

This can only be done depending on what residue is left.

If the pigment is too dark or heavy I would advise removal.

Top ups are only for my previous clients. If you do require a top up with other artists work, I cannot guarantee the best results. Most need to be colour corrected as different pigments and styles are used.


DAY OF TREATMENT The best thing to do is to not do too much! Right after the treatment – Be Gentle, Try not to touch them with your hands 1 hour After Treatment Gently wipe your brow with the special wipe I give you to remove all the lymph and previously applied balm. Apply a very thin layer of after care with the end of the tool i give you, avoid using your fingers. You can buy more aftercare here. For the rest of the day of treatment ​ Repeat the above process 3-5 times a day to keep the wound clean and avoid scab formation. After the last clean of the day, apply the Phi Patch which will protect your brows when you are asleep. FIRST SEVEN DAYS ​ ​It is really simple, No Water, No sweat, No Sun for 7 days!

  • Avoid soaking or wetting your eyebrows in the shower and when washing your face.

  • Apply a very thin layer of tattoo healing balm, avoid using your fingers.

  • Repeat the above process 3-5 times a day to keep the wound clean and avoid scab formation.

  • Gently clean your brows with a damp cotton pad and apply the tattoo healing balm.

  • When they start to show signs of scabbing/flaking - this usually occurs at day 7, clean with a damp cotton pad and apply healing balm 2 times a day (morning and evening)

  • Continue this process until completely healed!

  • Aside from the wiping please don’t get them too wet! Always have dry towels to hand in the shower or bath to dry them if they accidentally get wet. Sweating is an absolute no-no, you are simply pushing the pigment out of your skin!

What to expect whilst your brows are healing

Day 1 and 2 Your brows are too dark and they look like a block of pigment. Also, redness is present and they might be swollen. You might not be satisfied, but be prepared for this. You will notice some lymph coming out of your freshly tattooed eyebrows. Day 3 The first thing you will notice is scabbing. After the ombre powder brows treatment, scabs fall off in one big or a few big pieces. Day 4 – 10 This period is the most difficult to overcome, Scabs keep falling off, leaving your brows in patches. Your brows are itchy but under no circumstances should you scratch or touch them. Carry on with the aftercare routine and be patent. Day 10 – 14 Your brows look too light and you must think that the whole process has been unsuccessful. Scabs are not that common anymore. The healing period is almost over. Day 14 – 21 Your brows are coming back! They are taking their final shape and look much better. However, they might still look a little bit patchy and uneven. Day 21 – 30 Your brows are completely healed. Now it’s time to book a touch-up appointment to correct any possible patches and flaw

THINGS TO AVOID DURING THE HEALING​ PROCESS First Seven Days Do Not – apply makeup or cosmetics to your brows for 7-10 days Do Not – pick your scabs, you will pull the pigment out. Do not pick, scratch or peel the healing area Do not apply any make-up or products on eyebrows Avoid sleeping on the face Avoid direct sun exposure Avoid working out to prevent sweating * A sweat balm and SPF for healing brows can be purchased to help prevent colour loss Avoid water on eyebrows during showering for at least 7 days or until healed Avoid facial massage, facial steaming, and sauna

Make sure to avoid ALL of the following: • Increased sweating, practicing sports, swimming, hot sauna, hot bath or jacuzzi, sun tanning or salon tanning. • Any laser or chemical treatments or peelings, and/or any creams containing Retin-A or Glycol Acid on the face or neck. • Picking, peeling or scratching of the micro pigmented area in order to avoid scarring of the area or removal of the pigment. • Performing tasks related to heavy household cleaning such as garage or basement cleaning where there is a lot of airborne debris. • Drinking alcohol in excess as it may lead to slow healing of wounds. • Driving in open air vehicles such as convertibles, boats, bicycles or motorcycles. • Touching of the eyebrow area except for when rinsing and applying the post-care cream with a cotton swab. Before showering apply a layer of Skin Candy ointment to protect your eyebrows from moisture. During the shower keep your face away from the shower head. Itching and flaking may appear during the first seven days post microblading procedure, However, experience has shown that by following these aftercare instructions these symptoms may quickly disappear. • Once completely healed, always apply a layer of sunscreen SPF 30 on your eyebrows when exposed to the sun. Sun exposure might cause the colour pigment to fade away more quickly.

In The Next 30 Days Avoid sunbathing, solarium, light therapies, chemical peelings, fruit acids, microdermabrasion, and creams that contain regeneration factors. Always avoid laser treatments over the treated area ( Laser, IPL), because they can destroy the pigment and cause burns. The use of antibiotics and hormonal therapy can lead to faster pigment fading.

Some other questions you may have....

How long do semi-permanent brows last?

Depending on your skin type and care, the pigment will fade slowly over 6-18 months. Use The Potion for longer lasting results.

Is it painful?

The service can be a little uncomfortable for those who are more sensitive. However, there is an anaesthetic applied during to keep this to a minimum to where it is completely tolerable. If you like you can apply your own numbing cream . However, this may result in your brows not lasting.

What can affect the semi-permanent brows from healing?

There are various factors that affect the speed and pace of the healing process

  • Skin type – certain skin type heals faster and the pigment sets in perfectly

  • Age

  • Diet

  • Smoking – slows down the healing process

  • Physical activity – if you sweat a lot, it will negatively affect the healing process

  • Exposure to the sunlight – avoid direct exposure to the sun

What do I need to know about scabbing?

Scabbing is quite normal and very common after this treatment. Most of the people experience it. However, heavy scabbing can be worrying and you should contact me or a dermatologist in case it happens to you.

Scabs don’t appear immediately after the treatment. You can expect them after 3-5 days, and they can last up to two weeks.

It is important not to touch them because you can seriously damage your eyebrows and slow down the healing process.

Do not try to stop scabbing. What you can do is gently “wash” your brows in the morning and in the evening with a cotton pad and a little bit of sterile water. If your artist recommends it, you can use an ointment to treat the area and stimulate the scabs to fall off faster.

How Do I Treat My Eyebrows Once the Healing Period is Over?

Once the healing period is over and your semi-permanent brows have taken the final look, you can be more relaxed. Now you can wash your face normally, apply makeup, sleep on your face, work out or do whatever you want.

If you want to make them look good longer, book regular touch-ups. Also, avoid using face products that contain retinol, glycolic or lactic acids because they speed up fading.

How Long After the Brow Treatment Can I Start Wearing Makeup?

During the healing period, the area is sensitive and prone to infections. Therefore, avoid applying any makeup, especially close to the treated area, because some of it might reach the area and cause infections. You can continue your normal daily routine after the healing period is over.

Do I Need Touch Ups and How Often?

Other touch-ups are optional. If you want your brows to last longer, frequent touch-ups are required. The frequency depends on how quickly the colour fades. You should book an appointment as soon as you notice the colour is disappearing. If you let it fade too much, you might need to complete the entire treatment. It will cost you more and it is more painful to do everything all over again.

Are There Any Risks and Side Effects to the Combo Brows Treatment?

Some swelling and redness are normal after the treatment. Don’t touch the scabs during the healing period or you risk scarring as well as ruining the treatment.

Allergic reactions can be prevented with the patch test you should do before the treatment. Infections are very rare, and if you experience swelling, itchiness and redness which are unusual and don’t look normal, contact your artist and dermatologist.

Can I remove semi-permanent brows?

Currently, there are three methods for successful brow tattoo removal:

  • Laser removal

  • Saline removal

  • Glycolic acid removal

I provide saline solution removal which is the most natural form of removal.

I hope this explained in detail the ins and outs about semi-permanent treatments. If there are any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

My aim is to give you the brows you will love forever.

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