The difference between semi permanent makeup and microblading

The main difference between Semi permanent makeup and Microblading are the methods used to implant pigment into the dermal layer of the skin. Semi-permanent makeup is also known as permanent makeup and micropigmentation. There is very conflicting information around the method of microblading, which is also sometimes incorrect and can be very confusing for clients to choose the correct treatment that is most suitable for them.  

At DC Micro we choose to focus our expertise in Micropigmentation only. Generally, most technicians will have a preferred method of cosmetic tattooing however this article has been created to show an unbiased and factual opinion on both methods. For reference the rest of this article I will refer to Micropigmentation as the digital method and the hand tool method as microblading.


Micropigmentation is performed using a digital machine, dermograph (handpiece) and disposable needle. The machine works in a similar way to a sowing machine works, the up and down motion gently pierces the skin and implants the pigment through the small piercing of the skin. Digital machines for semi-permanent makeup differ from that of traditional tattoo machines due to the lower frequency of power they use. The lower power ensures that the pigment can be implanted more superficial in the skin to ensure a less permanent result.  

Microblading is performed by the use of a disposable handheld tool which has the needle attached. The depth is greatly decided by the technician’s pressure and hand movement. Microblading is performed by slicing the skin which are similar to small paper cuts. Pigment is then placed over the paper cut and falls into the incision created. The pigment is generally implanted a lot closer to the surface of the skin than the digital method therefore results don’t tend to last as long. 


The longevity of pigment is greatly determined by several factors 

  • Method used
  • Skin Type 
  • Lifestyle  
  • Medications 
  • Medical conditions 
  • External factors 

Everybody will hold pigment differently therefore the longevity will differ from person to person regardless of which method is used 

Micropigmentation once healed, it is recommended for clients to have top ups annually to keep up with the pigment fading, however some clients may need top ups at the six-month stage and similarly it may be 18-24 months 

Microblading is generally placed more superficially in the skin therefore tends to fade a lot quicker than micropigmentation, because of this, top ups will be needed more regularly. Generally top ups will be needed every 6 months; however, it must be noted that microblading should only be performed just 4 times in a lifetime, this is due to the scar tissue that can build due to the microblading procedure 

Skin Types 

As mentioned above, skin type is a factor in the longevity of pigment in the skin, however it is also a determining factor in how well the healed results look and also which techniques can be performed with either method 

Micropigmentation is suitable for all skin types however hair stroke eyebrows cannot be performed on oily skin types. We implant pigment in the dermal layer of the skin, within this layer there is also sebaceous glands (oil production glands) because of this, oil can mix with the pigment causing a blurring effect once healed. The result of the hair stroke technique on oily skin will be blurred hair strokes rather than thin crisp hair like strokes. However due to the versatility of the digital machine, rather than turn a client away it is possible to still offer your clients a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment, different techniques will be used such as a powder brow which heals with amazing results for oily skin types. It is also a misconception that hair stoke eyebrows cannot be performed using a digital machine, this is false. Hair stokes can be performed by digital machine for all skin types other than oily skin 

Microblading is also not suitable for oily skin types. Because of how microblading is performed and is more invasive on the skin it is only possible to create hair strokes with this method. As we learnt above hair strokes are not suitable for oily skin types which means that not all clients are candidates for microblading. If you’re considering microblading and you have oily skin the micropigmentation is a more suitable method of choice for you.


Everybody has different pain thresholds therefore each person will experience the treatment differently. During any procedure with either micropigmentation or microblading a topical anaesthetic is used to numb the skin to ensure the client is comfortable throughout the whole procedure.  

Micropigmentation is a less invasive treatment than microblading therefore is generally the most comfortable treatment of the two. Clients generally experience zero pain and will feel a slight vibration on the skin which is produced by the machine. 

Microblading is performed by slicing the skin, because of this clients can experience more pain. The motion of the microblade through the skin means that clients can feel a dragging motion and can also hear crunching or scratching sound. Because of these sensations and noises, it can make it a little more difficult for the client to relax during the treatment. 


Apart from everything mentioned above in this article there are some similarities between micropigmentation and microblading, such as 

  • All treatments will need a top up within 4-6 weeks 
  • Pigments are used rather than inks 
  • Both treatments will fade over time 

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