What Are The Different Types of Microblading?

Microblading has exploded in popularity over the last decade. Everyone and their friend have tried it or know someone who’s had it done. The appeal of microblading is obvious- it’s a great way to create a new, long-lasting look.

Instead of spending an hour in front of your vanity each morning with an eyebrow pencil, you can walk out the door feeling confident and cute. Some types of microblading last longer than others, but they all last a lot longer than an eyebrow pencil!

Microblading became popular in the US and Europe around 2010, and since then the field has expanded to include new techniques. There’s also microshading, combo, and ombre brows for you to choose from.

Each technique is going to create a unique look, and they’re not all suitable for every skin type. Don’t worry, because we’re going to walk you through each so you can confidently choose the right technique for you!

Types of Microblading


This is the classic technique that everyone thinks of when they hear about microblading. With this technique, a hand-held microblading tool uses a row of tiny needles to create razor thin lines in the skin.

Your technician will tattoo strokes along your brow line with their microblading tool to create full and natural looking eyebrows. You can shape your eyebrows at a slant or U-shape with this technique.

Traditional microblading is perfect for people who want to fill in their brows without creating too bold of a look. Microblading creates natural hair-like strokes along your brow to fill in sparse areas and help create an even shape.


There are up and downsides to everything in life, including microblading techniques. In this case, some pros are:

  • Looks natural
  • Lasts 1-3 years
  • More cost-effective than other types

Since microblading mimics natural eyebrow hair, it’s definitely the most natural looking option available. It lasts for quite a while, up to 3 years for some people. Of course, the cost is going to be a consideration for most people, and microblading tends to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum.


Of course, there are downsides to going with the original microblading technique. Here are the downsides you should keep in mind when considering microblading:

  • Not good for people with oily skin
  • Allergic reactions are possible
  • Only semi-permanent and most technicians recommend getting a touch up every year


You can’t really compare something without looking at the cost. In today’s world, finding the best bang for your buck is a must. Most cosmetic alterations are pricey and microblading is no exception.

You can expect this technique to cost between $400-$600 per session. That could amount to a $400-$600 expense once a year if you take your technician’s advice and get annual touch-ups.


Microshading is considered a gentler alternative to microblading. Rather than tattooing in strokes to resemble actual hairs, microshading uses a small pin-point needle to shade in the sparse areas of your brow.

This will give your brows an effect similar to using a brow pencil or shadow. It’s generally a less painful procedure than microblading, though a little pain is to be expected whenever tattooing is involved.

Microshading is the perfect option for someone with sensitive or oily skin. This technique will give your brows a powdered makeup look and can be done very bold or more reserved. If you have very sparse or over-plucked brows, then microshading can help fill them out and create a good shape.


Let’s get into the upsides of using microshading versus another type of microblading. Generally, the pros of this method are:

  • Less painful
  • Easier on sensitive skin types
  • Can last for 1-3 years

If you have sensitive or oily skin, then microshading might be your best option. Since it’s gentler on your skin, it’s also less painful.


Some of the downsides to microshading are similar to other forms of microblading, but here are the cons specific to this technique:

  • Less natural looking
  • More costly than other techniques
  • Starts out very bold (the color fades to its intended shade within 30 days)


Microshading can be a more expensive procedure depending on where you live. In some smaller cities, it may only cost $500 per session. However, in bigger cities like NYC or LA, a single session could run you as much as $2,000.

If you’re planning on getting this procedure done more than once and getting touch-ups, then the price might be a hurdle.


The combo technique, sometimes referred to as Blade & Shade, combines the first two techniques we discussed. With this technique, your technician will microblade along your brow line to create full and natural looking eyebrow hairs.

Then, your technician will go over your eyebrows and microshade any sparse areas. This is a great technique because it allows for the fullest coverage possible, and combing these two methods helps create a more natural look.

The combo technique is perfect for someone who’s looking for a great middle ground between the all-natural and makeup look. Your brows will look denser and bolder after a combo session, and you can always add the ombre technique along with the combo!


There are plenty of benefits to going with the combo technique, and here’s a quick list of them:

  • Full coverage
  • Natural look
  • Good choice for people with oily or sensitive skin
  • Lasts 1-3 years

The combo technique is the definition of full coverage. You’ll get a nice, natural look with a hint of powdered make up. This is a great way for people with sensitive or oily skin to get that full coverage, natural look without going with traditional microblading.


Despite all the many positives of combo microblading, there are a few downsides. These are the cons of this technique:

  • Sessions take longer than other techniques
  • May need a touch up after 6-8 weeks
  • Some people consider this method more painful than just microblading or microshading


All forms of microblading are a little costly, and the combo technique is no exception. Most technicians will charge between $500-$800 per session. This largely depends on the area you live in, but this price range represents a national average.

Ombre Brows

Ombre brows are for those who want a bolder Instagram-perfect look. This technique involves using a machine to create tiny pin-point dots of color along and across your eyebrows. With this technique, you’ll have a two-toned effect where the color darkens towards the tail of the eyebrows.

This technique is great for various skin types and can be done in addition to microblading or microshading. You can expect ombre brows to last for 1-3 years, and touch-ups should be done once every 6 or 8 months.

Many people get the ombre brows done in addition to the combo look because it creates such a bold look, but you don’t have to. You can do ombre brows without the combo technique and they’ll still come out dark, tense, and two-toned.


There are plenty of benefits to going with the ombre brow technique. Let’s dive right into them:

  • Fashion forward look
  • Two-toned effect
  • Full coverage

Ombre brows are a high fashion move. Your brows will be bold and beautiful with this technique. So, if you’re looking to get those Instagram-perfect brows, this is the perfect technique for you!


You can’t truly compare techniques of microblading without looking at the cons of each. Here are some of the cons of getting ombre brows:

  • Can be more painful since it utilizes a handheld tool and machine
  • Creates a very bold look that might not agree with everyone’s personal style


If you want to head to your local salon and do an ombre brow session, you’re looking at a cost between $500-$1,000. The price will depend on where you live, so if you’re in a major city, you can expect the cost to be closer to $1,000.

Which Type of Microblading is Best?

In this guide, we’ve taken a look at microblading, microshading, combo, and ombre brows. Each technique creates a different look, and each has its own pros and cons. However, there is one technique that’s a perfect one-size-fits-all option.

The best type of microblading is the combo technique. With the combo technique, you get full coverage, well-pigmented brows that look natural with a hint of a make up effect.

You can also add an ombre effect when getting your brows done with the combo technique, which is perfect for clients who want a bolder and more dramatic look. The combo technique is great for various skin types, though those with sensitive or oily skin may require more touchups than others.

The next time you go to get your eyebrows done, give some serious thought to going with the combo technique! You’ll walk out with natural looking, full coverage brows that can last you for up to 3 years.

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