What is Feathering?
"Eyebrow feathering imitates the appearance of real eyebrow hairs," explains Campbell. "It is often referred to as ‘hair-strokes’. The imitation of tiny fine lines can be created either by a hand held tool with several tiny needles (microblading) or with a cosmetic tattoo machine with a single needle (nano brows)."
What is Microblading?
"Microblading involves making tiny scratches in the dermal layer by gliding needles over the skin making thin tracks where pigment is then deposited," says Campbell.
What is Powdering or Powderfill?
"Powderfill or solid fill technique is also referred to as block method," says Danika. "It's is applied by machine and is beneficial for mature clients as the pigment usually lasts longer."
"It can be made to look very natural and soft when done correctly. "Powderfill eyebrows have greater definition and longevity than hair-strokes [aka feathering]," says Danika.
What is 3D and 4D eyebrow tattooing?
"Hand held tools can be used to create a mist or powdered effect by attaching different shaped needles," says Campbell. "By combining both hair-strokes and shading it can create a more defined and contoured eyebrow, 3d or 4d brow."
In other words, 3D and 4D is when a variety of techniques are used to create the desired effect.
How long do eyebrow tattoos last?
"The duration of a semi-permanent eyebrow treatment varies from client to client depending on a number of factors such as metabolism, skin type, sun exposure and chemical exposure," says Campbell.
Campbell recommends her clients return for a refresh once a year to keep the colour and shape defined. "Generally it will take 18 months to three years for the eyebrow treatment to leave the skin completely."
How much do eyebrow tattoos cost?
Eyebrow tattoo prices vary but you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of $500-$700 for eyebrow feathering and up to $1200 for microblading. Follow up sessions (about 6 weeks later) are required to avoid fading and cost around $99.
Is it painful?
That depends who you ask. Kylie Isherwood, 44, from Bella Vista, NSW felt it was bearable until about halfway through which is when the numbing cream started to wear off. "I felt a bit queasy but I put up with it because I knew I'd have great eyebrows at the end."
The general consensus however is that it's not too bad. "It's no worse than plucking," says Campbell.
"I have had clients sleep through this procedure," says Danika, which indicates it can actually be quite relaxing for some.
What to expect during the process
Having an eyebrow treatment takes time and before the permanent ink is applied the technician will draw outlines on your face which she (or he) will follow.
"The drafting phase is where the client’s brow design and shape is measured and drawn up on the skin before tattooing begins," explains Campbell. "If perfected this should eliminate any mistakes. If a hair stroke happens to go amiss there is a lifting solution we can use to lift out the colour straight away."
Eyebrow tattoo aftercare and recovery time
"After care is very important and must be followed diligently to maximise pigment retention," advises Campbell. "We call this a dry healing phase [which takes about] 7 to 10 days."
You must keep your eyebrows away from water and out of the sun. Washing your face with a facecloth will help to keep the tattoo dry. Many salons advise you use an antiseptic cream such as Bepathen "to prevent infection and keep brows from drying-out or cracking."
Are there any risks?
According to Campbell, "infections will not occur if aftercare is followed and treatment is received in a licensed clinic.
"Allergic reactions to pigments are reasonably rare," adds Danika. The reason? There are two types of colours: organic and inorganic and both are fairly safe.
"Organic pigment comes from fruit, vegetable or plant dyes," says Danika. "Inorganic pigments are [made from] titanium and iron oxide. Iron oxide has been shown to be the safest pigment if you have allergies to fruit and vegetable based products."
What can you do if it goes wrong?
The best way to avoid a bad eyebrow tattoo is to check out as many technicians as you can before you book. Eyebrow tattoos are semi-permanent so you want to be as sure as possible that you're going to like the result.
"We see so many clients approaching us for help to correct their previous eyebrow treatments from other artists that they were not happy with,' says Campbell. "It is much harder to correct previous work. Colour and unflattering shapes pose problems."
Most salons offer tattoo lifting or lightening on work you've had done elsewhere but you really want to avoid being that person so do your research and don't be afraid to be picky.