Drawing on your brows every day takes 10 minutes that you’d probably rather spend doing something else. You’ve no doubt heard of microblading, the semi-permanent solution to sparse brows that creates the illusion of hairs on your skin. But have you heard of powder brows? Powder brows, also known as ombre brows or ombre powder brows, is a slightly newer semi-permanent brow technique that creates a soft, powdered look that subtly fills in your brow.
Powder brows is great for people who already have full brows but just want a little extra definition without the hassle of filling in the brows every day. It’s also the preferred technique for people with oily skin, as it typically lasts much longer than microblading.
We spoke to our go-to brows experts, BROWZ, aka Dubai’s hottest semi-permanent Makeup, Brow, and Lash salon to get the full scoop on powder brows. Naturally, we had to try it out to give you the full scoop, and we were lucky enough to have the extremely talented permanent makeup artist, Chloe Walsh, take us through the process. From how long powder brows last, who they work for, and the step-by-step technique and healing process, here’s everything you need to know about powder brows, and how they compare to microblading.
The Difference Between Microblading and Powder Brows
“Microblading uses a handheld tool to create natural hair strokes throughout the brows to fill in any gaps you may have,” which Chloe tells us creates a ‘fluffy’ brow look. Alternatively, “Powder brows uses a digital machine, which allows soft pixels of color to be layered onto the brows to create the perfect shape, which results in more of a ‘velvet’ soft eyebrow powder look.”
Ombre Powder Brows Before and After:
How long do powder brows last?
Chloe tells us powder brows typically last for 12 to 18 months, and that they’re great for people who have oily skin because the pigment lasts longer, whereas the microblading technique might fade more quickly. She also reminds us that all of this is dependent on your lifestyle and skin and that as well as this working well for oily skin types, it’s also a great option for “mature clients and those who play sports and love to be active.”
Who would you recommend powder brows to?
“Honestly, anyone and everyone! I love the powder brow result, I actually have this technique myself because I like the softly powdered result on my brows.”
Can you combine microblading and powder brows?
According to Chloe, it’s a really popular technique; “This is classed as a “hybrid” brow or “combination” brow where you combine both microblading and powder brow techniques. The results look beautiful when hair strokes are at the front of the brow and the powder blush is going through the rest of the brows.”
If you have full brows with some sparse patches, you can have hair-like strokes added to these areas using the microblading technique, for a more natural, 3D finish.
Powder Brows: The Process
First things first, apply numbing cream. Then discuss with your brow artist the type of look you want to achieve and your brow goals.
Step 1. Brow mapping: Chloe tells us that she prefers to draw freehand and use the natural brow as her guide, but for powder brows, she starts by mapping out the brows with a piece of thread and measuring calipers. Chloe explains, “I find the centerline of the forehead, in the middle of the brows, then find the line of the height of the brows to make sure they are the same height top and bottom. I will then find the tail of the brow in line with the corner of the eye, and the highest point of the brow, then I copy the exact measurements on the other side of the brow and draw in the shape using these measurements. This technique achieves as much symmetry in the brows as possible.”
Step 2. Refining the brow: Once the mapping is done, Chloe works with us to make any changes that we want to make to balance the brows and to fit our own personal style. Next, Chloe tweezes the brows where necessary to fit the shape, then shaves away fine hairs above and below the brow (waxing would sensitize the skin too much), so she has a blank canvas to work on.
Step 3. Choosing the color: Chloe works with us to choose a color c there are lots of options – and we decide on a soft brunette shade, which she assures us will complement our skin tone and hair color.
Step 4: Filling in the brows: With the shape defined, Chloe starts to fill in the brows using the machine, which scratches pigment into the upper layers of the skin. To get the ombre brow look – where the front of the brow is lighter than the rest of the brow – Chloe distributes tiny pixels of color more sparsely at the front of the brow, which makes it look a little lighter and gives a more natural finish. Chloe repeats this process a few times to build up the color, layering pigment on top in between each layer.
Step 5. Hair strokes: Once the color is laid down, Chloe uses a microblading blade to create hair-like strokes at the front of the brow.
We found the entire process to be completely pain-free, literally, we could barely even feel a scratch.
Here’s what our brows looked like with no makeup, and four weeks after our first powder brows session:
Powder Brows Healing Process and Aftercare
After the first session, you might be a bit surprised as the brows will look thicker and darker than the final result will be. The color you can see immediately after your appointment will become around 50% lighter over the next four weeks.
For the first 48-hours, Chloe advises us to avoid getting our brows wet, then after 48 hours, we’re advised to keep the brows moist with an ointment – we’re given the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, $24. Chloe also says to steer clear of the sun, swimming pools, and avoid exercising for at least three to five days after the session.
After around three to four days, our brows start to scab and flake. Whatever you do, don’t pick your brows and allow the scabs to fall off naturally. It’s not cute, but it’s not that noticeable either.
The scabbing process is pretty much over about one week post-appointment, and at this point, the brows look lighter than the final result will be. For the next couple of weeks, it may seem like the pigment has disappeared, but this is just the skin healing.
After around four weeks, the pigment starts to become more visible again and you’ll notice that the brows appear more defined.
After four to six weeks, if you’re happy with the look, you don’t need to do a top-up. Chloe says, “I recommend to only get a retouch if really needed for powder brows, because you get an amazing result after one session. If you add more pigment, the brows will begin to look like you have actual makeup on, rather than a natural soft haze of color.”
We found that our brows looked amazing after just one session, and they looked really natural with no makeup. For example, Chloe told us, “I only ever have one session myself and I love this result, but of course if you feel you need a little retouch we will advise to do it after four weeks and just to do a small retouch where needed.”
If you typically prefer a fuller brow, then you may want to intensify the brows with powder when you do your makeup, in which case, you might find you would prefer to have a top-up after four to six weeks so that you won’t need to add makeup yourself.
Powder Brows Vs. Microblading
Powder brows tend to last a little longer on the skin, which is why they’re recommended for people with oily skin, as microblading can last as little as six to 10 months for some people, depending on their skin. While microblading no doubt gives a more natural look, we have found that some hair-like strokes actually start to fade and become less defined after around four to six months on some people, which ultimately gives more of a powder brow finish anyway, as the hairs are no longer defined.
If you already have full brows but are tired of filling them in yourself, we definitely recommend powder brows, which give a gorgeous natural finish that simply helps to define your brow. The other benefit is, even if you add makeup to them on occasion to make them darker, you have the shape already there to draw on top of, which makes the process of doing your brows so much faster and easier.
If you want to find out more about the process, hit up Chloe or Browz on Instagram. P.S. Chloe will be in the UK shortly (she’ll be based in West Yorkshire and London), and she’ll also travel back to Dubai for appointments regularly! What do you guys think of ombre powder brows, would you try them?
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Visiting therapist Bronagh divides her time between the UAE and Northern Ireland. Her expertise in HD Brows and Brow Lamination (Brow Lift) makes her a perfect fit for us.
Highlights and successes of her full and varied portfolio include being shortlisted to go to the MTV EMAs for an HD Brow competition, working at Boohoo HQ In Manchester, a fully trained HD pro stylist, a photoshoot with make-up queen Lucy Marie, and qualified brow educator.
Before her brow passion came calling, Bronagh put her Education degree to good use, employed in a secondary school supporting children with additional needs.
Bronagh champions enhancing and improving your natural effect, so no drastic brow changes. Her go-to is a pro pencil and brow glue to achieve a textured and fluffy stylish look.
With celebrities amongst her client book Rebecca is a sought-after brow artist. A veteran in Semi Permanent Makeup, defining the perfect arch comes as second nature.
Having previously worked in the spa environment, Rebecca took an opportunity to follow her talent for brows with training from the globally recognised High Definition Eyebrow brand, at their Notting Hill flagship store in London.
Wanting to pursue her dream of working internationally, she made the leap to make Dubai her home and was welcomed into the talented BROWZ family.
Rebecca not only offers the very best in treatment techniques but is an encyclopaedia of knowledge on beauty and wellness tips, offering a complete ‘holistic approach’ to all her customers.
“Speak with honesty, think with sincerity, act with integrity.”
- REBECCA, SEMI PERMANENT BROW & HD BROW ARTIST
Tayla is a superbly talented Facialist and Beauty Therapist, with an impressive 10 years’ experience and much-welcomed addition to BROWZ.
Her highlights and successes include time spent working in luxury hotel day spas, brand representation for Space NK in London, Emirates airline cabin crew, trainer for Alpha-H in UK/Ireland, and working for Chanel in fragrance, skin, and beauty.
Tayla completed her Diploma in Beauty Therapy in her native Australia and has seen how the beauty industry operates in many different countries, working with multiple cultures and skin types. Her number one passion has always been seeing the before and after of skin.
Tayla appreciates how crucial it is to stay on top of your skin game. You can always spend money on clothes, shoes, handbags, but your skin is for life. It’s something you should really invest in!
An internationally recognised artist with more than 20 years in the beauty industry, Tatiana is a sought after therapist and trainer.
Specialising in lip blush treatments, Stardust eyeliner technique and laser removal
of unwanted Semi Permanent Makeup.
With a list of qualifications spanning a decade, Tatiana has a wealth of knowledge ranging from Micropigmentation and Perfect Brows certificates to Laser and Intense Pulsed Light Treatment training.
An expert in her craft, she has developed a popular style in correcting darker lip colourings.
Tatiana also brings her specialist skill of precision tattoo removal to the BROWZ guest.
Conference speaker and Semi Permanent Makeup Championship Judge, completes her packed resume.
“The beauty is in the details.”
- TATIANA, LIP BLUSH SPECIALIST & TATTOO REMOVAL
It is up to UK-born Hollie to research and source up-and-coming brands across the globe, making sure BROWZ stays top of the beauty game.
Her appreciation for beauty, make-up, and skincare means she’s always hunting for the most up to date and latest inventions. She introduced BROWZ to German Brand M2 Beauté and has us all hooked, she applies their Eyelash Activating Serum every night to grow lashes 50% longer and prevent fallout. She is also a lover of Natura Bisse’s Diamond White Rich Luxury Cleanse, and 111Skin Rose Gold Illuminating Facial Mask.
When it comes to the perfect lashes, Sienna has the tools to lift, fluff and enhance your natural lash line.
With over nine years’ experience in the beauty industry and a range of qualifications including; Dermalogica, Lycon and Lash Perfect training she uses the most up to date techniques to create your desired look.
Her training as a beauty therapist has propelled her to become an expert lash technician. Adding to her skillset, Sienna is also an establish lash trainer in Dubai.
Hailing from the Philippines she is praised for her professionalism and attention to detail, making sure every lash has its place.
The lash professional of choice for many BROWZ guests.
“Don’t hesitate to learn new things, you never know what might be around the corner.”
- SIENNA, LASH EXTENSION ARTIST
A highly skilled practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience within the European beauty market. A leader in Semi Permanent Makeup, Ombre Brows and Aquarelle lip techniques; creating the perfect natural finish.
Monika holds the British VTCT Level 4 qualification, one of the highest international qualifications for SPMU and is also a Permanent Makeup Assessor and Internal Quality Verifier in the UK - plus add trainer to her portfolio.
Her range of qualifications has brought her to take to the stage as speaker and panellist at many high profile global beauty conferences.
An expert in her field ensuring top level standards in safety with the belief that quality work is maintained with constant personal improvement.
“Every woman is your sister; treat her accordingly.”
- MONIKA, SENIOR SEMI PERMANENT MAKEUP ARTIST
A master brow lamination and lash creator with a passion for beauty, Daria knows the exact arch to suit every face, while focusing on bringing out the natural beauty.
With an abundance of training and qualifications behind her, Daria took the next step to add trainer to her portfolio, showcasing the latest techniques to the BROWZ team.
Originally from Russia, she has a natural flair for brow shaping and an astute eye for obtaining top lash results, to enhance clients individual need.
Guests applaud her innate ability to make treatments relaxed and comfortable while receiving an impeccable beauty experience.
“My goal is to become the best brow & lash artist. The quality of my work will tell you about me better than any words can.” - DASHA, BROW LAMINATION & LASH ARTIST
Tasleem is a proficient brow artist with impeccable attention to detail. A specialist in HD brows, waxing, threading, lash tinting, brow tinting and brow lamination.
With over 16 years’ experience in the industry and a diploma in hair and beauty, plus a certificate in Semi Permanent Makeup, Tasleem will set you on the right path for the perfect brow reshape.
Her skill and technique for precision waxing and threading is second to none, with the artistic ability to transform an eyebrow using these traditional methods.
With a goal to be the top brow therapist in the region, she is committed to adding to her skill base and learning new technologies and specialist treatments. Tasleem is a sought after brow guru, who has a glowing reputation having worked in salons across Dubai for the last 13 years.
Tasleem’s dedication and commitment to her career is evident in the results clients see.
“Being confident in what you do, is the best way to learn and develop.” - TASLEEM, HD BROW ARTIST
As a senior lash artist at BROWZ, Nancy is an expert at creating the perfect style. From understated extensions to a full and fluffy eye-opening look, Nancy listens and executes.
An established leader in her field with a range of qualifications including; Classic Individual Lashes, Express Lashes, Russian Volume, Mega Volume and Fantasy Lashes. Nancy focuses on making sure you have the ultimate lash goals.
Dedicating over 20 years to her profession with half her career based in the Middle East, across Bahrain and Dubai, she is a praised stylist with a passion for her work.
Nancy endeavours to keep abreast of latest techniques, offering optimum results. You won’t find a lash out of place.
“My philosophy is; do it with passion or just don’t do it at all. Every lash extension I create is a piece of art.”
-NANCY, LASH ARTIST