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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Always learn, always grow, always be in awe. Your thoughts create your reality. Focusing on gratitude means the culture of a business is based on respect and growing as a team.
Passion is the driver behind the success of BROWZ founder, Michele Barclay.
A talented artist hailing from the United Kingdom, Michele is a specialist in Brows; Semi Permanent Makeup and all thing beauty and skin care. From an early age she had a focus and knew this was to be a lifelong industry for her.
At just 17, Michele started her beauty training, receiving a Higher Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Electrolysis. Quickly realising she excelled in specialist treatments, she gained certifications in advanced skin services such as Skin Tags, Thread Vein and Advanced Electrolysis plus Laser Hair removal. However, Michele always had a natural talent and steer towards SPMU and her love for brows.
An inspiring entrepreneur who opened her first salon at just 23, following this with several more across the UK. Adding to the plethora of experience Michele holds, she also launched a distribution business for a skin care line in her early career, as well as adding HD Brow trainer to her resume.
With a willingness and tenacity to learn the latest techniques and beauty technologies, Michele travelled across Europe to work with the best experts and celebrities in the business. During which time, she was a leading specialist for elite skin care brand Sisley, seeing the inner workings of the Paris Laboratory and conceptualised product for the brand.
The mum of two and meditation instructor fell in love with the Middle East, bringing her brow expertise to the region in 2005. Michele is a true visionary and saw a genuine gap in the market for custom brows. With some help from her daughter, (who she lovingly calls her ‘biggest teacher’) BROWZ Dubai was born.
Michele’s calm and caring nature comes across in every aspect of her company. Personal development and nurturing her talented team of brow gurus, is her goal for establishing a successful business and growing the BROWZ family.
The aim is to be the number one beauty brand in the UAE and be a home from home for customers on their bespoke brow or skin care journey. With many new and exciting projects in the works Michele offers a beauty destination like no other.
"We fall in love with our customers and we are grateful they choose us and trust us. Our clients are the reason we are all here, doing what we love to do." - Michele Barclay.
Chloe is a BROWZ original, specialising in Semi Permanent Makeup with an impeccable skill for creating perfect Eyebrows, Eyeliner and Lip Blush. An international beauty trainer with a wealth of experience in the industry.
Dubbed the ‘Brow Queen’ by clients, her expertise has been highlighted across fashion and beauty titles including; Emirates Woman, Grazia ME and OK magazine.
A perfectionist who is always on the search for the latest course to enhance her skills and professional development. Whether it is a natural, glamorous or understated look, Chloe has you covered.
“Be your kind of beautiful and remember eyebrows are sisters not twins!”
Raveena is a true artist when it comes to aesthetics, specialising in High Definition Brows plus Lash and Brow Lifting techniques.
She received world class training at the global headquarters of HD Brows in the UK whilst also acquiring qualifications in makeup artistry.
Raveena’s unparalleled skill in being able to transform and enhance her client’s facial features, is second to none.
An established cosmetic therapist showcasing the best know-how with confidence and a special ability in making sure her clients are at ease.
As the first salon in the Middle East to launch the global trend of High Definition Brows, guests visiting Raveena will see why we are so in demand!
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”
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.”
Kersti is our resident Swiss Colour accredited international trainer, making her an expert in Micro Pigments for Semi Permanent Makeup. Specialising in Eyebrows, Eyeliner, Beauty Mark’s and Lip Blush she is a precision artist.
Kersti is fully trained in advanced skincare treatments, including Scalp Tricopigmentation, Collagen Boost facials plus Scar and Stretch Mark Reduction.
Hailing from Finland and with a wealth knowledge gained in Europe, she champions the highest standards in SPMU techniques.
Kersti’s variety of skills means at BROWZ we can elevate our treatment offerings to include skin confidence to our repertoire.
And her talents don’t end there. Being fluent in five languages takes any guess work out of guest communications.
“Beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin.”
A passionate artist hailing from the Ukraine with an extensive skill set including; Semi Permanent Brows, Eyelash Extensions, HD Brows, Henna Brows and Lash Lifting.
With extensive training in the beauty industry, she brings a fresh take on popular treatments, Alina’s previous nursing education offers unmeasurable benefits to her move into cosmetic tattooing.
An excellent curator with precision detail when it comes to elongating lashes that perfectly frame and balance the face.
Fluent in three languages including Russian, Alina is an in-demand therapist, shaping her way to a long and prosperous future with the talented BROWZ team.
“I find that nothing frames a face so beautifully like 100% confidence in yourself and confidence breeds beauty.”
Danielle is the BROWZ skincare guru, holding various diplomas from international beauty brands. Having worked in top salons across Scotland she has a plethora of experience and training in creating bespoke skin programs for clients.
Specialising in advanced treatments including Scar Removal, Signature Anti-Aging Facials and advanced Skincare Treatments, she uses the most advanced technology to drive top results.
Danielle’s gentle approach makes sure every client has the education and complete beauty routine to continue their rejuvenation outside the BROWZ villa.
And adding to her talent range, she is a master lash therapist offering a 360 beauty experience to guests.
“Being the skin care specialist, I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in your skin as it has to represent you for a very long time.”
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.”
Roisin is the BROWZ face and body expert with a passion for brows. Her experience spans ten years working in high end spas in her home country of Ireland.
With a wide variety of beauty qualifications plus HD Brows training, she is an in demand therapist; adding lash lifting, brow lifting and henna eyebrows to her many talents.
She adds a fresh skillset to the BROWZ team with her experience in custom facials and an abundance of skincare knowledge, bringing the latest beauty techniques to the table.
So, if you are looking for a clear complexion with a brow tidy at the same time, then Roisin has you covered.
“Always be yourself and don't be afraid to speak your mind or to dream out loud.”