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Microblading, Nano Brows & Powder Brows Explained

Updated: Jul 4

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on microblading, nano brows, and powder brows—revolutionary permanent makeup techniques tailored to enhance your natural beauty effortlessly. Whether you're seeking to streamline your morning routine or address hair loss, these services provide lasting solutions to look your best at all times.

Close-up image showcasing expertly microbladed eyebrows with natural, hair-like strokes, highlighting the precision and artistry of Lavoom Salon's microblading technique.
Microblading at Lavoom Salon


Permanent makeup, or micropigmentation, involves implanting pigment into the skin to simulate makeup. It's a form of tattooing suitable for eyebrows, lips, and eyeliner, offering long-lasting definition and colour enhancement.

How Long Does Permanent Makeup Last?

The longevity of permanent makeup varies based on factors like skin type and lifestyle. Typically, it lasts several years with regular touch-ups recommended every 12 to 18 months to maintain vibrancy and shape. Without touch-ups, the pigment gradually fades over about four years.


Microblading enhances natural eyebrows by creating the appearance of individual hair strokes and filling in sparse areas. It's perfect for achieving crisp, sculpted brows that look effortlessly natural.

Before delving into the specifics of microblading, it's essential to clarify what it isn't:

  • Not Permanent: Unlike traditional tattoos, microblading typically lasts for a few years and needs periodic touch-ups, allowing for style or preference changes over time.

  • Not Painful: Despite initial concerns, many clients experience minimal discomfort during microblading sessions thanks to effective topical numbing methods.

  • Not High Maintenance: Microblading requires minimal upkeep once the initial healing is done, allowing you to maintain your regular beauty routine without extra steps. However, occasional tweezing, waxing, or threading may be needed to preserve your desired shape. We describe it as "low maintenance" rather than "no maintenance."

What is Microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent cosmetic procedure for eyebrows, where fine hair-like strokes are created to simulate natural brow hairs. This technique uses a small set of thin, disposable, sterile needles, ideal for sculpting natural and fuller-looking eyebrows, especially suited for dry to normal skin types. Learn more about our microblading services.

The tool employed is non-motorized, superficially implanting pigment into the skin. The pigment is formulated to break down faster than traditional tattoo ink, hence termed 'semi-permanent.' Regular touch-ups or 'refreshes' every 1-2 years are recommended to maintain long-term eyebrow enhancement.

We adhere strictly to Alberta Health guidelines for utmost safety. All needles are single-use, opened in your presence at the beginning of the session, and disposed of in a sharps container afterward. Surfaces and non-disposable tools are thoroughly disinfected with AHS-approved agents. All products used are authorized for use in Canada.

How Long Does Microblading Last?

Microblading should be maintained with touch-ups every 12 to 24 months to keep the colour vibrant and the shape well-defined. Without touch-ups, the pigment typically becomes less visible within 3-4 years.


Powder brows create a structured, filled-in appearance similar to using brow powder. This technique utilizes a machine shading method to achieve a soft, pixelated effect, starting lighter at the front and gradually darkening towards the tail of the brow to avoid a harsh, unnatural look.

Before delving into the specifics of powder brows, it's important to clarify what they are not:

  • Not Permanent: The pigment used is semi-permanent and requires refreshing every 12-24 months.

  • Not Painful: Clients generally experience minimal discomfort during powder brow sessions.

  • Not High Maintenance: Powder brows need minimal upkeep and integrate easily into regular eyebrow grooming routines. They provide a structured base that simplifies maintenance tasks like plucking stray hairs.

What are Powder Brows?

Powder brows are a type of permanent makeup that achieves a soft, powdered appearance akin to using eyebrow powder or pencil. Ideal for those with sparse or light-coloured eyebrows, gaps in eyebrow hairs, or anyone seeking a defined shape without daily upkeep, this technique suits all skin types, particularly oily skin.

Unlike microblading, which simulates hair strokes, powder brows employ a pixelated shading method using a rotary tattoo pen to create small dots of colour, resulting in a powdered finish appearance.

How Long Do Powder Brows Last?

Powder brows typically require touch-ups every 12-24 months to maintain vibrant colour. Without touch-ups, the pigment will fade completely within approximately 4 years.


Combo brows combine manual microblading with machine shading to achieve natural hair-strokes alongside a soft, powdered background. This technique is ideal for creating natural-looking, well-defined eyebrows with enhanced fullness. It suits individuals with sparse eyebrows and is generally suitable for all skin types.

Similar to microblading and powder brows, it's recommended to schedule a touch-up every 12-24 months to maintain vibrant colour. Without touch-ups, the pigment will gradually fade within about 4 years.


Machine nano brows utilize a rotary machine and a single needle to create individual hair strokes. This technique can be performed independently, similar to microblading, or as a combined approach with nano strokes and machine powder shading.

Before delving into the specifics of machine nano brows, it's important to clarify what it is NOT:

Nano brows are not:

  • Permanent: The pigment used is semi-permanent and requires refreshing every 12-24 months.

  • Painful: Clients typically experience minimal to no discomfort during their session.

  • High maintenance: Nano brows require minimal upkeep and integrate seamlessly into regular eyebrow grooming routines, simplifying maintenance tasks such as plucking stray hairs.

What are Nano Machine Brows?

Nano machine brows replicate hair strokes akin to microblading but are executed using a machine rather than a manual hand tool. This method is particularly suitable for sensitive or mature skin types, though claims of extended longevity on oily skin types aren't always consistent.

Nano brows can be performed independently to achieve a hair stroke appearance or combined with powder (combo brows) to enhance structure and fullness in the brows.

Similar to other eyebrow tattoo techniques, it's recommended to undergo a touch-up or refresh every 12-24 months to maintain vibrancy and precision. Without maintenance, pigment gradually fades over several years, typically becoming less visible within four years.

What Is The Difference Between Nano Machine Brows Microblading?

Microblading involves a handheld manual tool with nano blades creating small scratches in the skin where pigment settles and heals, resembling paper cuts.

In contrast, nano hair stroke brows use a machine method with a fine needle stippling colour under the skin to simulate each hair stroke, resulting in less skin disruption compared to traditional microblading.

Safety Comparison of Nano Brows and Microblading

The safety of both techniques depends on proper execution tailored to specific skin types, along with diligent aftercare adherence. The risk of skin trauma or scarring is primarily influenced by the artist's skill, aftercare practices, and client compliance.

While I often recommend nano machine hair strokes over traditional microblading based on skin type and client preference, the choice isn't typically driven by safety concerns but rather by achieving the best aesthetic outcome.

Procedure Overview for Powder Brows, Microblading, and Nano Brows

  1. Upon arrival at our salon, you'll complete a comprehensive consent form and enjoy a welcoming pamper tray in our lobby.

  2. Your appointment begins with the technician taking before photos of your eyebrows. Following this, numbing cream (Lidocaine 5%, approved by Health Canada) is applied to the treatment area, requiring 15-20 minutes to fully take effect.

  3. During this time, you'll have an extensive consultation with your technician. They'll explain the procedure, discuss your desired eyebrow shape and colour preferences, and ask detailed questions to ensure they understand your vision. Bringing inspirational photos helps guide this discussion, considering differences in eyebrow shape, skin tone, and bone structure. Trust your technician's expertise in recommending the best shape and colour for you.

  4. Once you've finalized the shape and colour, the numbing cream is removed, and brow shaping begins. This is an interactive process where your feedback shapes the final look, incorporating your bone structure and existing eyebrow hair.

  5. Once approved, your technician begins creating your desired eyebrows!

  6. The tattooing process typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Most clients experience minimal discomfort due to pre-numbing. Any discomfort is minor, often likened to eyebrow plucking or threading.

  7. Additional topical lidocaine gel is applied after each pass to ensure your comfort. After tattooing, your brows are cleaned up and revealed to you for approval. Remember, this isn't the final result; a touch-up session 4-12 weeks post-initial treatment fine-tunes the brows based on healing.

  8. Post-procedure, you may feel numb for about an hour. Discomfort, if any, is akin to mild sunburn and typically subsides within 24-48 hours.

  9. Your technician provides detailed aftercare instructions and a care kit to take home. Before leaving, you'll schedule your touch-up appointment, receiving a reminder with a side-by-side before-and-after photo via email. The touch-up session allows adjustments for a more conservative approach or enhances brows based on your preferences. Once healed from the touch-up, your brows are complete!

  10. Refresh appointments every 12-18 months to maintain the shape and colour, tailored as facial skin turns over faster than body tissue, affecting pigment retention.

Eyebrow Tattoo Healing Process

There is no physical downtime, and most people can resume their normal daily activities immediately after their brow procedure. However, there is a healing process since we break the skin to implant pigment, which may lead to "social downtime." You may choose to avoid public events or photo sessions shortly after your procedure, depending on your comfort level. On average, the healing process takes about 7 days.

Here are some important considerations during the healing stage:

  • Trust our recommended aftercare instructions rather than searching online for alternatives.

  • Initially, your brows will appear bold and defined for the first 3-4 days. Don't worry; this is not the final look. They will lighten and shrink slightly as they heal. If you love them immediately after your appointment, they may need to be darker! Conversely, if they fade too much during healing, adjustments can be made at your touch-up appointment.

  • Understand that healing takes time to reveal the final result. Refrain from contacting your technician about shape, color, or symmetry concerns until at least 2 weeks post-procedure. The tattooed area cannot be touched for at least 4 weeks to prevent scarring. Any concerns will be addressed during your follow-up or perfection visit. Trust the process.

  • If you notice any signs of infection, seek medical attention promptly and inform your technician of any complications.

  • While infections are extremely rare, allergic reactions to healing ointments have occurred occasionally around days 3-4. If you experience any complications, contact us immediately. If concerned, seek medical advice.

Microblading, Nano & Powder Brow Aftercare

  1. You will receive a healing ointment to apply to your brows every 3-4 hours during the day for 7 days or until any visible signs of scabbing, like flaking, have ceased. This may give your brows a glossy appearance.

  2. On the day of your treatment, gently blot the treated area every 60 minutes for the first 4 hours, or more frequently if needed. Reapply a thin layer of the ointment each time you blot.

  3. Minor swelling or redness may occur within the first 24 to 48 hours following treatment.

  4. During the healing process, avoid excessive moisture such as water or sweat as this can cause swelling in the tissue and may push out pigment or prematurely remove scabs, taking pigment with them. Do not soak the area in water for 7 days post-treatment.

  5. Itching and slight crust or scabbing may occur as your brows heal. Refrain from picking at scabs or pulling off peeling skin.

  6. Do not apply makeup to the treated area for 7 days to minimize the risk of infection.

  7. For one week following treatment, avoid activities that involve excessive heat or moisture, such as hot baths (warm baths are acceptable), hot tubs/Jacuzzis, hot yoga, saunas, or steam showers, as these can contribute to pigment fading. Avoid using epsom salts in your bath as salt can also cause fading.

  8. Refrain from vigorous exercise for 7 days as sweat can fade the pigment and increase the risk of infection due to bacteria in gym environments.

  9. Avoid direct sunlight, including tanning or sunbathing, for one week after treatment. If you are outdoors, sit in shaded areas or wear a hat on hot, sunny days. Apply SPF once your brows have healed.

  10. Do not undergo any facial treatments, including eyebrow waxing or tinting, during the week following your appointment. If you plan to tint your eyebrows, wax, thread, or laminate them, do so at least 24 hours before your appointment.

Note: We do not recommend scheduling microblading appointments close to major events such as bridal showers, weddings, or photo shoots.

Is Permanent Makeup Suitable for Everyone?

Unfortunately, there are certain conditions that would make microblading or tattooing unsuitable for you.

The following circumstances would deem you ineligible for permanent makeup:

  • Pregnancy: While nursing is permissible, it's crucial to diligently follow aftercare instructions to avoid infection, as limited medications are safe during nursing. Hormonal changes can also affect pigment retention, possibly necessitating earlier touch-ups to adjust color. (Consult your physician regarding concerns about topical numbing and breastfeeding.)

  • History of keloids or hypertrophic scarring.

  • Skin irritations or open wounds in the treatment area (such as rashes, sunburn, active blemishes, etc.).

  • Illness (such as a cold or flu).

  • Use of Accutane within the past year.

Please note: Any condition, medication, or illness that compromises the immune system or healing process would disqualify you as a candidate for micropigmentation, as it involves breaking the skin and relies on optimal healing.

Additionally, for females, it is advisable to schedule microblading appointments away from your menstrual cycle, as this can affect pain tolerance and sensitivity to bleeding. However, a 24-hour cancellation policy remains in effect even if your cycle unexpectedly affects your appointment.

Who is a good candidate for microblading?

Microblading isn't just for those looking to enhance their eyebrows—it's for anyone seeking a long-lasting solution to achieve flawless brows with minimal daily upkeep. Here's a breakdown of who can benefit most from microblading:

  1. Busy Individuals: If you lead a busy lifestyle and find yourself short on time for daily makeup routines, microblading offers a convenient solution. Wake up with perfectly shaped brows every day without the need for pencils or powders.

  2. Those with Sparse Brows: Whether due to genetics, over-plucking, or medical conditions, sparse eyebrows can be a source of frustration. Microblading fills in gaps and creates the illusion of fuller, more defined brows, restoring confidence and enhancing facial features.

  3. Anyone Seeking Symmetry: Achieving symmetrical eyebrows can be challenging with traditional makeup techniques. Microblading allows for precise customization, ensuring that your brows complement each other and frame your face beautifully.

  4. Individuals with Hair Loss Conditions: For individuals experiencing hair loss conditions such as alopecia or undergoing chemotherapy, microblading can be a transformative solution. Restoring the appearance of natural eyebrows can provide a significant boost in confidence and self-esteem.

  5. Those Seeking Eyebrow Restoration: Microblading isn't just about enhancing existing eyebrows—it's also a form of eyebrow restoration. Whether due to aging, over-tweezing, or other factors, microblading can recreate the appearance of natural eyebrows, providing a more youthful and rejuvenated look.

  6. Makeup Enthusiasts: Even for those who love experimenting with makeup, microblading can serve as a solid foundation. It provides a guideline for shaping and filling in brows, allowing for easier and more precise application of additional makeup products if desired.

Overall, microblading is a versatile option suitable for a wide range of individuals seeking to enhance their brows effortlessly and maintain a polished appearance with minimal effort.

Is microblading suitable only for individuals with thin eyebrows?

While microblading can effectively provide definition and fullness for those with thin or sparse brows, it may not yield as natural a result compared to individuals with existing hair behind the drawn-on strokes. However, to mitigate the risk of appearing overly artificial, brow artists can incorporate shading techniques behind the hair-like strokes, reducing the visibility of any empty spaces.

Individuals with some existing eyebrow hair seeking subtle fill-in or enhancement can achieve a natural look through microblading. Nevertheless, it may not be the best option for those with abundant natural eyebrow hair, as it primarily enhances fullness rather than providing the brushed-up or groomed appearance achievable with products like brow gel or brow lamination.

Is microblading considered a form of tattooing?

Microblading falls under the category of tattooing, albeit with distinct differences in permanence. Unlike conventional tattoos, microblading utilizes specialized pigments and is applied superficially to the skin, allowing the body to gradually metabolize it over time until it fades away. This method contrasts with traditional tattooing, where ink is deposited into deeper layers of the skin, resulting in permanent designs.

The pigment used in microblading creates a semi-permanent "tattoo" that yields a soft and natural appearance, as opposed to the bold and opaque look of traditional tattoos. Additionally, as the pigment on the eyebrows lightens over time, the effect is subtler compared to the potential blue-green tint that may develop around fading traditional tattoos.

How uncomfortable is the process of eyebrow microblading?

The discomfort experienced during microblading can vary depending on individual pain thresholds. However, practitioners typically apply a numbing gel before the procedure, and may reapply it between passes to alleviate any discomfort.

In general, microblading is often likened to the sensation of a cat scratch. Comparatively, some experts describe the pain level as akin to tweezing your brows, rather than the more intense sensation of a bikini wax. In essence, while discomfort may be present, it is typically manageable and not excessively painful.

What occurs during a microblading session?

The specifics of a microblading appointment may vary depending on the artist, but generally, the process unfolds as follows. Initially, your artist will conduct a comprehensive consultation, discussing colour preferences and style choices, and encouraging you to bring along inspirational images for reference. Following this, a topical numbing cream is applied, allowing it to take effect for approximately 30 minutes before outlining your new brow shape with a dark pencil.

It's noteworthy that skilled microblading specialists, such as those at Lavoom Salon Calgary, can achieve the appearance of naturally full brows across various skin tones and shade ranges, ensuring a natural-looking result. Custom colours are often created using multiple shades that match your natural hair colour, lending dimension and authenticity to your brows. Here's how it's explained:

It's essential to understand that the microblading procedure involves more than just a few strokes across the skin. It typically encompasses several rounds of numbing, pigmentation, and stroking. Initially, the artist may make a pass with the tool (without pigment) to establish the desired hair placement. Subsequently, additional numbing may be applied, during which the artist works on shaping the brows, addressing any stray hairs with tweezers. Finally, the original strokes are revisited multiple times with pigment to achieve the final look. The entire process generally takes about an hour, depending on the artist.

Additionally, consider exploring how to find your perfect eyebrow shape with a brow specialist. This step can further enhance your microblading experience, ensuring that the final result aligns with your unique facial features and personal preferences.

Choosing the Right Technique for You:

Factors to Consider:

Selecting the right microblading technique depends on various factors, including your desired look, skin type, and lifestyle. During your consultation at Lavoom Salon, our experts will assess these factors and guide you in choosing the technique that aligns best with your preferences.

Customization is Key:

What sets Lavoom Salon apart is our commitment to customization. Whether you're drawn to the softness of powder brows or the precision of feather touch, our technicians will work closely with you to create a bespoke microblading experience that complements your facial features and style.

What are the drawbacks of microblading?

Like any permanent makeup procedure, microblading comes with potential downsides. One significant concern, as highlighted by experts, is the uncertainty surrounding shifting brow trends. For example, eyebrow styles that were popular, like the thick, bold Instagram brows of 2016, may fall out of fashion relatively quickly. This presents a challenge for individuals who have undergone permanent makeup procedures and now wish to update their look.

Additionally, the semi-permanent nature of permanent makeup means that it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to naturally fade. For individuals who prefer to adapt their makeup to current trends, this extended duration may pose a limitation. In such cases, it may be advisable to reconsider permanent makeup or opt for a softer, more natural brow style that still allows for flexibility in filling in and changing up the look as desired.


If you're seeking powder brows, nano brows, or microblading in Calgary, you've found your destination! At Lavoom Salon, we boast a team of outstanding permanent makeup artists: Award-winning Saki M, her dedicated three-year trainee, and our newest addition, Rubie.

Our skilled artists specialize in crafting natural-looking eyebrows that perfectly complement your individual features. With our personalized approach and meticulous attention to detail, we're confident you'll adore your new brows!

Schedule your appointment with Saki or one of our brow pros at Lavoom Salon in Calgary. Book online or visit our conveniently located in Chinook and Marda Loop. Explore our PMU services to learn more about the different techniques we offer.

We're excited to simplify your mornings with smudge-proof, water-proof, and sweat-proof eyebrows. Let us take the guesswork out of your brow routine—you'll only wish you'd done it sooner!

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