A Closer Look at Combination Brows vs Microblading

combination brows vs microblading

Eyebrow styles are a big deal, and two popular ways to get great brows are combo brows and microblading. Combo brows mix different methods for a full look, while microblading gives a more natural style with thin lines.

In this article, we’ll look at what sets these two apart, including how much they cost. Whether you’re new to eyebrow styling or just curious about these options, we’ve got the info you need to understand the difference between combo brows and microblading.

What Are Combo Brows?

Combo brows, also known as combination brows or 3D brows, are like getting the best of both worlds for your eyebrows. They combine two techniques: microblading and shading. Think of microblading as drawing really fine, natural-looking hair strokes. Shading, on the other hand, adds a soft, powdery finish that makes your brows look fuller and more defined.

When you get combo brows, the artist starts with microblading at the front of the brow, where you’d want it to look more natural. Then, they gradually add shading towards the tail of the brow. This mix gives your brows a sharp yet natural look, which is hard to get with just one technique.

Now, how are combo brows different from other styles? Let’s compare them to powder brows and ombre brows. Powder brows are all about a soft, powdery makeup look. They’re like filling in your brows with a brow powder, but it’s semi-permanent.

Ombre brows, as the name suggests, have a light-to-dark gradient. They are lighter at the front and get darker towards the tail, just like an ombre hairstyle. Combo brows stand out because they give you the natural hair strokes at the front with a gradual, powdery effect towards the end, offering a more three-dimensional and versatile look.

Understanding Microblading

Microblading is like a semi-permanent tattoo for your eyebrows. It’s all about creating the look of natural, fine hairs right where your brows are. This technique uses a special tool, kind of like a pen with a small blade at the end. The blade makes tiny cuts in the skin, and then a technician adds a pigment that looks just like your eyebrow hairs.

Here’s how it works: First, the brow artist shapes your eyebrows and chooses a color that matches your natural brows. Then, they use the microblading tool to draw each hair stroke, one by one. It’s a detailed process that takes skill and patience, usually about two hours from start to finish.

As for how long it lasts, microblading typically stays fresh for about 18 to 30 months. After that, you might need a touch-up to keep the color and shape looking good. People love microblading because it gives a very natural look, as if you’ve got fuller, well-shaped brows naturally. It’s great for filling in sparse areas and defining the brow shape without the need for daily makeup.

Key Differences Between Combo Brows and Microblading

Now that we’ve covered what combo brows and microblading are, let’s look at how they’re different. It’s all in the technique, the look they give, and who they work best for.

  1. Technique: The main difference is in how they’re done. Microblading is all about creating fine, hair-like strokes. It’s like precise eyebrow drawing. Combo brows, however, mix this technique with shading, which fills in the brow more like makeup would. So, combo brows are a bit of drawing plus a bit of shading.
  2. Appearance: This leads to a difference in appearance. Microblading gives a very natural, hair-by-hair look. It’s perfect if you want to fill in gaps or define your brows but keep them looking pretty much like your own. Combo brows, with their added shading, offer more definition and fullness. They can make your brows stand out more, especially towards the tail end.
  3. Suitability for Skin Types: Here’s an important part – not all techniques suit all skin types. Microblading works best on dry to normal skin. It can blur or not take as well on oily skin. Combo brows are a bit more versatile. The added shading helps it last better on different skin types, including oily skin.

So, in summary, if you’re after a natural, hair-like finish and have dry to normal skin, microblading might be your best bet. But, if you want more definition, or have oilier skin, combo brows could be the way to go. Remember, it’s all about what works best for your look and your skin.

Cost Considerations

When it comes to getting your eyebrows done, one big question is: how much does it cost? Let’s talk about the price of microblading vs combo brows.

First up, microblading. Generally, microblading can cost anywhere from $250 to $600. The price can change based on where you live, the skill level of the artist, and how much work your brows need. It’s a detailed, hand-done process, so you’re paying for the technician’s time and expertise.

Now, for combo brows, the cost is usually a bit higher, ranging from $300 to $700. Why the extra cost? Well, combo brows involve both microblading and shading. This means more time and work for the artist, which bumps up the price.

A few things can affect the cost, no matter which technique you choose. The location of the salon or artist can make a big difference – big city prices are usually higher. The artist’s experience and reputation can also play a part.

More experienced artists tend to charge more. And don’t forget the cost of touch-ups, which are usually needed every year or so to keep your brows looking fresh.

In the end, remember you’re investing in a semi-permanent change to your look. So, it’s worth considering the artist’s skill and the quality of their work, not just the price.

Which Technique is Right for You?

Choosing between combo brows and microblading really comes down to your personal needs and what you’re looking for in eyebrow style. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Your Skin Type: As we mentioned earlier, your skin type plays a big role. If you have oily skin, microblading might not be the best choice as the strokes can blur and fade quicker. Combo brows, with their added shading, tend to hold up better on oily skin.
  2. The Look You Want: Think about the look you’re aiming for. If you want super natural-looking brows, where it just seems like you’ve got naturally full and well-shaped brows, then microblading is a great choice. But if you’re after a more defined, makeup-like finish, combo brows might be the way to go. They give you the sharpness and fullness that can really make your brows stand out.
  3. Maintenance and Touch-Ups: Both techniques need touch-ups, but the frequency can vary. Microblading often requires touch-ups every 12 to 18 months, while combo brows might need a little more frequent maintenance. Consider how often you’re willing to go back for touch-ups when making your decision.
  4. Your Lifestyle: If you’re someone who exercises a lot or spends a lot of time outdoors, this can affect the longevity of your brow treatment. Sweat and sun exposure can make the color fade faster, so think about how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in maintaining your brows.

In the end, the best way to decide is to consult with a professional brow artist. They can take a look at your brows, discuss your skin type and lifestyle, and recommend the best option for you. Remember, everyone’s brows and beauty needs are unique, so what works for one person might not be the best for another.

Maintenance and Longevity

Let’s talk about keeping your brows looking their best. Both combo brows and microblading need some upkeep, but they do differ a bit in how long they last.

With microblading, after your initial session, you’ll likely need a touch-up in about 4 to 6 weeks. This is just to fill in any areas where the pigment didn’t take as well. Once that’s done, your microbladed brows can last anywhere from 18 to 30 months. Of course, this varies based on your skin type, lifestyle, and how well you care for them.

Combo brows have a similar maintenance schedule. You’ll need that initial touch-up, and then, depending on factors like your skin type and how the pigment holds, you might need to get them refreshed a bit sooner than you would with just microblading. Think of getting a touch-up every 12 to 18 months to keep them looking sharp and defined.

For both techniques, remember to follow the aftercare instructions given by your brow artist. This usually includes keeping the area dry and clean and avoiding certain products that could affect the pigment.


So, there you have it – a rundown of combo brows vs microblading. We’ve explored what each technique involves, the differences in appearance, suitability for different skin types, and the cost and maintenance required. Remember, microblading offers a natural, hair-like finish, ideal for dry to normal skin types, while combo brows provide more definition and are more adaptable to various skin types, including oily skin.

The best choice depends on your personal style, skin type, and how much maintenance you’re comfortable with. As always, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional brow artist who can give you personalized advice based on your individual needs and preferences. They can help guide you to the perfect brow solution that complements your features and lifestyle.

Remember, the right brow style can really enhance your natural beauty, so take your time to choose the one that’s just right for you!

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