MASTERING THE SKILLThere is tremendous artistry involved in the creation of 3D eyebrows, since the pigments used in permanent makeup (with the exception of white, which is opaque) are actually translucent, much like watercolors. Being a flat medium, special techniques are required to bring these pigments to life. There are several approaches to achieving the 3D effect:
• 2-Step ProcessThe two-step process is the easiest technique. On the first application, tattoo a soft, light background color, much like a powder look. You must select a light enough color for the background to allow for the contrast in the hair strokes. On the second visit (four to six weeks later), hair strokes can be applied using a darker shade than the initial background. This process allows for great dimension and realism.
• LayeringThe ability to layer lifelike hairs one-by-one is key to the layering technique for the 3D effect. Placement is critical for achieving a convincing brow. Layering the hair strokes with different degrees of pressure and speed at the time of the initial procedure prevents the hair strokes from appearing too uniform. If the eyebrow hairs are tattooed too evenly and perfectly, they can appear contrived, much like a stitch. The hair strokes will heal with more subtlety with this technique for lighter blonde shades.
• Hair SimulationIn most instances, 3D eyebrows with hair simulation can be applied. The key to hair simulating techniques is creating depth and dimension. Otherwise, a flat, solid eyebrow is the result, which is an unsightly giveaway to a tattooed eyebrow. Pigment shades ranging from light brown to the deepest brown/black will heal with much more dimension using hair simulation. Most women request this technique, since it appears more natural and resembles the brows they once had.
• Powder effectOccasionally, a “powder effect” technique can be used to create 3D eyebrows. This technique is best for clients who have some of the necessary eyebrow hairs in the front, arch and tails, and simply require a shading of color in between to create fullness.
Regardless of the tool or method used to create 3D eyebrows, the results lie in the skills of the permanent makeup artist, just like a pair of shears in the hands of a master hair stylist.
RESULTS AND PRICINGThe duration of permanent 3D eyebrows depends greatly on the depth of pigment color used. Darker brow pigments last longer than lighter pigments. Blonde shades may require an annual color refresh, where mid-range shades can last about 18 months. The darkest brown shades can last between two and four years.
Pricing for 3D eyebrows averages $500 to $800, which generally includes the touch up visit. Annual color refreshments may reflect only a portion of the initial fee, depending on the amount of time between visits.
QUICK AND PAINLESSTopical anesthetics are applied for permanent eyebrow tattooing, making this procedure extremely comfortable and often virtually painless for the client. There is little to no downtime — 3D eyebrows can be applied on one’s lunch hour without being obvious or detected. However, the speed of the treatment varies depending on the artist’s level of experience.
Complications are rare with an experienced permanent makeup artist, and brow infections are not typical. Scarring only occurs if the artist is too aggressive with the depth of their hair strokes, and this is only likely to occur with an artist who lacks experience. Fully healed results are generally seen in six to 10 days. Follow up visits are not recommended for four to six weeks, allowing skin time to fully recover.
CONCLUSIONPermanent makeup has evolved through time from its origins in ancient civilization, such as the early dynasties throughout Asia to its present 3-dimensional state. This exciting development continues to advance. These 3D techniques that create such beautiful, natural looking results have re-awakened interest in permanent eyebrows.
TOOLS/METHODS FOR 3D BROWS• Rotary machines (most popular)
• Standard coil machines
• Hand methods
Both round and flat configurations of the needle groups are compatible with all of these tools and methods.
Contraindications/Risky conditions• Those with Trichotillomania may produce some risk of infection, although this is rare.
• Those with joint replacements or valve replacements, stents and pacemakers require pre-treatment medication from their doctors, along with medical clearance for the procedure. These artificial apparatuses have no antibodies, and any collection of bacteria can stop and manifest at these artificial points.
• If a client is on a medication of concern, such as blood thinners, insulin, etc., then the client must obtain medical clearance and any medication adjustments from their doctor. Do not instruct your clients to stop taking any medication.