The Difference Between 3D Brows, Powder Brows, and Microblading

3D brows, powder fills, and microblading are three kinds of semi-permanent makeup, or SPM, that put a pigment below the layers of skin in order to mimic the colour and texture of the hairs of the eyebrows. This requires healing the skin afterwards, much like one would require after a tattoo. If you’re a beauty salon looking to expand your services, or a person looking to fill out your brows, here’s what makes the three styles different – and what makes them similar!

3D Brows

Sometimes called eyebrow embroidery, 3D brow enhancement is a stroking technique where pigments are added beneath the skin with the help of a special machine. The results are thicker, bolder eyebrows, but many salons have moved on. It’s more complex and less realistic than the other three methods, though it was at one point one of the most cutting-edge SPM techniques in the business.

Powder Brows

The powder method of filling out brows is more like a traditional tattoo procedure than microblading. It involves inserting thousands of little dots of pigment into the skin, and these dots build up the colour and define the shape of eyebrows. This is one of the first SPM eyebrow enhancements, which helps make sense of the fact that it’s not as natural-looking as the more contemporary, more popular microblading technique.

It has been improved in the almost forty years since it was invented, but so have other techniques. One of the ways it’s still a good choice is because it’s the longest lasting of the three methods. The colour boost provided by powder fill lasts up to a year-and-a-half!


Microblading is the least permanent of the three by comparison, but it’s also sort of a less invasive procedure (more on that below), as the pigment is not placed as deep in the skin. The technique makes very natural strokes, and each one should look exactly like real hair. The aesthetician will use a tool with tiny blades to “scratch” the epidermis. This is perfect for shaping and filling sparse brows, and when expertly done, no one could tell the real hairs from the microbladed strokes.

Which One is the Best?

new microblading techniques

In the year 2019, the hardest SPM to find is 3D brows, as more salons have moved on to powder fills and microblading. If you have patchy eyebrows, want an enhanced shape that’s subtle, or you don’t regularly fill in the hairs, microblading is your best bet. However, microblading isn’t ideal for oily or combination skin.

When comparing powder fills and microblading, the latter technique is somewhat harder on the skin, as the scratches create deeper cuts and more bleeding. However, powder fills go deeper in the skin and aren’t as natural looking, which might not create the ideal look.

Regardless of which procedure you service, it’s imperative for the colour and the health of the skin that your clients heal the brows properly. A healing balm, made from all natural ingredients, will make the healing process faster and more comfortable! We offer Crushed Aftercare vegan healing balms wholesale, with the ability to put your salon’s logo on the label of the jar you send home with your clients.

Scroll to Top
Join Our Newsletter For Exclusive Updates
Get 10% OFF For Signing Up!