A strong brow is the key to landing any look, but it can be tedious to find your favorite products and shape to maintain your brows. An eyebrow tattooing technique called microshading has become popular as cosmetic tattoos become more common.

So, how much is microshading? The average cost in the United States is $362. We’ll cover some basics about microshading and factors that affect pricing so you can make an informed decision when booking your microshading session.

What is microshading?

Microshading is a semi-permanent eyebrow tattoo that shades in the skin under your brow. This service is sometimes called powder brows. Your brow artist will use a tool that’s similar to a tattoo gun to deposit pigment into the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin. 

This process is different from an eyebrow tattoo because tattoo ink is deposited deeper into the skin layer below the epidermis. This is why over-exfoliation can fade microshading, but it won’t fade a tattoo.

To microshade your brows, your brow stylist will:

  1. Work with you to map out your ideal eyebrow shape
  2. Apply numbing cream to your eyebrows and the surrounding skin
  3. Sanitize the skin around and under your brows
  4. Use a disposable, sterile needle to deposit pigment into your skin
  5. Add depth to your brows using small dots for a subtly filled-in brow look

Microshading vs. microblading

Both microblading and microshading refer to semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos that deposit pigment into the upper layer of skin so you can have made-up brows without putting on makeup. There are some slight differences, mostly in technique, that make these services different:

▸ Fills brows with tiny dots
▸ Easier to heal
▸ Ideal if you have some brow hairs
▸ Lasts 12 to 24 months
▸ Average cost is $362
▸ Fills brows with hairlike strokes
▸ More difficult to heal
▸ Ideal if you have sparse brow hairs
▸ Lasts 18 to 30 months
Average cost is $316

Microblading is sometimes used as a general term to refer to different techniques for creating semi-permanent brows like feathered brows

A key difference is that microblading services use hairlike lines while microshading uses dots. Those hairlike strokes are more difficult to heal than individual dots, making microshading more suitable for sensitive skin. The two services have similar healing periods and aftercare processes, but microblading might take slightly longer because of the extra irritation.

Two side-by-side images comparing the look of microshaded vs. microbladed brows.

How much does microshading cost?

Microshading costs an average of $362. Throughout the United States, prices range from $254 to $557, according to our internal data.

The prices for this service vary so much because it’s tailored for each individual — some people need just a little bit of their brows filled in, while others might prefer a fuller look. Your brow stylist will work with you to create your own unique shape based on your preferences and what suits you best.

Some stylists include the fee for your first touch-up to discourage you from skipping out on your follow-up appointments. Stylists with more experience or expertise will likely have higher base prices. Microshading touch-ups cost an average of $162.

StateAverage microshading appointment cost
Some states were excluded from the chart due to insufficient data.

How long does microshading last?

Microshading is a semi-permanent facial tattoo that lasts one to two years. However, your microshading won’t fully disappear. Factors like skin type, the type of pigment your brow stylist uses, sun exposure, and aftercare will affect how long it takes your brows to fade. If you skip touch-ups, your brows might also become discolored.

How can I prepare to get my brows microshaded?

Before your microshading appointment, pause skincare containing actives, stop hair removal around your brows, consult with a doctor if you have chronic conditions, avoid alcohol and caffeine, remove makeup and skincare from your brows, drink plenty of water, and eat a good meal.

There are a few extra considerations to take before your appointment. Follow this timeline to get the most out of your microshading session:

Two weeks before:

  • Pause skin care with actives such as retinol and AHAs or BHAs
  • Stop removing hair around your brows
  • Consult your doctor if you have any chronic conditions to confirm you’re a good candidate for microshading

Two days before:

  • Stop taking blood thinners

24 hours before:

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption

One hour before:

  • Wash your face, removing any makeup or skin care products from your brows and the surrounding area
  • Make sure you’ve had a good meal and plenty of water

If you get Botox, it’s a good idea to let its effects wear off completely before getting microshading. This is because Botox can have a lifting effect on your brows. If you get them microshaded while they’re lifted, your brows might appear misshapen once Botox wears off. 

This can happen even if the Botox isn’t injected in the area around your brows. Once your microshaded eyebrows have healed, then feel free to resume your Botox treatments.

How do I take care of my microshaded brows?

To take care of your brows, avoid sweating, sun, and water exposure; sleep on your back with a clean pillowcase; limit alcohol consumption; avoid exfoliating skincare ingredients; and keep your hands off your brows.

Microshaded brows are essentially a tattoo, so it’s important to take good care of them so they heal properly. It typically takes four to six weeks to completely heal your microshaded brows. There are a couple things to keep in mind to help your brows look their best after your microshading session:

  • Wash your brows after 24 hours with a very gentle cleanser. Do not get them wet in the shower or use hot water to cleanse them.
  • Blot your brows dry with a disposable towel or let them air-dry completely
  • Gently apply an esthetician-approved moisturizer to your brows with a clean, disposable applicator

For two weeks:

  • Avoid sweating and excessive water exposure. This includes steamy showers or saunas.
  • Sleep on your back and change your pillowcase often.
  • Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can slow the healing process.

For four weeks:

  • Avoid skin care with exfoliating ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or retinol.
  • Stay out of the sun and use shaded protection like sun hats until your brows are healed.
  • Don’t touch your brows. It’s incredibly important not to pick or scratch them until they’re fully healed.

Everyone will have a different healing experience depending on their medical history and other factors. You should stop taking any blood thinners two days before your microshading appointment because these can negatively impact your healing experience. If you take blood thinners daily, you should consult with your doctor before getting your brows microshaded.

Check any vitamins or supplements you’re taking as well to ensure that they’re not blood thinners. Common vitamins that have a blood-thinning effect and may affect your brows’ healing include vitamin C, fish oil, and vitamin E.

People with anemia, diabetes, hemophilia, or other chronic health conditions should consult with their doctor before getting microshaded. You should also disclose these conditions to your esthetician, who might recommend different aftercare to suit your needs.

Microshading touch-ups

After about eight weeks, it’s time to book a touch-up appointment as the pigment in your new brows settles. If you’re not completely happy with your brows after your first appointment, don’t panic. It’s normal to need a touch-up session or two to achieve your desired look. The color will lighten up to the right shade, but your brows might look a little patchy or need some more definition. You’ll head back to your brow artist and they’ll fill in any sparse areas.

To keep your brows looking their best, you’ll want to book a touch-up every year or two. The average microshading touch-up costs $162, and the appointment is usually much quicker than the initial microshading appointment. 

Microshading is a great option for people who want to simplify their makeup routine and make sure their brows always look their best. Now that you’ve got an idea of how much microshading costs, you can search on StyleSeat to find a local brow artist in your budget.