Semi-permanent and permanent brow solutions are making sparse, shapeless eyebrows a plague of the past

by Luda Conti, owner of Avanti Day Resort

Although only a relatively recent trend in the beauty industry, using henna for eyebrow tinting has roots dating back thousands of years. Henna dye, a gentle temporary ink derived from the flowering plant of the same name, first appeared in ancient Egyptian and Indian civilizations and was used to temporarily hue hair and skin for festivities, religious ceremonies, and other important events, or simply for self-expression. Its oldest known use was by Ahmose-Henuttamehu of the Egyptian 17th Dynasty circa 1,570 BC (likely the daughter of regional ruler Seqenenre Tao and his wife, Ahmose Inhapy) her mummy discovered in 1881. Popularizing the use of henna in modern Europe is often credited to the late-19th-century opera singer, Adelina Patti.


It’s still used today for temporary body art and tattoos, and its gentle tinting properties are also utilized to give thin, sparse, or light eyebrows fullness and depth. Our brow treatment starts with pure Indian henna and offers pigments from blond to deep brown (traditional henna tints red) gently staining the skin underneath brow hairs and visibly reducing gaps in the hair. Depending on the texture of skin, the effect lasts somewhere between five to 14 pencil- and powder-free days.

If this reader is familiar with micro blading a technique that uses semi-permanent dye to “tattoo” feather-like lines into the arches of the eyebrow meet the newest member of the permanent makeup family, micro shading. Softer in technique than its bladed counterpart, which uses a handheld tool to implant pigment into the top layer of the skin in fi ne, quick strokes, micro shading utilizes a new megapixel process that applies tiny dots of color to cast a shadow effect over brows. By inserting hundreds of pinpoint dots into the skin, it gradually builds up color and produces a defined shape. Brows can seem color-heavy immediately following treatment, but just one week’s time leaves them full and natural looking. There are fans of both techniques, but practitioners have noted that micro shading is particularly well suited for those with sensitive and/or oily skin. Its effects last from one to three years.

Young woman holding eyebrow pencil to eyebrow
Avanti Day Resort, 345 U.S. 9, Manalapan Township,

Of course, eyebrows don’t get to have all the fun! Permanent makeup techniques are also utilized for multiple additional areas of the face, from lashes to lips. Cosmetic tattooing presents an opportunity for spa clients to skip years of eyeliner, lipstick, even mascara (thanks to recent advancements in lash enhancement tattoos). The procedure also addresses areas of concern like asymmetrical features and discoloration, and can look even more natural than traditional makeup. Level of permanence is dependent on the specific shade used as well as client skin variables, but most colors last three to five years, although some may not fade for as long as 10. Periodic touch-ups are recommended.

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