When you've tried every pencil, powder, pigment, gel, and stencil at Sephora and your brows are still sparse: Microblading — a more permanent solution to thin brows—is the last - ditch effort treatment that promises to change your brow life. The face tattoo technique isn't as scary as it sounds.

Micro-blading is a FORM of Tattooing

Unlike a regular tattoo, "microblading is a form of tattoo artistry where pigment is implanted under your skin with a manual handheld tool instead of a machine," Marketa explained "Even though it's not as deep as the regular tattoo, it's still a tattoo because pigment is implanted under the skin."

You Need to Prepare

If you drink a lot, take aspirin, or use retinol, stop one week before your treatment. "Retinol makes your skin thin and then you bleed a little more," Marketa says. "Avoid blood thinners, aspirin, and alcohol."

It Doesn't Hurt (Too Much)

Pain is relative. "Some feel more than others. Overall it feels like little scratches. You feel it, but it's not unbearable. It's not like having a baby," says Marketa, who preps her patients' brows with topical numbing cream and tops up throughout the process to dull the discomfort.

Microblading Takes Time

"I don't like to rush anyone," says Marketa, who blocks off three hours for new clients.

Aftercare is Essential "DRY HEALING"

That means protecting freshly bladed brows from all moisture– no sweaty workouts or washing your face with water. Some patients experience itching and redness during the first week, which room temperature compress will relieve. Brows will look slightly darker at first, but the color will fade 30 to 40 percent. Aftercare ointments are provided during your first appointment to be used after 7 days. "Overall they look great right away and you don't have to hide," Marketa says. "Slight redness and mild swelling is normal."

Results Last "UP TO" Three Years

Depending on the skin and lifestyle, Marketa ‘s clients come back for touch-ups once every six to twelve months.

Microblading is an Investment

The first treatment cost £280. While lower-priced services are available, Marketa cautions against visiting inexperienced technicians. Remember, microblading is a form of tattooing.


Semi-permanent make-up, also known as micropigmentation, is a form of temporary cosmetic tattooing which allows you to have long-lasting eyeliner and lip colour as well as being able to shape and contour your eyebrows. The procedure involves tiny particles of pigment being placed beneath the surface of the skin, much like a tattoo. This pigment will stay in the skin for a number of years, gradually breaking down and fading with time, although the longevity of the results will depend on your age and skin type. Micropigmentation techniques have been refined in recent years and a wider selection of pigment colours have been developed so that technicians can create ultra-natural looks. Only a TRAINED semi-permanent make-up artist can perform this treatment. Many technicians are also beauty therapists or nurses but as this is a specialist skill it requires separate training. In addition to being commonly used for cosmetic enhancement to enhance the eyebrows, eyelids, lips and cheeks, semi-permanent make-up may also be used to create an areola (brown area around the nipple) after mastectomy or to disguise scars. People that suffer from vitiligo which is a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin can also benefit from semi-permanent makeup.

Am I a Candidate for Semi Permanent Make-up?

Anyone who wears make-up is a potential candidate for semi-permanent make-up. If you lack colour and shape to your lips and want to enhance them without having dermal fillers; if you regularly pencil in your eyebrows or would like to give them a better shape or fill in gaps where they have been over plucked; if you want to enhance your eyes and want the effects of eyeliner without the running and under eye smudging; if you want to open up your eyes and raise your eyebrows without the need for a brow lift; if you are allergic to traditional cosmetics or if you simply want to save time by not having to apply a full face of make-up every day, then semi-permanent makeup could be an option for you. The ideal candidate for this treatment will also have realistic expectations about what it can achieve.

The technique is also used for medical applications such as:

• Areola (nipple) tattooing following mastectomy

• Eyebrow reconstruction for alopecia patients and those who have lost hair through burns, operations or accidents

• Camouflage of vitiligo

• Cosmetic correction of cleft palate

• Correction of facial asymmetry

• Camouflage of surgical scars (See our section on Medical Tattooing for more information on this).

People who should not have treatment are those with an active skin disease or infection, women who are pregnant or breast feeding, insulin dependent diabetics, people with heart conditions and those who are prone to keloid scarring.

What Are the Risks and Complications with Semi Permanent Make-up?

There are few risks associated with semi-permanent make-up. One of the biggest risks is that the result is too dramatic or the wrong combination of pigments is used so that you get a coloured tint that does not look natural. This should not happen in the hands of a skilled practitioner so make sure you do your homework and see someone who has a good record and is experienced in this technique. In many cases this can be corrected but will fade over time. A rare side effect is an allergic reaction. If you are concerned about this, you can have a skin sensitivity test before treatment. Scarring is also very rare but can happen if the technician makes a mistake during the treatment. Again visiting an experienced and skilled practitioner will minimise the risk of this occurring. Another possible complication is infection. If proper sterilization is used this should not happen. Make sure you don’t touch or rub the area after treatment to lessen the chances of this happening.

What Happens During a Semi Permanent Make-up Procedure?

Before you decide whether or not to go ahead with semi-permanent make-up you will need to have a consultation with a semi-permanent make-up artist/ technician to make sure you are suitable for treatment and to discuss your goals and expectations. A medical history should be taken and you should be asked to fill in a consent form to say you fully understand the procedure and its associated risks and complications. Your practitioner may also take photographs to use as a before and after comparison later. Your consultation may be done on the same day or on a different day to your treatment. In some cases, a topical anaesthetic may be used to minimise discomfort during treatment. Whether or not you have this will be down to you and your semi-permanent make-up technician. The practitioner will then usually mark out the area being treatment with a cosmetic pencil to act as a guideline. The pigments are then placed under the skin using a very fine needle attached to a hand held electrical device. Your treatment may take anywhere between half an hour and two hours depending on the area(s) you are having treated. You will usually need to come in for more than one appointment to achieve the right result as the pigments may be absorbed and need topping up. Because the techniques used nowadays are more natural and require less pigment, your results may not last as long as in the past where more pigment was used. How long your results last will vary depending on how quickly your body absorbs the pigment but can be anywhere between three months to two years.

What Should I Do After Semi Permanent Make-up Treatment?

There is virtually no downtime with semi-permanent make-up treatment and you will be able to resume normal activities straight away. The pigment in the treated area may appear to be a little dark for a few days after the procedure and you may have some redness. In some cases, you may get some slight swelling or bruising. Make sure you follow the post treatment advice given to you by your practitioner carefully. This may include staying out of the sun, not going swimming for a couple of weeks, avoiding traditional make-up for three or four days and avoiding picking or scratching at the area. If your eyes have been treated and you are a contact lenses wearer you may need to wear glasses for a few days after treatment. Aftercare ointments are provided during your first appointment to be used sparsely twice a day.


What Method of Tattoo Removal can get the pigment or tattoo ink out with one session and no scars?

No removal process can get the pigment out in one shot other than having a plastic surgeon cut the tissue out. Then you will have scars from stiches and need scar camouflage.

Who Developed the Product and Techniques?

Master Cosmetic Tattoo Artist John Hashey developed the Hypertonic Saline Solution in 1980. The World’s First Natural Saline and Advanced Techniques, Master Artist John Hashey developed a system that truly works. Numerous companies have tried to copy or emulate the process and none compare to A+ Ocean.

Who Can Perform Conventional and Cosmetic Tattoo lightening or removal?

Licensed and Insured Conventional and Cosmetic Artist, Doctors, Nurses that have been properly trained.

How Fast Does the Product Work?

Each type Tattoo Lightening or Removal is dependent on the depth of pigment or tattoo ink inserted into the tissue.

What Type of Pigment or Ink Was Used in the Tattoo Process and the Age of Tattoo?

The best results are always obtained by following the manufactures instructions to the letter and informing the customer of proper aftercare.

What Are the Advantages of Using the All-Natural A+ Ocean Solution?

The process does not permanently damage the tissue like lasers or chemical removal methods. Will not remove natural skin color and can get any color out of the tissue unlike lasers, Can be used on the facial tissue with cosmetic tattoos. Cost to the customer is a fraction compared to other methods.

How Long Does the Product Last and How Should it be Stored?

The product has a one year shelf life and should be stored in a refrigerator.

What Is Collagen Induction Therapy?

Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), also known as medical skin needling or micro-needling, is a minimally-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment designed to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as scars on the face and body. The treatment uses tiny needles or micro-needles on a medical-grade that is moved over the skin to create tiny, evenly-spaced puncture wounds on the skin. This process stimulates the body’s natural collagen production by generating a wound healing response. The needle used is like a fine tattooing needle, so should cause minimal trauma when creating the microscopic punctures in the skin. However, topical local anaesthetic can be used to minimise discomfort. By damaging the skin, you encourage the body to produce new collagen and elastin, which helps it thicken and ‘plump up’. The procedure can be performed on the face and body.

How Long Does the Product Last and How Should it be Stored?

There are no major contraindications for Collagen Induction Therapy. As with all cosmetic treatments, the ideal candidate should have realistic expectations and be in generally good health. The treatment is suitable for all skin types, unlike some laser or chemical peels procedures.

If you have any of the following concerns, you may be a suitable candidate for Collagen Induction Therapy:

• Premature ageing

• Skin Laxity

• Lines and wrinkles

• Scarring from acne, chicken pox, injuries or surgery

What Are the Risks and Complications with Collagen Induction Therapy?

Risks and complications associated with this treatment are minimal but can include:

• Scab formation

• Flaking or dryness of the skin

• The appearance of white spots, known as milia

• The appearance of dark patches on the skin, known as hyperpigmentation

• An outbreak of cold sores in previous suffers

Any complications with this treatment are rare and can be easily resolved in most cases.

What Happens During Collagen Induction Therapy treatment?

There are a number of different methods of performing Collagen Induction Therapy so how your treatment is performed will depend on what method is being used. Before you undergo any cosmetic treatment, it is important to have a consultation with a qualified practitioner to ensure you are suitable for treatment. This will be your opportunity to ask any questions you have about the procedure and for the practitioner to explain the pros and cons. A medical history will usually be taken and you will be asked to sign a consent form to make sure you fully understand what the procedure involves and any associated risks and complications. Once your practitioner has decided you are a suitable candidate, your treatment can go ahead. The length of the needles used for Collagen Induction Therapy will vary. The longer the needle, the deeper into the skin it will penetrate, and the more dramatic results you will see. A topical anaesthetic is usually applied before treatment to minimise any pain and discomfort. Your treatment can take anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour, depending on the area you are having treated. With a micropigmentation device a group of needlees encased within a handpiece (much like those used by tattoo artists) is used to puncture the skin.

What Should I Do After Collagen Induction Therapy Treatment?

After Collagen Induction Therapy Treatment, your skin will be a bit red or pink. You may also get some bleeding and bruising, however this should be minimal and will depend on the length of the needle used during your treatment. The downtime with this treatment is very quick and you should have recovered between 24-72 hours. Because the results of this treatment rely on kick-starting your body’s own collagen production, it can take between four to eight weeks before you start to fully see the benefits. A series of between two and five treatments is usually recommended to achieve maximum results. Your practitioner may also ask you to use a cosmeceutical grade skincare to enhance your treatment results. Beware of buying these types of products on the internet.

Semi Permanent Cosmetics

Aftercare Information For Healing Period

In the first two hours, try to gently blot the area using a warm damp cotton wool pad. For 2 to 5 days after treatment, the procedure area may experience the following symptoms:

• Flaking

• Tenderness

• Dryness and itching

• Swelling

• Redness After eye procedures, eyelashes may stick together and eyelids appear red and puffy.

If you are feeling less than 100% healthy it may take longer for your treatment to heal and symptoms may appear more prominent.

For at least 7 days after a procedure or until the area appears to be healed, include the following daily routine:

• Apply ointment provide it by your makeup artist to the area at least 2 times a day using a cotton bud.

• Wash hands before and after application and use a clean cotton bud each time to avoid infection.

• Use a gentle face cleanser and avoid the treatment areas.

If the area does get wet, pat dry very gently with a clean towel or tissue. If you have ever had cold sores or herpes simplex in the past it is important that you continue to use medication for 7 days after your lip treatment, as you did 7 days before. This will help prevent an outbreak, which causes discomfort and could result in scarring.

Important “Do Nots”

1 DO NOT expose the area to extreme heat or extreme cold until healed. This includes sunbathing, tanning beds, saunas etc.

2 DO NOT use makeup on the area for 7 days and in the case of eye procedures use a new mascara to prevent infection.

3 DO NOT apply Vaseline - this will make the area sweat, allowing the pigment to heal incorrectly during the 7 day healing process. Vaseline can be applied after the 7-day period and is recommended if you plan to use chlorinated pools and Jacuzzis. When your permanent cosmetics are in contact with strong chemicals use a protector.

4 DO NOT itch, pick, scratch or rub the area or the colour will heal unevenly or cause scarring and infection.

Essential Information

REMEMBER the colour is up to 50% darker straight after the treatment. It will fade after 4 to 7 days and the true colour will not come through until up to 4 weeks after the initial treatment. During the healing process, the colour may seem to have disappeared as it is obscured by the healing skin. Under no circumstances should you have further permanent cosmetic work undertaken during the 4-week period.

General Post Procedure Information

In order to keep your permanent cosmetic work in perfect condition it may be necessary to have a maintenance procedure about every 6 to 18 months, though this will vary for each individual. To avoid pigment fade for as long as possible, avoid excessive exposure to the sun or UV rays and use a good sunscreen or moisturiser with an SPF15. If you are planning an MRI scan, chemical peel or any other similar procedures, please inform your practitioner that you have had permanent cosmetics. You should not be eligible to give blood for 6 months after your procedure, please inform the National Blood Service of your procedure and date if you want to give blood. If you are planning injections such as Botox and Collagen remember it can alter the shape of your lips and eyebrows. Laser hair removal can fade and change the shade of your lips or brow procedures, always advice the laser technician you are wearing permanent cosmetics and they can act accordingly.


Swelling differs with each individual. To eliminate the swelling you can place ice on the treated areas every hour for about 10 minutes. Make sure you are rolling the ice - do not leave in one area. An additional pillow is advisable when sleeping that evening. Do not use eyelash curlers for 5 days after the procedure. New mascara has to be purchased but not to be used until approximately 5 days after the procedure.


Your eyebrows need to be gently blotted to remove excess body fluids to eliminate crusting. Make sure you wash your hair with your head tilted backwards to stop water running down you face. Do not try to hide you eyebrows with your fringe in the first 2 days, this is the easiest way to cause infection - keep you fringe away from your eyebrows.


The anaesthetic will have worn off within 30 minutes and your colour will come back into your lip tissue. Ice can be applied the same as the eyeliner to relieve the burning sensation. After 2 hours and before you go to bed gently blot the area with a damp cotton wool pad to remove excess body fluids and tiny blood spots to eliminate crusting. Apply the healing balm every hour whilst awake. Do not apply lipstick until after 7 days. It is possible that an allergic reaction to the ingredients of the lipstick may occur should you apply within this period. Be careful when eating spicy, salty or citrus foods; avoid them if possible. Drink through a straw to prevent contact with contaminates and washing off your healing balm and also be careful when brushing your teeth. If you suffer cold sores and are not using Zovirax or a similar product to prevent an outburst, I will not be responsible for excessive colour fading. I can guarantee a 90% chance you will have an outbreak of cold sores if Zovirax or medication tablets are not used.


REMEMBER the colour is up to 50% darker straight after the treatment. It will fade 4 to 7 days after and the true colour will not come through until 4 weeks after the initial treatment. Often clients think they have lost their colour, please remember what I said about the colour becoming stronger.