All your eyebrow feathering questions, answered

Swap your daily brow makeup for this semi-permanent solution

Brows. We’ve all become a little addicted to them. Only this is an addiction we refuse to feel guilty about. Because brows have all the power. Face-framing, eye-catching. Good brows equal a good day.

But like most obsessions, sometimes things can get out of hand. Our brow kits are bursting at the seams with all the powders, pomades and gels it takes to get them up to scratch daily. That’s why eyebrow feathering is so alluring. Semi-permanent eyebrows sound like a sweet deal to us, and a major win for our already-hectic morning routine. “It’s a real time-saving treatment for women on the go,” says brow artist Amy Jean of Amy Jean Brow Agency. “Also, some women struggle artistically to design and fill their brows on a daily basis. Feathering also comes with the benefit of being smudge-proof and waterproof, so is great for exercising or swimming.”

We know what you're thinking: it sounds like a real game-changer, doesn't it?!

As a still relatively new cosmetic technique, you probably have a few questions before going under the knife (yep, there's a blade involved, but more on that soon). So, we’ve answered everything you could possibly want to know about eyebrow feathering.

Fun fact about Amy Jean: She pioneered feather touch brow tattoos in Australia! She’s practically brow royalty.

What is eyebrow feathering?

Also known as microfeathering, feather touch brows and feather tattoo eyebrows, eyebrow feathering is a cosmetic procedure that uses a precise blade to create the look of individual hairs to fill in sparse brows. Don't worry, it's not quite as scary as it sounds: The minute cuts are only as deep as the superficial layers of the epidermis (i.e the top skin layer). A dye is applied over the top and absorbs into the incisions. The result is semi-permanent soft, gap-free, natural-looking brows. And who wouldn't be up for that?! 

What’s the difference between microblading and microfeathering?

Microblading and microfeathering are very similar, but the difference lies in the original state of the brows and the end result. Microblading is suited to brows that are thin and/or overplucked, and will help transform them into neat, sculpted arches with more fullness. Microfeathering works with the brow’s natural shape and focuses on ‘drawing on’ fine hair strokes to fill in gaps for a more natural, fluffy result. For feathered brows, you need to have decent brows to begin with, as the idea is to just enhance what you already have – not to try and manipulate the shape too much.

Does it hurt?

Not when you have a strong topical anaesthetic to numb the area. The only discomfort you might feel is the unpleasant sound of the blade scraping against your skin.

The application process

Before your first eyebrow feathering appointment, you should try and grow out your brows as much as possible. Try to go six weeks without reaching for your tweezers – the more your brow technician has to work with, the better the results will be.

Once you’re in your appointment, the treatment will kick off with a numbing cream application and your brow artist will determine the perfect colour match for the dye that will be used. Over the next two hours, the incisions will be made and the dye drawn on. You can’t rush perfection!

Before & after microfeathering

Check out some before and after pictures of microfeathering by the technique’s founder, Hollywood’s go-to brow expert Kristie Streicher, and Australia’s answer to better brows, Amy Jean:

Who’s best suited to this brow treatment?

“Feather touch brows are not a suitable treatment for everyone and you must do your research,” says Amy Jean. “For instance, sensitised skin types and oily skin will not retain the pigment well and can cause discolouration or blurring of the feather touch lines.” She notes that the best candidates are normal to dry skin types and “sparse hair is ideal so we can create the strokes among the natural hairs”.

How long does eyebrow feathering last?

Results last for nine to 18 months, depending on the skin type, environmental factors, lifestyle and exposure to the elements, says Amy Jean.

Eyebrow feathering aftercare

They’re basically maintenance-free, once you get through the first week. “You are required to keep the skin dry and apply a soothing skin shield across the treated area for seven days. This is at night just before bed. Avoid active ingredients in skin care for 10 days pre- and post-treatment,” says Amy Jean.

GOOD TO KNOW: Your brow colour will darken over the first few days after your procedure, before then starting to fade to the natural hue your brow artist articulately matched to your existing brow hair colour.

How much does it cost?

Eyebrow feathering prices can vary greatly depending on where you go. And this is the type of treatment you want to make sure you’re in good hands. Amy Jean and her team – who are some of the best brow artists in Australia – charge from $995 (looking good ain’t cheap, we’re afraid – but this price does include a retouch six to eight weeks after your initial application) so use that price as your ballpark. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And your face is too important to take the chance on an amateur job. The good news is your retouching appointment to renew faded brows 12-18 months down the track will cost more like $250. 

Are there any risks?

Like we said before, who does your brows matters, so do your research. This includes looking at samples of their work to ensure you like their ‘style’, because there’s an art to eyebrow feathering and you want someone who is on the same page as you on what looks natural. You may experience redness, swelling, bruising and itching post-treatment. All normal and nothing too bad, although you may find a day or two off work is necessary post-treatment.

Can you do away with all your daily brow products?

That’s really up to you. “We create the design and if you want to ‘dress the brows’ even further with an additional product, you simply follow the artist's lead,” says Amy Jean. “If you have light brows that do not colour-match the tattoo, you still have the option to tint or shape around the feather brow tattoo,” she adds.

Can’t bear to part with brow makeup? These are the three best brow products our members swear by and the $3 brow pencil receiving five-star reviews. Plus, if you want to try brow tinting at home, here's everything you need to know.

Have you tried eyebrow feathering? Would you consider trying it? Share your thoughts on the semi-permanent brow procedure below.

Main image credit: Getty

Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.