From microshading and ombre brows to hyper-realism and powder brows, it's official: there's a microblading boom happening right now.
But with so much choice (one search on bookings platform Treatwell pulls up a staggering 336 microblading venues in London alone), how can you be sure a service is reputable? This is a treatment that lasts for up to three years, after all.
Here, we uncover what to look for as well as the very best microblading salons and artists across the capital. Each is recommended by people we trust, from top hair colourists to lash technicians and makeup artists, each has the personal seal of approval from an industry expert who really knows their stuff.
How to choose a salon for microblading
Leading microblading artist Nez Hasan , who's treated the likes of Sam and Nic Chapman , shares her advice: "Consistency is key. Make sure the artist has a substantial portfolio covering a long period. Photos of at least five healed brows, taken two to four weeks after the treatment are also crucial.
"They might look a lovely shade of brown immediately after but you want to make sure they won't heal red – a common problem related to the chemicals used in the pigment. High quality clean pigments won't turn red or purple," explains Nez.
She also highlights the importance of choosing someone who is able to work with the natural growth direction of the hairs, instead of implementing a 'one look fits all' pattern. "Everyone's brow hairs grow slightly differently, especially amongst varying ethnicities," reveals Nez.
Most services will include a patch test (performed at least 48 hours before), a consultation to determine whether the treatment is suitable for you and discuss the shape, then the microblading treatment itself which can take between 30 minutes to two hours.
You will also usually be offered a top-up session between four and eight weeks later (sometimes included in the initial fee, but not always).
"This is to monitor the healing process and go over any strokes which may naturally have faded. Typically people see about 20 to 30 per cent of the strokes disappear although this is all dependent on your skin type. Oily skins, or those who tend to bleed more, often notice the pigment fades quicker," explains Nez.
And what about the skinny brows seen on the likes of Bella Hadid? Does Nez really see the thin arches of the 1990s making a comeback?
"I've been talking about this with a few of my clients, actually. There has been a move towards a more understated look – nobody wants very big brows, at least not from me. But I don't think we'll ever really see super-skinny over-plucked brows again," comments Nez.
What are powder brows and ombre brows?
Microblading menus are becoming increasingly vast and the jargon can get a little confusing. There are distinct differences between many of these services – for example, powder brows typically uses an electronic pen rather than a manual blade. Ombre brows is similar yet boasts a gradient effect.
However it's important not to get blinded by marketing – make your decision based on the technician as opposed to a technique.
A reputable salon should be able to advise you on the best option to suit your skin type, existing brow hair and desired effect.
Images: nezhasan.com & Instagram @nezhasan_
Insider fans: Sam and Nic Chapman, Sali Hughes, Patricia Bright and Tanya Burr
After quitting her nine to five job in distribution six years ago, Istanbul native Nez Hasan trained in microblading and began working from a small rented room in North London. She quickly scored a cult industry following thanks to her attention to detail and precision results.
Today, based in an Insta-worthy salon in the heart of Kensington, Nez is the go-to artist amongst influencers and social media stars with beauty journalist Sali Hughes branding her "hugely talented."
You'll find trending techniques on her menu including powder brows, £650, and microshading, £750.
Nez's Powder Brows service uses a needle instead of a blade and creates a more soft-focus ombre finish that's especially suited to oily complexions or dark skins, while her microshading treatment incorporates both a blade and needle and is a good option for people with extremely sparse hairs.
Price: £600 including an email consultation and a top-up session between four and six weeks later
Waiting list: Five months although there is the option to pay £80 extra for a priority booking
Find her at: Nez Hasan, 19 Abingdon Road, High Street Kensington, London, W8 6AH, nezhasan.com
Images: Instagram @daxitavaghela
Insider fans: Daxita keeps her microblading clients under wraps but Caroline Hirons, Sophie Dahl and Charlotte Tilbury are fans of her work
A true industry stalwart – frequently referred to as 'London's lash queen' – Daxita Vaghela has a career spanning over 30 years. Having long been known for her ability to conjure up an exquisite false flutter, she's also been offering a microblading service for the last four years.
With decades of experience behind her (Daxita began threading brows when she was a young girl), she has an innate understanding of how brows can lift, balance and frame the face at any age. The result? An unbelievably natural, flattering and bespoke finish.
Customer Rebekah Brown, friend of Get the Gloss and founder of MPowder supplements, tells us: "My eyebrows seemed to suddenly disappear as I hit peri-menopause... in truth it was probably a gradual departure but one day I noticed. I’m not someone who regularly has treatments, so I did my research. I looked at where the beauty editors and journalists were going and Daxita’s name popped up a number of times. In the flesh she was charming, gentle and considered. And the result is really natural. I had two treatments (included in the cost) – the first to establish the shape, the second to make any final adjustments and then reapply. I’m so happy I did it."
Price: £490 including a consultation, a top-up session six weeks later and an after-care kit
Waiting list: One month
Find her at: Daxita Vaghela, Atherton Cox Salon, 18 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 8UR, daxitavaghela.com
Images: Nouva Beauty
Insider fans: Diana Mazella, colourist at London's Michael van Clarke hair salon
A hidden gem, this modest salon set on Fulham Broadway offers incredible value for money. Having completed international training with four academies over several years, Dubai-born brow director Maya is passionate about precision and keeping up with the latest techniques.
One look at her five-star reviews and Instagram portfolio shows her artistry rivals some of the industry's leading names. She also offers 'Combination Brows' – a hybrid of microblading and microshading that she recommends if you've lost over 50 per cent of your hairs.
We came across Maya via colour genius Diana Mazella of London's Michael van Clarke who was seriously impressed with her microblading treatment.
Price: £299 plus a £30 consultation and optional £100 top-up session six weeks later
Waiting list: None
Find her at: Nouva Beauty, 513 Fulham Road, London, SW6 1HH, fresha.com/a/nouva-beauty-london-513-fulham-rd-fulham-broadway-c6secyjo
Images: fenwick.co.uk & Blink Brow Bar
Insider fans: According to the brand, most of its celebrity clients tend to opt for other services before "jumping into microblading" but Blink's esteemed following includes Millie Kendall MBE, Caggie Dunlop and Estee Lalonde
Famed for bringing threading bars to the high street 15 years ago and founded by Vanita Parti MBE, Blink and eyebrows go hand-in-hand. With 23 salons worldwide – including a brand new Belgravia spot opened this month – all the brand's therapists are trained to the highest standards and now, with two London locations offering microblading, it's well on its way to making semi permanent makeup services accessible to all, too.
A unique element of the service? Your consultation comes with a brow shape and tint. This allows your technician to tailor the brow to the individual rather than creating a "set look," according to Jaimineey Patel, Blink Brow Bar's head of training and education.
Price: £450 including a top-up session four to six weeks later, plus a £50 consultation
Waiting list: None
Find them at: Blink Brow Bar, 51 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AA and Blink Brow Bar, Fenwick, 63 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1RQ, bbb-london.com
Insider fans: Again, the brand are keeping quiet about its famous microblading clients but Adele, Victoria Beckham and Kate Hudson have previously had their brows tended to by Shavata herself
Kicking off her career as a beauty therapist over 20 years ago, Shavata Singh is renowned for becoming a true industry trailblazer. She launched her first brow studio in 2004 and was soon scooping up awards and a devoted celebrity following.
Now synonymous with flawless arches and with 19 nationwide studios to her name, her team offers microblading services in three London locations. From 2022, it will also be available in destinations in Ireland and the North of England.
While Shavata herself specialises in semi-permanent 'powder' and 'ombre' brows (the technique that uses a needle instead of a blade), two of her highly-acclaimed senior artists deliver microblading.
Shavata prides herself on her natural results and her brand's microblading treatments are no different. Head to the team for an impeccable finish that flatters your own features, using the highest quality pigments.
Price: £1200 for semi-permanent brows with Shavata Singh; £800 for microblading with national trainer Chermaine Kyriacou and £600 for microblading with therapist Sunita Ghalan. All include a consultation, top-up session and after-care
Waiting list: One month for Shavata and one to three weeks for her team
Find her at: 274 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 1PD; 60 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, SW3 1NZ and Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ, shavata.co.uk
Images: Instagram @suzannemartinaesthetics
Insider fans: Ellie Goulding and Keeley Hawes
Holding an exclusive residency at The Lanesborough hotel in London's Knightsbridge, aesthetician Suzanne Martin has been working as a semi permanent makeup artist for over ten years with many of her clients travelling internationally to visit her.
She has become famed for her signature 'Couture Brow' treatment, inspired by decades working as a makeup artist, including for Dior. Using micro needles of varying sizes to mimic individual hair strokes – rather than a blade –Suzanne takes a real makeup artistry approach with her treatment.
She pays a remarkable level of attention to face shape and personal style and even colour matches the shade to your favourite brow pencil or powder.
Price: £1400 including a top-up one month later
Waiting list: Two months
Find her at: The Lanesborough Club and Spa, 2 Lanesborough Place, London, SW1X 7TA, lanesboroughclubandspa.com
Insider fans: Nigella Lawson
Having opened the doors to her first clinic 20 years ago, Vaishaly Patel's healing hands have cemented her as one of the industry's leading facialists with a celebrity client list starring the likes of Elle Macpherson and Gwyneth Paltrow. But its not just her award-winning facial massage that makes her so sought after.
Following on from her own popular thread-and-tint technique for brows, she offers a microblading service – and other semi permanent makeup options – from her Marylebone HQ.
Her menu also includes ombre shading, £400, and combination brow services, £450, which promise a softer look at the front of the brow with more colour and definition towards the ends.
Whichever you opt for, expect polished yet incredibly natural results and a warm service.
Price: £650 including a top-up four to eight weeks later, or £400 with her Vaishaly's trained aesthetician
Waiting list: Three months
Find her at: Vaishaly Clinic, 51 Paddington Street, London, W1U 4HR, vaishaly.com
Insider fans: Michelle Keegan, Jessica Wright and makeup artist Lyndsey Harrison
If it's high-glam arches you're after, Romania-born Laura C is your girl. Having trained with microblading academy PhiBrows, she has become one of the academy's only PhiBrows Masters in the UK and its only PhiShading Master –qualifications that demand an elite level of knowledge.
Her mantra? "Brows must enhance, not dominate!"
Working from her Chelsea studio, Laura's clients include royals as well as former TOWIE stars Jessica Wright and her mother Carole Wright, and makeup artists Krystal Dawn and Lyndsey Harrison. Our own recommendation came from esteemed celebrity lash technician Camilla Kirk-Reynolds, also known as Camilla Lashes.
Price: £795 including a top-up session six to eight weeks later
Waiting list: Three months
Find her at: lauracbrows.co.uk – Laura's studio address is for booked clients only - contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more
Insider fans: Lucy Mecklenburgh, Louise Thompson and Vogue Williams
Ever since the semi-permanent makeup boom of the Noughties, Tracie Giles has been a leading authority with the aesthetician's client list reading like a who's who of British celebrities and reality stars.
While the clinic's still renowned for its eyeliner tattoos and signature 'Gloss & Go' Lip Blush treatment – as well as microblading – its Hyper-Realism Brows service is a standout. This technique uses an electronically-powered machine, instead of a blade, to create wispy overlapping hair strokes that build intensity in the middle of the eyebrow.
According to the team, it creates a less defined aesthetic that's perfect for those wanting fuller fluffier 3D-looking brows.
Multi award-winning brow director Miri is one of the clinic's go-to for the service. Having recently being crowned 'Most Realistic Eyebrow Artist' at the Permanent Makeup Brow championships, she owes her artistry and precision to her background in fine art.
Price: Microblading starts from £495 and Hyper-Realism Brows start from £995. Both include a top-up session two to 12 weeks later.
Waiting list: None
Find her at: 24 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3 1NH, traciegiles.co.uk
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