While often not believed to fall under the umbrella of permanent makeup OR cosmetic tattooing, microblading is every bit as much a tattoo as other permanent makeup treatments. Perhaps the reason people believe it is different is that it is a treatment completed with a hand tool which looks like a pen.
Furthermore, many permanent makeup artists advertise it as a semi-permanent treatment because it does not last as long as other treatments–approximately 10 to 18 months, though this varies from client to client.
Firstly, it is important to understand that all eyebrow permanent makeup treatments will lighten over time. Microblading has a tendency to fade sooner than treatments accomplished with a machine. That said, the minute any pigment molecules are placed into the skin, some always remain, whether or not visible to the naked eye. For this reason, it is incorrect to call microblading semi-permanent.
A microblade is not actually a “blade” at all, but a carefully designed attachment to the pen which is a series of single needles either soldered together or tightly bound in a linear fashion. The microblade device is used by the artist to precisely etch individual hair strokes into the skin to either replicate an entire eyebrow, or to add to an existing brow which may be sparse and/or thin.