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Existing Permanent Makeup Correction

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Correcting permanent makeup that is done by another artist.

NB! If you have an existing cosmetic tattoo a consultation IS ESSENTIAL before approving the correction appointment.

I've created this post because I see how important it is to ensure you to choose the right cosmetic tattoo artist, and know when to stop getting touch ups. I consult with clients daily who have previous cosmetic tattoo that they'd like to freshen up/or correct. However, sometimes it's not possible, with removal being the best option.

Have you had microblading done up to 3-4 times, and thinking about getting a touch up? Perhaps the hairstrokes that have blurred and faded, or the colour is not right, or you had this done 10 years ago? A consultation is necessary, to give you the right advice as if you’ve been to several different artists who have different techniques, styles and pigments, these aspects need to be considered.

What we see on the skin as permanent makeup artists is different what you see when it comes to your cosmetic tattoo.

Picture 1. (tattoos seem lighter on the pictures)

Over worked microblading
Microblading mixed with tattoo that has faded grey and patchy

When you look at the picture nr 1, it has lost it's saturation and warmth, with a tiny light patch on the brow tail, with the brow itself already quite dark. This would be challenging to correct, as we must take into consideration the skin tone, natural hair colour and existing shape (which is not great) and patches of the brow. We also consider the amount of times the client has had their brows done to ensure we know how much colour depth of there is that we need to work with.

Being clear on what you want to achieve you have to set yourself reasonable expectations about the possible outcome. Sometimes a cover up work might need up to 3 touch ups to get the best result. Still, they may not look as new as examples you see on Facebook and Instagram.

In some cases for the best outcome a tattoo removal (or lightening), such as laser or saline removal, is the best option if you need your brow shape to be adjusted or the colour corrected.

If, for example, your brow looks dark as in Picture 1, they’re likely to go darker by adding a new layer of colour, that’s not ideal. But we can make your brows look warmer again, but not change the shape. To achieve ‘like new’ brows, removal is the best option..

In Picture 2, a removal would be the best choice, as there might not be any space left in the skin for the new ink. If this brow would be 'touched up' there's a high chance that the brow would go darker and heal blocky, which would be far from a natural look.

Picture 2.

Over worked microblading and scar tissue
Over worked microblading and powder with scar tissue

About Picture 2, this brow has many different techniques used. Hairstrokes, several years of shading (powder) and a layer of an old tattoo (like body tattoo) that has faded red. Different colours in the background of the brow resulting from using different ink. This is called ‘over saturated’ or ‘overworked’ brow, there is no space left for new pigment as the skin layer is already full of colour. If you added more, it would look good only when fresh, but result will be unnoticeable following healing. Best option here is brow laser removal.

Picture 3.

Over worked skin with microblading and scars
Several layers of microblading with scarring

Picture 3, is an example of microblading (you can see dark lines), scarring resulting from too frequent touch-ups or an inexperienced tattoo artist.

Mature skin loses collagen and thins, as a result implanting more pigment can damage the skin tissue by going too deep and cause scarring. With deep hairstrokes, the brow will appear darker, bigger and uneven on the surface, and is very hard to cover.

Picture 4.

Old microblading that has faded patchy
Old Microblading

This looks like an easy brow to cover up doesn't it? Again it looks lighter in the picture.

Picture 4, we can see partially faded microblading, darker under the brow and has darker strokes on the brow tail.

If we use powder brow technique over this, some spots will still appear darker, and look uneven.

Even covering with a darker brown colour will not resolve this appearance. A few sessions for removal would be recommended to recreate a new shape and even the colour, matching with hair and brow colour. A hairstroke technique over this would also result in an uneven brow, as existing hairstrokes are darker and wider, and these will remain obvious even with new hairstrokes.

Sometimes we can cover excising microblading work with a powder brow technique, but only when it's really faded and the brow shape looks good. However, if you prefer the hairstroke technique again, your tattoo must be almost non-existent. Sometimes the best option is to have a few sessions of colour removal, by laser or saline removal.

To find out what is best for you, book in a free consultation.


When you choose your permanent makeup artist, do not go after the coupons or cheap prices. If you get a bad tattoo it will end up costing you more than getting your cosmetic tattoo done by a professional. Look up for before and after pictures AND healed work. I always recommend coming in for a consultation first when you're unsure what to do. I am happy to help. My goal is to enhance your beauty and also educate you about permanent makeup. Sometimes less is better than more when it comes to touch ups. I like to say that if you look yourself a meter away from the mirror and your brows still look good and the shape is good and colour-you probably don't need a touch up yet. Again if you are unsure but something bothers your, book in for a consultation first.

For questions or booking email us at

Thanks for reading! OptiBrow Permanent Makeup

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We'll be away from New Zealand for a period of time. During this time, we won't be able to accept any new appointments or consultations. However, if you have any urgent inquiries or need assistance, please feel free to reach out to us via email, and we'll do our best to assist you remotely. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

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