The Tattoo Procedure

Step 6: Setup your Procedure Tray

Now that we’re finished with shaping the client, you can setup your procedure tray for the tattoo process. Put away your shaping materials and anything that needs to be sanitized after the appointment for now. Prepare your procedure tray by setting up your machine, wrapping it, prepping the numbing cream, the wipes, the lip wands, etc. Choose the color for your client and mix the ink. Make sure to shake the pigment bottles thoroughly before using. You can shake the bottle for at least 30 seconds or use a pigment shaker. Squeeze the pigment into a pigment ring or pigment tray and mix the pigment mixture using a toothpick.

Step 7: Outline

Start outlining the brows without numbing. We outline the brows before we numb to ensure that we secure the shape precisely. We can’t numb before the outline or it will smear the shape. Ombré Powder brows is a very precise technique and if the shape is smeared or changed even the slightest it will be very obvious. We don’t numb prior to the shaping process either because shaping can take 45 minutes to over an hour and the numbing would wear off by then. Numbing can also lead to slight swelling which may lead to inaccurate brow mapping. In addition, Tag 45 is a topical anesthetic for open/broken skin. This means we have to outline and complete a first pass prior to numbing.

Outline the brows working in sections from the tail to the front of the brow. Work your way up slowly, make sure the area is pigmented before you move forward. Once you lose your outline, it can be very hard to correct. You worked hard mapping the brows so you want to make sure your outline is there. Outline on top of the pre-draw, not inside or outside the guidelines.

Step 8: First Pass

Once the outline is tattooed and the pre-draw has been wiped off, begin the first pass. One “pass” is considered a “layer” of pigments that has been tattooed. Start at the tails and work your way up to the front. My first pass is a very light pass because the client hasn’t been numbed yet. My goal is to tattoo a light layer of pigments to test my pressure and depth as well as open the skin for numbing. I always start with lighter pressure when I begin my first pass.

Step 9: Numbing

Apply a light layer of Tag 45 using a lip wand. Let sit for 1-2 minutes then wipe it off.

Step 10: Shading

Continue to layer on additional passes until you get your desired saturation. When I shade, I go back and forth between each brow, for example, I will do the first pass on the first brow then the first pass for the other brow then go back to the first brow to do the second pass, and so on and so forth. I typically tattoo anywhere between 2-5 passes. The amount of passes you need depends on several factors such as:

  • Desired style of brows (natural, medium, bold)
  • Skin
  • Amount of existing brow hairs
  • Artist shading style

Step 11: Final Touch Up Pass

Once I’ve achieved my desired saturation, I typically go in with a touch up pass. In this pass, I go over any spots that need more shading. I will use longer strokes to ensure that everything stays blended. I go in to define an area in the outline that needs to be crisper. If the tail is sharp or the front ombré isn’t fully complete I go in to shade some more. This pass is quick and the purpose is to make sure everything is blended nicely.