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Business ideas for 2019: Microblading

Brows on fleek to business peak – how the miracle microblading revolution could be your next business win.

Brows on fleek to business peak – how the miracle microblading revolution could be your next business win.

“Eyebrows on fleek” was a 2014 phenomenon that took the world by storm. The simple phrase, coined by teenage Vine user Peaches Monroe, marked the start of the big brow boom, positioning brows as the facial accessory of the decade.

With #onfleek and #browsonfleek garnering a combined total of over four million Instagram posts – the craze is definitely not over. If anything, the brow trend is gaining momentum.

In recent years, microblading has emerged as the new must-have-now brow look. Along with its sister trends, nanoblading and microfeathering, there are now more ways than ever to achieve perfect eyebrows 24/7.

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But, what is microblading?

With over seven million Instagram posts, microblading is a type of perma-beauty, so called because, yes, you guessed it, it’s a permanent solution to any eyebrow woes.

A globally recognised hype that uses a similar, but less permanent, technique to tattooing – microblading creates tiny incisions in the upper-dermis (top layer) of the skin and then injects a pigment to mimic eyebrow hairs.

It’s a fiddly procedure that can take up to two hours, costs between £200 and £500 and lasts for about 12 months.

With start-up opportunities both in and around the brow business, there’s more to microblading than meets the eye and it really is a trend worth looking into.

Read on for a breakdown on the whys and wherefores of how tapping into the microblading trend could be your next business breakthrough.


Why microblading is a good business idea

Globally, eyebrows are big business.

According to Mintel, 56% of Chinese makeup wearers use eyebrow definer on a daily basis, while half of US women use an eyebrow pencil. And market research company NPD found that British women spend £200 on average a year on eyebrow grooming.

So it’s safe to say there’s an open and ready market for eyebrow-related beauty services. Thinking of giving it a go? Check out how to start a beauty salon here.

The National Beauty Federation reported hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons to be in the top ten for the most popular business start-ups. What’s more, according to the NBF, 53% of people working in the beauty industry are self-employed, suggesting that a move into the beauty business is very doable on a freelance basis.

It’s also low-cost to start. A five-day microblading training course costs, on average, just £2,000, which is a fairly minimal investment for a potentially lucrative return. Once trained, performing just nine treatments per month at £300 per client could earn you a monthly income of up to £2,700. With each treatment lasting two hours, the potential scope for a high monthly take-home is huge.

With the beauty industry booming generally – and more people looking towards bespoke beauty (see our write-up on that idea here) – helping consumers create the perfect on-trend brows with a touch of personalisation could offer a lot of buck for your brow in 2019.

While the shape and style of in-vogue eyebrows have changed, we’ve had thick, thin, bushy and bold – microblading is here to stay. So, for would-be beauty entrepreneurs, 2019 offers a chance to capitalise on this technique as it becomes even more mainstream. Or, with new techniques on the horizon, to jump ahead of the curve.


Microblading business opportunities

Deemed the ‘new microblading’ by Stylist magazine, nanoblading is a slightly more niche development of the brow-based beauty trend. The advantages of nanoblading are that it’s longer lasting, appropriate for a wider variety of skin types and is a new angle on a pre-established business success.

A quick search on Treatwell, an online beauty booking service, found that microblading is offered in 192 venues in London alone. But type in ‘nanoblading’ and you get zero results. Gap in the market alert! The established popularity of microblading shows that the demand is there, but a fresh take on a pre-established trend could be a lucrative business opportunity.

Or, have you heard of microfeathering? Having already taken LA by storm, microfeathering is the stateside variation of microblading that encourages natural eyebrow growth as much as possible – using minimal microbladed strokes to ‘fill in’ rather than define the brow. Pioneered by Kristie Streicher, founder of Beverly Hills-based beauty studio Strike, Streicher’s methods are drifting over from across the pond, and show a trend well worth investigating – especially if you already have the microblading know-how.

Streicher’s top clients include the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Lorde, who favour microfeathering as a ‘fluffier’ approach to the otherwise neatly arched, perfectly placed, microbladed brow. And if it’s good enough for Gwyneth, it’s good enough for us, right?

Brow experts, like Jared Bailey (Benefit Cosmetics’ global brow expert), travel far and wide offering bespoke brow advice to those looking to dump the tweezers. If you’re looking for a niche but exciting opportunity, think about becoming an expert on all things microblading (particularly focusing on the latest trends and advances).

Or, what about an opportunity for both business and a bit of social good? The NHS estimate that around eight million women in the UK experience the medical condition known as alopecia. This can trigger poor self-esteem and self-consciousness, especially as hair trends are so important in an ever more aesthetic world and this extends to eyebrows. The idea: a brow expert who works specifically with alopecia sufferers to find eyebrow (and even eyelash) solutions, rebuild some body confidence and eliminate feelings of self-consciousness through some careful brow/life coaching.

A recent Mintel report also stated that 56% of men think it is vain to spend too much time on your appearance, yet 46% of men wish their hair was thicker. This makes the male grooming market an interesting sector to look at. 39% of men pay most attention to their hair, so, as far as male grooming is concerned, hair is big business, and hair-loss, a furrowing concern.

Seeking low-maintenance (so as not to appear ‘vain') yet high-impact aesthetic solutions, there is serious scope to market perma-beauty options to a masculine market. In fact, #mensmakeup has over 29,000 Instagram posts and with the predicted rise in expenditure on appearance, a masculine microblading business is also a plausible opportunity worth considering.

As with every beauty trend, a market will also emerge for cheaper, DIY alternatives that follow a popular look. For those unwilling to shell out the £300 treatment cost, makeup that promises the same results will be in high demand. Think brow pens, highlighters and brushes that give the microbladed effect, at a fraction of the price.

After the highlighter trend gathered a whopping three million Instagram posts, using a subtle shimmer to make those brows really ‘pop’ will be highly popular. Consider starting a bespoke brow maintenance subscription box, or individualised brow tint/highlighter kits. That way, you can tap into the microblading trend without ever having to do the training!


Insider opinion

According to Mandy Rimmer, founder of Norwich-based beauty salon High Grade House microblading/nanoblading and, more recently, microfeathering, have risen in popularity because “the price of the training is so cheap and there are no qualifications needed prior to training.”

Mandy’s brow forecast for 2019 include the “bigger, fuller more precise eyebrow – a paired back take on the OTT Instagram brow. 2019 is set to be all about clean edges, accentuated arches and tapered tails.”

When it comes to setting up a microblading/nanoblading/microfeathering business, Mandy reckons it’s a good option for budding entrepreneurs because “the initial costs to run the business are minimal and the overall profit is high.

“One of the most beautiful things about this industry is the great degree of freedom it offers. You can choose to get a studio, or become self-employed and work from home or be a mobile technician, and that’s great.

Dr Pamela Benito, a facial aesthetics specialist, adds that the 2019 brow trend will be “to keep brows looking as natural as possible.”

So we can also expect to see more of the ‘fluffy’ micro-feathered approach in 2019 as Dr Benito says microfeathering is “a lighter version of light hair strokes to make the eyebrows look natural.”

Dr Benito also stressed that while training is low-cost and relatively straightforward, “microblading is a procedure that requires precision and knowledge because it takes a lot of skill to get right.”