• Amber Sagar

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO WORK OVER SOMEONE ELSES WORK? Understanding the complexities of cover up work

Updated: Feb 22

We are contacted everyday by clients who would like us to work over previous work. This is such a complex topic, but have a read, we will go over it all!

The following information is generated from experience and education. Here at Brows Inc, we bring a wealth of skin knowledge and intensive training to understand the complexities of cover ups, lets start with pigments.


Pigments come in different formulations. We won't go into the deep intricacies of organic vs inorganic components, all you need to know is that different brands are made up of varying compositions and materials. This, especially if we do not know the history of your brow journey (pigments is only 1 small part of it), can make it hard for us to know what to use to cover it. Some pigments contain high levels of titanium dioxide in them. This is used in some inks to give a lighter coloured tattoo - particularly blonde brows. This ingredient over time goes milky and hard in the skin. Literally like concrete.


This is one of the trickiest things to work with. Scarring is mainly seen from the microblading technique. The scars are created by small cuts into the epidermis to create hair like strokes that mimic the look of a hair. Commonly, this does not heal desirably, even after one session and scarring and blurring can be seen. Some clients have had numerous treatments where the artist has re opened the scar and tried to place pigment in where it has faded. This causes MORE scarring and scarring on top of scarring. Again and again. Get our drift.....

The scarring is almost impossible to work over and implant lovely new brows. It can be done, but the outcome is unpredictable. The scarring is tough and the pigment is hard to implant.

Over saturation can be caused with all of the techniques. You only have a certain space for tattoo pigment. Once the area has been filled, it is impossible to introduce any more. Lets try and explain it in easy terminology.

You have various layers in the top part of your skin. The epidermis is the top surface. When you have a brow treatment done, the pigment is passed through the epidermis into the upper layers of the dermis. This is where it stays. There is only a small area for the pigment to collect once it has been implanted. Once it is full, that's it. You either have to carry on with the current brows you have or have removal. Some brow artists can fill that space in as little as 1 treatment (this is called over saturated in the brow industry). Not many will admit to this or explain, as it is not what we are aiming to do. You can go back and have a colour refresh, but if there is no space, it wont work. It may seem like it, this is because pigment is implanted through the epidermis as you try and put more in the dermis. The epidermis is made up of constantly exfoliating cells. As a new one grows (in the deeper part) it pushes the old cell up as it ages and it sloughs away (dead skin cells). So because of this, as you try and implant pigment into the dermis, it is also implanted into the epidermis. The bright and fresh pigment (that you see in all of our fresh photos) leaves as the skin rejuvenates over the month of the healing phase and you are left with the same old pigment as before.

Fading of the tattoo will not help if you do not have any space left in your skin. The pigment particles are permanent. They are large molecules and cannot be broken down by the body, but the pigment fades like any ink, dye, pigment. If you hung your black pants on the washing line for 10 days in the sun, what would happen? It would fade and the pigments used in cosmetic tattoo are the same.


This is also another tricky one. The shape created by your previous artist may not be flattering for your face. It is really hard to adjust a funky shape, while keeping it even and well done!


As we are all trained differently, left handed, heavy handed etc the outcome of our brows are varied too.


This is another tricky one as most pigments will ash/turn greyish over time.

So what does this mean for me?

Well, a few things! These things may happen when we cover up old work:

+ There could be an obvious difference in colour where we cover the tattoo (especially if the shape is off from your previous work

+ Some areas may not retain the new pigment, especially when there is obvious scarring from microblading or some weird remnants of heavy metals

+ You may have areas that do not take pigment as the tissues are FULL in some areas and not in others

+ The colour may not be able to be corrected

+ You may need removal either via laser or manual removal

+ You may need 1-3 sessions to correct it well (this is hard to evaluate until we have seen your first session back healed)

You will 100% need to come and see us if you have had previous work done. One of the worst things a brow artist can do is just work over your brows without explaining the complications. There are also artists out there that will just do a cover up to gain more clients and collect money. We DO NOT do that here. Once we have tried to cover your brows, they are officially OUR brows. If they do not heal well/look funny/look terrible, they are, from that day forward considered Brow Inc brows! You are walking around advertising our brows for us. Please do not be offended if we turn you away or suggest removal. We are doing this out of respect for you and for us!

Most people think it is as easy as freshening them up! But that is not the case.

Our pricing is on our website and you will need to book for a cover up on our booking system.

We hope this helps you to understand this a little more.

Please note, it is $450 per session, and you may need 2.

See you soon!

Love Amber + Tiina xx

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