Have you ever wondered "what is the difference between SofTap and Microblading?"
You're not the only one! In this blog post, we'll discuss exactly what SofTap and Microblading are and explain everything you need to know about them.
- Forms of Permanent Makeup
- Manual Method Tools
- Implanting Pigment in the Skin
- Touchups or Color Refreshing
- Corrections and Removal
Permanent Makeup: SofTap and Microblading
Both SofTap and Microblading are forms of Permanent Makeup which more accurately should be considered "semi-permanent makeup." The reason these forms of cosmetic tattooing would be considered semi-permanent is that the pigment is placed into the Epidermal layers of the skin.
We will discuss more about the Epidermis, but for another great overview, check out this explanation on "The Difference Between Permanent Makeup and Microblading"
Similarities Between SofTap and Microblading
There are a few similarities between these forms of Semi-Permanent Makeup and we will briefly discuss each one.
Manual Method Tools
One of the first things people notice about SofTap and Microblading is that they are both performed with a manual hand tool. Unlike traditional PMU which uses a mechanical or digital device, the artist uses no electrical components with these forms.
In fact, the tools used in SofTap and Microblading are similar in style. Artists call their hand tools, "Pens" frequently because they resemble the shape of and are held like a writing instrument.
In SofTap, you will have a pen base to which you can attach disposable, single-use needle tips. These needle tips come in a variety of configurations for different tapping patterns to accomodate each client's needs.
In Microblading, you can have a pen base to which you can attach disposable, single-use needle tips (also called blades). There are companies who make all-in-one tools where you don't have to attach external parts. They are fully disposable, sterile, single-use pens ready to be used out of the package.
Implanting Pigment in the Skin
Another key point and one that makes these procedures "semi-permanent" is that pigment is implanted into the Epidermal layers of the skin. The Epidermis is the upper layer of skin that sloughs off and replaces itself about every 30 days.
This is important to know because although these modalities are considered part of the Permanent Makeup umbrella, the pigment placement makes them unique from the traditional work done by a machine which implants pigment into the Dermis.
SofTap does say that an artist can implant pigment into the Dermis with a manual hand tool method as well. That might require a bit more pressure to penetrate that deeply and is probably best left to a digital device.
Touchups or Color Refreshing
Because the work is done in the Epidermis, both SofTap and Microblading require touchups or scheduled color refreshing sessions to keep the brows from fading.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is simply part of the process due to the science of the skin that is being worked on.
So if you're decided between Microblading and SofTap brows, know that you will need touchup sessions for both of them.
Differences Between SofTap and Microblading
Despite the two forms of semi-permanent makeup being similar in many ways, they have many more differences. We will discuss each one in detail below.
SofTap as a company and PMU method has been around since 1988. Microblading on the other hand is a more recent development in the PMU world and has been around since approximately after 2010.
Microblading has taken the beauty industry by storm in the short time it has been practiced. Many companies have made products for the modality and many artists have extended their businesses to offer Microblading services. The reason Microblading became so popular is that it can produce beautiful results that mimic natural eyebrow hair. There are certainly Microblading horror stories out there just like with everything else from hair, nails, and body art tattoos. But Microblading is doing well because it is accessible and can really change lives.
SofTap has been around for much longer, but is not as widely known to the common, modern-day client as Microblading might be. It is a specific method of semi-permanent makeup which is taught specifically by certified SofTap instructors unlike Microblading where any skilled PMU artist can teach their techniques.
The difference in technique between SofTap and Microblading is quite different and must be well understood.
Both use similar hand tools to implant pigment, but the way the implanting is done is unique to each one.
SofTap uses a tapping method as their name suggests. You dip the needles into your pigment. Then the needles on the tool must be flush against the skin. With pressure going scooting forward and lifting up, you essentially tap pigment into the Epidermis.
You repeat this method for as many passes and taps as suggested to get the color in.
As the name suggests, you will be using your pen tool almost like a blade to make small cuts into the skin where pigment can be placed.
First you dip the needles into your pigment. Then the needles on the tool must be flush against the skin. With a slight downward pressure, you will move the needles across the skin to create a superficial wound.
You repeat this for a few passes across the brow to implant the color into the Epidermis and mimic natural looking hair strokes.
SofTap makes their own tools and pigments specific to their techniques. However, because the fundamental practice of placing pigment into the Epidermis is the same as Microblading, you can use whatever pigment you want.
We make pigments for both Microblading and traditional PMU with a device and they get fantastic results. Just check out our Pigment Results gallery with over 500 photos of testimonies from artists all over the world. The page may take a minute to load because there are so many testimonies.
Because the SofTap method can be used for eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip liner, the time each type of semi-permanent makeup lasts will vary greatly. The variations will depend on the artist, the client's skin, and the techniques. According to the SofTap website, they say that eyebrows will last about 2 years before a touchup is needed.
Because Microblading has a greater emphasis on hair strokes and not filling like a powder brow, the duration is about 1-2 years with a touchup approximately every 6 months.
Again, there are many variables involved in each type of procedure so the time pigment will last in your skin may be different from someone else. We discuss this topic in greater detail in our article "How Long Does Microblading Last?"
Corrections and Removal
This is an important topic because it's one we hope to never be involved with, but may at some point.
Correcting old work or adjusting color can be a challenge depending on the situation. If you are having color corrected, the artist can usually go over the existing work with new color. The results of this procedure will vary.
The difference between SofTap and Microblading removal is one to note. For complete removal, on their website, SofTap recommends laser treatment. For Microblading, we would recommend using a saline based solution in conjunction with a digital PMU device to draw the old pigment out.
Please note that the removal process is time-consuming and won't be perfect. It requires multiple treatments over an extended period of time.
Which Type of PMU is Best for You?
The answer to this question is subjective. There are many factors that determine how your semi-permanent brows will turn out that might make you choose one procedure over the other.
We know people who have had good and bad experiences with both SofTap and Microblading methods of PMU.
The one thing that we consider important is the size of the community involved with Microblading. Because it became a world-wide sensation, there is no shortage of amazing artists who can do beautiful work.
The online community of Microblading is flourishing as evident by visiting social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. The information is accessible to everyone which means you won't be in the dark about your procedure.
To learn even more about Microblading in general, read our post about the "Difference between Microblading and Permanent Makeup."