How to upsell shading

How and Why You Should Upsell Shading


As an artist, diversifying your services to include new and trending techniques is necessary for survival and will give you a competitive edge that other artists don’t have to offer.

As explained in our previous blog post  What Is Blade & Shade, microblading alone yields extremely natural results. So if you have a client that is looking to really amp up the boldness and add a lot of definition to her brows - microblading alone just might not cut it and she'll most likely want to add more.

Offering shading is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition, charge more, and be able to offer your clients something that will yield uniquely bolder, realistic results with long-lasting retention.

Once you’ve learned the art of shading, you’re ready to start marketing your offerings of microblading and shading or as I like to call it, “Blade & Shade”.

Why You Can Charge More for Blade & Shade

Retention: Since I began offering blade and shade, I have seen 80%-90% retention in my clients when they come back for their 3-month touchup. Because of this, doing both microblading and shading in one procedure will ensure your clients will be very happy with their results, and they will pay more for better results. Remember that you're offering them a service that not many others are offering. This is an extra skill to master, it takes more time to give them such great results, because you are now adding an additional step to the procedure, and it should be valued. As already mentioned, doing both microblading and shading is going to give your clients the depth and dimension they are looking for their new brows. I noticed with a lot of my clients that I was just doing microblading only, would come back to me at their touch up wanting more. Explaining that they were happy with the shape and results but it just wasn’t “enough” and that they were still having to add a little powder to give their brows that extra pop. Shading gives them that little bit of “filling in” or powdered effect behind the hair strokes that they are looking for, without them having to apply anything at all after their first treatment! What’s great about this is you avoid the flat, one-dimensional effect of powder brows, and are able to give them both natural hair strokes, plus the depth of a real eyebrow.

  • 19 Shader: In order to give your clients the desired results they are looking for, you will have to use a manual shading tool in order to do so. Using another tool in addition to your Microblade of choice, means an extra cost for you, the artist. This is not something you would tell your client, but you can tell them if they want shading done as well, it will give them lasting, great healed results and that the cost is more due to the extra step involved, the extra time, and the extra product it will take. But assure them - the results will be very much worth it. The exact amount you charge is up to you, but keep in mind the results will last long, reducing needs for frequent touch-ups - so make sure you charge enough to account for this.

  • Competitors: Blade and shade is a fairly new technique, so the chances that your competition is offering it already is pretty slim. You can stand out from the crowd by offering your clients shading as an extra service, and market your services to clients by educating them on what the benefits are, and showing them examples of healed work. You’ll have all of your clients asking you for it once they see the results! And even if your competitors are offering it, you will want to add it to your repertoire so that you don’t get left behind when it comes to new trending techniques.

  • Better results: With 80%-90% retention, you will no longer have to completely redo your client’s brows at their follow up and sometimes even their annual touch-up. Because of this, you will be doing a little more legwork up front, which in turn you can charge more for in the initial appointment. For the longest time, we’ve been telling clients that microblading is a two or even sometimes THREE step process, but this will almost completely eliminate the second step, and have your clients 95% happy with their results after their first treatment. I mean, what customers wouldn’t take amazing results in just one procedure as opposed to going through the pain of beauty twice?

  • Now that follow-ups will be minimal to practically non-existent, you’ll have more time to take on new clients and grow your business.  Your clients will be so happy with the results of microblading and shading, they will be more inclined to spread the word to their friends and family, and you will now have a loyal client for life, that will refer you clients for years to come!


    At the end of the day, your clients want the best results that will give them their desired outcome. Whether it is to never have to fill in their eyebrows again, or to have a gorgeous new shape, the client will be willing to pay for top results and a great healed outcome. I wrap the extra cost of shading into the total price I charge, and you can choose to do that as well, or include it as an upsell to your clients. The cost of one 19 Shader to you as an artist is about an extra $9 USD per procedure, so depending on where you are located and your level of experience, you can charge anywhere from  $100-$200 more  just by offering shading, which is well worth it for all of the benefits aforementioned. In my experience, if you are honest and upfront with your clients about the process and realistic about their expectations they are more than happy to pay a little extra for great results!

    If you feel a little intimidated about shading Tina’s NEW Blade & Shade Video Tutorial goes in-depth through each step of the microblading procedure including her exact technique for microblading and shading!


    BONUS TIP: With the incredibly concentrated formula of I Love Ink Pigments, you can say goodbye to mixing and modifying your colors, see results that heal true to tone, and each Pigment Set comes with a shading solution to dilute pigments for shading to achieve the best results for your client.

    The addition of shading to my procedures completely changed the way I work, and it’s going to do the same for you. 

    Happy Shading!


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    “I set out to design a microblade that I knew would put our needs first as artists.”

    - Tina Davies