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Choosing the Right Permanent Makeup Needle

Needles are permanent makeup artists’ paintbrushes. There’s a needle for every technique, from ombre brows to microblading. Having the right tools lets you offer the best service to clients, which is the real art of PMU.

There are many different types of needles from liners to shaders to microblades to magnums. They vary in number of points, spacing and “shape”. For example, shaders have a triangle or cluster setup while microblades are in a straight line. If you’re currently usingMIDAS,Sapphire orLUMI, check out ourneedle guides for more info on best needles for different procedure types.

Needle Size

Each needle has a diameter, regardless of the device used. Diameter can be described as the individual needle size. 

Needle Taper

Each needle has a taper. A taper is the measurement of the needle point length and may be short, medium, long, or extra long. Short taper produces a larger puncture size with long/extra long creates a smaller puncture size. 

Needle Count

Each needle grouping has a count. This is how many individual needles are within one configuration. For example, single needle has one needle while triple shader has three.

Needle Configurations

Configurations can be round, flat, and magnum. There are also cartridge-type and manual device configurations.

Round linersis a grouping of needles that are soldered together so the points are close together. The result is more concentrated. 

Round shadersis a grouping of needles that are soldered together so that the points are further apart. The result is more spread out. 

Flat configurationsare needles in a flat, linear pattern that are soldered together so that there is an exact space between needle points. 

Woven magnumis one row of needles that is woven in a way that gives the appearance of two rows. It has a wider configuration and is available in straight or curved. 

Stacked magnumis two rows of side-by-side flat needles with the smaller grouping placed on top of the larger. 

Cartridge-Typeneedle configurations are encased and inserted into the handpiece of a machine pen. The needles normally retract back into the encasement when the machine is in the off position. Cartridge needles come in all shapes and sizes such as liners, shaders and magnum!

Manual Device needlescan be arranged in flat or round configurations. These are configured specifically for eyebrow hair stroke patterns and may be smaller in diameter than the typical needle. 

How to Choose

Choosing your device and needles is a very personal decision as it depends on preference and desired look. When deciding your needles, you must look at the size, taper, count, flexibility and configuration. Our recommendations?


  • 1 Liner round single point liner. For strokes, beauty marks, eyelash enhancement and fine detail.
  • 3 Shader universal shading needle. Can be used for brows, eyes and lips.
  • 14 U Nano a must for artists transitioning from microblading. Creates crisp hair strokes


  • 11 Slope great for beginners and slightly shorter pins. Extra fine needle for detail strokes
  • 15 Double adds more depth behind the strokes or create a powdery brow look
  • 18 U Shape Allows for use in both directions. Great for the inner corners of the brow.


Questions about needles? Let us know in the comments!

2 Responses

Carly Moran

Carly Moran

June 17, 2021

What would be the best needle for camoflage tattoo on the face?



May 05, 2020

Hi, i’d like to know what would be the best needles for removing a tattoo with a permanent Makeup machine and saline water. The tattoo is on the side of the ribs.Thank you

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