Permanent Makeup FAQs

Permanent makeup has grown increasingly popular in the past decade. Permanent makeup is an umbrella term that includes permanent eyebrow makeup, permanent eyeliner, permanent lipliner, and faux beauty marks such as moles and freckles.  
 
If you are considering permanent makeup, it should be considered as a serious commitment similar to getting a traditional tattoo.   

We’ve compiled a few of the most common questions about permanent makeup – what it is, what types are available, what you can do if you don’t like your permanent makeup, and more.  

Q: WHAT IS PERMANENT MAKEUP? 

Permanent makeup is the same thing as cosmetic tattooing or aesthetic tattooing. Though it can vary from provider to provider, permanent makeup technicians usually do not follow the same process or use the same ink types as traditional tattooing. Permanent makeup technicians use specialized techniques to deposit color pigments into the upper layer of the skin. This method creates a similar effect to makeup that won’t wear off. 

The permanent makeup process involves: an initial consultation, the procedure of applying the pigments, and a follow-up visit to review the result after the area is healed. Permanent makeup can be applied using different devices, such as traditional tattoo coil machines, pen or rotary machine, and hand devices. The tattoos generally take between six and eight weeks to heal and fade to their intended level of pigmentation.   

Q: WHAT TYPES OF PERMANENT MAKEUP CAN BE APPLIED? 

Whether a person wants something subtle or bold, permanent makeup can be applied with the same artistic precision as a traditional tattoo. Here are some examples: 

Eyebrow tattoos  
Eyebrow tattoos are at the top of the list of the most popular permanent makeup options. Eyebrow tattoos can effectively solve challenges such as having little or no eyebrow hair, difficulty drawing on eyebrows without glasses, eyebrow makeup wearing off during the day, or uneven eyebrow pencil application. Technicians can create eyebrow tattoos that range from natural-looking hair strokes to dramatic, fully colored brows. To achieve a more natural look, microblading techniques can be used.  

Permanent eyeliner 
Permanent eyeliner can be applied to the upper and lower eyelid and is particularly useful for those who often have their eyeliner wear off or smudge during the day, have trouble applying makeup evenly, or have cosmetic allergies. Permanent eyeliner can be done in a variety of styles and colors, ranging from soft and natural-looking lash enhancement to a more dramatically defined line. 

Permanent lipliner and lip color  
The appeal of permanent lipliner and lip color is plenty, as it can solve multiple problems: providing better lip definition, correcting uneven lips, creating a fuller appearance, and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, all while preventing the undesirable look of bleeding lipstick or the drying effects of many “all-day” lipsticks.  

Faux freckles and beauty marks 
Though less common than traditional permanent makeup removal types, faux freckles are gaining in popularity. Beauty marks can also be tattooed to create a simple, yet dramatic change to one’s aesthetic.  

Q: ARE “PERMANENT COSMETICS” REALLY PERMANENT? 

Like all tattoos, fading can occur. However, the procedures are considered permanent since the colored pigments deposited into the upper dermal layer of the skin can’t be washed off. Periodic maintenance or touch-ups may be needed to refresh the colors. 

The longevity of permanent makeup varies for each person. Factors affecting longevity include sun exposure, colored pigments used, and the topical products applied to the skin. 

Q: WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE MY PERMANENT MAKEUP? 

It’s important to remember that the initial darkness and vividness of a cosmetic tattoo will lighten and soften while the body heals the tattooed area(s). For example, a lip color can take as much as six weeks to settle into the final shade. Like any cosmetic change, it can also take a while to get used to this new “you”. By giving yourself some time to get used to the permanent makeup, it will likely stand out less and feel more natural.  

Unfortunately, just like with traditional tattoos, sometimes the final product just isn’t right. Maybe it’s not what was expected, the application was sloppy, or it never feels ‘normal’, even after several weeks or months.  

Our clinics are approached almost daily with requests for permanent makeup removal. Because the ink types used in permanent makeup vary from traditional tattoo ink, we do not treat permanent makeup. For those that reach out to us for cosmetic tattoo removal, we recommend contacting a trusted cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist in their area.