Permanent Makeup FAQs

Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing. The specialized techniques used for permanent cosmetics are often referred to as “micropigmentation”, “micropigment implantation” or “dermagraphics”. The cosmetic implantation technique deposits colored pigment into the upper reticular layer of the dermis. 

What Type of Permanent Cosmetic Procedures can be Done?

Permanent Cosmetic procedures can be very subtle or dramatic depending on what you are looking for. Options include:
•           Eyebrows
•           Eyeliner, Top and Bottom 
•           Lipliner, Lip Color, and Blend
•           Scar Camouflage, Beauty Marks, and Areola Repigmentation

NOTE: Some of these procedures use more advanced techniques and thus require an experienced technician with advanced training.


I Wear Contacts.  Can I Still Get Permanent Eyeliner Done?


Yes, you can definitely get the procedure done, but your eye area may be a bit sensitive afterward.  You will need to bring a pair of glasses for the remainder of the day.

Are Permanent Cosmetics Really Permanent?

Permanent cosmetics procedures are considered permanent because pigment is tattooed into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin and cannot be washed off. However, as with any tattoo or colorant (pigment) in general, fading can and often does occur, requiring periodic maintenance referred to as color re-enhancement or color refreshing. This can be due to many factors, including sun exposure, medications, and skin care products and techniques.

How will I know who is a qualified technician? 

It's crucial that you thoroughly investigate the technician's work and experience prior to scheduling a permanent procedure.   It's not just enough to know tattooing procedures. They must have knowledge of the artistic side of cosmetic procedures - the shape and proper placement of color, as well as proper color choice.  

Remember, you get what you pay for!  This is permanent; don’t go somewhere else just because there is a “deal”.  It may not be such a bargain if you have to have it corrected.

I have already had permanent makeup done in the past and it didn’t work on me, why?

This is another reason why it is important to take the time and thoroughly investigate your choice of permanent makeup technicians before “settling” on someone based on geographical convenience or pricing. The technician’s experience is key as she must understand and practice proper techniques necessary for pigment retention. Also, find out if your technician “specializes” in permanent makeup…or is this a “sideline” job for her?  Or are you her first client??  As in most things, the more experience, the better. Go to a “specialist”.

Is It Painful?

Most people experience some discomfort. This will vary according to each individual’s pain threshold. Your permanent cosmetic artist will apply numbing cream to the area prior to your service to minimize this discomfort.  To put this in perspective, thousands of body art tattoos are performed annually, possibly millions.  As a rule, traditional tattoo professionals do not use any anesthetics for their tattoo procedures. Numbing for permanent cosmetics are more of a tattoo service luxury because of the nature of the tattoo location and the fact that permanent cosmetics falls into the beauty treatment category.

Is It Safe?

Our artist adheres to strict sanitation guidelines. She also is required to attend continuing education seminars each year to stay current on sanitation and safety, as well as artistic, topics.

What If I Don’t Like It?

Your artist will talk to you prior to your treatment to determine your goals and color preferences.  Although the procedure is considered permanent, these procedures do have flexibility in changing color and shape to some extent. Colors will appear darker immediately following the procedure but will soften and lighten during the healing process. The healing time is different for each individual and procedure.  It’s very important to realize that often the new procedure represents something somewhat different; at times color where there was no color at all or very little.  It takes time to become acclimated to a new look (very often this applies to eyebrows which were sparse and unnoticeable before the permanent cosmetic brow procedure.) Eyeliner color is more evident due to the contrast to the skin color.  Lip color can take up to six weeks to reflect the final color. Be patient.  

After the procedure has healed, and you are able to make an informed decision about the healed version of the procedure, most people do love their results.  If you do not, you will be able to make changes at your touchup visit.  To ensure the best results:

* Communicate with your artist exactly what you expect in terms of color, shape, and placement of your permanent makeup.

* Don’t request eyebrow color based on your tinted scalp hair color.  That is subject to change and it may affect how you then feel about the color of your permanent cosmetic eyebrows.  Eyebrow color should be selected based on your skin undertone and the color of your eyebrow hair (if any.)  Let your artist help guide you, as she is an expert and knows how to best match colors to your skin, and she knows how the colors will fade.

*Give it some time to heal and “settle” before you decide how you like it.

Are There Any Side Effects During or After the Procedure?

While eyebrows usually show little after-effect, eyeliner and lips may show slight to moderate swelling, bruising, or bleeding.  This is dependent partly upon the amount of work performed. Also, some people react more from minor skin infractions than others. Blood thinners and aging skin also can contribute to higher instance of skin reactions.

When bruising, swelling, or bleeding do occur, it is typically minor and will subside in a few days.  There could also be some tenderness.  The color is much darker than you may expect for the first six to ten days.

Do The Pigments Pose Allergy Problems?

People can develop an allergy to anything, anytime; however, pigment allergies are considered rare. Some doctors recommend that people with environmental allergies or allergies to conventional makeup have permanent cosmetic procedures because they can replace cosmetic products that people are sensitive to.  While allergic reactions to any type of tattooing pigments on the body or on the face through permanent cosmetics may occur at any point in time, they are extremely rare.  

What’s a Touch-Up and Do I Need One?

Occasionally the tattooed color is not perfect after the initial procedure heals. Permanent cosmetic procedures are a process and you may want at least one follow-up to the initial procedure.  It is recommended that any required detail work to the original procedure be performed no sooner than six weeks after the original procedure. 

Can I Still Have an MRI Scan?

Numerous studies have shown that even for people who have large body tattoos there is little to no potential for irritation resulting from an MRI. In the rare instance where discomfort resulted, it was localized and very temporary. However, with that said, it is prudent to advise your MRI technician that you have permanent cosmetics.

Why does permanent makeup fade and body tattoos don’t?

First of all, permanent cosmetics are a form of cosmetic tattooing and should be thought of as being “permanent”, the same as one thinks about traditional tattoos on the body. Traditional body tattoos do fade, however, generally at a slower rate due to several different factors. For instance, body art is generally covered up with clothing most of the year and is not excessively exposed to the UV rays which fade cosmetic tattoos on the face. Also, the skin on the body is much more dense as compared to facial skin, which is much thinner and influences the degree of color retention. Other factors which cause permanent makeup to fade: body chemistry; cellular turnover (chemical peels, lasers, retinols, etc.), anti-aging products applied directly over the permanent makeup; choice of color applied (i.e., lighter colors will fade quicker than darker colors); and exposure to sunlight (hence the suggestion of wearing an SPF over your permanent makeup
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Can I have Restylane or Juvederm injected around my mouth after a permanent lip liner procedure? Will it change the look of my lips?

Restylane or Juvederm can be used to further enhance the fullness of your lips and to diminish the appearance of lines around the mouth. The lip liner will not “run” or feather into the vertical lines around the lips.  You should wait at least three weeks between procedures.  When in doubt, ask your doctor and your permanent makeup artist.