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Permanent Makeup Frequently Asked Questions for Eyeliner, Eybrows and Lips
PERMANENT MAKEUP CREATIONS
What are Permanent Makeup or Permanent Cosmetics?
Permanent makeup or permanent cosmetics describe non-surgical procedures that use specialized tattooing methods. Colored pigments are implanted into the Dermis (middle layer) of the skin through microscopic injections with an extremely fine needle or cluster of needles. This process is also called Micropigmentation, Intradermal Cosmetics, Dermal Implantation, or Micropigment Implantation. Permanent Makeup is the term used to describe the cosmetic tattooing of facial features (eyebrows, eyelids, or lips) to improve color and shape.
What are Medical or Paramedical Permanent Cosmetics?
This is a highly specialized and advanced area of permanent cosmetics that focuses on people with medically-related conditions. Examples include surgical scars (e.g. breast reconstruction, hair transplant), trauma scars (e.g. accidents or burns), or unnatural skin conditions (e.g. Vitiligo, Alopecia). The techniques restore color and symmetry to an affected area(s). The results can help a person look better and improve his or her self esteem. This process is also called Medical Tattooing, Paramedical Tattooing, Corrective Tattooing, Reconstructive Tattooing, or Restorative Tattooing.
Are Permanent Makeup Cosmetics safe?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), permanent cosmetics are safe when the technician is educated in the control of Blood Borne Pathogens and follows all OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines.
How are the procedures performed?
Cosmetic tattooing is performed in different ways using different types of equipment. The name of the device that holds the needle describes the application method. The categories of equipment and methods are as follows: Manual Hand Tool method (also called Hand Tap or Non-Machine method); Coil Machine method (a smaller version of the traditional tattoo machine); Analog Pen or Rotary Machine method (most commonly used); and Computerized Digital Machine method (most sophisticated technology).
Is a Cosmetic Tattooing procedure painful?
Due to the invasiveness of the process, some people may feel minor discomfort that varies according to their pain threshold and response to anesthetics. People describe what they feel in different ways such as "irritation", "scratching", "vibration", or "a slight burning sensation."
Are the permanent makeup pigments that are used safe?
Permanent cosmetics utilize sterile pigments with cosmetic grade colorants that are approved by the FDA as safe for human use. Technically, the colored pigments used are suspensions containing insoluble inert compounds, usually iron or titanium oxides. The microscopic particles that appear to be dissolved are actually suspended in a clear liquid base of alcohol, distilled water, and glycerin. The traditional body tattooing process is different because it uses colored "inks" or "dyes" that are completely dissolved liquids with transparent color. See Pigments.
Are people allergic to the colored pigments?
Most of the pigments used for cosmetic tattooing are made to be hypo-allergenic. Studies have shown that acute ("immediate") allergic reactions to these products are extremely rare. Delayed-hypersensitivity reactions ("delayed onset") allergic reactions are also uncommon. Medical professionals believe reactions" are not reactions to the pigments. They believe a reaction is caused by a bacterial infection or an allergic reaction to a topical after care product.
What will the final color look like?
Permanent makeup colors should be selected to compliment a person’s skin tone, hair, and eye color. A conservative approach is best because it is easier to make an existing color darker versus lighter. Colors will always look darker and more intense immediately following a procedure, and then gradually lighten and soften upon healing. For medical tattooing (e.g. scar camouflage or areola re-pigmentation), color spot testing is advised to determine the best custom combination of colors for the tattooed area. All reputable permanent cosmetic professionals will record the pigment(s) used for a client in her or his file for future reference.
Why is the color so dark right after the procedure?
When wet clothing is removed from a clothes washer, it looks darker than when it was dry. The same principle applies to permanent cosmetics. The pigments contain dry microscopic powder particles that are suspended in a clear liquid. As the body absorbs the liquid, the colored particles remain where they were implanted and gradually return to ("dry to") their original powder color. In addition, the skin underneath the tattoo turns red and "flushed" from blood flow to the area during the process. The background redness contributes to the darker appearance and once the redness subsides, the color appears lighter.
How long do Permanent Makeup Cosmetics last?
The results are considered permanent because the tattooed color cannot be washed off. However, the color should be considered "semi-permanent" because some fading will occur over time. Color retention is affected by different factors including the shade of the original color, the person’s age and metabolism, skin type and condition, exposure to UV radiation (sun, tanning booths), smoking, certain drugs and medications, and skin peeling treatments such as Retin-A or microdermabrasion.
The national average time span between touchups is said to be 6-8 years for eyebrows and eyeliner, 6-10 years for lips.
Occasionally a person can be found who has had their permanent makeup over 10 years, but it is a rare occasion. There are other people who need a touchup after a couple of years. Lighter colors fade faster than darker colors. Permanent makeup lasts longer on older women because they aren’t out playing in the sun as much, and their cellular turnover rate is slower. The bright side to "Permanent" Makeup fading off is that it makes it easier to change color, shape, and placement over the years.
How many applications are needed?
Generally, two applications are needed in order to achieve full satisfaction with your desired look. However, many of clients are fully satisfied with just one application. If a second application is desired, it is scheduled approximately 6-8 weeks after the initial procedure.
What is a Touch-up appointment?
During the initial procedure (first application), the tattooed area(s) will be saturated with as much color as possible. Due to swelling, there may be some areas where the tissue will no longer allow pigment to be implanted. Those areas will show less color after healing and may need another visit to be filled-in (a touch-up). Because everyone’s tissue reaction is different, some clients will need a second visit while others will not. First, the tattooed area must heal before a refinement procedure can be performed. It is best to wait 6 to 8 weeks for complete tissue healing and color stabilization. Once the desired results are achieved, the client can keep the color looking fresh with a maintenance as needed.
What is the recovery period like?
Immediately following a procedure, there will be mild swelling, redness, or tenderness that lasts a few hours to a few days (eyebrows swell less than eyes and lips). There may also be slight bruising with lip procedures. The color looks much darker immediately afterward for any procedure. It will lighten a lot within 3 to 7 days and will continue to lighten over several weeks. During the first week ointments must be applied to the tattooed area for protection and to minimize scabbing. Most people are amazed at how "normal" they look immediately after and do not feel it is necessary to take time off of work.
How long does each permanent makeup procedure take?
Many important steps are followed when a procedure is done correctly. A well-trained and experienced permanent cosmetics specialist will take a minimum of 2 hours or more for an initial appointment. It should include a consultation (if not done before) and a review of the person’s medical history. Time is then used for determining the best design, color selection, numbing, the actual procedure, photos, after care instructions, and answering all questions. Follow-up visits usually require less time. For scar camouflage work, spot testing for color accuracy must be completed first at least 6 weeks before the actual tattooing procedure.
Will Permanent Makeup continue to look good as I age?
It is true that as we age, our skin and its elasticity changes. However, there are many older women who look good wearing conventional makeup as long as it is correctly applied. Those women would look just as good with correctly applied permanent makeup.
Can I have an MRI procedure after Cosmetic Tattooing?
Yes. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and electromagnetic fields to create pictures of internal human organs. The magnetism and temperature changes during these procedures may cause mild temporary discomfort in tattoos containing large amounts of iron oxide metals. Studies showed that only a few patients with an iron oxide tattoo reported a mild pulling or burning sensation during an MRI test. Most people with tattoos have had no problems. The size of a tattoo and the total number of tattoos seems to affect the amount of magnetic pull. According to MRI safety experts, the iron particles in most cosmetic tattooing pigments are too microscopic to react as metal pieces. However, they recommend that a patient with a tattoo informs the radiologist and technician where it is located because it may create a small artificial image (artifact). See Pigments.
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 again, influencing the degree of color retention. Listed are some other factors which cause permanent makeup to fade: body chemistry; cellular turnover - rejuvenation, 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); and also, the technician’s choice of pigment(s) used, as well as her experience in applying permanent makeup.
What should I expect afterwards?
Dark makeup! DO NOT have your Permanent Makeup applied right before any major events. Wait 7 days for eyeliner and brows and 10 days for any lip procedures. The area will be tender and swollen for a few days. The color will oxidize immediately after the procedure and look "too dark". This is good! It can mean less of a Touch-up. The area will peel leaving less intense color within days. You will book your follow up appointment 4-6 weeks out to perfect your makeup. How many applications are needed?Generally, two applications are needed in order to achieve full satisfaction with your desired look. However, many of her clients are fully satisfied with just one application. If a second application is desired, it is scheduled approximately 6 weeks after the initial procedure.
What kind of education must technicians receive to do this kind of procedure?
Technicians are required to successfully complete a series of courses that include training on color theory and sanitization. Another standard requirement is experience in hands-on clinics. A technician who seeks legitimate training should choose an accredited, post-secondary school with credentialed instructors.
Why do some people not want bottom eyeliner?
Clients think the "uplift" they get from the top eyeliner is enough. A lot of times it isn’t. A soft bottom liner will further enhance the eyes.
Do I need to take time off from work?
Sometimes the procedure causes temporary swelling, redness and in rare cases, bruising. Most people do not need to take time from their employment and some people have their touchups done on their lunch hour while others prefer to take a day to recover.
What if styles change?
We never do anything "trendy." For example, even if you wanted to wear a different color lip liner or lipstick, the color you apply would override your permanent color.
What precautions must I take before having a permanent makeup procedure?
The biggest precaution involve the lips. If you have a history of fever blisters, cold sores, shingles, canker sores or mouth ulcers, you must get a prescription of anti-viral medication prescribed by a doctor prior to the procedure. This helps eliminate a virus from occuring. In Addition, please refer to the "Pre-pocedure" page