3 Things To Consider Before Getting Permanent Makeup


Permanent make-up tattoo at beauty salon.

Do you love the look of your eyes with eyeliner, but hate the process of doing it? Or perhaps you wish you didn’t have to apply lipstick anymore, but you prefer having that extra touch of color. For people who want that freshly applied makeup look 24/7, there is permanent makeup. 

What Is Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup, or micropigmentation, is done with a pen that contains iron oxide that creates marks that look like makeup.

Brow and lip correction in beauty salon.

Permanent makeup can be used for quite a few things – from getting perfectly filled in brows (microblading) and flawlessly applied eyeliner, to getting your lips a few shades darker or covering up scars. 

The word “permanent” isn’t a completely accurate moniker for this type of tattooing, though – it’s more semi-permanent, as it does fade quicker than your standard tattoo. This is because, unlike standard tattoos, the pigment used to do makeup is only inserted into the first few layers of the skin.

However, just because it doesn’t last as long as a regular tattoo, it doesn’t mean it’s simple to remove. 

Can Permanent Makeup Be Removed?

If you no longer like the look of your permanent eyeliner or your full brows, it’s going to take a lot more than molecular water and makeup wipes to get the pigment off.

Cosmetologist making permanent makeup, close up.

“Removing tattoo pigment can be very difficult depending on the color. It’s a long, painful, expensive process to remove the ink —​ and sometimes the ink can’t be entirely removed,”

Cosmetic Dermatologist Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal on Cleveland Clinic

When it comes to getting tattoos removed, just like getting inked, it’s best to leave it in the hands of the professionals. You might come across creams claiming to be able to lighten tattoos, but they most likely won’t get you the results you’re looking for, and can cause damage to your skin.

As medical spa You Baby Skin Spa explains,

“Most topical creams do not penetrate the skin deep enough to reach the pigment. The chemical ingredients used in these creams are not regulated and often use bleaching agents. The creams do no more than peel away the top layer of your skin. Using these creams so close to your eye is not particularly safe and could cause burning, permanent scarring, discoloration, and inflammation.”

Beautician cosmetologist with tool for microblading, training in permanent makeup.

For effective permanent makeup removal, your best and safest bet is to go to a professional for laser tattoo removal. 

For more on the process of getting tattoos removed, click here

Does Permanent Makeup Fade?

As the ink used in the makeup tattooing procedure isn’t deposited as deeply into the skin layers as a regular tattoo, that does mean it can fade faster.

So, if you hate your makeup but don’t want to go under the laser, you could wait between one to three years for the pigment to fade – depending, of course, on what kind of permanent makeup you’re dealing with.

Woman having her eye brows tinted. Semi-permanent makeup for eyebrows.

For example, when it comes to permanent eyeliner, Huffington Post explains,

“If you eventually decide you don’t want the eyeliner, it’s possible for it to completely fade in one to three years. Everyone’s skin holds the pigment differently, so it’s tough to say how long it will take for the liner to become invisible.”

Whereas lip blushing, or permanent lipstick, can fade within 18 months, and microblading needs to be touched up (on average) after about a year.

Permanent makeup should be considered with the same level of caution as getting a tattoo, because it’s essentially the same thing.

Here are three things to consider before getting makeup tattooed:

1. Choose A Reputable Artist And Clinic

Professional permanent makeup artist Judy, on her YouTube channel, Effortless PMU, states that it’s of the utmost importance that the spa, clinic, or studio where you have chosen to have your makeup tattooed is clean and the artist is certified. 

A young girl having red lips permanent makeup, micropigmentation.

When you walk in, you want to make sure that they have an up-to-date bloodborne pathogens certificate. If an artist isn’t properly qualified and the studio doesn’t have cleanliness high on their list of priorities, it’s a red flag.

Remember, just one instrument that hasn’t been dealt with properly can give you an infection or disease. 

Another red flag is when an artist doesn’t give you a proper consultation. It’s important for your chosen artist to analyze your skin to make sure you’re a good candidate for the type of permanent makeup you want. 

Permanent make up eyeliner procedure, applying on young girl.

As Kendra Bray, owner of the salon, Better Brows And Beauty, points out to Allure,

“Microblading only looks great when you can achieve fine details. People with oily skin won’t heal with the crisp strokes you need to achieve a natural look.”

2. Research Artists To Find One Proficient In Your Chosen Style

Makeup artists have different styles, so make sure to choose one that is well-versed in the style of makeup that you want permanently tattooed. 

Spend time going through artists’ professional social media profiles and portfolios to see what style they lean towards. 

Just like there are tattoo artists who specialize in realistic portraits, while others in geometric designs, permanent makeup artists will have their own specific ways of achieving makeup tattoos.

3. Don’t Follow Trends Lightly

This is a permanent decision, so basing your tattoo choice on what’s currently in fashion could result in you going to a laser removal clinic a few months later. Think about it this way: is your go-to makeup look the same as it was 10 years ago? Or even five years ago?

Permanent Makeup @beautyinkstudio

Focusing on highlighting your natural features instead of trying to get the latest TikTok makeup hack made permanent on your face can go a long way in preventing any regrets. 

When it comes to eyeliner, there are two main ways to approach this permanent cosmetic procedure: above the lash line or within the lash line for a more natural look. Even though you may be itching to get a full-on cat-eye, remember, once the makeup tattoo is healed, you can always add more makeup when you want an extra touch of glamor. 

Makeup Transformation @browsbycasara

If you want to roll out of bed and go out without struggling with liquid eyeliner or trying to make both your eyebrows look even, permanent makeup might be your answer. As with any body modification, do your research and go to a reputable place so that you’ll be happy with the results.

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