What is Permanent Makeup?
Permanent Makeup is a procedure in which pigment it planted in the dermis of the skin to create, enhance, or correct, cosmetic appearance. It can also be referred to as “Permanent Cosmetics”, “Cosmetic Tattoo”, and “Micropigmentation”. It is considered semi-permanent in Europe and Australia, and the American Academy for Micropigmentologists are considering dropping the term “permanent”, because they want us to remember that all tattoos fade progressively from UV exposure, body chemistry, and overall care of the skin. It should also be understood that cosmetic tattooing will most likely require a touch up here and there to maintain shape and color. It IS however, permanent enough to be informed when choosing a micropigmentologist for your procedure because it can be difficult and extremely costly to correct mistakes.
What can be done with Permanent Makeup?
Permanent Cosmetics are mostly used to simulate conventional makeup, or enhance natural beauty of eyebrows, eyes, and lips. It is also highly effective in restoring pigment, texture, and elasticity to scars. Damaged features such as cleft lips, and areolas after breast surgery can be vastly improved with color. Lost brows due to scarring or alopecia, and even hair on the scalp can be effectively simulated with hair like strokes of color. We can even create beauty marks and freckles!
Who should get Permanent Makeup?
Clients with difficulty applying their makeup due to poor vision or physical disability, arthritis, diabetes, sensitivity to conventional cosmetics via fragrance or ingredients, people with active lifestyles, swimmers or athletes, people suffering from alopecia, men or women with sparse lashes or eyebrow hair, bald and thinning people, thin or pale lips, asymmetrical features, burn victims, cancer patients, or for women who just want to wake up looking beautiful every day.
What are some benefits of Scar Revision, Dry Needling, & Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT)?
The reasons that someone may choose to have Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) done are varied. Surgical or acne scarring naturally occurring scars, wrinkle reduction, and anti-aging, pore refinement, or thickening of the skin, sun, age spots, and stretch mark removal (and more) are all done via CIT. Treating specific clients with these concerns or with vitiligo or hypopigmentation may also incorporate simultaneously implanting pigment to conceal areas that are lacking in pigment altogether.
Downtime is quick, usually leaving client with pink and slightly inflamed skin for 24-48 hours after the procedure. If the area was treated more aggressively due to sun spots, or deep wrinkles or scars, those areas could take 1-2 weeks to normalize in appearance. These treatments may result in several months of hyperpigmentation while the area is healing.
Collagen Induction Therapy via dry needling is an amazing and fairly new procedure. The needles create channels in the skin during the procedure and can improve the penetration of Vitamin creams by 1,000 times. After treatment, dry needling causes the body to create a wound healing response, and can naturally stimulate the skin to produce up to 1,000% more collagen for up to 3 months, and then continue to produce collagen for a year. It generally takes 4-8 weeks before you will fully start to see the benefits, and a series of 3-5 treatments are recommended to achieve maximum results. Treatments are recommended at 6 weeks apart.
What should I look for in a Micropigmentologist?
You should look for a Micropigmentologist that is certified in Permanent Cosmetics, and a member of either the American Academy of Micropigmetnation, or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. Each organization requires testing of basic knowledge and competency of a member, and such certifications indicate that a technician is knowledgeable within the industry. They will also have a certain amount of time in practice, and while everyone must start somewhere, it’s reasonable to expect that people in business longer have more experience. Credentials are necessary in this business, but beautiful permanent makeup is a culmination of much more than schooling. A great micropigmentologist should be an artist, have a great knowledge and understanding of color theory and face shape, and what compliments one from the next. They should also understand the importance of cleanliness, sanitation, disease prevention, pain management, and privacy laws.
What made you decide to become a Micropigmentologist?
I first learned about Micropigmentology after I was referred to a “professional” by a local plastic surgeon who suggested scar camouflage over surgery to correct a scar from an accident around age 20 that had left my lip nearly torn in half. Every time I looked in the mirror I was self-conscious about the scar. I saved up my money and made an appointment with the recommended micropigmentologist. Upon my procedure, I had little to no anesthetic for a partial lip tattoo which attempted to match my lip color. Thankfully, the scribbles that were made and didn’t match, didn’t stick. I was very young at the time and felt that I was treated that way. Over the next several years, my mind often went back to the procedure and how I might have done things differently had I been on the other end of the tattoo machine. I researched schools around the country for a full year before I decided on one, and decided to make micropigmentology my life’s work. In school, I quickly learned that my suspicions for approaching my scar incorrectly were confirmed. I quickly learned how my scar SHOULD have been addressed. I have since undergone the proper scar revision techniques with significant improvements.
Why should I choose you over other Micropigmentologists?
I sparked a sturdy interest in hair, makeup, and tattoos at a very young age. By 17, I was full time cosmetology student and was learning tattoo as a junior apprentice. At the age of 19, I became a Certified Nursing Assistant and Unit Secretary and spent several years working in a hospital on a cardiac telemetry unit caring for patients including those pre-and post open-heart surgery. There I learned proper protocol for sanitation, disease prevention, and patient confidentiality, along with proper bedside manner. I also have spent many years doing hair, makeup, and tattoos. I have a great knowledge of face shape and color theory. All of these experiences combined have shaped my skills as a confident and capable micropigmentologist.
Why not go to a tattoo shop, salon, or nail spa for Permanent Makeup?
Tattoo shops often have employees who are amazing artists, and certainly know how to put color into the skin, but there are some crucial differences between body art and cosmetic tattooing. The inks used in tattooing are very different than pigments used in cosmetic tattooing. These inks are rich in iron oxides, which can change color overtime, and can result in green or pink eyebrows, blue lips or worse… migration of color. There are also areas in which are forbidden to tattoo, and techniques that are extremely important when tattooing such delicate areas in cosmetic tattooing. I have seen many instances of permanent eyeliner running under the skin, and the client left permanently looking like they had wet and running mascara.
The colors and materials used to make permanent cosmetic pigments, and sold to our industry, are specially blended for the purpose of permanent makeup. A great micropigmentologist will not only purchase the top of the line pigments, but have a great understanding of color theory, skin tones, warm and cool colors, and what to use on whom. They should also know how to enhance shape and correct asymmetries. A client should receive a final result based on their request for bold and dramatic, to subtle and natural. An artist without proper training might have no idea how to approach many of these necessities. Also, many tattoo artists are male, and will flat out tell you that they have no idea how to style eyeliner or eyebrows or do makeup.
In a tattoo shop, you may be looked at as if you are from another planet when requesting anesthetics, as this is not custom for tattoos. Tattooing, especially of the eyes and lips, can be very sensitive and require a good topical anesthetic.
Be leery of nail spas and salons offering permanent cosmetics. Permanent makeup is extremely popular in Asian and Hispanic culture, and many of the technicians working at these places may have no training and may not be using the greatest equipment and pigments. I often end up doing corrective work resulting in work done in these types of places. Choose your artist wisely.
What will I get at your clinic that I may not find elsewhere?
I use top of the line equipment, products, pigments, and anesthetics. My combined experience with tattoo, micropigmentology, cosmetology, and medical training can give you comfort in knowing that you have chosen a skilled technician with an artistic eye to bring out your very best.
Do I need a consultation in advance?
Not unless are being treated for vitiligo in which case we will mix a custom pigment and implant a small amount in the most inconspicuous area and wait until it has healed to be sure that it will match your natural skin tone as best as possible.
Otherwise, we will consult at the beginning of your appointment the day you come in for your procedure. If you feel that you have many questions, and are undecided on whether or not you’d like to move forward, feel free to call, text, or email in advance. I will be more than happy to answer any and all questions. If you would still like to come in for a consultation, we can absolutely accommodate your request.
What do I need to know before my appointment? (DOS AND DONTS)
Please abstain from alcohol, Codeine, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Vitamin E supplements, and caffeine for at least at least 48 hours before the procedure. These things could cause bleeding and bruising which are unnecessary and could affect the healing process, as well as the discomfort of the procedure.
Do not tweeze, wax, or have electrolysis one week prior to your appointment to help reduce swelling.
Use basic soap and water, and no moisturizers for several days prior to your procedure.
Eat properly before your procedure.
Exfoliating a day or two before the procedure will aid in color retention and effectiveness of anesthetics.
You may take a prescribed light sedative or Benadryl before your appointment if you are anxious.
Feel free to ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question!
EYELINER CLIENTS – Do not wear contact lenses to your appointment, or for 72 hours after. Consider having someone accompany you to your appointment so you may be relieved of driving home after.
IF YOU SUFFER FROM: (Please notify us)
MITRIAL VALVE PROLAPSE – Lip Clients MUST obtain a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics prior to procedure.
DIABETES – You may have a harder time retaining pigment. Please notify your doctor before your procedure to get an OK.
SCLERODERMA – Please get an OK from your doctor. You may not be a good candidate for cosmetic tattoo.
HERPES – If you are having your lips done, and have ever had a cold sore, the herpes virus will never leave your system. You will need to obtain a prescription for an antiviral (Valtrex, Zovirax, Acyclovir, Lysine) and take them as prescribed for 72 hours before AND after your procedure. This procedure will almost certainly give you an outbreak, which could be severe.
BLOOD THINNERS – Please get an OK from your doctor, and ask if you can stop your pill for 24-48 hours before your procedure to prevent bleeding.
Lidocaine or Epinephrine – We will need to discuss using anesthetic. We may not be able to use them on you.
Latex – We will need to avoid using any latex products during your procedure.
If you have had any problems at the dentist office.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
Allow 2 hours for your first procedure.
At your first visit, we will meet, and I will take a photo copy of your ID for your file, and your payment.
You will fill out some medical forms to the best of your knowledge to insure your safety and top-quality results.
You can wear your own makeup to the appointment to show your desired result. Photographs may be taken for reference point. Please avoid waterproof mascara and staining lip colors. You can also bring your pencils or lipstick for color reference.
If you are uncertain or impartial about how you want your permanent makeup to look, it’s okay! We will collaborate until we determine the shapes and colors that will best suit you and your skin tone.
At this time, we will remove any makeup, sanitize the area, and take before photographs.
Topical anesthetic will then be applied, which will stay on for approximately 20 minutes.
During this time, we will mix the perfect color to match your preference or best compliment your completion.
The topical anesthetic will be removed, and we will begin collaboration on placement and shape.
Once we have agreed on placement, shape, and color, we will begin the procedure.
You will have little feeling the first pass which will become number with each pass, as more anesthetic is constantly applied throughout the procedure. The procedure will last approximately 30-45 minutes.
Once the procedure is complete, we will again clean the area, consult over the results, and take the after photographs.
You will then be given a copy of aftercare instruction, which we will go over. We will schedule your 4-6 week follow up appointment, and you will be free to go.
When and why do I need a second appointment?
The price for your permanent makeup procedure automatically includes 2 sessions at 4-6 weeks apart.
Think of your first appointment as your base coat. We are implanting pigment into the dermis, or the second layer of skin. The epidermis, or the top layer of skin, sloughs off and replaces itself roughly every 28 days. With any fresh tattoo, you are looking at the pigment or ink through the first layer. This is the reason that new tattoos look dark and bright. As it heals, and the epidermis (which is translucent) covers it, it appears lighter and softer. Throughout the first several weeks, as your epidermis is being removed via natural exfoliation, you may lose up to 40% of the initial pigment. Some people will lose more or less depending on many other factors such as skin type, sun and water exposure, and aftercare of the treated area. You may end up with a spot that is lighter than it should be, or loses a chunk of color altogether. Unfortunately, some technicians will attempt to make up for this in advance by applying too much, too solid, or too dark of a pigment initially. You then run the risk of having a final result that is flat, hard, dark, and/or unnatural looking. Even then, there is no guarantee that you won’t need a touchup visit. With this knowledge, any great micropigmentologist will always include a second session. It’s always better to add more later than to try to take away, which can be difficult and costly.
As a perfectionist, I want your new makeup to look flawless when you leave my facility. I will apply the proper amount of the perfect color and it will look very close to our end goal result when you leave from your initial procedure. After a few days, you may lose some color as your epidermis flakes off. Those who follow their aftercare instructions religiously will lose less color. Once your skin heals, some of the color that was hidden by the dry epidermis will become apparent again. Don’t be discouraged if you need a bit of pencil, powder, or lipstick in between your first and second sessions.
Think of your second session as icing the cake. This is the time we make any adjustments to color and shape in the treated area. This is also a time to do fun things such as add a “highlight” or “lowlight” color to really increase the depth and natural look of the tattoo.
After the second session, your skin will go through the entire healing cycle again, and heal beautifully. Then you can toss those pencils, powders, and lipsticks!
What will my Permanent Makeup look like immediately after the procedure?
Your new makeup will initially appear dark and dramatic. Eyeliner will look liquid rather than pencil, brows will be darker, and lips will be brighter. This is normal! Remember that you are seeing the pigment on the top of your skin, as it has not had a chance to heal under the top layer of skin. The color will become softer and lighter as your skin heals over the pigment.
You may notice when you leave that your skin looks white directly around the treated area. This is from the anesthetic, and will wear off quickly. If your skin is very sensitive, you may be a little pink or red around the treated area for a couple of hours.
After your eyeliner, your eyes will likely be puffy as if you just had a good cry. This will likely last for several hours. A cold pack will help reduce any swelling. A day or so into healing, you may have some slight bruising around new eyeliner, but it should be minimal enough to pass as a nice smokey eyeshadow. 😉
Lips can sometimes be a little puffy after the procedure and feel very dry. Apply Aquaphor often and as needed to keep them moisturized and help retain the new pigment.
Depending on the procedure you are here for, you will be free to join society within an hour or so. Anyone but eyeliner clients can essentially have their procedure done on their lunch break and return to work with no one knowing the wiser.