FAQ's at Our Salon
What is “Permanent Makeup” and how long has it been around?
Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing. The specialized techniques used for permanent cosmetics are often referred to as "Semi-Permanent Make-up", "micropigmentation”, “micro pigment implantation” or “dermagraphics”. The cosmetic implantation technique deposits colored pigment into the upper reticular layer of the dermis.
As a form of body art, "permanent makeup" evidence suggests that the art was practiced as early as 3300 B.C. during the Stone Age. More recent, by 1000 years, evidence shows that body art was practiced around the globe and across civilizations including Egyptians, Mayans, Greeks, and even throughout China. While the practice spans millennia, the reasons are still the same. To create beauty, enhance self esteem, and accentuate the human form.
What is Microblading?
Microblading, also known by a variety of names such as embroidery, microstroking, feather touch and hair like strokes, is a form of permanent makeup that provides a means to partially or fully camouflage missing eyebrow hair with the appearance of simulated hair using fine deposits of cosmetic tattoo pigments. This technique is done by hand. See Microblading Tab for more info.
Who benefits from Permanent Makeup?
People who meet minimum age requirements and have the ability to heal properly from minor wounds can benefit from the liberating benefits of permanent cosmetics. Interest in this service spans the young to the more mature; those who desire a soft, natural enhancement to their appearance. It is especially valuable to people who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities; active people who want to look their best for sports activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, aerobics; and those who don’t want to worry about “sweating off” or reapplying cosmetics. Permanent Cosmetics also benefits the vision challenged who have difficulty applying their cosmetics; and others with dexterity related conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke survivors, and busy people who don’t have time to spend applying and refreshing makeup throughout the day and evening.
Is Permanent Makeup about Vanity?
- Permanent makeup eliminates the frustration associated with tremors or dexterity from conditions such as:
- Parkinson's Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Eyesight issues; cataracts, vision impairment
- Parkinson's Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Eyesight issues; cataracts, vision impairment
My Brows are Gone, Will they Ever Grow Back?
Brows disappear for a number of reasons. The most common being Alopecia Areata. Alopecia Areata targets the delicate hair follicles, slowing down or halting hair production. It may cause random areas of hair loss that come and go, or stop hair growth altogether. Some common reasons for Alopecia are;
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Eczema or or Psoriasis
- Thyroid issues
- Stress and Anxiety
- Hormone fluctuations
- Persistent plucking, which creates trauma to the follical.
- Harsh cosmetics
Is Permanent Makeup 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. The scientific structure of pigments and the requirement for periodic refreshing is identical to that of tinted hair color; faded material on furniture that may be located near a window and subject to sun exposure; house paint that is exposed to the sun and other environmental elements; pigment implanted in the skin may fade with time. This colorant periodic maintenance requirement is a good opportunity to reevaluate one’s color and design preferences.
Are the pigments that are used safe and should I worry about an allergic reaction?
Permanent cosmetics utilize sterile pigments with cosmetic grade colorants. 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. While they are considered extremely safe, 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. Also, pigment suppliers are required to list the ingredients on their pigment labels.
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 does each procedure take?
The initial procedure will generally take approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours; there are records to establish; photographs to take; desired design and color to discuss; the procedure to perform; and the aftercare requirements to discuss. Follow up or color refresher procedures usually do not require the same amount of time.
Does it hurt?
Making sure the client is comfortable is a top priority. But to be realistic, discomfort will vary according to each individual’s pain threshold. People describe what they feel in different ways such as “slight irritation”, “scratching”, “vibration”, “a slight burning sensation,” or that they hear a scratching sound rather than feel it. The good news, our industry has multiple topical anesthetics that are specifically developed for permanent makeup. As a rule, traditional tattoo professionals do not use any anesthetics for their tattoo procedures. Anesthetics 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.
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.
Is it safe?
If proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met, permanent cosmetics should be completely safe. IMPORTANT Things To Look For:
- All Needles should be new and sterile for each client. Unopened new and sterile needles should be opened in your presence
- Disposable sterilized one-time use machine parts should be purchased by the artist, and disposed of in a sharps container immediately after the procedure has been completed
- Personal protection equipment such as disposable one-time use gloves should be new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed
- The technician should be clean and neat
- Disposable one-time use chair/bed covering should be new for each client
- The room or treatment area should be in an area free from other contaminants
What if I don’t like it?
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.
How do I choose a Technician?
Choose a technician carefully by considering training, compliance with state and local laws (Board Certified), and the technician’s before and after photograph portfolio. It is important to remember that the shape and proper placement of the procedure is as important as the right color. Professionals have studied color theory and skin undertones which results in the color requested. Unskilled people who have not pursued the required education do not have the knowledge required to translate pigment color to skin to achieve the desired outcome.
What are the side Effects?
While eyebrows may show little after effect, eyeliner and lips may show slight to moderate swelling. This is very dependent upon the amount of work performed. As examples; an eyelash enhancement will show very little response to the tattooing procedure compared to a more moderate response when wide eyeliner is performed. The same philosophy applies to lip color procedures. A lip liner or blended lip liner will show less effects of the procedure than that of a full lip color. Also, some people swell more than others. During the procedure, there may be some minor bleeding. This again, is client specific. Many people take blood thinners on a daily basis so some slight bleeding would be expected. Others show little or no signs of bleeding. Bruising is rare but again, if a person is on blood thinners, bruising could occur. What is seen more often is that eyebrows rarely if ever produce any bruising; minor bruising during eyeliner procedures is possible if the skin being tattooed is very thin and close to the vascular system. This also applies to lip procedures in the event the client is more mature. If bruising does occur, typically it is minor and subsides in a few days. There is usually some tenderness for a few days. The color is much darker than you may expect for the first six to ten days.
How important is aftercare?
The possibility that you would have any problems or reactions from these procedures is almost non-existent with today’s health standards. That being said, the final outcome is often reflected in the client’s attention given to following post care instructions. Medical problems associated with permanent cosmetics are often linked to poor attention to the required aftercare process. To avoid any contamination or infection, it is extremely important to follow all after care instructions.
Do I need a touchup?
Often the tattooed color is not perfect after the initial procedure heals. 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. Permanent cosmetic procedures are a process and at least one follow-up to the initial procedure should be scheduled. The minimum standard for follow-up detail work is four weeks for brows and eyes and six weeks for lips. Lips have a different healing agenda than procedures performed on other parts of the face due to their delicate nature. The cited time frames will vary depending on the health profile and age of the client, but these are good minimum standards for consideration. All touch ups are $75.00.
Can I 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. 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 permanent makeup informs the radiologist and technician where it is located because it may create a small artificial image.