Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is permanent makeup? Is permanent makeup the same as a tattoo?
Permanent makeup, also known as semi-permanent makeup, is a cosmetic procedure that adds long-lasting color to your skin to simulate a makeup look. Permanent makeup is similar to tattooing, in which pigments are injected into the dermis, the layer of skin beneath the outermost epidermis, though the inks used are much safer.
Permanent makeup is often used to enhance natural beauty, or to reduce time spent putting on makeup. It’s also used by women who would have a hard time putting makeup on themselves, such as those with injuries or eyesight problems, or who are actually allergic to makeup. Women with skin pigmentation conditions such as vitiligo will also greatly benefit from permanent makeup.
2. Is permanent makeup safe?
When performed by the right experts, permanent makeup is very safe due to the sterile procedures involved, which carry a lower risk of infection than other cosmetic procedures. The inks used are not the same as tattoo inks, and are FDA-approved for use in cosmetics. Every piece of equipment is single-use, so you’re not getting poked by an instrument that’s been under someone’s skin and then haphazardly cleaned.
Of course, as with any procedure that involves needles and skin penetration, there is still that small risk in the timeframe during and after the procedure while the healing process is taking place. That’s why you should keep your face clean in accordance with the care guidelines that your specialist provides.
3. How long does it take for permanent makeup to heal?
For 7-10 days after the procedure, you should keep the affected area clean, dry, and away from direct sun exposure. After this, the permanent makeup should be in place and fully healed, though you should make a follow-up appointment in a month to ensure that it’s healed properly.
4. How long does permanent makeup last?
Each kind of permanent makeup has its own longevity. For the most part, pigmentation processes should last between 2 and 6 years. Lip coloring and eyebrows both last a much shorter time, between 1-2 years before a touch up is required.
Various external factors also affect the longevity of makeup. For example, exposure to the sun can cause the injected pigments to fade.
5. Am I a good candidate for permanent makeup?
Most people are good candidates for permanent makeup. With that said, certain factors will make permanent makeup less than ideal. For example, most people younger than 30 years of age probably don’t need permanent makeup because their skin is brighter, more youthful, and more responsive to proper skincare routines and good makeup application.
People with much darker skin tones might not benefit as much from permanent makeup, too, as the pigments don’t show up very well through their skin color unless you’re looking really closely.
If you spend a lot of time under the sun, or enjoy frequent trips to tanning salons, then permanent makeup may be problematic as well, because the pigments will fade faster and might even change color due to the ultraviolet radiation exposure.
If you have an immune system deficiency or are otherwise immunocompromised, it’s also a bad idea to get permanent makeup, as the risk of infection is greater than normal.
Finally, if you’re taking medication for a pre-existing condition, it’s always good to check with a physician before you decide to undergo any kind of elective procedure, including permanent makeup.
6. Does getting permanent makeup hurt?
Permanent makeup is done under topical local anesthesia, which effectively numbs the region that’s being worked on. You may feel a tingling sensation and some pressure during the procedure, especially if highly sensitive areas like the eyes and lips are being worked on, but permanent makeup is otherwise pain-free.
7. How do I prepare for a permanent makeup procedure?
Because permanent makeup is a delicate procedure, you need to take care of yourself and have your skin be in the best condition possible, before you get it.
4-8 weeks before your procedure, you should stop going to tanning salons, stop smoking, and avoid drugs such as aspirin that can thin your blood and potentially worsen any bleeding or slow healing. You should also drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen on your face every time you’re outdoors.
Each type of permanent makeup procedure also has its own unique suggested preparations.
For permanent eyeliner, you should avoid wearing contact lenses 48 hours before the procedure. You should also avoid putting on eyeshadow and drop the eyelash curler on the day you’re getting the permanent eyeliner.
For permanent lip tint, it’s all about telling your specialist what’s up with your lips before the procedure. Make sure you describe any braces, piercings, and any kind of lip surgery you’ve had. Don’t forget mention if you have lip sores or mouth wounds before you undergo the procedure.
For eyebrows, avoid waxing or plucking your eyebrows 24-48 hours before the procedure.
8. What is the healing process like following a permanent makeup procedure?
Right after the process, you’ll experience redness, mild inflammation, and sensitivity in the affected areas for up to 2 days. You may also experience mild bruising for the same duration.
The skin itself may dry out a little and even feel a little tight, with some crusting and even flaking or peeling. All of these should be expected to last up to 3 days after the procedure.
After the procedure, permanent makeup will initially look darker than desired for a few days, because some of the pigment will remain in the outermost epidermis layer. After this layer is shed naturally over the next 7-10 days, it’ll look exactly as intended, and your skin may even look more even and healthy afterwards.
9. What if I want to change my makeup?
As with any tattoo-like pigmentation procedure, it’s pretty hard to change permanent makeup once it’s applied. There are several procedures such as laser treatments and chemical applications that can help fade permanent makeup, but these cost a lot of money and take a toll on your skin.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to change makeup regularly, a good idea would be to start with a conservative application of pigment that simply brightens your look without any topical makeup. Then, as you decide on a more permanent look, you can darken the shades with succeeding touch up procedures.
10. Can I wear makeup after the procedure?
Yes, you’re definitely free to wear additional cosmetics on top of your permanent makeup. This often results in a striking and dramatic look that many women like.