Frequently Asked Questions
We all know or have met someone with those strange looking blueish or purple looking eyebrows or eyeliner. For that reason many women are afraid of having Permanent cosmetics applied. The truth is that good permanent cosmetics should look natural. If its totally obvious then its a bad job period.
If permanent makeup is applied properly with an artistic eye and the skills necessary to understand how skin and tattooing the skin works. Then you end up looking like your self only better. Soft, natural looking enhancement is the goal. And because permanent makeup lasts and always looks good you will save your self time and go through life with confidence.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions I get about permanent cosmetics. Hopefully it will inform and alleviate any fears you might have about having this procedure performed.
Is it really permanent?
The truth is that permanent makeup is technically a “tattoo” which means that tiny molecules of pigment “Ink” is inserted into the dermis via needles or other tattooing instrument. Different pigments have different lasting power due to the size of their molecules, therefore colors with larger molecules are going to last longer than colors that have a smaller molecule simply because your body can’t break them down as fast. For instance Black pigment has the largest molecule and therefore lasts forever in the skin taking several years to fade into a grey or blueish color. lighter colors like yellow has the smallest and therefore needs to be touched up every few years.
Why do tattoos on the body last but permanent makeup needs to be touched up
I hear this question a lot and the truth is that there are certain areas on the body that don’t hold the pigment as well as other areas. Especially if it is an area that exfoliates more rapidly like the face. It is also true for tattoos applied to the hands and feet and most tattoo artists don’t like to tattoo those areas because of the fact that it fades so much. Having said that we go again back to the fact that certain colors last longer than others. For example an eyeliner tattooed in black pigment is going to last longer than medium blonde brows that are applied with soft earth tones, simply because the body absorbs lighter colors faster. I tell my clients that it is better to have soft natural results that need to be touched up every 2-3 years than harsh unnatural looking results that last forever.
Does it hurt?
Everybody has a different pain tolerance but having permanent cosmetics applied should NOT be likened to torture. The area to be tattooed should be prepped in advance with a topical numbing cream to alleviate discomfort. The lips being more sensitive due to the nerves surrounding the mouth can be totally numbed with a injection of lidocaine by a medical professional. However most my clients are fine with just the numbing cream. Most permanent makeup procedures should take around an hour. If its taking much longer than that then its not being applied efficiently and the skin runs the risk of being overworked. Over working the skin can be painful as well as cause unnecessary trauma to the treated area resulting in poor results and some times scar tissue.
Does it bleed?
Properly applied permanent makeup does not need be inserted into the skin more than a dimes width. In fact in general tattoos applied using to much pressure causes scarring which gives the tattoo a raised waxy look. When its done right it rarely causes bleeding
and the area should only slightly swell with a mild redness around the treated area that usually only lasts for a few hours.
Does the color have to be really dark at first?
When the skin is being tattooed pigment is being inserted into the top layers of skin via needles or other tattooing instrument. This process causes a little bit of trauma to the skin causing it to go into a healing process. Though mild some of the damaged skin will flake away or exfoliate taking along some of the pigment. For this reason the tattooed area looks softer and typically a couple shades lighter than it did when it did when first applied. With that said I think its important to mention that while the colors are expected to appear slightly darker initially, you should still love your results. Having huge black caterpillar eyebrows is never ok and I have done corrections on clients who have been waiting for their brows to fade for more than 6 years! However, since lips exfoliate more than any other area on the face, typically the color will look much brighter after initial procedure fading up to 50% after the healout.
Is there any down time?
If the permanent cosmetics has been applied causing the least amount of trauma necessary to achieve desired results than you should expect to be completely healed in less than a week. You do not have to discontinue any of your normal activities so long as they don’t include swimming. The only area that may look a little swollen is the lips so I typically tell people not to make social plans the day of their procedure if they are having their lips done.
What is the after care?
Your skin has just been punctured hundreds of times by tiny needles so you want to make sure the area stays clean and protected for at least 5 days after procedure. It is ok to wash the area with a mild soap the day after the procedure and I give my clients an after care ointment to use to keep the area protected and speed up the healing process. It is important to avoid swimming in pools lakes or oceans for bacteria reasons and also because salt and chlorine may pull out the color. Which may affect your results. Your also going to want to avoid using any skin lightning or exfoliating skin care products such as Retin A and Glycol acids. Avoid prolonged sun exposure as this can also cause premature fading of the pigment.
How soon will I need a touch up?
I typically do my procedures in 2 sessions, the reason for this is because no two skin types are the same and individual results may vary. While one person only fades 1 shade lighter after healing another person may lose up to 50% of their color in the healing process. It is for this reason that I prefer to start out conservatively for the first application of permanent makeup. It is easier to add a little more color at the 3 week touch up than to have to lighten up color. I honestly don’t feel that any procedure is complete until after the client has come in for their complementary follow up procedure. This also gives me a chance to check in with my clients and make sure they are happy with their results. Once a client has had both the initial and follow up procedures their permanent makeup should last anywhere from 2 to 3 years depending on the depth of color and the clients individual skin type.
Hopefully I was able to answer any questions you might be having about permanent cosmetics. If you have additional questions please feel free to email me on the contact page!