Permanent Make Up
What is Permanent Make Up?
A “cosmetic tattoo” accurately describes the popular service of tattooing the appearance of traditional cosmetic eyebrows, eyeliner and lip color. It also includes corrective services such as scar camouflage and areola re-pigmentation. There are a variety of terms used to describe this service including: permanent cosmetics, permanent makeup and micropigmentation. The term “permanent” is an association with the permanency of tattooing pigment into the dermal layer of the skin. The term semi-permanent makeup is occasionally used and reflects the fact that facial tattoos will fade more rapidly than other areas of the body.
A portion of the pigment will be lost, but some of the pigment in the dermal layer will last for the life of the person. Body tattoos have to be touched up at intervals to retain their intensity of color just as
cosmetic tattoo’s need to be touched up. The time frame can be anywhere from 1-4 year interval, eyebrows commonly require yearly touch ups, eyeliner has the most longevity.
I am a licensed Aesthetician and Physical Therapist (PT) practicing in Littleton, Colorado. My training in Wound care in PT school, provided a sound background in dermatological considerations with regard to tattooing. I have extensive training in decorative, restorative and cosmetic tattooing.
- -Training in microblading (250 hours).
- -Training in traditional coil tattooing (250 hours).
- -Training in medical aesthetics and laser modalities. (750 hours).
- -Training in permanent make-up and camouflage with Susan
Church, co-founder and first president of the (SPCP) Society of
Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (135 hours).
- -Training in permanent make-up with Erla Trujillo, a 15 year veteran in permanent make-up (135 hours).
- -Training in Advanced Areola Tattooing at the Sauler Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine (60 hours).
Permanent Make Up Consultation
Permanent Eyeliner Lash Enhancement
Permanent Eyeliner Top and Bottom
Permanent Eyeliner Top lid
Eye brow permanent makeup. A powder fill.
Lipliner Basic Permanent Lip liner.
Full Lip Color
Permanent Make Up- Touch up &
$300 Price includes 1-2 touch ups.
$300 Price includes 1-2 touch ups.
$250.00 includes 1 touch ups.
$400 Price includes 1-2 touch ups.
$400 Price includes 1-2 touch ups.
$400 Price includes 1-2 touch ups.
$ Price includes 1-2 touch ups.
Corrections Price range is $150 to $350
*This fee is will be deducted from the cost of the procedure. During the consultation we will assess if you are a candidate for areola tattooing and discuss shape, color and sizing.
The Consultation and Procedure
The process of applying permanent make up (cosmetic tattooing) starts with a consultation. 30-45 minutes. This enables us to assess whether you are a candidate for permanent make up based on a review of your medical history including: general health, medication, skin integrity etc. It is also a time to discuss the aesthetic design of your chosen procedure. This is not a one shape fits all approach to eyebrows. Different faces are enhance by different shapes and positioning of the eyebrow within the framework of the face.During the consultation with your artist, they will, under your guidance, determine color, shape and design. In the case of eyebrows, considerations are color choice, shape, and size .
In the case of eyeliner, the client decides on color and the whether they would like a subtle lash enhancement, thin/ medium or thick eyeliner and if the want both upper and lower lid or just lower lid. There is also an option for smokeyeyeliner .
Color is selected by painting a sample color on the skin. This pigment is temporary and easily removed. Once the color, size and design is approved, you are ready for your permanent make up procedure. Please allow 45-75 minutes in your schedule. An optional pigment patch test may be performed to assess for possible allergies. We will also take before photographs.
Preparing for the day of the procedure .Try to avoid Vitamin E supplements, caffeine, alcohol and highly salted foods 24 hours before your procedure, as they dilute the blood and can increase bleeding and lymph rising to the surface during the procedure. Over the counter anti-inflammatories also have a blood thinning effect, so please avoid Advil, aspirin and ibuprofen.
Day of the procedure. Please allow for 2 hours for your first appointment. Topical numbing of the area is performed. Most individuals experience minimal discomfort with the use of topical numbing agents. After the procedure is completed photos are taken and aftercare instructions are reviewed.
Microbading is a form of permanent make-up/ cosmetic tattooing that uses either a very thin single pin tattoo machine or a manual tool.
The manual tool is a thin line of very thin tattoo needles, shown below. The resulting effect is thin hairlike strokes. . Fine, realistic strokes provide a natural framework for the eye and face.
Microblading Yearly Refresh. For individuals who have had microblading within the last 18 months, this color refresh is aimed at refreshing and correcting any color changes or re-establishing clearly observable hairstrokes.
Eyebrow Powder Fill
A powder fill can be performed with a soft tap device or a machine. It resembles more the look of a filled in eyebrow. Sometimes the only way to correct a microblading disaster is to do this kind of fill. Here is an example of a correction I did this way.
I perform Eyeliner most often with a tattoo machine but a soft tap device can also be used. The pigment is embedded between the eye lashes for a lash enhancement. You can choose from a number of styles and colors. Here are the most common styles of eyeliner.
LASH ENHANCEMENT - light
MEDIUM EYELINER SMOKEY
Options include lip liner or a Full lip Tint. Permanent Lip liner outlines and enhances the natural contour of the lips. Often this looks most natural when you fade the color into body of lip. A full lip tint provides coverage to the full body of the lips. Generally, it is best to choose a color close to your natural lip color and bump up the color intensity. This enables you to wakeup beautiful with a natural enhanced day look and then switch colors or glam it up for night. Unfortunately, lip color fades faster than most cosmetic tattoos. A touch up is recommended between 18-24 months.
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.
Permanent cosmetics procedures are performed using various devices, including the traditional tattoo coil machines and the rotary or digital pen machine. Non-machine devices are also used including microblading tools and softap ® which is a brand of hand-held devices.
The average cost per procedure averages between $300-$800. The most important issue in selecting a PM artist is the training and skill of the person performing the procedure, including a thorough training in sterilization and blood born pathogens.
People who meet minimum age requirements.
Make up minimalists who dislike the daily make up task but want to look their best.
Individuals with little or no eyebrow hair due to alopecia or chemotherapy-radiation treatment.
Most people experience brief discomfort during the procedure. This will vary according to each individual’s pain threshold. Topical anaesthetic is used which significantly decreases skin sensitivity compared to traditional tattooing.
If proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met, permanent cosmetics are completely safe. The industry standard is single used disposable needles.
The process includes a consultation, the application of pigment, and at least one or more follow up visits to evaluate the healed design and color of the pigment.
Permanent cosmetic procedures are considered permanent because pigment is tattooed into the dermal layer of the skin and cannot be washed off. As with any tattoo, fading will occur, requiring periodic maintenance referred to as color refreshing. Longevity varies from person to person depending on their life style particularly sun exposure. The color used for the permanent cosmetic procedure and use of topical products applied to the skin are also factors effecting longevity.
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 require less time.
Choose a technician carefully by considering training, experience, compliance with state and local laws, 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. The preferred look is obtained during the course of consultation, initial procedure and follow-up appointment(s). Interaction between the client and the technician is of utmost importance.
While eyebrows may show little after effect, eyeliner and lips may show slight to moderate swelling. Bruising is rare, but if a person is on blood thinners, bruising can occur. 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.
People can develop an allergy to anything at anytime, however, pigment allergies are considered rare. The possibility that you would have any problems or reactions from these procedures is almost non-existent with today’s health standards.
Post procedural instructions, if followed carefully, will greatly reduce any risk. Medical problems associated with permanent cosmetics are often linked to poor attention to the required aftercare process on behalf of the client. Choose a time for procedures when you feel confident you can follow the simple, but very important after care instructions.
Often the tattooed color is not perfect after the initial procedure heals. Cosmetic tattoos are a process,at least one follow-up should be scheduled. procedure be performed no sooner than four weeks for eyebrows and eyeliner and six weeks for lips.
Over the next 14 to 21 days your tattooed area will go through three stages of healing:
- 1. Heal:? The body's natural defenses will create fine scabs to protect the area whilst healing.
- 2. Peel: After approximately 10 days, when the tattooed area is healed, the outer layer of skin will fall off.
Do Not Pick at the treated area as this will result in pigment loss.
- 3. Fade: Once the skin is healed and any fine scabbing has fallen off the tattooed area, you will see a lighter shade of the implanted color. After 4/6 weeks the pigment in the tattoo will have settled and this will be the color of your nipple and areola.
What should you expect after the procedure?
There may be some soreness, swelling and redness. Any visible swelling and redness resolves within 6-12 hours. Soreness may linger for a day or two, over the counter medication may be used as needed following the dosing recommendations on the bottle
Skin care instructions Days 1-10
(For maximum results, please adhere to the post-care instructions)
To prevent infection, try not to touch the pigmented area with your fingers until it is completely healed.
Apply a thin layer of Aquaphor 2-3 times daily and before bathing (always using a clean cotton swab/Q-tip, until the area has healed). Dab off excess product with a tissue. Overuse of Aquaphorwill not let the area heal properly. Continue to apply Aquaphor until the scab falls off to avoid loss of pigment (Aquaphor application is not required for eyeliner).
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Steam and hot water can potentially cause the color to fade prematurely. Avoid getting shower gel/cleanser and water on the area as much as possible. Do not use soap, saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzis/hot tubs, or engage in hot yoga, swimming in chlorinated pools, oceans or lake water for 7-10 days or until the area has completely healed.
- Do not rub or traumatize the procedure area while it is healing, as pigment may be removed along with crusting tissue.
- Ice may be used to relieve swelling.
- Mild tenderness and discomfort is normal as the tissue heals. Please contact your aesthetician and/or physician immediately if you experience symptoms such as intense itching, swelling, blistering, severe redness, excessive heat/warmth, a migrating red ring or any other complications.
- Remember all procedures must heal, peel and fade. The tattoo will be much darker for the first 7-10 days or until the tissue has healed due to a mixture of blood, lymph (clear, watery fluid) and stained pigment on the skin surface. After the area peels, the color will be softer. Most tattoos fade up to 30% within the first 6-8 weeks
- Permanent make upprocedures are generally one to three visits.
- Use sun block after the tattoo has healed to prevent future fading of pigment color (if exposed to sun or tanning bed).
FDA Regulation of Tattoo Pigment?
Currently the FDA does not test or screen the content of either traditional tattoo pigment or the pigment used in permanent make-up and restorative/areola tattooing. Many of these colorants identified in tattoo pigment are known carcinogens or skin irritants. Many of these are banned for use in cosmetics because of health concerns. It is reasonable to assume if it’s not safe to apply a substance to the surface of the skin, it is not safe to embed in the skin.
In a European report (RAPEX) 2/3’s of the 126 cases of adverse reactions from tattoo or permanent make-up pigment were associated with 3 of the largest US ink manufacturers: Intenze (35%), Eternal ink (21%) Starbrite (8%). Studies have shown that these companies contain known carcinogens, many of which are banned by the FDA and the European Union.
As tattoo pigment is not regulated, it is important to do your due diligence. Ask your tattoo artist about their practices to protect you through the use of non-carcinogenic ink. Unfortunately, many tattoo artists are not aware of the health risks associated with the major US manufacturers of tattoo pigments. Wendy Evans uses Atomic Ink, imported from Italy, which is regularly screened for banned carcinogens, heavy metals and microbial contents.
Currently the FDA does not test or screen the content of either traditional tattoo pigment or the pigment used in permanent makeup and restorative/areola tattooing. In contrast the Council of Europe (CoE), the governing body for the European Union, is more diligent about monitoring and regulating tattoo pigment. In 2003 a comprehensive list was compiled by the CoE of cosmetic colorants that have been identified as potential carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substances. Many of these colorants are banned for use in cosmetics due to these associated risks (ResAP, 2008). Considering this list in terms of colorants used in tattoo ink it is “ad oculos” or self-evident,that if it’s not safe to be applied to the surface of the skin, it is not safe to embed the substance in the skin.
Most of the tattoo ink used in Europe is imported from the US. Since 2004 a rapid alert system or non-food dangerous products, called RAPEX, has been set up. During the last decade 126 alerts related to tattoo and PMU inks have been reported. Out of the 126 notifications, 109 referring to tattoo and 11 to PMU inks, were related to chemical risks. Two thirds of the notified inks were produced in the United States, Consistently, the majority (64%) of products not in line with CoEResAP (2008)1 recommendations or with national legislations belonged to three American brands, Intenze (35%), Eternal ink (21%) Starbrite 2 (8%). Many tattoo artist have not reviewed the clinical research regarding ink and are not aware that most traditional US tattoo ink contains levels of carcinogens that exceed regulatory standards. Banned substances found to be present in these inks included heavy metals, preservative, and a class of carcinogenic coloring agents, (PAA’s) and PAH (darkening pigment). In a study of over 800 inks tested, one third of the inks contained PAH, The International agency for Cancer Research classifies compounds in the PAH group of chemicals as Type 1.This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Other studies (Journal of Applied Microbiology, S.W. Nho S.‐et al .February 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/jam.13713 ) investigating 13 US makers of Tattoo and PMU ink found that 42% of the inks tested contained bacterial or fungal contaminants. As a result of the lack of FDA regulation, some artists have switch to importing tattoo Ink from Europe. Atomic Ink, is made in Italy and all of their ink batches are tested and screened.
Atomic inks complies with the European legislations ResAP (2008) in regards to the release of aromatic cancerous amines, PAH and in relation to the content of heavy metals. All inks are sterilized to guarantee the absolute microbiological security. Unfortunately, many tattoo artist are not aware of the health risks associated with the major US manufacturers of Tattoo pigments. The only available US permanent make-up pigment to have undergone any safety efficacy studies is Kolorsource. This company produces an areola color range. I have no financial or vested interest in atomic ink or Kolorsource.