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The "Eyes" Have It!

By Leatha Martin

THE WORDS "I DO" can be a little scary for some people, but when it comes to getting your permanent eyeliner done, a good technician can ease the client into the procedure and the outcome can be quite stunning.

Permanent makeup is a cosmetic technique which employs tattoos (permanent pigmentation of the dermis) as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, such as eye lining, eye shadows, and other permanent enhancing colors to the skin of the face, lips and eyelids.

Other names used are dermapigmentation, micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics and cosmetic tattooing. These procedures are regulated in many countries and states, some of them requiring a registered professional, such as an esthetician, dermatologist or plastic surgeon to perform it. In the United States and other countries, the inks used in permanent makeup and the pigments in these inks are subject to FDA regulation as cosmetics and color additives.

The most popular areas and manners in which permanent makeup is applied are: eyebrows, eyeliner, lash enhancement, lip-line, lip-blend and full lip, beauty spot

Who can benefit from permanent makeup? Any individuals who:

  • are on the go and want to save time
  • want to enhance their features in a way that looks natural and not "made up"
  • want to look their best during athletic activities such as swimming, biking, aerobics, or tennis
  • has limited dexterity or arthritis, or unsteady hands and cannot apply their own makeup
  • has lost some or all of their facial hair, such as eyebrows
  • are allergic or sensitive to traditional makeup
  • are vision-impaired and find it difficult to apply eye makeup
  • want to have distinctive features; a type of beauty that will always be in fashion
  • want to look fresh and ready-to-go 24/7; whether at home, traveling, camping, or swimming

How much time does a typical procedure require? These procedures are a process that includes the initial consultation, initial application of pigment, and usually one or two follow-up visits for adjusting the density of the pigment. The time required for the initial application of the pigment varies according to the specific needs of the client, but usually takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours.

Are these procedures painful? Each client's level of discomfort differs depending on the procedure. The Esthetician will use a topical numbing ointment to desensitize the treatment area. This numbing ointment will be reapplied during the procedure as needed for your comfort.

Is permanent makeup safe? Micropigmentation is a skin-invasive procedure. However, documented allergic reactions to permanent cosmetic procedures are extremely rare. Skin testing may be done by your permanent makeup technician upon request. Regardless, it should be understood that an allergic reaction could occur at any point in time.

As in any procedure of this type, needles must be new and sterile, and equipment should be kept in a sanitary manner. Clean sheets and gloves are used for each client. Your technician should be clean, neat, and knowledgeable of environmental safety requirements.

Once the procedure is completed, what after-effects will my skin experience? Depending on one's own natural skin sensitivity, skin will be slightly swollen and pink for up to 48 hours. All treated areas form a clear protective layer. This layer will begin peeling, and the skin in these areas returns to its natural softness in approximately 5 to 7 days.

How much does permanent makeup cost? The average cost per procedure varies and should be discussed with the permanent makeup technician. The most important issue when choosing a potential technician should not be the cost, but the training and skill of the technician, and the confidence of the client in that skill.

How long will my permanent makeup last? Because the procedure is a form of tattooing, the effect is permanent. As with any tattoo, it can fade over time and require an occasional touch-up. Although each skin type reacts differently, color on fair-skinned individuals is more vibrant and appears to fade less.

Can I apply over-the-counter makeup over my permanent makeup? Yes, quite successfully! Traditional makeup will not damage your permanent makeup, and if you desire to change your day or evening look, traditional makeup can cover permanent makeup colors.


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