is a cosmetic
technique which employs tattoos
(permanent pigmentation of the dermis) as a
means of producing designs that resemble makeup
, such as eyelining and other permanent
enhancing colors to the skin
of the face
, and eyelids
. It is also used to produce artificial
, particularly in people who have
lost them as a consequence of old age, disease, such as alopecia
or a genetic
disturbance, and to disguise
and white spots in the skin such as in
. It is also used to restore or
enhance the breast's areola
, such as after
Most commonly called permanent cosmetics
names include dermapigmentation
, and cosmetic
, the latter being most appropriate since
permanent makeup is, in fact, tattooing. In the United States and other countries, the inks
used in permanent makeup and the pigments in
these inks are subject to FDA or similar agency
regulation as cosmetics and color additives.
Permanent Makeup - Before, immediately
after and healed for Brow, Eyeliner and Lip procedures
Regulations and oversight
Permanent makeup regulations vary from country to country:
sometimes by state, province, county or even city to city. For
instance, in the US, while in most areas it falls under the
cognizance of the Department of Health, State Boards of Cosmetology
are often the oversight agency. In fact, in some areas a
cosmetology or esthetics license is required, while in other areas,
cosmetologists are prohibited from conducting these procedures.
Exclusive to Australia, practitioners are prohibited from
advertising the procedures as "permanent" since it is commonly
known that tattoos will fade over time and it is their opinion that
the "…benefits of cosmetic tattooing are not permanent and will
generally only last three to five years." The purpose of the ACCC
action was to alert the consumer public to the fact that touch ups
may be required to maintain optimal appearance. Some believe this
position is not consistent with the fact that permanent makeup is
tattooing and tattooing is a permanent process..
Before undergoing any form of cosmetic tattooing, it is essential
to ensure that a salon has appropriate approvals from their local
health authorities for skin penetration procedures. It is important
to note that just because a salon has local health approvals for
general beauty therapy services does not necessarily mean that they
have approval for cosmetic tattooing procedures, it is prudent to
insist on seeing the certificate of registration.
Mobile tattooing (in home) services may be a breach of Health
Guidelines in some locations, for example in Melbourne Australia
they prohibit mobile tattooing services .
Permanent makeup dates back at least to the start of the 20th
century, though its nature was often concealed in its early days.
The tattooist George Burchett
major developer of the technique when it become fashionable in the
1930s, described in his memoirs how beauty salons tattooed many
women without their knowledge, offering it as a "complexion
treatment ... of injecting vegetable dyes under the top layer of
Permanent makeup results in enhanced features of the face --
definition is rendered to eyebrows, eyes and lips by the use of
colors. Results can imitate topically applied cosmetics
or can be quite unnoticeable, depending
upon the design
and amount of pigment used.
At first, permanent makeup results may look harsh. This is due to
color remaining in the outermost epidermal
layers of skin at the start. Color softens within a few days during
the healing process as the upper layers of epidermis slough and are
replaced by new epidermal cells.
Long Term Results
The best possible color results can perform for many years or may
begin to fade over time. How much time is individual per person.
While permanent makeup pigment remains in the dermis its
beauty-span may be influenced by several possible factors. These
can be environmental, procedural and/or individual factors . Sun
exposure fades color. The amount and color of pigment deposit at
the dermal level can affect the length of time that permanent
makeup looks its best. Very natural looking applications are likely
to require a touch-up before more dramatic ones for this reason.
Individual influences include lifetyles that find an individual in
the sun regularly such as with gardening or swimming. Skin tones
are a factor in color value changes over time.
Permanent makeup is a welcome enhancement for most recipients.
There are cases, however, of undesired results. The 4 most common
complaints are "too dark," "wrong color," "uneven" and "too big." A
skilled, experienced, permanent makeup professional is able to
adjust the color and evenness of permanent makeup results in most
cases. A design that is too large presents a serious challenge,
however. Costly pigment lightening techniques and/or removal may be
the only solutions.
As with tattoos, permanent makeup can be difficult to remove.
Common techniques used for this are laser resurfacing
(physical or chemical exfoliation
), and surgical removal.
Camouflaging—adding a new pigment which counteracts the tattoo
color and attempts to emulate normal skin color is considered a
poor choice by professionals. Removal is more painful and laborious
than the tattooing itself.
Adverse effects and complications
As with tattoos, permanent makeup may have complications
, such as allergies
to the pigments, formation of scars
, skin cracking, peeling, blistering
and local infection
. The use of unsterilized tattooing
instruments may infect the patient with serious diseases such as
Removal problems may also ensue, due to patient dissatisfaction or
regret, and they may be particularly difficult to remove in places
such as eyelids and lips without leaving permanent sequelae
On very rare occasion, people with permanent makeup have reported swelling
in the affected areas when they
underwent magnetic resonance
Eyebrow & Top Eyeliner
This client had her eyebrows and top eyeliner permanently tattooed.
The eyebrow tattooing is an example of a "powdery filled" technique
as opposed to individual hairline strokes since the client already
has eyebrow hair but simply wanted an enhancement and shaping. The
top eyeliner represents a thin eyeliner tattoo and a "lash
enhancement" procedure that is used to define the eye without
making it look excessively made up.