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Permanent Makeup: Everything You Need to Know

It's definitely cooler than what you're imagining.

Permanent makeup, also called cosmetic tattooing / micropigmentation / permanent cosmetics and a variety of lesser-known phrases, is increasingly popular. Permanent makeup can be a great way to save time. In addition, you always look like you have your makeup on no matter what you are doing.

Permanent makeup clinics and salons are popping up everywhere, usually offering processes for enhancing eyebrows (often called microblading), eyelids and lips. Here is some of what you need to know about this up and coming beauty trend to help decide if permanent makeup is for you.


Those that tend to opt for microblading want fuller, natural-looking eyebrows, without the hassle of filling them in every morning. Microblading uses a blade that forms sharp, angular strokes filled with pigment that create natural, fuller-looking eyebrows. Even though microblading can last anywhere from one to three years, depending on skin type, lifestyle and other factors, touch-ups are commonly needed about once a year.

Permanent Eyeliner

If you love the look of a fuller lash line, permanent eyeliner could be for you. Permanent eyeliner can be applied to line both the top and bottom lids. Permanent eyeliner uses a hollow, vibrating needle to push color into the dermis, creating a line that lasts through sweat, sleep and showers. Healing takes three to six weeks.

Lip Pigmentation

Permanent lip makeup is designed to define lips, not create volume. Permanent lip liner and lipstick are applied in a variety of colors using tattoo pigmentation. Since about 50-75% of color fades during the first week of healing, lips will be very dark immediately following procedure. Overall, the process of lip tattooing requires at least one month to fully heal, so schedule procedure months before or well after any vacations or important event.

Do Your Homework

In the hands of a skilled person, these procedures are generally safe, but you should definitely do your homework before jumping in. Acquiring permanent makeup may sound easy and convenient, but like any surgical procedure, there are risks. Always talk to your doctor before seeing a permanent makeup artist. Ask friends who have tried permanent makeup or a dermatologist for recommendations.

Watch for signs of infection. Minor redness, itching and minor crusting are normal but pain, significant swelling, oozing or pus is not. To avoid infection, make sure to see the practitioner remove a fresh needle from a package and open a fresh bottle of pigment and adhere to instructions for caring for treated areas following the procedure.


Although permanent makeup can fade over time, it is considered permanent because it cannot be washed off. Therefore, it is important to make permanent makeup decisions carefully. Removal can be painful, costly and in some cases it is impossible. Keep in mind that cosmetic styles change. Do not adopt a trendy look that will be dated in five or ten years. In other words, make sure you can live with your decision because you may have to!

Samantha Parker
Samantha Parker
Samantha is a mother of two kids, so is well-versed in the best toys for kids and household goods. She has acquired two master's degrees and many hours of doctoral work. She enjoys writing, painting, teaching, and research. Samantha has an encyclopedic knowledge of cooking food, and is always looking for chances to expand on that. When she's not working, she likes playing video games, watching old movies, and keeping up with pop culture.


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