Kathleen Cronin, RN
Permanent Makeup – What is it?
The specialized techniques used for permanent cosmetics (make up)
are often referred to as
The cosmetic implantation (micro tattoo) technique deposits colored pigment into the upper reticular layer of the dermis.
It is call "micro" because it does not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin like traditional ink tattoos.
Pigment is gently depositied into the upper dermal layers of the skin. The chemistry of the pigments used are formulated for cosmetic facial tattoos.
This is not your father's old "sailor" tattoo!
Over time, micro-pigmentation will fade and disappear, and touch ups or "boosts" are required periodically to maintain your color.
How are Permanent Cosmetic Procedures Performed?
Permanent cosmetics procedures are performed using various devices, including the traditional tattoo coil machines, the pen or rotary machine (includes the digital rotary machines) and the non-machine or hand device.
The process includes a consultation, the application of pigment, and at least one or more follow-up visits for evaluating the healed design work and color of the pigment.
Who Benefits from Permanent Makeup?
People who meet minimum age requirements and have the ability to heal properly from minor wounds can benefit from the liberating benefits of permanent cosmetics.
Interest in this service spans the young to the more mature; those who desire a soft, natural enhancement to their appearance.
It is especially valuable to people who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities; active people who want to look their best for sports activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, aerobics; and those who don’t want to worry about “sweating off” or reapplying cosmetics.
Permanent Cosmetics also benefits the vision challenged who have difficulty applying their cosmetics; and others with dexterity related conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke survivors,
and busy people who don’t have time to spend applying and refreshing makeup throughout the day and evening.
What Type of Permanent Cosmetic Procedures can be Done?
Permanent Cosmetic procedures can be very subtle
or dramatic depending on what you are looking for.
Eyebrows either soft powder or hair stroke,
Eyeliner, Top and Bottom
Lipliner, Lip Color and Blend
Scar Camouflage, Beauty Marks,
Hair follicle simulation,
Vitiligo loss of color,
Areola Repigmentation & restoration ( nipple )
NOTE: Some of these procedures use more advanced techniques
(para-medical techniques) and thus require an experienced technician with advanced training.
Kathleen Cronin, RN has been trained in para-medical procedures.
Are Permanent Cosmetics Really Permanent?
Permanent cosmetics procedures are considered permanent because pigment is tattooed into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin (micro depth) and cannot be washed off.
However, as with any tattoo or colorant (pigment) in general, fading can and often does occur, requiring periodic maintenance referred to as color re-enhancement or color refreshing, touch up and boosts!
The scientific structure of pigments and the requirement for periodic refreshing is identical to that of tinted hair color;
faded material on furniture that may be located near a window and subject to sun exposure;
house paint that is exposed to the sun and other environmental elements; pigment implanted in the skin may fade with time.
This colorant periodic maintenance requirement is a good opportunity to reevaluate one’s color and design preferences.
While the concept of permanent, without any change, may seem like a perfectly good idea,
think about how your tastes have changed over the years.
From time to time likely you have made subtle or dramatic changes in your clothing preferences,
your hair color and style, and if you wear topical makeup,
those colors have changed as well.
The fact that most people will require periodic color refreshing (boosts) of their permanent cosmetics
is the opportune time to work with your technician
to re-evaluate your overall appearance profile and determine
if any changes are appropriate.
Longevity varies from person to person depending on their
life style (sun exposure), the color(s)
used for the permanent cosmetic procedure,
and are also thought to be affected by topical
products applied to the skin.
How Much does Permanent Makeup Cost?
The average cost per procedure varies but usually averages between $300-$600.
Advanced work may be charged at per hour.
Many of these procedures are commonly referred to as
The cost of the procedure should not be the most important issue when consulting a potential permanent cosmetic professional.
Most important is the training and skill of the person performing the procedure and the confidence of the client in that skill.
How Long Does Each Procedure Take?
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 usually do not
require the same amount of time.
Is It Painful?
Most people experience some discomfort.
This will vary according to each individual’s pain threshold.
There are different methods available, however,
to help with discomfort management, including various topical anesthetics that are specifically developed for our industry.
Your permanent cosmetic professional should discuss these methods with you to determine which one is appropriate.
As a rule, traditional tattoo professionals do not use any anesthetics for their tattoo procedures.
Anesthetics for permanent cosmetics are more of a tattoo service luxury because of the nature of the tattoo location
and the fact that permanent cosmetics falls into the beauty treatment category.
Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible.
Is It Safe?
If proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met,
permanent cosmetics should be completely safe.
Professionals in the permanent cosmetic industry routinely attend Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes to become well versed on safety principals.
These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:
IMPORTANT Things To Look For:
All Needles should be new and sterile for each client.
Unopened new and sterile needles should be opened in your presence.
Disposable sterilized one-time use machine parts should be purchased by the artist,
and disposed of in a sharps container immediately after the procedure has been completed.
Personal protection equipment such as disposable one-time use gloves and a mask
should be new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed.
The technician should be clean and neat.
Disposable one-time use chair/bed covering should be new
for each client.
The room or treatment area should be in an area free from other contaminants.
What If I Don’t Like It?
Although the procedure is considered permanent, these procedures do have flexibility in changing color and shape to some extent, depending on the expertise of your technician.
Colors will appear darker immediately following the procedure but will soften and lighten during the healing process.
The healing time is different for each individual and procedure.
It’s very important to realize that often the new procedure represents something somewhat different;
at times color where there was no color at all or very little.
It takes time to become acclimated to a new look (very often this applies to eyebrows which were sparse and unnoticeable before the permanent cosmetic brow procedure.)
Eyeliner color is more evident due to the contrast to the skin color.
Lip color can take up to six weeks to reflect the final color.
After the procedure has healed, and you are able to make an informed decision about the healed version of the procedure,
the only reason you should not like your permanent cosmetics is if you chose a technician who did not work with you on design and color.
How could this happen?
If you cannot communicate with your technician,
it is possible your desires will not be realized.
If your technician recognizes your requests
but does not take your desires for color or design into account,
you should not proceed with the procedure.
Don’t request eyebrow color based on your tinted scalp hair color.
That is subject to change and it may affect how you then feel about the color of your permanent cosmetic eyebrows.
Eyebrow color should be selected based on your skin undertone and the color of your eyebrow hair (if any.)
Conversely, most well-trained technicians will not perform a procedure if the design and/or color requested by the client is not reasonable.
If your requests are turned down by one or more technicians,
re-think what you are asking for.
Permanent cosmetics are not easily removed.
Make good decisions up front.
You can enjoy the liberation permanent cosmetics provides
when you do your research
and choose a qualified professional that you work well with.
We look forward to helping you feel and look more beautiful
Albany, permanent makeup, cosmetics, breast,