Permanent Makeup is the cosmetic of the future! Several riding divas have been asking me to give the details on what is involved in having a procedure done, so this month I’m going to give you the scoop.
Does your lipstick bleed or wear off in a couple of hours? Have your lips lost their shape and definition? Do you have allergies to certain makeup? Are you involved in sports where you sweat a lot? Imagine waking up each morning with perfectly applied eyeliner, eyebrows or lipstick. Or you are working in your yard or swimming at the local pool and you wipe your brows and they are still there! It is such a convenience and time saver that women across the United States are flocking to Permanent Makeup Technicians for the procedures.
Permanent Makeup, also known as micro pigmentation is a form of tattooing used to enhance facial features. It is a revolutionary method of applying micro insertions of natural pigments into the dermal layer of the skin. The technique is medically proven and specifically designed to be completely safe. Who benefits from permanent makeup?
As a client who has had all three procedures done and taken the training to become a Certified Micro Pigmentologist, I can attest to the fact these are the hottest and most affordable cosmetic procedures around. Two years ago I got fed up with smeared eyeliner and no lipstick every time I got off the bike at our first stop. Fighting the wind, rain and other elements, I might as well not have taken the time to put eyeliner on for all the good it did. I did some research and learned about permanent makeup and found a technician who performed the procedure. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is not fussing with liquid liner, pencil or lipstick, especially during the riding season. I went through a morning routine just like all of you do in getting my makeup on. Now all I do is put on my foundation, blush and eye shadow and out the door I go. I was so impressed and excited with my results I wanted all my girlfriends to know about permanent makeup and how it could simplify their life as it did mine. Not only is it a huge time saver, but over the years you will save a lot of money considering what we spend on cosmetics.
Like riding, permanent makeup has become a passion for me since I decided to attend the American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics (AIIC) and became trained in performing the procedures. I have successfully completed the basic, intermediate and advanced courses at AIIC in Arlington, Texas and have been performing procedures for a year now at Hairlines Salon and Day Spa in Liberty, Missouri. I just returned from the advanced class where several new procedures and techniques were introduced; paramedical and training in scar camouflage, vitiligo and areola restoration for women who have undergone a mastectomy, breast augmentation, or reduction. It was so exciting to see how much we can help others who have endured such trauma in their lives.
- Women with little time for applying makeup
- Women allergic to regular makeup
- Women with vision problems or those with unsteady hands
- Women who want to look great 24 hours a day
- Men or women wanting scar camouflage
- Men or women with sparse hair or scars in their eyebrows
- Athletic people or those with oily skin who tend to shed makeup easily
- Burn survivors and people with flaws in their skin
- Those with stretch marks, age spots, vitiligo, or needing areola restoration
When scheduling your permanent makeup procedure, take into consideration the healing time of the procedure. You will need a couple of days afterward, so do not make any social plans or strenuous activities. A good book or magazine and rest are the best way to heal. One of my first clients who was from St. Joseph wanted an eyeliner and lip procedure the week before she got married! Yikes! I could only imagine what the wedding photographs would look like. Not just memorable but UGLY! Swollen, red and maybe bruised eyes, and really big huge, Daffy Duck lips! Not a pretty picture. Needless to say we waited a few weeks after the wedding to perform the procedures. She is thrilled with the results and thankful that I convinced her to wait. Likewise, you would not want the procedure before going on vacation because you will not look your best the first few days. You may not be able to avoid the sun, wind or other items listed on the post-care instructions.
Select a certified, state licensed technician who is knowledgeable, caring and listens to what you want. The location should be sterile and clean, complying with the State of Missouri rules and regulations, and the procedures performed in a private room. Do not base your decision on fees; less is not always best.
After you have consulted with the technician and scheduled your appointment you will need to complete several pages of medical history forms. I review the forms thoroughly with my clients before starting any procedure to make sure there are no reasons not to do it. I then take a “before” photo of the client for my files, then after six weeks we take an “after” photo. There is a big difference between the two.
Next, we discuss color preferences and we do a small spot test to see if the client has an allergic reaction to the pigment. I have clients bring their favorite pencils and lipsticks and come to the appointment with their makeup applied. This gives me the chance to see the thickness, shape and color they wear every day. Any color can be matched, but will be “similar” not “exact” after implanted. Once the color is selected, we discuss shape and design. We are now ready to apply the numbing gel to the area to be tattooed. It takes approximately 10 minutes for the area to numb, and then using a power pen with a #3 needle I proceed to open the skin. The pigment is implanted by making several passes over the area.
When women call they want to know, “does it hurt”? Well, that depends on your pain threshold. Do you have a high or low threshold? If you have ever had a body tattoo, this will be a breeze. Body art tattooists do not use a numbing gel due to time and expense. Most of my clients say the pain is just part of the “thrill” of getting a tattoo and they take it. When I first started out I used a topical anesthetic to minimize discomfort that took 45-60 minutes to take effect. Some clients having the eyeliner or lip procedures asked their physicians for a stronger anesthetic. I have now found a pharmacy that will compound a numbing gel and the numbing time is now only 10 minutes.
Don’t be scared, everyone has different reactions when it comes to swelling and bruising. It may be affected by age, food and medications consumed, and hormonal cycles or a thinned-skinned person.
The eyebrows are the easiest to heal, less pain and minimal or no swelling. The eyeliner causes the eyes to appear swollen for a couple of days like you have been crying. You might experience redness and bruising around the eyes. Outer healing is three to five days for brows and liner and 7-10 days for lips. The lips require the most post-care maintenance, swell the most because they are vascular and sensitive and they take about a week to go down completely. I personally liked the swollen part at the end of the week because it looked like I had collagen implants!
If you are prone to cold sores you will need to take an antiviral prescription a few days before and after the procedure to prevent a breakout. Lips heal in two to three stages of chapping and peeling before the color clarifies. Complete healing time for all areas is six weeks. Some clients require a touchup after the six weeks; some do not. Everyone’s skin seems to take the implant differently.
The procedure takes approximately 1˝ hours. Lips take longer due to a larger area to implant. All the equipment I use is disposable, therefore eliminating the need of an Autoclave (sterilizing machine). When the procedure is complete, I use a magnifying light to check the area thoroughly to make sure I have not missed getting the pigment implanted in all areas. I then give a mirror to the client to see the results. If no adjustments need to be made, the procedure is over. The client stays for 15-20 minutes with an ice pack on the area to help minimize swelling, plus it feels good. The skin has just been stretched to an extreme, and that is trauma to the skin so the coolness of the ice pack is soothing. I go over the post-care instructions with them and answer any questions. Clients are sent home with a post-care bag that includes Q-tips, petroleum jelly, antibiotic ointment, bottle of water, ice pack and a peppermint. I call clients the next day for a follow-up, and to see if they have any questions.
Immediately following the procedure the area will appear extremely intense, thick and bold in color. The affected area will form a scab or just flake off on its own over the next couple days. Petroleum jelly and an antibiotic ointment are used on the area to keep it moist and aid in the healing process. Color will continue to soften over the next couple months, and the color will fade 20-30% during the healing process.
A frequent question is, “How long does it last?” According to other technicians with whom I have networked say five to seven years. Of course this depends on the pigment used, technique of implantation and the amount of pigment implanted. It also depends on a person’s exposure to UV rays, pigment removal by the body via ducts in eyelash and eyebrow hair follicles, anti-aging products applied to the face, and possibly body chemistry. Not an easy question to answer, huh?! I advise all my clients that a touchup may be required. I do not charge for touchups if they are done within the first three months following the procedure. Prices vary with technicians charging $90 to $150 for a touchup. Make sure you are advised of all charges when consulting for a procedure. The bright side of “permanent” makeup fade-off is that it makes it easier to change shapes and colors if desired.
Some of the risks involved with permanent makeup besides the swelling and bruising are: Infections, corneal abrasions, migration of pigment, and cold sore outbreaks. Some iron oxide pigments for permanent eyebrows turn pink as it fades off. There are color correctors for this, but it is best if the technician uses pigments that are insoluble, nonirritating to tissues, nontoxic and do not contain iron oxides.
Conditions that would make individuals poor candidates for permanent makeup include:
Anyone who has had any type of surgery should wait 90 days before a permanent makeup procedure. They should also consult with their physician.
No one under the age of 18 is allowed to have permanent makeup.
- Diabetes. Healing could be compromised, higher risk of infection.
- Glaucoma. Pressure placed on the eye to apply eyeliner could be damaging.
- Bleeding disorders that affect clotting
- Herpes Simplex. Fever blisters/cold sores-antiviral prescription should be taken
- Keloid or hypertrophic scarring
- Use of certain medications. Accutane/ Retin-A, topical steroids can make skin fragile; blood thinners, long-term use of aspirin, ibuprofen and some herbs reduce clotting time resulting in increased bleeding and bruising.
- Heart conditions, high blood pressure
So you are probably asking by now…..how much does this wonderful, fabulous, time-saving procedure cost? My fees are as follows and no charge for one touchup.
Eyeliner $300 (includes upper and lower liner)
Lip Liner $400
Full Color $465
Permanent makeup is wonderful unless, of course, it is applied incorrectly or the client has a change of heart. Once a person is cosmetically tattooed, that individual is scarred. If he/she is not satisfied with his or her procedure, it can be very difficult to repair. Technicians and physicians are working towards a solution for removal of cosmetic tattoo pigment.
Unfortunately, of the options available to remove pigment, none have proven to be without fault leaving the scarred skin flawless. Nonetheless, there are options available with pros and cons to each.
Laser removal - operated by a licensed physician, these lasers remove pigment from the skin. The cosmetic tattoo pigment color can be removed, but some of the inflicted skin may be damaged.
Tannic Acid – oldest form of removal. Pores of skin are opened with a needle; tannic acid is applied to pigment areas with a Q-Tip. It may also be injected into the skin. It has not proven to be totally successful.
Glycolic Acid - newest form of removal and being promoted as the leader in tattoo and cosmetic tattoo pigment removal. Since the use of this is so recent, its ability to remove pigment is still undetermined.
Other methods of pigment removal include: Chemical peels, dermabrasion, surgery and other applications of various acids.
Well girls, this gives you an idea of what is involved in a permanent makeup procedure.
Because this is a relatively new field, you must choose your technician carefully. Do not make your choice based on price alone, but rather on the experience, skill and professionalism of the specialist. Check out the photos below of some before and after procedures.
NOTE: The 'After' photos below are immediately after the procedure. The color is very bright and bold for the first five days and then over the next six weeks will fade 20-30 percent and begin to soften.
As we wind down another year of fantastic riding, and look forward to the season change of old man winter we wish all of you and your families a wonderful, peaceful and healthy holiday season.
“Never rider faster than you angel can fly”
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