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On one hand, permanent anything inherently sounds like a risky idea and a regret waiting to happen. On the other hand, though, we have to say that the prospect of waking up with even brows, a peachy pout, or perfectly lined eyes without any time or effort istempting, to say the least.
So what are you really in for here? And could this be a good choice for you?
A few years ago, permanent makeup was definitely not a mainstream practice - and there were plenty of examples of makeup looks gone wrong.
Now, though, that’s changed in a big way. Particularly with advances in the tech and the skill it takes to apply permanent makeup, the whole niche has become a decidedly cutting-edge - and unnoticeable - popular trend.
But don’t be fooled by the name - though the permanent nomiker makes it sound like these looks will last forever, the reality is they’ll only generally last from 12-18 months. Different factors including skin type, sun exposure, pigment color (lighter colors fade faster), and chemical peels will affect how fast the pigment breaks down.
Today, the four most popular treatments are microblading, permanent eyeliner, and lip blushing. Here are the basics of each:
You’re probably seeing this all over Instagram and on medi-spa menus, as it’s by far the most popular one on the list.
The idea with microblading is to create tiny tattoos that look like eyebrow hairs - perfectly placed, perfectly groomed eyebrow hairs, that is.As the name suggests, microblading deposits this pigment on the skin using an ultra-fine blade. And the before and after pictures can be quite stunning:
So here’s what you need to know.
The microblading process is fairly quick - usually only an hour or two. The technician uses a handheld tool like a blade or a rotary pen to create the painted “hairs” in the brow. The tool they use depends on the look you want: if you’re looking for softer, powdery brows, then you likely want the rotary pen. The blade generally delivers sharper, more angular strokes.
If you just have to fill in your brows before you leave the house, then microblading might be a good choice for you. In fact, it’s even approved by many dermatologists to help restore sparse brows.
That said, this is not an ideal treatment for people with oily skin or large pores.Any kind of cosmetic tattoo will only look great if the technician can achieve fine detail. People with oily skin won’t heal in a way that will ultimately achieve a natural look, so they may not want to go down this road.
Microblading results can fade in the first few weeks. You may not be happy with your initial results, and you may require two sessions to get the look you really want.
$500-$3,000, depending on the size of the area and the technician.
Those that prefer a fuller lash line often turn to permanent eyeliner.
There are really two processes here: traditional eyeliner tattoo and lash line enhancement. Treatment using lash liner enhancement uses European acupuncture to push pigment into the lash line. This mimics the look of a darkened top lash line (one that’ll stay on through workouts, swims, and showers). Traditional eyeliner tattoo, on the other hand, places pigment above the lash line, leaving a more distinct “eyeliner” look.
If you’re constantly applying mascara or you refuse to leave home without applying your liquid eyeliner, this may be a worthwhile option for you.
There’s always a risk of infection, particularly if you wear makeup too soon or you rub any pathogens into your eyes. That said, there can also be cosmetic risks with permanent liner: certain doctors and technicians fully advise against a permanent cat eye or any kind of thick permanent liner, as it will droop and crack in appearance as you age. Yikes.
$600-$1500, depending on the technician.
Lip blushing is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that aims to both defineand fill inthe lips. The end result ends up looking kind of like lip fillers, but the process leaves you with both fullness and color.
The process uses a similar tool as the handheld pen used for microblading - it just has slightly different needles at the tip.
Now, since lips are the most sensitive area, this will be the most uncomfortable process. That’s why many technicians or doctors use a prescription numbing cream before they begin to cut down the sting. That said, be wary of injectable numbing agents, as they can cause your lips to swell and this could affect the end result.
Overall, the process takes about 2 hours.
If you’re constantly over-lining your lips or spending your money trying to find the perfect shade, this may be a good choice for you. That said, this is really only for the most committed.
Why? This is a more painful process and, since the lips don’t retain pigment as well as other areas of the body, it’ll likely require multiple touch-ups before you’re done.
You’ll likely experience more swelling on the lips, especially during the first 48 hours after your procedure.
Also, there is a higher risk of allergy to the red pigmentused in lip blushing. This can be a difficult problem to fix, so make sure that you consult with your dermatologist about your risk of allergy before you get this done.
Lip blushing can range anywhere from $700-$3000.
These may be popular treatments in some areas, but experts definitely recommend against them. They don’t fade well, they can cause discoloration, and they can prevent you from doing many skincare treatments in the future.
The final verdict? Avoid these tattoos mistakes at all costs.
Even though this is really semi-permanent, you don’t want to risk infection or spending a year+ dealing with something on your face that you hate. To avoid this, make sure you:
And remember - don’t go for a “trendy” look when it comes to face tattoos. You may like a particular look this year (like ombre brows) but it might not seem so great in 2021. Do your research and, if you decide that permanent makeup is for you, opt for options that will always look great.