The Pros and Cons of Permanent Makeup: Is it for you?

The Pros and Cons of Permanent Makeup: Is it for you?
January 5, 2015

Jessica was sick and tired of her sparse, barely-there eyebrows, so after hemming, hawing and mulling—plus endless debates with friends about the merits of having permanent eyebrows drawn on her face—she researched the topic and found a technician skilled in undertaking the art work that changed her perception of how she looks. To this day, she is delighted with her decision to have permanent makeup applied to her brow area and she tries hard not to harbor regrets that she didn’t do it sooner! If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the same place Jess was once upon a time. Good for you. You’re smart enough to research permanent makeup before you proceed and we’re happy to offer pros and cons to consider before you say yes or no.

Talk to a professional about the pros and cons of getting permanent makeup. Call (480) 951-0539  for a consultation or Contact Sally Hayes today. 


Permanent Eyeliner

Technique: Permanent eyeliner is a type of tattoo that requires a skilled technician to use a special formulation of ink to define the area around the eyes. The ink—also known as pigment—is injected into the skin using a tiny needle engineered to make hundreds of minuscule perforations a minute. Depth, width and stroke design are applied in the same manner as are cosmetic eyeliner brushes, crayons and liners marketed by major cosmetic brands you buy every day, but once the eyes are permanently lined, they remain beautifully defined 24/7.

Pros: Any woman who has relied upon temporary eye lining products to make their eyes stand out is a good candidate for this procedure. For once and for all, there’s no need to buy expensive eyeliners, risk infection due to contaminated makeup or spend extra time getting ready to go out because the eyes are already defined, so all that’s needed are shadow and/or mascara. This popular treatment, when applied by a licensed and certified technician, adds drama along the lash line that’s uniform and any woman who has ever been plagued by “raccoon eyes” from running commercial liners can kiss that possibility goodbye once permanent liner is in place. Finally, if your lifestyle is hectic and just finding time to do an adequate job of applying eye makeup is impossible, having your eyes permanently lined can de-stress your schedule, so who’s to say that treating yourself to this application isn’t also a sanity saver?

Cons: Every tattoo applied to the area around the eye has the potential to fade, which is why skilled technicians would be foolish to speculate about how long permanent eyeliner will last once it’s applied. Ignore hygiene protocols recommended by permanent makeup professionals for after-care and you can risk infection or worse. It’s imperative to check the work and credentials of the person applying your permanent liner to lessen the chances that you will wind up with uneven lines that detract from your appearance rather than making you look gorgeous. If your skin is sensitive, a risk of bruising can follow this procedure. No matter how expert your finished look may be, chances that your eyeliner color will fade over time are good, so expect to have the procedure repeated in the future.

Permanent Lip Color

Technique: The Angelina Jolie effect has hit women around the globe. It’s easy to see why. Her fleshy, pouty lips make every “best looking” list compiled by makeup editors for magazines focusing on self-improvement, health and beauty. Permanent lip liner and filler can be a simple process of tattooing the area around the lip circumference or the tattoo can be extended into the entire lip using the aforementioned technique of injecting hundreds of shots of pigment so every inch of the upper and lower lip is drenched in what’s become a growing list of dye colors available to permanent makeup technicians. Some women combine the coloration process with “plumping” the lips using injectables and topicals to create an appearance that’s even more voluminous than that achieved by just the tattoo application.

Pros: Who doesn’t want to wake up in the morning with perfectly colored lips? Protocols associated with this process are similar to those described in the aforementioned eye liner section and dye colors available to women undergoing this lip transformation are fairly spectacular: From nude to ruby red, mauve and brown tones. Given the rate at which lips shed skin cells, the process of losing color is to be expected, but women often find that they prefer the more muted tone of their lips after time has elapsed, so you can expect years of rosy lips after a single session with a permanent makeup artist. One warning: Better figure out what to spend your money on once pricey lipsticks are no longer on your shopping list! Permanent lip tattooing is an ideal solution for women who long for lush lips but whose allergies or reactions to injectable compounds make collagen and sister agents impossible. For women who suffer from physical ailments that prohibit them from properly applying lipstick, permanently colored lips are a sensational spirit lifter.

Cons: It would seem that permanent lip tattooing is fairly straightforward, but one of the biggest complaints women express after undergoing the procedure is that they color isn’t what they imagined when they first reviewed pigment palettes from which they were asked to choose. In particular, darker tones mingling with the body’s natural lip color can produce a shade that’s not terribly flattering and unfortunately, this won’t be evident until after the pigment has been injected. Further, a tattoo tool in the hands of an inexperienced technician may result in uneven lines or thicknesses—another reason to check the credentials and work of the operator you choose to undertake your lip lining. There’s some pain involved, too. The lips are sensitive and you could experience discomfort during the injection process. Additionally, if you already experience herpes simplex virus outbreaks in the form of cold sores, you should know that you’re flirting with an outbreak if you have your lips permanently lined.

Permanent Eyebrows

Technique: Of all the permanent makeup niches mentioned in this article, the application of permanent eyebrows is the most remedial for women suffering embarrassment that comes from having one’s eyebrows fall out due to illness and the earliest mentions of eyebrow tattooing can be found medical annals promoting this cosmetic procedure as an answer for alopecia sufferers, those born with vitiligo and other skin conditions plus chemotherapy patients. There are several contemporary 3D techniques for creating eyebrows that look so natural, you would have to get within inches of the brows to notice the hair isn’t growing there. These new methods include a powdered technique, powdered hair stroke and soft fill materials used by permanent makeup artists to emulate the direction, texture and depth of hair. These new application techniques are not just therapeutic but downright flattering!

Pros: Ask a woman suffering from brow loss–or brow hair that’s so sparse, it’s hardly noticeable–which area of her appearance she’d most like to improve and having eyebrows cosmetically applied using tattoo inks and deft strokes is likely the answer you’ll get. Tattooed eyebrows can be created in varying black, brown and blond shades that match hair color and since the pigmentation is injected beneath the skin, those brows are ever-present—even in the morning upon awakening. Having permanent eyebrows adds a measure of confidence and reassurance that a woman carries with her from dawn to dusk. In some cases, the application of eyebrow tattoos can actually reframe and highlight the entire face. For women who simply never develop the skills it takes to apply eyebrow makeup properly or who suffer from thin eyebrows, turning to permanent eyebrow application can be the answer to their prayers.

Cons: It goes without saying that turning to an unskilled technician for permanent eyebrow application can be catastrophic if the dyes are incorrectly administered. The healing takes time and if post-application hygiene follow up is ignored, at the extreme, this can lead to permanent scarring. In the hands of a cosmetologist with little training, uneven application can permanently define the brow silhouette. It’s important to remember that if eyebrow shapes change, the shape of the brow is permanently affixed. Tattooing at the site of the eyebrow can be painful—particularly for those with sensitive skin–and there have been instances where keloids have formed at the application site. Some women also report itchiness, and it’s particularly critical not to scratch the area during healing or infection can set in. Colors will fade, but if the initial tattoo dye shade proves too dark, there’s nothing to be done but wait for the diminution of color over time. By the way, if there’s any chance you’ll change your hair color in the future, make sure the brow hue you choose will work with that shade, too.

Permanent Eyelash Color

Technique: If you’re familiar with the application of mascara, you know exactly how the process of applying permanent color to the eyelashes is accomplished. A dark dye is applied to the upper—and in some cases lower—lashes using a hygienically treated brush that comes into contact with individual lashes, so one can finally look forward to jumping out of bed and going about early morning tasks without having to stop and wave a wand over those lashes to look presentable.

Pros: Permanent eyelash color is a blessing to women who suffer allergic reactions to certain types of eye makeup formulations—just as long as there’s no reaction to the dye used to undertake the eyelash revamp! For women with an unsteady hand due to age or infirmity, countless minutes of clean-up are avoided if the lashes are already lush, dark and noticeable thanks to permanent pigmentation. If you are invested in sporting activities—let’s say you run marathons or swim—you can look as beautiful at the finish line or emerging from the pool as you would after a full mascara application of ebony, charcoal or dark brown, the most common colors picked by women opting to have their lashes permanently dyed.

Cons: We know what you’re thinking: Nothing falls out as fast as lashes, so if you’re typical, you’re going to have to be content with future dye jobs because with each lash fall, a virgin hair will take its place. Just because the process of applying permanent dye to the lashes doesn’t involve the injection of dyes beneath the skin doesn’t mean that there are no dangers involved with dying one’s lashes. A dye wand and pigments in the hands of an amateur permanent makeup artist could spell trouble that ranges from infection and eye irritation to injury, so don’t be shy about asking to see the credentials of the person you consult for permanent eyelash color.

Permanent Eye Shadow

Technique: The application of permanent eye shadow to the eyelids is a relatively new makeup phenomenon that employs the same tattoo and sub-dermal color transformation seen in salons specializing in permanent makeup applications that include eye liner, brows and lips. In the case of permanent eye shadow, women might want to experiment with an offbeat shade or hue that emulates some of the trendy colors found on today’s makeup scene, but the application to the eyelid mimics that of the full lip: Tattoo dye is injected into the skin to cover the large area above the lashes so color picks are particularly important if you want to be pleased with the result.

Pros: Compared to other permanent makeup techniques, permanent eye shadow is classified more as a vanity tattoo application than a technique used to camouflage imperfections such as a lack of eyebrows, blond or missing lashes or thin, pale lips. That stated, if a woman is so heavily invested in her “look” post-eye shadow, it seems likely she would be happy to risk picking a color that might not last on trend lists just to wind up with the effect she desires. Permanent shadow offers the same benefits as other permanent makeup applications: you’ll always wake up looking terrific.

Cons: Any time a technician wields an application wand, dyes and other tools used to beautify and enhance eyes, there’s an inherent danger that a slip of the hand could do damage to the eye or to the tissue surrounding the eye. Like its’ sister products, shadow tattoo dyes will fade, but there may be no overcoming the choice of a bright green lid that fades to olive! Nevertheless, micro-pigmentation of the eyelid is a skin area treatment that is becoming more popular and it comes with the standard cautions: unsterile equipment and tattoo needles are always best kept in the hands of technicians who are qualified and certified tattoo application professionals.

Talk to a professional about the pros and cons of getting permanent makeup. Call (480) 951-0539  for a consultation or Contact Sally Hayes today.