The rise of permanent makeup
Big, bushy eyebrows have been popular for a while now but unless you’re genetically blessed, following this trend may mean spending a lot of time and money plucking, shaping, gelling, colouring, and drawing on those cute caterpillars.
One efficient solution many people turn to is microblading, a type of semi-permanent makeup that uses tattoo techniques to give you your ideal brows, no daily products necessary.
This type of procedure – which can last for years, but not forever – can also be done to semi-permanently apply many types of makeup. Sound like a dream? Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering getting it done.
Cosmetic vs paramedical
There are two types of micropigmentation procedures, commonly known as ‘permanent makeup’. Paramedical permanent makeup is done to reconstruct a body part after surgery or an injury – like getting realistic nipples tattooed on reconstructed breasts after a mastectomy or covering the scar left from a cleft palate surgery.
However, most permanent makeup is purely cosmetic and is usually done to enhance brows, eyes, and lips.
You can also get things like freckles and beauty marks tattooed on, a hairline adjusted, or even get stretch marks camouflaged, says Genn Shaughnessy, a makeup artist experienced in doing permanent makeup, professional movie and TV stylist, and founder of The Backstage Stylist.
Eyebrow enhancements – microblading, machine shading, and ombré brows – are the most popular type of permanent makeup these days but lip liner and shading, and subtle eyeliner are also popular, she says.
Costs can vary widely but generally range from $50 for a small touch-up to $1000 for a full face.
It’s not a regular tattoo
Permanent makeup uses pigment instead of traditional tattoo ink. Pigments are a different formulation and are semi-permanent. They can last up to eight years for scalp micropigmentation and one to three years for brows, lips, and face, whereas tattoo ink is permanent.
The technician uses a permanent makeup pen instead of a tattoo gun to apply the pigment. The pen is a rotary machine with needle cartridges. It doesn’t make the loud buzzing noise like a tattoo gun and clients generally find it more comfortable, Shaughnessy says.
Unlike a normal tattoo, the goal of both types of permanent makeup is to look realistic and not call attention to the art itself. Done right, you shouldn’t even notice that you’re looking at a tattoo.