The Advantages and Disadvantages of Permanent Makeup

Tattoo enhanced eyebrows, permanent eyeliner, and lip liner pigmentation are becoming increasingly fashionable, but are these beauty procedures absolutely safe?

Cosmetic improvements like plump lips and thick brows are in fashion, you only have to look at Instagram, and you’ll see infinite pictures showing cosmetic procedures of permanent eyeliner, brows, and red-stained lips. Many celebrities are fans of permanent makeup, including Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, and Rhianna. While you can enhance your eyebrows and lips with liner or brow powder, permanent makeup has the advantage that you don’t need to redo it every day, and your make up is always on, even while you sleep.

So what exactly is permanent makeup?

According to Janette Vince, a permanent makeup technician based In Central London, permanent makeup is the art of embedding dyes or pigments in the top layer of the skin to improve individual features, usually the brows, lash line, and lips. The technique is similar to tattooing.

Permanent makeup can also be applied to cover skin defects, like stretch marks and scars, or skin ailments such as vitiligo and alopecia.

The Pros

Women typically like the procedure because it saves time. For example, if you have permanent lipstick, instead of continually using lip liner to produce fuller lips, you get the impression of a subtly intensified pout without the daily bother of applying liner.

Ideally, the results should be subtle, like a delicate tattoo. “Most clients don’t want others to know what they have had done; they want to look like themselves, but better,” explains Janette.

Permanent makeup can also be a lifesaver for those not very skilled at applying cosmetics. Being able to shower, then leave the house straight after in the morning, looking one’s best while still having the option to add more, is well worth the cost of the procedure for many women.

Permanent makeup is also a great option if you have allergies to makeup, or if you have movement impairments that make it challenging to apply cosmetics.

The Cons

Like most things, permanent makeup isn’t without problems. Teresa Mars, a beauty blogger, decided to have permanent eyeliner, as her regular makeup would invariably need to be redone several times a day due to humidity. ¬†Unfortunately, the numbing solvent used to anesthetise her eye area for the application burned her cornea, and she had to endure months of discomfort.

A skilled technician will know how to use local anesthetic properly to numb the area they are working on because a wrong move could be disastrous. The lips are the most constant source of problems, as blisters can develop; however, while annoying, these usually disappear within a week.

The most significant risk with the procedure is you don’t like the result. And mistakes can be complicated to rectify. Therefore, you must let your technician know exactly what results you are looking for, and above all, make sure they have plenty of experience with permanent makeup procedures.

Janette Vince says permanent requires “the hands of a surgeon and the eyes of an artist,” and you should always ask how many procedures the technician has performed. Ask the exact colour and shape they will use. Also, check if the technician you’re considering is registered with the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. To be a member of the SPCP means the salonist is qualified in all permanent makeup procedures and knows the corresponding safety measures.

Ultimately, go with your gut feeling if the salon technician’s concept doesn’t feel like a perfect fit for the look you want to create and shop around until you find a technician you feel you can trust.