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Permanent Makeup Frequently Asked Questions

Permanent Makeup – What is it? 
How are Permanent Cosmetic Procedures Performed?
Who Benefits from Permanent Makeup? 
What Type of Permanent Cosmetic Procedures can be Done?
Are Permanent Cosmetics Really Permanent?
How Much does Permanent Makeup Cost?
How Long Does Each Procedure Take?
Is It Painful?
Is It Safe?
What If I Don’t Like It?
Which Technician Should I Choose?
Are There Any Side Effects During or After the Procedure?
Do The Pigments Pose Allergy Problems?
Is There Any Possibility for Medical Problems?
What’s a Touch-Up and Do I Need One?
Can I Still Have an MRI Scan? 

Permanent Makeup – What is it? 
Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing. The specialized techniques used for permanent cosmetics are often referred to as “micropigmentation”, “micropigment implantation” or “dermagraphics”. The cosmetic implantation technique deposits colored pigment into the upper reticular layer of the dermis.

How are Permanent Cosmetic Procedures Performed?
Permanent cosmetics procedures are performed using various devices, including the pen or rotary machine. The process includes a consultation, the application of pigment, and at least one follow up visits for evaluating the healed design work and color of the pigment.

Who Benefits from Permanent Makeup? 
People who meet minimum age requirements and have the ability to heal properly from minor wounds can benefit from the liberating benefits of permanent cosmetics. Interest in these procedures spans the young to the more mature. It is especially valuable to people who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities as well as active people who want to look their best for sports activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, aerobics. Permanent Cosmetics also benefits the vision challenged who have difficulty applying their cosmetics and others with dexterity related conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke survivors.

What Type of Permanent Cosmetic Procedures can be Done?
Permanent Cosmetic procedures can be very subtle or dramatic depending on what you are looking for. Options include eyebrows, eyeliner, lip liner and hair strokes. Some of these procedures use more advanced techniques and require an experienced technician with advanced training.

Are Permanent Cosmetics Really Permanent?
Permanent cosmetics procedures are considered permanent because pigment is tattooed into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin and cannot be washed off. However, as with any pigment, fading can and often does occur, requiring periodic maintenance referred to as color re-enhancement or color refreshing. The periodic maintenance requirement is a good opportunity to reevaluate one’s color and design preferences. While the concept of permanent, without any change, may seem like a perfectly good idea, think about how your tastes have changed over the years. From time to time likely you have made subtle or dramatic changes in your clothing preferences, your hair color and style, and if you wear topical makeup, those colors have changed as well. Longevity varies from person to person depending on their life style (sun exposure), the color(s) used for the permanent cosmetic procedure, and are also may be affected by topical products applied to the skin. 

How Much does Permanent Makeup Cost?
The average cost per procedure varies but usually averages between $400-$800. Advanced work may be charged at $150 to $250 per hour. The cost of the procedure should not be the most important issue when consulting a potential permanent cosmetic professional. Most important is the training and skill of the person performing the procedure and the confidence of the client in that skill. 

How Long Does Each Procedure Take?
The initial procedure will generally take approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. There are records to establish, photographs to take, desired design and color to discuss, the procedure and the aftercare requirements to discuss. Touch-up and color refresher procedures usually do not require the same amount of time.

Is It Painful?
Most people experience some discomfort. There are different methods available to help with discomfort management, including various topical anesthetics that are specifically developed for our industry. Your permanent cosmetic professional will discuss the anesthetics with you to determine which one is most appropriate.  

Is It Safe?
If proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met, permanent cosmetics should be completely safe. Professionals in the permanent cosmetic industry routinely attend required classes to become well versed on safety principals.  

What If I Don’t Like It?
Although the procedure is considered permanent, these procedures do have flexibility in changing color and shape to some extent, depending on the expertise of your technician. Colors will appear darker immediately following the procedure but will soften and lighten during the healing process. The healing time is different for each individual and procedure. It is very important to realize that often the new procedure represents something somewhat different; at times color where there was no color at all or very little.

It takes time to become acclimated to a new look (very often this applies to eyebrows which were sparse and unnoticeable before the permanent cosmetic brow procedure.) Eyeliner color is more evident due to the contrast to the skin color. Lip color can take up to six weeks to reflect the final color. Patience during the healing process is essential. Permanent cosmetics are not easily removed. Make good decisions up front. You can enjoy the all of the benefits that permanent cosmetics provide when you do your research and choose a qualified professional that you feel is competent to perform your procedure. 

Which Technician Should I Choose?
Choose a technician carefully by considering training, experience, compliance with state and local laws, and after viewing the technician’s before and after photograph portfolio. Professional technicians have studied color theory. Technicians who have not completed the required education will not have the knowledge required to translate the pigment color to your skin to achieve the desired outcome. Your preferred look is obtained during the process of consultation, initial procedure and follow-up appointment(s). Interaction between the client and the technician is of utmost importance.  

Are There Any Side Effects During or After the Procedure?
While eyebrows may show little after effect, eyeliner and lips may show slight to moderate swelling. This is very dependent upon the amount of work performed. An eyelash enhancement will show very little response to the tattooing procedure compared to a more pronounced response from a wide eyeliner procedure. The same situation applies to lip color procedures. A lip liner or blended lip liner will show less effects from the procedure than a full lip color. Also, some people swell more from minor skin infractions than others.

During the procedure there may be some minor bleeding. This again, is client specific. Many people take blood thinners on a daily basis so some slight bleeding would be expected. Others show little or no signs of bleeding. Bruising is rare but again, if a person is on blood thinners, bruising could occur. Eyebrows rarely if ever produce any bruising while minor bruising during a eyeliner procedures is
possible since the skin treated is very thin and close to the vascular system. This also applies to lip procedures for older clients. When bruising does occur, it is usually minor and heals in a few days. There is usually some tenderness for a few days. The color is much darker than you may expect for the first six to ten days. Other less often reported side effects are difficult to determine due to the
individuality of each person’s biological system. This is why professional permanent cosmetic technicians require a client history profile be filled out to assess different factors that may contribute to your experience during and after the permanent make up procedure.

Do The Pigments Pose Allergy Problems?
People can develop an allergy to anything at any time, however, pigment allergies are considered rare. Some doctors recommend that people with environmental allergies or allergies to conventional makeup have permanent cosmetic procedures because they can replace cosmetic products that people are sensitive to.

Is There Any Possibility for Medical Problems?
The possibility that you would have any problems or reactions from these procedures is almost non-existent with today’s health standards. SPCP member professionals are given continued opportunities for education in practicing precise methods of disinfection and sterilization. Post procedural instructions, if followed carefully, will greatly reduce any risk. Medical problems associated with permanent cosmetics are often linked to poor attention to the required aftercare process on behalf of the client. Choose a time for procedures when you feel confident you can follow the simple, but very important after care instructions.

What’s a Touch-Up and Do I Need One?
Often the tattooed color is not perfect after the initial procedure heals. Permanent cosmetic procedures are a process and at least one touch-up to the initial procedure should be expected. It is recommended that any required detail work to the original procedure be performed no sooner than four weeks after the original procedure. The usual standard for a touch-up folowing a lip procedure is six weeks. Lips have a different healing process than procedures performed on other parts of the face due to their delicate nature. The cited time frames will vary depending on the health profile and age of the client, but these are reasonable minimum standards to consider.

Can I Still Have an MRI Scan? 
Numerous studies have shown that even for people who have large body tattoos there is little to no potential for irritation resulting from an MRI. In the rare instance where discomfort resulted, it was localized and very temporary. However, it is important to advise your MRI technician that you have permanent cosmetics. 

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*Individual results may apply. Each person’s skin is unique and reacts differently to different products and treatments. An in-store skin consultation is suggested before getting started on any treatments.