BB Glow Contouring – How Does Permanent Contouring Work?

By Emily M.| Last updated on July 14, 2022
BB Glow Contouring - How Does Permanent Contouring Work?
⏱️ 5 min read

Permanent versions of our favorite makeup products have been so popular in the past few years! The permanent makeup industry is thriving, and it’s constantly developing and perfecting new methods for giving you your perfect makeup look in its long-lasting, waterproof version.

Hence, BB glow. A treatment equally hyped up and bashed, this PMU/microneedling crossover is a very sought-after treatment despite those who warn against its adverse effects. A treatment intended to replace foundation, estheticians took it a step further and came up with BB glow contouring.

Let’s discuss it.

What Is BB Glow Contouring?

BB glow contouring is an all-in-1 treatment that will give you long-lasting foundation, concealer, blush and contour by inserting skin-tone tinted serums into the skin. Since the color goes into the skin rather than on top of it, it can’t be removed or washed off.

You won’t get maximum coverage, though. Think of the treatment as perfecting your complexion from within – your skin will be evened out, and clever color placement will give you the illusion of perfectly contoured features. In terms of color opacity, the BB glow contouring has a similar finish to a BB cream – hence its name.

BB glow contouring is an all-in-1 treatment that will give you long-lasting foundation, concealer, blush and contour.Image source: Instagram @multisalonbysiwaton

How Is It Done?

BB glow contouring uses the technique of microneedling, but with a twist.

Tinted serums in the shades you normally use for foundation and contouring are injected into the skin by creating tiny little channels with an electric micro/nano needling machine. The machine looks like a pen which has a tip made up of several needles. The needles go in and out, and as the machine is moved back and forth over the face, the serum is absorbed.

It’s important to understand that this is not a one-and-done treatment. You will need several sessions to build up the color.

Each session looks something like this:


Your skin is thoroughly cleaned of all the makeup, skincare and sebum residues. As the skin will be broken, the face needs

Exfoliating Gel

To increase the absorption of the serums, the tech will do a quick chemical peel. An exfoliating gel is applied to the whole face and left on for up to 5 minutes, depending on how sensitive your skin is. After that, it’s cleaned off.

Neutralizing Solution

A solution that will stop the effects of the chemical peel is applied onto the skin.

The Needling

Your face is covered in tiny drops of tinted serums of various colors.

  • Where you’d normally put concealer, a light shade is applied.
  • The edges of your forehead towards the hairline and the lower edge of your jawbone are covered with a darker shade, and so are the sides of your nose – this plays the role of contouring.
  • Your cheekbones are covered with rosy drops.
  • The spaces between are covered with a shade 1-2 tones lighter than your natural complexion – this replaces foundation.

A micro/nano needling machine is then moved across your face in circular motions, creating tiny punctures and allowing the serums to enter the skin. The serums are kind of mixed together along the way, so the colors will bleed into one another for a natural, blended look.

The tech will probably do more than one pass.

Nourishing Mask

Finally, the serum residues are cleaned off, and a soothing, nourishing mask is applied.

How Is BB Glow Contouring Done?Image source: Instagram @art_of_beauty_by_asi

How Long Will My BB Glow Contouring Last?

Just like with any other PMU treatment, the effects of BB glow contouring don’t last forever. The pigments that go into the skin with the serums are gradually broken down by the body, so they are supposed to become invisible after some time.

The longevity of the results depends primarily on how many sessions you had and how much the color was built up. With several sessions, the effects can last out a couple of months.

If you like the look, you can maintain it by booking maintenance sessions every 4-5 months.

And How Much Does It Cost?

BB glow contouring is usually charged per session, and the average cost of a session is around $200. The price may vary, though, from $120 to as much as $400. It all depends on the exclusivity and the reputation of the salon.

Many salons offer package deals, where you get a discount on further sessions.

The average cost of BB Glow Contouring TreatmentImage source: Instagram @gennelash

Is BB Glow Contouring Safe?

Now we come to the controversial part.

BB glow contouring is somewhat notorious within the beauty community, because there have been many cases of it going wrong over time. The tinted serums contain different pigments, and a very common ingredient is titanium dioxide, a type of white pigment. Many beauticians agree that injecting titanium dioxide into the skin does more harm than good long-term.

The issue is this – this component is known to turn color over time, and it could potentially turn yellowish or greenish in the skin. This can happen in case of prolonged sunlight exposure, or due to your body chemistry. Not too attractive, we agree. And the trouble doesn’t end there – if this happens, you can’t remove it. Titanium dioxide can’t ever be touched by a laser (the go-to option for pigment removal) because it turns dark, grayish even.

It’s also known to rise in the skin, and could potentially change the texture of your skin if it does, emerging as small bumps.

Apart from these long-term risks, we should mention the possibility of infection during or after the procedure. Since the skin is broken, it could get infected if the treatment isn’t performed in sterile conditions or the skin is contaminated afterwards.

And another thing – allergies. A patch test should always be done before the procedure to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients before they’re injected into the skin.

You can find an even more in-depth look into the risks of BB glow contouring in this article.

So, Is It Worth the Risk?

You might be feeling discouraged after finding out about the possible adverse effects, but we should note that there are cases in which BB glow contouring goes just fine.

And there’s still hope for this procedure, though, as the formulas are continually being perfected. Perhaps one day serum manufacturers will find a way to go around the titanium dioxide, or succeed in making it more stable.

So, if BB glow contouring is something you’d still like to try, just make sure you find a technician who knows what they’re doing and works with the best possible products.

For an even more detailed description of the treatment, head over to our BB Glow Guide.

Cover image source: Freepik



Exclusive insights into the PMU industry right in your inbox.

FREE newsletter. 100% good stuff.