How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last?

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on November 1, 2022

If you’ve been considering investing in an eyeliner tattoo, you’re probably wondering how long does permanent eyeliner last. We bring you a guide through the factors that determine the lifespan of your tattooed eyeliner.

Eyeliner Tattoos: How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last?

Image source: Instagram @javiera__barahona

Permanent eyeliner is a great solution for anyone who loves wearing eyeliner, but can’t handle having to draw it on every morning – it takes ages, it can be super frustrating, and you never seem to get both sides totally symmetrical.

That’s why more and more people are getting cosmetic eyeliner tattoos. They give you the eyeliner look of your dreams that’s 100% waterproof, never runs or smudges, and you don’t have to reapply it for a long, long time.

But how long exactly? Here’s a detailed answer to the question that’s been on everyone’s mind – how long does permanent eyeliner last?

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How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last on Average?

Permanent eyeliner has the longest potential longevity of all the permanent makeup treatments – some artists claim it can last out up to 5 years.

However, cases in which the cosmetic tattoo lasts that long are exceptions, and for most people, how long does eyeliner tattoo last is up to 3 years, with a touch up needed at about 18 – 24 months after the initial application.

What Is Permanent Eyeliner?

The eyeliner tattoo is a treatment that recreates the look of wearing eyeliner, but in semi-permanent pigments which are injected into the skin. The process is basically tattooing – an electric device opens up the skin and deposits pigments into the surface layer of your skin.

Once the skin heals, the result is a fabulous, bespoke eyeliner look you don’t have to reapply for about 3 years, at which point it will disappear.

Want to find out more about permanent eyeliner? Follow the links:

Permanent Eyeliner – The Ultimate Guide

Permanent Eyeliner Cost

Permanent Eyeliner Aftercare

What Is Permanent Eyeliner And How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last on Average? Image source: Instagram @bbbeautyesthetic

But Aren’t Tattoos Supposed to Be Permanent?

Although they’re called permanent, cosmetic tattoos are actually meant to fade over time and give you the opportunity to modify their shape and style, or get rid of them if you don’t want them anymore.

Eyeliner tattoos are a lot different from traditional tattooing – they use pigments of natural origins your body gradually breaks down. Also, the color is deposited very shallow into the skin, so the skin’s natural exfoliation cycle removes them over time.

So if you get permanent eyeliner, you can expect to have it looking fresh and vivid for a couple of years, after which it will visibly fade unless you get it refreshed.

What Factors Determine How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last?

How long does permanent eyeliner last is very individual, and no PMU artist can tell you precisely when it’ll fade.

But what PMUHub can do is explain the process behind pigment fading and give you details on the factors that determine how long does tattooed eyeliner last:

1. Aftercare

After permanent eyeliner, the area needs some time to heal. The days after the treatment require you to take some special care of your eyelids to ensure the skin heals safely and to maintain maximum pigment retention.

The pigments take some time to settle, and if you get the area repeatedly wet or use products not approved by the PMU tech, they won’t settle properly.

An even bigger risk is touching the eyelids and picking at the scabs that form as the skin heals. The scabs can pull pigments out of the skin if they are peeled off before they fall off on their own.

So the main factor that affects how long will permanent eyeliner last is your behavior after the treatment. If you don’t follow the prescribed aftercare routine and you do mechanical damage to the area, you can ruin the results.

2. Skin Type

Even if you do everything right and follow your aftercare religiously, the body itself has the final say in how long does permanent eyeliner last.

People with dry and normal skin can expect their tattooed eyeliner to last longer.

On thick and oily skin pigments faster. The large amounts of sebum produced push the pigments out of the pores, and the results fade quicker.

There’s also the question of body chemistry. Some people’s systems absorb pigments faster than others’ and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

3. Eyeliner Style

Then, the next most significant factor that determines how long does eyeliner tattoo last is the style of the tattoo.

Permanent eyeliner can be done in many different styles. If you get a thick line with a shaded effect, you can expect the results to be visible longer – about 3 years.

But if you go for an eyelash enhancement, which is a very thin line tattooed between the lashes, the results will probably fade after 6-12 months.

What Factors Determine How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last?Image source: Instagram @marta_perlin

4. Lifestyle and Beauty Routine

PMU pigments fade when exposed to sunlight, so how long does permanent eyeliner last can be shortened if you’re basking in sunlight too often.

Excessive sweating on a regular basis can also shorten its lifespan.

Another factor that causes fading is skincare products which contain aggressive ingredients that stimulate skin exfoliation. Those are often found in anti-aging products, so you might want to rethink your skincare routine if you’re getting PMU.

Can I Make My Eyeliner Tattoo Last Longer?

You can prolong how long does permanent eyeliner last by:

  • Booking a touch up appointment as often as you feel the need to
  • Following your aftercare routine as closely as possible
  • Avoiding sunlight exposure
  • Avoiding excessive sweating too often

NOTE: If your skin is oily or has large pores, you’ll probably need more frequent touch ups no matter what you do.

Will My Permanent Eyeliner Fade Completely without Touch Ups?

Everyone’s skin retains pigments differently. Some people have their permanent eyeliner fade completely and no one can tell they ever had it.

But for some people, the pigments never disappear 100% and a shadow remains. This can happen due to specific pigment formulas, improper technique, and the body’s chemistry.

In general, a permanent eyeliner tattoo is considered faded if it hasn’t been touched up for 5 years. If there’s a slight shadow remaining, it usually just looks like discreet eye makeup.

Is Permanent Eyeliner Removal Possible?

If you decide you don’t want your permanent eyeliner any longer, or you’re among those whose cosmetic tattoo never fully fades, you have the option of removal.

  • Saline removal is the safest option. It’s done by opening up the skin over the marks and depositing a solution that will dry up and extract the pigments. Since the area treated is very delicate, you should make an effort to find a removal tech who has experience working on eyelids – not many of them do.
  • Another option is laser, but this is a more aggressive method. Not many tattoo removal techs are skilled enough or have the proper equipment to work around the eyes, so finding one who does might be a challenge.

Both methods require multiple sessions, which can get pricey and drag on for months. So perhaps the best option is to give the pigments the chance to fade and cover them up with regular makeup in the meantime.

Is Permanent Eyeliner Removal Possible?Image source: Instagram @mauriliovazzana

How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last – Main Takeaways

For most people, tattooed eyeliner lasts about 3 years, but it can fade much faster than that, or stay visible for up to 5 years or longer.

How long does permanent eyeliner last depends on several factors: how you treated it during aftercare, your skin type, the style of the eyeliner, and your lifestyle and beauty routine. The marks will inevitably fade, but you can always prolong them with a quick touch up.



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