Permanent Eyeshadow – What Is It and Is It Worth It?

By Emily M.| Last updated on March 7, 2024
all about permanent eyeshadow blog cover
⏱️ 4 min read

The beauty industry is constantly progressing, and artists are exploring new ways to recreate makeup looks in their permanent makeup practice.

However, permanent eyeshadow is not a commonly discussed treatment, with some artists finding it a bit controversial even to this day.

This has led to several doubts about the effectiveness and worthiness of the treatment itself.

So let’s take a deep dive into eyeshadow tattoo and explain the process behind it!

What Is Permanent Eyeshadow?

Permanent eyeshadow is actually a style of permanent eyeliner.

It implies creating a line along your lashes with added shading above it.

Both the line of the eyeliner that follows the lashline and the permanent eyeshadow above it can be customized, so you can recreate your favorite smokey eye look with a long-lasting effect.

However, it’s not common to cover the whole eyelid with shading. The farthest up it can go is somewhere halfway towards the crease, but that’s the look most people wear anyway.

The shading can be as sheer or as opaque as you want it, and it’s done with a gradient, so it looks nicely blended. Other names the treatment goes by are shaded eyeliner, designer eyeliner, and smokey eyeliner.

what is permanent eyeshadowImage Source: Instagram @kononova_kateryna

How Is It Done?

Eyeshadow tattoo is a semi-permanent form of cosmetic tattooing that requires refreshing over time.

Permanent eyeshadow is applied with a specialized PMU machine that implants multiple shades of pigments into the skin, creating an extended-lasting appearance.

In this way, PMU artists create tiny punctures on the eyelid skin, into which pigments are injected and the desired look is created. The color is built up over 2 sessions, done 6-8 weeks apart.

So, how long does permanent eyeshadow last? Typically, it lasts up to three years for most clients.

Does This Hurt?

Not really, although it might be somewhat uncomfortable.

The treatment is typically performed with the help of topical anesthetics or numbing creams and gels, which make it much more bearable.

Still, you might feel some pinching or pressure, and be prepared for the weird feeling of a vibrating machine being pressed against your eyelid.

What Are the Healing and Aftercare Like?

Since the needle doesn’t go deep into the skin, the permanent eyeshadow treatment is generally considered non-invasive and the healing isn’t that bad.

Permanent Eyeshadow Healing

Nevertheless, the skin that was broken during the tattooing process needs some time to close up. During that time, you might experience:

  • Some redness
  • Some minor swelling
  • Some scabbing
  • Then some flaking
  • Some itchiness.

These symptoms will last up to 2 weeks.

Aftercare Guidelines

During healing, you have to take care of the treated area in a special way to prevent infection and make sure the pigments settle in properly.

You will need to:

  • Clean the area according to a schedule your artist prescribes
  • Apply an aftercare ointment is prescribed
  • Keep the area dry outside of cleaning
  • Refrain from eye makeup
  • Avoid sweating, saunas and steam baths
  • Minimize sunlight exposure

Touchup Session

Once your eyeshadow tattoo has healed superficially, it will take about 2-3 more weeks for the tissue underneath the skin to recover completely and for the pigments to take their final color.

6-8 weeks after the initial session, you can get a touch-up to add more pigment if necessary, after which your skin will go through another round of healing, but it will be less intense.

permanent eyeshadowImage Source: Instagram @aunlee_permanent_makeup

Can Permanent Eyeshadow Be Done in Any Color?


However, the most common choices are shades of deep brown, as they fade the best and provide a neutral look.

On the other hand, eyeshadow tattoos allow more room for experimentation with different colors, as shown on TikTok.

Check out our PMU eyeliner gallery to get inspired by the best permanent eyeshadow before and after transformations.

Is the Eyeshadow Tattoo Permanent?

As we said, the application technique is such that it allows the pigments to fade away after a while. For most clients, the results stay visible for up to 3 years, but they will lose intensity over this time.

When you feel like your permanent eyeshadow is too faded, you can boost the color back up by booking a touch-up.

For more information on the longevity of the permanent eyeshadow tattoo and the factors that determine it, check out this article.

permanent eyeshadowImage source: Instagram @olga.loginova_permanent

Can You Remove Permanent Eyeshadow?

Yes, although the best option is to just wait until it fades.

There are several methods of removing your permanent eyeshadow if you decide you don’t want it anymore:

The thing is, all these removal methods take multiple sessions, each of them entails a healing period, and it can get expensive. So unless you absolutely hate your permanent eyeshadow, it’s best to just wait it out.

Still, it’s nice knowing you can get rid of it if you change your mind.

How Much Does Permanent Eyeshadow Cost?

The cost of an eyeshadow tattoo typically ranges from $200 to $800 or more, depending on various factors. These factors include the artist’s experience level, location, and the specifics of the salon or studio.

When determining the overall cost, it is also essential to consider other factors, such as the artist’s reputation, hygiene standards, and pigment quality used in the procedure.

So, Is It a Good Idea Overall?

Absolutely – if you want to take a break from your daily smokey eyeshadow + eyeliner routine, embrace this time-saving solution.

In just two sessions, you can enjoy years without extensive eye makeup, except perhaps mascara. Admit it – it sounds like a great deal!

Cover image source: Freepik



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